iPad

When the Apple iPad first hit the scene, people weren’t sure what to make of it. Soon enough, the public started to recognize the tablet as a good way of surfing the web, playing games, and watching videos in a more casual way. That said, the iPad also happens to be a useful tool for small business owners.

Yes, it’s more than just a toy. As the Android tablets continue to play catch-up with the iPad, you can keep engaging with that entrepreneurial spirit and look good doing it with some great small business apps on the iPad. Here are 8 of the best.

GoToMeeting

Even if you happen to be a “solopreneur,” you might find yourself needing to collaborate with other professionals around the world. The free GoToMeeting app for the iPad allows you to easily attend online meetings anywhere you have Internet access. This gives you the same kind of GoToMeeting experience as you’d have from your desktop computer, including the ability to view spreadsheets, reports, and more.

Dropbox

The iPad might have a decent amount of storage, but you want your files to be seamlessly synchronized across devices. Dropbox is one of the best solutions for this purpose and you can take that cloud-based storage with you on the road with the accompanying iPad app. The basic Dropbox account includes 2GB of space and is free. More storage can be gained by referring other users or upgrading to a premium account.

VNC Viewer

We’ve all been there. You halfway across town (or halfway around the world) when you realize that there’s something back on the office computer that needs to be done. No worries. Use VNC Viewer on the iPad and you can control your computer remotely. It really is like you’re in two places at once. Need that TPS report printed? Not a problem, since this $9.99 app can let you do that.

GoodReader for iPad

A regular PDF reader doesn’t sound like the most exciting thing in the world, but GoodReader for iPad is no ordinary PDF reader. It’s not free ($4.99), but it goes beyond just reading PDF files on your tablet. You can add sticky notes, write and draw directly on a PDF page with your finger, highlight text, and more.

Square

Just because you want to accept credit card payments doesn’t mean you have to suffer through one of those machines that the bank rents you. Instead, just get the Square app for your iPad. You can get a free Square credit card reader in the mail (or enter the numbers manually) and take payments just like a real business. The app itself is free, but Square takes a cut with each transaction.

WordPress

Part of what it means to run a successful small business is to run a company website. If you happen to be using WordPress to power your company site (or blog), then the complementary WordPress app for the iPad is a no-brainer. It lets you do everything from writing posts to moderating comments. Like everything else from Automattic for WordPress, the iPad app is free too.

Time Master + Billing

When you own your own business, there’s no one looking over your shoulder to make sure you stay on task. The onus is on you and that’s why you might want the Time Master + Billing app from On-Core Software. It sells for $9.99 and is a robust time management app that doubles as a billing app via an optional module. Invoice your time on the go.

Hootsuite for Twitter

Charlie Sheen and Conan O’Brien have a lot to be thankful for when it comes to Twitter. The microblogging and social networking platform really helped to keep their careers alive. Your small business could use some help there too and Hootsuite is one of the best Twitter apps for the iPad. Manage multiple accounts, upload images, and keep tabs on mentions of your brand.

Image credit: studiocasper / iStockphoto

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