The days of being chained to your desk while you build your business empire are well and truly over, according to the Pew Internet Project. A recent study suggests desktop computer ownership has dropped from 68 percent in April 2006 to 58 percent last year. In response, GlobalWebIndex says 282 percent more of us have become tablet owners in the last two years. We clearly want to be more portable, but how should business owners harness this new technology to effectively run their start-up? Read on to discover 4 Pro tips to running your start-up from a tablet.
1. Get the Right Apps
An estimated 14 billion apps will be downloaded by tablet owners this year. Many of these will be time-wasters that fail to live up their promise, but others will help small business owners run their start-ups like well-oiled machines. It takes time to accumulate a useful collection of apps, but speaking to other tech-savvy entrepreneurs can point you in the right direction.
Dragon Dictation serves as a virtual secretary, composing emails and notes as you dictate them. Free phone call app Talkatone helps you stay in touch with clients and colleagues in North America no matter where you are. Apps like Flight Track Pro and Gas Buddy can help you organize your travel and do it for less.
Business card apps are the modern equivalent of an old-school Rolodex. Business Card Reader, ABBYY, and other similar applications allow you to instantly import business card information, without the risk of typos or overlooking vital details. Some of them even connect to social networking platforms like LinkedIn to save you time and instantly widen your business circle.
2. Get a Keyboard
Image via Flickr by TechnologyGuide TestLab
Tablets use touchscreens rather than keyboards to make them more portable, but this limits their business applications. Anyone who’s tried composing a complex email or company document without a keyboard can attest to how slow and frustrating this task can be.
Applications like Swype and Dryft attempt to recreate the keyboard experience on tablet touchscreens, but even their creator Randy Marsden admits that typing in this way just isn’t the same. He says the experience of typing on a QWERTY keyboard is ingrained in modern brains. While touchscreen apps mimic keyboard keys, they cannot replicate the tangible feel of using them. Many keyboard apps don’t even allow you to cover the keys, as you do when you type. Keys unintentionally activated if you try slow down productivity. This is especially frustrating for owners of compact tablets, as it’s much easier to type the wrong letter when the virtual keys are close together.
Portable Bluetooth keyboards are one solution for the problem, but this additional peripheral undermines a tablet’s portability. Hybrid tablets, like the range of Lenovo tablet laptops, give entrepreneurs the best of both worlds. The keyboard is available whenever it’s required, but it can also be folded away to make the tablet more compact and transportable.
3. Get the Right Peripherals
Image via Flickr by Chris Harrison
Bluetooth keyboards might be a bit cumbersome, but that doesn’t mean you should discount all peripherals. Card readers, including the popular Square and GoPayment models, can turn your tablet into a mobile payment system. These handy add-ons read credit cards so you can always close a sale. Your customers simply sign on the tablet and receive emailed receipts. Rather than paying for merchant service equipment up front, you’ll pay per transaction, so they’re a smart solution for budget-conscious start-ups.
Few things halt productivity as quickly as a dry battery. A portable charger can ensure you never suffer this fate by powering your tablet when you’re out and about.
4. Cut Costs around the Office
Embracing tablet technology can help you cut costs around the office. Instead of wasting ink and paper printing out forms and other business documents, simply keep them on your tablet. Customers can also complete application forms or sign up to your mailing list using your tablet. Then just import their information into a database rather than wasting time entering data. Thinking of creative ways to go paperless can save money and time while minimizing errors.
Thanks to these four pro tablet tips, you needn’t be chained to the office to run a successful start-up.
I hope you find these 4 Pro tips for running your start-up from a tablet interesting, i will like to hear your views on this topic. Share your ideas or any more tips for running a start-up from a tablet. Use the comment form to share with me, remember to subscribe to my blog.