Many entrepreneurs start businesses because they want more flexibility in their lives. Thanks to technology, it’s easier than ever to create flexibility in your business environment. I’ve run my own business from the beach, thanks to the magic of the Internet and devices that allow me to remain connected wherever I go.
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One of the greatest helps to entrepreneurs looking for flexibility is the tablet. The iPad made the tablet computer cool, and brought the concept to the masses. I love my iPad because it allows me to do almost anything I need to in relation to my business — no matter where I am.
You can run your business from the iPad, too. Here are 7+ apps that will turn your iPad into a mobile business center:
Do you need access to your computer, but you aren’t physically there? Use LogMeIn to access your computer from anywhere, right on your iPad. While you’re at it, consider using Dropbox as well, so that you can manage documents from anywhere without the need to log into your computer. You can keep just about anything related to your business, from videos to images to documents, on Dropbox, and access it quickly and easily on your iPad.
No business is complete without a POS. One of the great things about Vend is that you can use this as your POS at a retail location, or while you’re on the go. Vend not only allows you to accept any type of payment you want, but it also allows you to set up a loyalty program. You’ll get analytics about your business, and Vend is compatible with major accounting software like QuickBooks.
This is the online invoicing service I use for my business. Generate invoices and track payment from anywhere with Freshbooks. Freshbooks is compatible with PayPal, as well as payroll/accounting software, and your clients can pay as they wish as a result.
If you need to connect with clients, you can hold meetings from anywhere with the help of Glassboard. This app is inexpensive and offers you the chance to organize your workflow and meetings no matter where you are. You can also use Skype for the iPad to make business calls and hold meetings.
One of the best presentation apps out there, Keynote allows you to create great presentations, and then run them — right from your iPad. There’s no reason to bring your bulky laptop to a business meeting when you have Keynote on your iPad.
If you’re going to run your business from your iPad, you need access to everything important. But you don’t want to carry your passwords around with you, and you certainly don’t want to try to remember them all. Use 1Password on your iPad and everything you need is right there. It’s a great way to keep your information secure, while still getting access to everything you need
Want to promote your business on the go? HootSuite can help. You can access most of your social media accounts, from Twitter to Facebook to LinkedIn, with HootSuite. Schedule posts, reply to messages, and more — no matter where you are.
And, of course, your iPad allows you access to your preferred email app, and there are numerous productivity apps you can choose from. These apps can help you keep your to-do list on track, and remind you of important items to accomplish while you are on the go. With a little effort to obtain the right apps, you can quickly and easily run your business from your iPad, no matter where you are.
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Miranda is a financial journalist. Her work has appeared in a number of publications, online and off, and been mentioned by the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, NPR, and Consumerist. Miranda is a contributor to U.S. News & World Report, and writes at the blog Planting Money Seeds.