Apple wants to be the platform of choice for small businesses

4 min read

Apple continues to extend its reach into business and has crafted an all-new small business website to mark National Small Business Week.

The site reflects its changing status in the sector; not only is it experiencing a big uptick in terms of its share in enterprise tech, but it is also rapidly emerging across the small and mid-size business (SMB) sector.

Raising the game for SMB adoption

Cupertino is not blind to this. As it saw the impact of iPhone and BYOD opening up its place in the business market, it has mounted a major effort to ramp up what it offers to that sector in the last few years.

To support its presence across SMBs, the company already augments its core consumer product offerings with valuable tools such as Apple Business Essentials, Tap to Pay on iPhone, Apple Business Connect and more.

It makes sense for Apple to support the sector. After all, there are as many as 33 million SMBs across the US, which accounts for almost two-thirds of all new jobs created in the US.

Of course, one of the most powerful dynamics of the sector is that it is often seen supporting communities that are otherwise underrepresented —women business owners run as many as 12 million US businesses at this time.

It’s also important to consider the economic contribution SMBs generate — around 43.5% of US GDP. Arguably, small businesses drive the economy and they inevitably value technology that helps make things happen while knowing when to get out of the way.

What Apple is doing to reach SMBs

To celebrate National Small Business Week, select Apple Store locations in New York City, Washington, DC, and Chicago will host Today at Apple sessions titled “Grow Your Business With Apple.” These free sessions will focus on Apple products and how they can be used in business.

Supplemented by a featured news post, Apple’s newly improved SMB-focused site offers a range of case studies that show how Apple’s solutions have benefitted real business owners. The site celebrates the company’s core marketing messages that its products are as easy to use at work as they are elsewhere in daily life. The site also puts a lot of emphasis on enterprises owned and run by otherwise underrepresented groups.

The stories include some remarkable successes, including that of an online meal delivery service that’s grown from being run in a domestic kitchen to become a service delivering 90,000 meals a week.

The capacity to scale seems to be a running theme across the numerous case studies Apple offered up. Streetwear brand Kids of Immigrants, street food vendor Señor Sisig, and wedding costumier Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo all share insights into how Apple’s solutions helped them expand.

“As we grew, the biggest problem was communication around consistency and product quality,” The Dinner Ladies co-founder Katherine Westwood said on Apple’s site. “That’s where Apple technology supports our business — we couldn’t have scaled without it.”

The stories also surface some of the ways Apple’s existing products help SMBs run more efficiently. That scales all the way from using Notes to scan documents, brainstorming with colleagues using Freeform or even something as relatively prosaic as signing PDFs on an iPhone.

Honorable mentions are also given to some of the daily SMB drivers use from across the Apple ecosystem, such as time sheets and shift management tools, design and prototyping applications or, for more advanced users, app development in Swift.

One more thing

As a long time Apple watcher, one additional component of Apple’s news drew my attention. It seems the company is inviting SMBs to sign up for a virtual session scheduled for June 14, one week after WWDC 2023.

Might Apple’s small business teams know something we don’t, given that the expected Apple Reality AR/VR devices might well offer some real opportunities for innovation in the business sector?

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Copyright © 2023 IDG Communications, Inc.

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