Need small business help? There’s an app for that

WECT TV6 by Casey Roman July 6, 2011 Click here to watch the video WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Need help running your small business? There's an app for that! Kristen Beckmeyer and Meredith Sullivan, the owners of Coastal Cupcakes have traded in their expensive register equipment for Apple iPad. When the company hit the 2 ½ year mark, they realized their register computer and software was outdated. Point-of-sale equipment can run thousands of dollars and the small business needed a more affordable solution that wouldn't be as costly to upgrade. That's when they discovered a software company called Pos LAVU (www.poslavu.com). For a $895 licensing fee and $59.95 monthly maintenance charge, the firm designed custom cupcake software for the bakery. Kristen and Meredith found refurbished iPads for $350. They bought two, one for each store. "It definitely has the cool factor going that's for sure," said Kristen. "But it was definitely a business decision for us." Not only does the iPad save them equipment costs, it also saves on paper. Customers can chose not to receive a receipt, have it emailed or have it printed. Kristen says that at least 75 percent of customers chose to leave with only their cupcake in hand. The change has freed up counter space and left many outlets free of clutter. Customers can still use credit cards thanks to a USB device that attaches to the side of the iPad. In the future, they hope to make the swiping technology portable on their iPhones when making deliveries. Their iPad is mounted to the wall, encased by a homemade wooden frame. The owners did not want to leave their investment on the counter but they also wanted to make sure they could flip it over so customers could sign the screen. Signing for a debit/credit transaction is done by drawing your finger across the screen to write out your name. While technology can sometimes fail, Kristen says the biggest hassle has been the wireless connection. Thankfully Pos LAVU has designed the software so that even without service, the iPad can store the credit card date and process the transaction once service is restored. Copyright 2011 WECT.  All rights reserved.