The Whole World Is in Your Pocket

It breaks my heart to hear small business say they don't need a website, or an updated website, or a social presence, and/or some sort of provision for mobile. Just last week I ran across a business in Philly that was running a Groupon and their website was Flash-only. No checking them out from my iPhone or iPad before making a purchase, and even my Mac had a hard time because the Flash website was throwing errors. Last update = 2008.

In a previous post "Is Search Engine Optimization Obsolete?" ( the discussion and comments were very thoughtful, and the idea that small business owners themselves may still carry non-smartphones and thus not value what the Internet means on a mobile device to their livelihood.

In my opinion, and partially because I am one, I feel that small businesses should be the 'first movers' and be ahead of the curve when it comes to invigorating their businesses. It's hard enough to keep up with big corporations with seemingly endless bank accounts, and that's where the agility and the ability to pivot on a dime are assets to small business. We can experiment (yes, all businesses have to experiment to grow) and implement quicker and cheaper – but time and money does need to be spent. I'm sorry, the way that the world works is that you can't market or advertise – or run a business – with zero overhead. TIME is a businesses least-available and most in-demand resource.

Now, while you don't need an Android or iPhone to keep on top of mobile or social trends, realizing that it's a major player in how business gets done – and found – is vital. 

+Android Chief article highlights (Android adaptation in the US):

– Around 110 million users in the US own a smartphone.
– 47.5% consumers who owned feature phones upgraded to smartphones, and increase of almost 10%, with around 50% choosing to change to another smartphone.
– 61.5% of first-time smartphone buyers chose Android, with 25.2% picking Apple devices. Microsoft (Windows Phone) and RIM accounted for 7.1% and 4.8% respectively.

(BTW – Anyone developing first for Microsoft or RIM might as well just pack it in. You have to go with the trends and majority out of the gate.)

With as many as 1/3 of Americans carrying the Internet in their pocket, and using it for on-the-spot decisions such as where to get a flat tire fixed, where to grab Thai near the train station – and find out how others rate the business.

+Pew Research Center states in a report (

– Cell phones are useful for quick information retrieval (so much so that their absence can cause problems)
– Half of all adult cell owners (51%) had used their phone at least once to get information they needed right away.

So tell me again how that auto mechanic can afford not to have a decent mobile-friendly website and at least monitor social communications such as +foursquare, Yelp, and holy cow Google Local? I can't even tell you how many times I have been in the doorway of a local business just to look them up online, find no website and then find bad reviews with no input from the business. I spin on my heels and walk right out the door.

When small businesses don't pay attention to web, mobile, and social, 1/3 of their potential customers may be doing the same – not paying attention.

Thanks to +John LeMasney for the share on FB. #blog  

Embedded Link

3 out of 5 first-time smartphone owners in the US choose Android | Android Chief
The Great American Smartphone Migration: Nearly Half of Feature Phone Subscribers Who Acquired a New Device in April Switched to a Smartphone. 62 Percent of First-Time Smartphone Owners Chose Android …

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  1. says

    lol well when the choices they have are like 90 android versions versus 1 iPhone…and a handful of windows phones…um…that kinda makes sense? 

  2. says

    +Lynette Young what i was pointing out was the sheer number of android options available. It should be more like 8 out of 10, rather than 3 out of 5, but it's not, which still makes me think windows phones and the iphone are doing quite well for themselves even though they are more expensive and have less choices

  3. says

    Google has done it again! It took them a few years, but they did it. G+ will be the same. Over the next 2-5 years they will either be equal to, or overtake Facebook. I still use an Iphone, by the way, at least for now.

  4. says

    +Karlo Marek have you used a windows phone 7 device? Their UI is much nicer than any android phone i've played with and it actually performs close to the smoothness of the iphone, something I have yet to see any android phone do.
    Also, windows phones integrate better with all the applications on windows computers, and guess what, that is still THE operating system on the vast majority of personal computers.

  5. says

    Hey Lynette; great article! I have to echo the annoyance with Flash-only websites. Ten years ago, they were pretty nifty albeit impossible to search; today they're just unnecessary.

    On an unrelated note; the acronym "PS" you used in the middle of the article indicates "Post-script", which should only come after the end of your main post. Adding that in the middle can be confusing to those of us who understand what it means. You could use any number of other ways to segregate your comment from the body of your article ("As an aside…", "BTW…", "For those of you who aren't in the know…"), without indicating a postscript where there is none.

  6. says

    +Lynette Young; that's awesome. It never occurred to me you'd correct that, it was just itching the back of my brain. Sorry to be the nitpicky jackass of the day.

