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Does your Business have a Mobile Strategy?

The fact is that more and more of our customers are accessing the internet via their mobile device. In fact, we are rapidly approaching a point in which there are more smartphones and tablets accessing the internet than traditional PCs.

Given this fact, have you considered how your website appears to this rapidly growing audience? Can your potential customers find the information that you intend to give them via your current website?

If you do not have a strategy for this area of your business, you are not alone. According to a recent survey published by the Huffington Post, 61% of small businesses have no mobile search strategy. Only 60 percent of those small businesses surveyed even have a website. Of those, only 26 percent were mobile-friendly (the same layout/content as the standard site adjusted to fit the smaller smartphone screen).

Developing a strategy is not that difficult, and executing that strategy does not have to be prohibitively expensive. Here are a few suggestions:

1) Your strategy should include a list of the services you want to provide to your prospects or customers on their mobile device. Is it simply providing an address to your business, and directions? Or are you making a menu of services/products available for browsing? Do you want your customers to be able to purchase your products or services from their mobile device?

2) At a very minimum, your strategy should include creating a mobile-friendly version of your current website.

3) You should understand the difference between a mobile website, and a mobile application for a specific mobile device (like the iPhone). Mobile websites are typically much less expensive to build and own, but they may not provide some features that your customers expect.

4) Tablets are a unique device. Do not treat them like a smartphone or PC. Your strategy should include how to deliver information/services in a comfortable way on the variety of tablets on the market.

5) Don’t try to solve this challenge all at once. Like many things, incremental improvement is better than postponed perfection.

-- Jim Van De Vuurst

Rocket Mary
Mobile is huge and only going to keep increasing as time goes on. Small businesses definitely need to address it especially if they depend on local business (like restaurants). Great tips here, especially the last one. It can be overwhelming to hear you need a mobile website and search strategy which will cost a large chunk of change, but you can start slowly by doing things like building your mobile social presence on site like Yelp and Foursquare or making sure your existing website is at least functional on mobile devices. Some movement to capture business via mobile is better than nothing!
10/15/2012 8:59:04 PM

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Your business may be small, but that doesn't mean that your impact can't be huge! The Greater Memphis Chamber's Small Business Council serves to encourage, support, recognize and be a resource to small- and medium-sized businesses in the Memphis area. Here, our talented panel of contributors will present big ideas that could make a huge difference to your small business. And don't be afraid to ask questions ... no matter how small.

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