Ready for a revamp of your business’ technology? A tablet, or tablets, may be just the way to go.
Businesses are always looking to stay on top of the latest technology to remain competitive in their industries. Whether they use websites, smartphones or social media, businesses have had plenty to keep up with in the last couple of decades.
One of the latest technologies to hit the scene in the last few years is the tablet, and businesses have many ways of using it to grow and make themselves and their employees more productive.
Statistics prove the benefits of tablet use for businesses. According to the 2013 AT&T Small Business Technology Poll, nearly seven in 10 business owners use tablets. In the CDW Tablets@Work poll, 84 percent of employees who use tablets for work say that the devices help them be more productive.
One of the key aspects to a tablet’s improved performance for businesses is its portability. Laptops are portable as well, but they can be big and heavy to lug around, while tablets can fit into much smaller and thinner spaces, such as a small briefcase or larger purse. Tablets can go along with you wherever you go, whether you’re walking around the sales floor or warehouse, traveling or simply out to lunch, giving you easy access to your business’ information and operations anytime, anywhere.
Now, you may be thinking, “But a smartphone is just as—if not more—portable than a tablet.” This is true, and a smartphone is very convenient for tasks such as checking email, reading documents and taking business calls.
But what smartphones lack is a screen big enough to do what a tablet can do. Imagine trying to edit a presentation using the tiny screen on a smartphone. Or doing a presentation at a chance lunch meeting. For these types of tasks, smartphones just don’t cut it.
If you take the time to think about it, you may find plenty of ways that you can use a tablet to grow your business and boost productivity. Here are 10 of the best ways you can begin implementing from day one of your tablet ownership.
What types of technology do you already use for your business? Desktops, laptops, smartphones? To make your tablet usage most effective, you can look for ways to integrate your tablet with the technology you already use. This provides easy access to data, projects and other information you might use to run and grow your business across multiple devices, which can be extremely helpful in certain situations.
To do this, look for apps that integrate all of your technologies together. Keep in mind that certain brands’ apps allow access and sharing across multiple devices from that brand only, and this capability may affect the brand of the device you choose. For example, with some apps, an Apple iPad can only connect with an iPhone and/or a MacBook.
Other apps disregard the brand of your device and allow you to connect any device with any other. Make sure you research which apps allow for the right sharing for your particular business technology suite.
Many tablet apps now allow you to create presentations in just as much detail as you would on your desktop or laptop. The added convenience of the tablet, however, is its portability, make it that much easier to create presentations on the fly from wherever you are—at lunch, the airport, a waiting room, what have you. You can even pick up where you left off, creating the presentation from your desktop or laptop right from the tablet.
Creating a sales presentation with someone else’s input? With many tablet apps, you can also share your presentation with other users so that while one person is working on it, another can jump in or pick up where someone else left off. Creating sales presentations just got that much easier
It’s a natural extension from point nine, but it’s worthy of its own inclusion. Instead of having to use a setup you’re not used to when you travel elsewhere for meetings with clients, wouldn’t it be much easier to have your presentation saved to your tablet for easy access when it comes time to present (and no more lugging around a laptop)? This goes for both presenting to clients one-on-one at a dinner or for presenting to a larger meeting on a whiteboard.
In addition, having your presentation saved to your tablet may make the whole experience seem sleeker and more high-tech, which may potentially impress the clients you are meeting with. Just another bonus!
Instead of having to invite clients to your office or lug around a laptop, with a tablet, you can easily show off your business’ goods whenever and wherever you are. Say you have a chance meeting with a potential client or colleague, and you want to show them what you’re currently working on. Simply whip out your tablet, and present it to them right then and there.
This can be particularly helpful at industry events, where you will be meeting plenty of people who might be interested in your product or service. Having a mobile device that is larger than a smartphone allows you to present your business’ offering in a convenient way that can impress the people you talk to.
If you have employees that work on a sales floor, having the ability for customers to pay for goods with a mobile device can improve the customer experience that much more.
Having tablets for your employees can make it easier to facilitate payments directly from the sales floor, which can help seal the deal more quickly and more conveniently for both the employee and the customer. Your employee can then simply send over a receipt to the customer’s email or send the information to a printer elsewhere in the store, and the sale is complete.
Plus, because the tablet will be used by an individual employee, calculating commissions can be a lot easier and quicker as well.
With apps such as Skype and GoToMeeting, it’s now easier than ever to hold conference calls and even videoconferences, whenever and wherever you want. If employees are on a business trip, you can remain in visual contact with them as they go about the trip by simply hosting a meeting using one of these apps.
This also goes for clients who are located far away from your office—simply use one of these apps on your tablet to schedule a meeting with them whenever and wherever it is convenient for both of you.
Sometimes you can’t always be in the office when it comes time to create invoices or figure out payroll for the month. With various apps and your tablet, you can still manage your finances even on the go, wherever you are and whenever it is convenient. You can also integrate your accounting services (whenever possible) to your tablet to continue working on something that you initially started on your office computer.
Instead of having to use paper, pen and a clipboard and then inputting the data into a computer, wouldn’t it be much easier to have a mobile tech tool that can come with you as you observe your inventory and input that information directly into your inventory program?
It’s not feasible to lug a laptop around a warehouse or storage room. But a tablet is portable enough to bring with you while being bigger than a smartphone, so you better see what it is that you are doing and see more information onscreen at once.
Also, you know how customers on the sales floor will sometimes ask if you have more of a product in the back? Instead of having your employee walk all the way to the back of the store to check, wasting both the employee’s time and the customer’s time, he or she can have the inventory right there on the tablet and let the customer know either way much more quickly.
Tablets can be a great investment for your business if you know how to use them the right way. Consider these 10 tips, and figure out more that are even better for your specific business. Watch your business grow and become more productive right before your very eyes thanks to some of the latest technological advancements.