Ipd for business?

Discussion in 'Electronics' started by Adahy, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

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    Hey guys and gals who have iPads. I just opened a vendor forum here and have been pondering the idea of using an iPad to help run my business.

    As a photographer, having a digital portfolio to show off is one thing... But if I could keep an iPad with me, I can keep track of receipts and expenses easier, send invoices, keep track of inventory.

    Does anyone recommend any aps like this? I'm hoping I can integrate everything so I can do it all from one or two aps. I also want to keep track of my carving status. When I start a kuksa, first oiling, sanding, finishing, etc. Have it sync with my calendar, remind me of people didn't
    Pay...

    I was looking at quickbooks but everyone says its not great for inventory.

    If I cant use this to help the business, it's just another gimmick to me and I won't waste my money. It's really a large iPhone and 99% of the owners use it for social networking a YouTube. But it'd be nice to have a digital Swiss army knife persay.
     
  2. urban_coyote

    urban_coyote Scout

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    I have some clients who use an iPad to run their coffee shop. I'm pretty sure it does inventory, etc. I'll be talking to them in the next few days and ask whet they're using...
     
  3. 556mp

    556mp Bushmaster Vendor Bushclass I

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    When I did work for some higher end retail stores, that's all the sales people used. Talk to Sweeneyguy, he knows all about that stuff...
     
  4. Vipers

    Vipers Tracker

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    While very much a content consumption device, tablets can be useful. I've thought more along the lines of an Android based tablet because you can maximize portability with a 7" screen model. I've seen a case with a keyboard for the Ipad is you see doing much data entry...but there are netbooks that are smaller than that option and more convenient than carrying an Ipad/separate keyboard.

    I'd really look at the functions you need and the apps available to meet those needs. Also look at the workflow you want and whether it can benefit from actually being away from a more traditional computer. Finally consider wifi coverage for the places you want to be able to work. Cellular internet throws on a big monthly cost but the hardware for extending wifi coverage if needed gives you some up front cost.
     
  5. BetulaLenta

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    I'm not a big business guy, but my wife uses the "Square" card reader on her Android phone for stuff she sells at crafts shows, etc. She loves it, and it looks like the iPad version can do business analytics as well. Sorry I don't know more about it, but it might be worth checking out.
     
  6. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

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    Oh no I've seen what that Sweenyguy does with his tools. Luckily this has no ball bearings to test :35:

    Will do. It'd just be nice to have my desktop computer function from the shop so I don't have to run up and down stairs. Plus I can post sale ads and use its half decent camera. I hear the new one is better.

    Do I have to call it an iPad tho? That's the worst.

    If I get one I'm making a birch bark case of something
     
  7. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

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    I'm messing around with one now. Downloaded some aps.. so far so good I guess. I like the sketch programs for quick protypes.

    Looks like a 4 year old drew this

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

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    Let me know if they have any tips. Luckily my carving business has almost 0 overhead and I'm the only employee. I'm just unorganized and I feel it may help me keep track of carving times and drying and all that.
     
  9. 1-CHANCE

    1-CHANCE Tracker

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    I have the first generation one. Recieved as a gift :8: I use it all the time. There is an app called numbers. It's like M.S. excel. You can create invoices, budgets, expense reports and about a dozen other things. $10.
     
  10. Easy_rider75

    Easy_rider75 Bushwhacker

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    I'll tell ya one thing not related to the ipad but quickbooks for sure is the way to go. Friend of mine he has been using it since it came out way back in the days of the 5 and a 1/4 floppy discs. I know a lot of business owners that swear by the program and it's pretty easy to use.
     
  11. jloden

    jloden Guide Bushclass I

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    I have an iPad, use it every day for work and fun purposes. It has also largely replaced my laptop when I'm on the road (except for work since I need a full laptop for that). Can't help on the inventory management apps side but if you have general iPad questions or anything just lemme know. I can bring it next time we get together for you to check out also if you want.

    My overall answer for you in terms of usage: it's a giant iPhone. That means it's good at everything the iPhone is, and works best with apps designed for the interface. With the bigger screen its better at photos, videos and screen real estate heavy tasks. However, when it comes time to do extensive work or typing, I almost always end up wanting my laptop for the multitasking and easier input. I love it though for browsing the forum, checking email, and the like. All of that stuff works like you're used to on the iPhone, but much more fluidly and easily with the extra screen space.
     
  12. WoodsJack

    WoodsJack Guide

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    iPads are designed as mainly consumer devices and/or more specifically mobile adjuncts for business.

    Macs are the platform and the OS for both.

    The application software (i.e. business/accounting/etc.) will run on either.

    I wouldn't expect that you'll have especially cumbersome inventory concerns, though.
     
  13. IamLegend

    IamLegend Guide Bushclass I

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    My wife owns four daycares. She went from desktop to laptop and is now using an iPad. Don't really know the extent of how much she has actually switched over, only that she is using it more and more. Very convenient she has said but i don't/can't really keep up with what she's doing from one day to the next. Good luck with your business BTW.
     