  7. says

    Well the post has a good point and that's for sure the smart phones helpful for getting the latest informations about anything we want using the internet

  8. says

    Nice article. Restaurants typically have the worst websites. And it's the fault of their owners, usually. They actually fight against good web design, even when they hire a web design team.

  9. says

    +Kazem Edmond agreed. I hate to say it, but a few years back I stopped pursuing small business clients for some of those reasons. It takes a very forward-thinking business now for me to work with them, I realize I can't 'convert or change' everyone, just those that want help.

  10. says

    I must be one of those 3 of 5 who made a mistake of choosing Android phone. :-( When my contract expires, I'm getting an iPhone. Good observations about small businesses!

  11. says

    I'm actually working on engaging small businesses. I work for a company which provides management and marketing for anyone who needs it. One way of mobilizing people is by providing them with a platform which allows them to interact. A lot of it has to do with fear of the unknown. Cities need to alleviate it by hosting small business.

  12. Carlos Vasquez says

    well i'm sorry to burst your bubble, but the same day this phone came out in new jersey i went to sprint to buy it and so i did ,but after getting home and i went to charge the phone after ten min. charging the whole back of the phone was so hot i had to grab a towel and place it on front of my A<C to cool it of,then it was supposed to be 4g and it din't even came up just 3g then my calls would not come through or even go out ,i took it back and told the guy that had sold it to me and when i got there i met twenty eight people with the same problem i had with it so all of us had to change our phones so i had to go with the evo htc 4g lte, now that is o.k. but like the samsung galaxy s3 it's supposed to also run on 4g and is running on 3g, i was telling sprint that's called false advertisment .sale a phone and not leting people know is running on 3g not 4g, i'm very,very, upset at this.

  13. says

    +Carlos Vasquez there is no 4G in New Jersey. All the Sprint maps show that there isn't (so does a quick search in Google) – unless you go near Philly, they have 4G. Think of 4G as a signal type, not a feature on your phone. If there are no cell towers sending/receiving in 4G, no phone in the area is going to get it.

    This isn't a post about specific cell phone hardware – more in line that small businesses really can't ignore mobile or social anymore. I wish you luck with your new phone!

  14. says

    +Carlos Vasquez , sorry about your experience but that is the exact opposite experience I have had with my S3, although it's on T-Mobile and not Sprint.  +Lynette Young is right, just because a phone is 4G capable you still have to have 4G in your area so Sprint did nothing wrong advertising it as such but they (and any other mobile carrier) decline to add that you should look at a coverage map to see if you even have 4G in your area.  My S3 is the same, 4G coverage is spotty where I live.  At work 4G works great, at home I drop to the dreaded Edge Network on T-Mobile which is worse then dial up.  +Karlo Marek , while Windows 8 phone UI is pretty sleek they just are a little to late to the game.  As far as smoothness goes I have yet to see anything run as smoothly or fast as a phone running Jellybean (and yes, I know that's a minority of Android phones right now).  It's essentially just a tweaked version of ICS with Google Now IMO but makes better use of the hardware resources.

  15. Heath Freel says

    +Ramsez Stamper is desktop integration something that is even required. I have no issue using both Google drive and traditional ms apps and converting when required. Microsoft is going to have to do better than that to convince me to use one of their phones.

    There is a lot of work to be done by all the players before integration is seamless on any OS.

  16. says

    +Heath Freel not for me, but for those to whom it matters a windows phone is not a bad choice (lots of business people using blackberries could benefit from such a switch). Personally, i love my iphone, it does all i need it to do and more

  17. Heath Freel says

    +Ramsez Stamper I feel the same way about my android phone. Running JB has made the experience awesome. I am not a hater of any of the OS's. They all have their "+'s".

    Pun intended.

  18. says

    +Larry Trutter  Not all Androids are bad phones its just that they have so many makers that they have some really bad phones.

    The I phone does have a like 93% satisfaction rate but also its a very popular phone and that alone makes a customer happy but before you spend the money on a Iphone check out the Samsung Galaxy S3 its a very good Android and is a lot cheaper idk if cost is a factor or not but the Samsung Galaxy S3 is a Very nice phone

  19. says

    +harshad patel I own a Blackberry storm2 and totally love it but I am pretty sure it’s for a select group of people who enjoy that sort of tool for online and that being me. Now In Larry's case I felt the galaxy was a good choice and was more user friendly compared to the blackberry storm and also the Iphone being a much better pick for +Larry Trutter 

  20. says

    If I were to get an Android phone again, I would use Google-only Nexus phone (is there such a thing?). None of that "we won't update your phone" rubbish from the telecomm company. It wasn't even one year old for crying out loud. Adding Go SMS and Go Keyboard apps make the experience somewhat better but I still prefer my iPod Touch (4th gen) by big margin.