Mobility Can Energize Your Business

By Faisal Hoque Print this article Print

Here are six ways to make sure you keep your head “in the clouds” and your business mobile for the future.

By Faisal Hoque

Mobility, intuitive cloud-based tools, smartphones, tablets and social media have forever transformed global business ecosystems. Today, no one is tethered to a desk or landline.

As the number of consumers toting smartphones continues to grow at a steady clip, small and midsize businesses must embrace the mobile revolution or end up empty-handed. The Small Business Mobile Survey released in May by Web.com Group found that while 69 percent of small businesses consider mobile marketing crucial to their growth in the next five years, a majority of them haven’t fully leveraged mobile marketing.

Here are six ways to make sure you keep your head “in the clouds” and your business mobile for the future.

1.   Move away from desktop browsers.

Any company that started out or built its business with a Website for desktop browsers needs to go mobile—if it hasn’t already. And every new startup should make mobile presence a top priority.

More and more consumers are using handheld devices to shop or search for services. Only businesses with a mobile-friendly or a made-for-mobile site or app are going to attract these customers. Nobody’s going to attempt to navigate tiny print that’s not designed to fit a small screen.

While 60 percent of small businesses surveyed by Web.com have a Website, just 26 percent have a mobile-friendly Website, which has the same layout and content as a standard Website but is adjusted to suit a smartphone’s small screen). Only 14 percent of small business owners have a stand-alone mobile Website, in which the content and layout are designed specifically for mobile purposes.

2.   Think global, sell local.

Sure, mobile devices are one of the many ways to compete from anywhere in the world, but did you consider courting customers that might otherwise walk or drive by your business in favor of one with a mobile presence?

On any busy city block, you’ll see people on their smartphones looking for someplace nearby to eat, shop or get something done. They’re more fixated on the screen than they are on the signs outside.

According to the Web.com survey, 36 percent of small business owners say their biggest motivation to embrace mobile is to attract more local customers, compared with 38 percent who say it’s to provide better service to existing customers and 34 percent who seek to gain competitive advantage. How can you gain a competitive advantage if you don’t pop up on a mobile device search?

3.   Put your finger on new business.

What’s keeping you from taking your business mobile? Mobile marketing is fast, cheap, broad-reaching and highly targeted. You can’t afford to not do it.

A mobile marketing campaign can also be easily integrated with other marketing campaigns, such as TV, radio or a traditional Website. A busy person is more likely to visit a mobile site than write down or remember information from an advertisement.

Consumers are also apt to share a mobile ad via text, email, Facebook or Twitter. When is the last time someone besides your Great Aunt Edna sent you a newspaper ad clipping or called to tell you about a TV commercial?

The vast majority (84 percent) of the 14 percent of the 500 small businesses that have a stand-alone mobile Website said they’ve experienced a jump in new business activity due to their mobile marketing efforts.

This article was originally published on 2012-10-10
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