  14. Mrwhitetailfanatic

    Mrwhitetailfanatic Banned Member Banned

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    I agree it's a fun toy that's about it. It would be very hard to use a spread sheet program like excel. I'm on one now and I would rather be on my Mac book. Spend a little extra on that a you will not have to buy a computer for a long time. They are just more vesatile and faster to use.
     
  15. intheshaw

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    My little brother has a tablet, but not an ipad. I think he paid less than 200 bucks for it and it does what I would think just as much as an ipad, just without the hype. I'll have to ask him what model it is. He bought it to store his flight maps on so he could have them all in one place.

    Honestly, I find no need for one because you can do a lot with a smart phone, you just dont have the bigger screen. I mean I see no reason why a phone couldn't do the majority of what you're asking of it since I know they can process credit cards, and there are many apps out there that are business related. If you want something smaller to lug around, maybe consider getting one of those basic, mini-laptops (don't know the technical name) so you have the versatility of a keyboard and they are a lot less espensive.
     
  16. 10mm_Bob

    10mm_Bob Supporter Supporter

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    I'm a pro photographer, and run my entire business off my iPad. Check out Quick Sale in the app store. That app, combined with a nice portfolio gets it done quite well.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  17. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

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    Wow solid information guys. I appreciate it

    I should've mentioned I've been using Mac os since 2005 and haven't turned back. I use my iMac for all my business stuff and art, but now that I'm working inside a lean to or out in the woods behind the house carving kuksas for them vendor forum... Its a little annoying running inside to do business easier or trying to squeeze everything into my phone. Apple makes me mad because theyre damn good at backing each product into a tight corner where you could do everything on one... But you can fly around certain workflows with specific devices... I can see the iPad being a good tool for the numbers part of business like book keeping. But I can also use it for my photo business as well.

    I guess Im sold. Just have to now figure out stragically what apps will help me.

    Great answers though. Thanks.
     
  18. CactusBob

    CactusBob Scout

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    When the gem show was in Tucson I bought a handmade leather journal from a vendor that used an Ipad exclusively. She used it to accept credit cards, maintain her inventory and emailed the receipt to us all while we were there. I'm not sure what Apps she used but she said it worked well for her

    Bob
     
  19. Blackhawk45hunter

    Blackhawk45hunter Guide Vendor Supporter Bushclass II

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    I use an IPad exclusively. I also have a MacBook, but I got retired to dedicated Netflix machine status when the iPad came into my possession. Some people will say its like a giant iPhone, but I respectfully disagree. With the larger screen, you can type and use multi finger gestures that the small iPhone screen can't handle well. The processing speed is impressive and the app (ipad specific) selection is getting huge. I use my iPad for taking and recording notes in my college classes. I love how thin and light it is and how fast typing is on the iPad. I use it to surf the web, watch tv, listen to music, edit photos, shop online... I'll never go back to the heavy stone age design of a laptop.
     
  20. bharen

    bharen Guide

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    In my immediate family we own four iPads (along with a trunk load of iPhones), and at work my organization is doing a test run and will probably end up adopting iPads in environmental cases over Panasonic Toughbooks at a significant savings. iPads are extremely innovative devices and the app developers have come up with some amazing applications. As a general industry rule the iPad apps tend to be more stable and feature rich than the Android apps. As one developer explained it to me, "Apple's iOS has been stable for about 3 years and won't change significantly any time soon, Android has been stable for about a week, and will change next month."

    However, iPads do have limitations. System memory is limited, input options are limited (for example, the ability to read bar codes for inventory control - every camera-based barcode reader app I've tested has been flaky at best when used under real-world conditions) and most apps assume the availability of an 'always on' internet connection (the iPad is, after all, a 'cloud' device).

    My advice is to first check the Apple app store to see if there are applications available that suit your business needs. Another recommendation is to not buy new. There is little real-world performance difference between the iPad2 and the current generation of iPad (aka, the 'iPad 3') other than a slightly better screen. You can pick up refurbished iPad 2s from Apple on their website at a pretty good discount. Also keep in mind that if any of your intended uses involves GPS you will need to purchase a 3G capable model; the wi-fi only models of the iPad do not have GPS built-in. I consider this a significant shortcoming of the iPad and it is what forces me to spend the extra $100 for a 3G model even though I don't need or want the 3G feature (if I'm out of wi-fi range I usually just tether my iPad to my iPhone which has the hotspot feature enabled).
     
  21. jloden

    jloden Guide Bushclass I

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    Not to derail the thread, but are you talking about the onboard keyboard, or are you using one of those bluetooth/docking keyboards? I find typing long replies on the iPad the place where I most miss having a real keyboard where I can type full speed. Don't get me wrong, I can type "ok" on one (typing this on mine as we speak since the macbook is in the middle of a hard drive replacement) but I type a lot faster on a physical keyboard.

    Funny you should mention netflix as your macbook use; netflix on the iPad is actually what finally pushed me over the edge to buy one. I needed to convince myself I would find at least three major uses for an iPad and when I found out I could watch my Netflix queue on it I was sold (my 3 big ones were work and personal email/web browsing, kindle books, and netflix).
     
