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How apps are helping small business save money

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During its keynote presentations, Apple often showcases how educational institutions and Fortune 500 companies are using the iPad and iPhone. Many people don't realize that small businesses are also benefiting from Apple's iOS devices. A report in USA Today sheds some light on how small business owners are using the iPad to increase productivity and save some cash.

It's the iPad's portability and its robust App Store that make the tablet so attractive to businesses. With only a few thousand dollars, a small business can arm several employees with iPads so they can conduct business on the go. For example, the iPad lets a real estate agent take pictures, jot down notes, draw floor plans, and manage open house showings. When someone is ready to buy, the agent can have the buyer sign all necessary documents in the field.

Though some companies have embraced the iPad whole-heartedly, many small companies are proceeding cautiously. According to a Forrester survey, only 24 percent of workers in small businesses use a touch-screen tablet for work. Apple has an enormous opportunity, if it can reach out to these reticent companies and show them how the iPad or iPhone can save them time and money.

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