Apple® devices have a devoted following. Sure, the designs and form factors are sleek and stylish. But these machines and the operating system that powers them have more tangible upsides, especially for business.
1. Accomplish More with a System You Know
If you used Apple devices at school or for personal use, you don’t have to give them up to do business. All the major office and productivity titles and finance and tax software come in Mac® versions, making it easy to outfit the devices you love with the business functionality you need. Because you’re already proficient on the iPad®, iPhone®, MacBook or iMac, you don’t lose time learning a new device or platform.
Added bonus: Using the same operating system enables simple syncing and ensures compatibility. “Using Apple across all devices has always ensured a smooth and seamless transition from home to mobile to work with no fear of losing anything,” adds Gordon Churchill, an author and former full-time fishing guide in Newport, NC.
2. Communicate & Collaborate
In the early days, most people fell in love with the iPhone simply because it provided easy access to email on the go. Now, of course, we use our phones for everything and we have nifty tablets that give us even more flexibility. But communication is still a major reason we love these devices, which make it easy to engage on social networks, via FaceTime or text messages. They’re also powerful tools for teams who work virtually or who travel frequently.
David Brugh, owner of Christiansburg, VA–based Meridian Wildlife Services, got iPhones and iPads with wireless plans for his field staff to keep their various communications flowing. The company rescues and relocates wildlife trapped in large commercial spaces, like big box stores and supermarkets. Whether the team is downloading building schematics to find hiding places for scared animals or getting work orders from the corporate office via the ServiceM8 app, Meridian’s staff is always collaborating — one of the benefits of the iPad.
“It’s not unusual for our field technicians to be sitting in their trucks, having a meeting, finalizing details on reports, or collaborating via the device,” says Brugh. The technology also makes it easy to convene the group for meetings and updates. “We very rarely meet face to face. We’ll either Skype or FaceTime, or we’ll meet through some kind of application where we can all interact online.”
3. Leverage the Cloud
Since the release of the original iPhone in 2007, the entire landscape of mobile computing has changed. iPhones, iPads and lightweight MacBooks make it possible to access the cloud so you can do business from any place at any time.
“I’m always on the move,” says Norton Shores, MI–based CruiseOne franchise owner David Betlejewski. His iPhone is vital to running his business. He uses the phone’s 4G data to run apps crucial to his job and to upload and download important files and documents. He also uses the iPhone as a mobile data hotspot, pairing it with his Windows laptop via Bluetooth®. “That hotspot feature is awesome — I don’t have to use it often, but boy, when I need it, it works beautifully,” Betlejewski says.
Case in point: When a client called with a sizeable request, Betlejewski pulled his car over, whipped out his laptop, activated the iPhone’s mobile hotspot feature, and booked a client on a $10,000 vacation — all from the side of the road. “Nobody had any idea,” he recalls.
4. Present with Impact
Apple devices are terrific platforms for making presentations, doing demos and displaying information. It’s easy to flip through a slide deck even on the smallest iPhone screen. More detailed material is better for the iPad or a MacBook, especially helpful for professionals on the move. The larger iMac monitors are fantastic for high-definition content.
T.J. Tillman, owner of Phoenix-based Empire Wealth Management, uses Apple TV. a product designed for living rooms, in his boardroom to screencast from iPads during client reviews. “Clients have found this technique much more engaging than reviewing a stack full of papers,” he says. “[They] also consider us more forward-thinking than our competitors.”
Outfitting your enterprise with Apple devices is a smart way to improve productivity, enhance responsiveness and build your business.
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