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?" (https://plus.google.com/u/0/106600962597764825745/posts/1JTGVv8p7Wx) 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.
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.
- 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, 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 #blogfor the share on FB.
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 …