How SMB’s can Harness Business Apps for iPad

By Michael Benedict on January 21, 2014

If you’re a small business, take to heart this wisdom from Chris Whitmore of Deutsche Bank…“The dead tree format is dying….low cost connected devices like smartphones and tablets are enabling the sharing of information electronically.” As devices like the iPad proliferate, SMBs need to take a serious look at what business processes they can migrate to mobile.

I see small businesses all over NYC embracing this approach.  Recently I was at a new, hipster bakery (who thought a bakery could be hip?). They took my order on an iPad, swiped my credit card on said iPad and asked me if I wanted the receipt emailed. Before I could realize that I’d paid more for a brownie than a gallon of Premium Unleaded, the transaction was complete. Nice!

One little square, an iPad, and transactions became a whole lot easier (Chris Harrison, source)

Yet mobility means more than converting just one of your business processes to your iPad. Think broader, much broader, about what you can do on that iPad and more importantly, how all the data you collect can tie together.

So which processes should you migrate to your iPad?  Consider starting with these three:


You know – all those documents you fill out from sales transactions to work/service orders to job applications. Imagine all that information being neatly and consistently documented from an app on your tablet.


It’s wonderful to get a paper check from your client, but it will sit on the desk waiting to be deposited. How about swiping your customer’s credit card on your iPad and getting paid much faster?

Storing and Retrieving Documents

Imagine this – that $15,000 HVAC system you installed 3 years ago is no longer working. The client claims the receipt said the unit has a 5 year warranty. If your copy of the receipt is “somewhere at the office,” you’re toast. Many apps allow you to store and retrieve documents right from your iPad.

Bring it all Together

Think about every interaction you have with your customers, vendors, etc. and how you can more efficiently process those interactions with your iPad.  Expand beyond just dipping your toe and converting one business process to mobile – be bolder and think about data capture, collecting payment and storing and retrieving documents to reap the most from your tablet. 

paperwork headaches