  22. Chert

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    I recently picked up an iPad (you can call it a tablet, sounds much better). Not so much for business but just as a mobile computer. I like it a bunch, does everything I need flawlessly. I did get a Bamboo stylus and it has been great, really helps for writing/drawing and gaming (love me some games). I would recommend a stylus if you plan on doing any sort of doodles, it really makes it a lot easier.
     
  23. urban_coyote

    urban_coyote Scout

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    I spoke to them and they told me they used this:

    https://squareup.com/register

    They said it worked great, and that it's got decent inventory capabilities.

    Good luck!
     
  24. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

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    What my doodle up there wasn't good enough?? Haha a stylus sounds like a good idea actually.
     
  25. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

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    Thanks. I'll check this out now!
     
  26. patriciaharris7

    patriciaharris7 Tracker

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    Right now I’m not an Ipad user but planning to be one soon.
     
  27. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

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    Hoping to pick one up this weekend. I think I'll make the first ever birchbark iPad cover. Why pay 69$ for their case?
     
  28. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

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    Pulled the trigger. I'll update when I get things in order
     
  29. Jon Foster

    Jon Foster Guide

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    We use Quickbooks, it's fine for everything we do. We have a commercial photography business, a computer store/repair shop and are a United Nations contractor in 10 countries. Our warehouse is about 300,000 square feet with shipments coming and going daily. We ship by airfreight, train and container ship. We couldn't operate if we had iPads. They are cool but not really ready to be used as a computer replacement in the business world yet. If you have an accountant to help with your books and taxes, they will most likely want you to use Quickbooks. Or possibly even Peachtree...

    Jon.
     
  30. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

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    ! Wow you guys know how to do it right. 8)

    Commercial photography aye? That's what I'm commuting to the city today for. Can you pm me your website? I like to take a look see. Thanks for the advice.
     
  31. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

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    So far I've had the tablet for 4 days and already lined up 3 kuksa sales and one dough bowl sale. I also noticed all the people on the train staring at my axe video I was messing with... Evil plan is working perfectly. 8)
     
  32. Two Bears

    Two Bears Banned Member Banned

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    Check out Evernote, and check out using something real like an Android tablet. YIKES,,,, DUCK,, LOL.
     
  33. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

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    So it looks like I'll be using quickbooks, but I need help with some sort of inventory program. It'd be great to create a new 'product' everytime someone places an order. Then I can keep track of each order by date, and even take a photo of the individual kuksa I'm selling, all the way up to billing the invoice...

    Any suggestions on that fine citizens of BCUSA?
     
  34. Easy_rider75

    Easy_rider75 Bushwhacker

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    I can ask my buddy that knows it better than I do but if I recall I think quickbooks has a built in inventory specially if you go with the pro version
     
  35. Jon Foster

    Jon Foster Guide

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    If you use Quickbooks you'll be able to create estimates/invoices for each order. You can also create inventory items for each bowl/cup you make for each order and each customer etc. You can make the inventory items a non stock item or a stocked item. It's up to you and your accountant how to do it. I would say make them non inventory items if each one is going to be unique. When you give the item a part/inventory number, you can also take a picture of the product and save the picture(s) using the inventory numbers in the file name for identification. I don't know if you can add a picture to the inventory list but saving the shots in a gallery sorted by year, month, day would be simple and effective.

    Jon.
     
  36. Jon Foster

    Jon Foster Guide

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    One more point. If you use Quickbooks for the carving business there's no reason why you couldn't use Quickbooks to keep track of your photography business as well. You can create and use multiple companies without any trouble.

    Good accounting is critical to success!

    Jon.
     
  37. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

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    Thanks Jon! This is great help and I appreciate it. I wish I could download a demo. I'll just end up buying it. A lot of apps sync with quickbooks so I may be able to put together a great system to cover it all
     
  38. Jon Foster

    Jon Foster Guide

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    Quickbooks is pretty solid stuff. There are others out there but Quickbooks is pretty easy to learn compared to the rest and most accountants that handle small business work already know it. Which is a huge plus. I'd guess the Pro version would be fine for your type of work.

    A few things that would be handy are the job costing features, mileage tracking (you have to drive somewhere to get wood) and time tracking for each job.

    You can buy it at Sam's Club too. They have just about the cheapest street price out there.

    Jon.
     
  39. Jon Foster

    Jon Foster Guide

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    You may want to give this a look before spending too much cash on software. It works on Windoze, Linux and Mac OS's.

    GNUCash

    Jon.
     
  40. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

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    High Five Jon!

    You've been a huge help. I've been using free aps so far. One is like a spreadsheet so I can keep track of inventory. It's decent. The money end of this is what was troubling me. That shareware you linked looks perfect!
     
  41. Jon Foster

    Jon Foster Guide

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    If you try it let me know how well it works for you. I'm a big fan of open source software.

    Jon.
     

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