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Small Business Must Evolve With the Times or Fail

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ChartOfTheDay_1009_Mobile_Internet_Traffic_Growth_nSmall businesses are falling behind as a recent Forbes article points out.  The reason for this falling behind and increasingly high failure rate is an inability on the part of many small business owners to get with the times.  I see it in my other line of work on a daily basis, small business owners are stuck in the 20th century and afraid to change the ways they have always done things.  The mobile revolution is a confusing and scary thing to many small business owners due to their lack of familiarity with this new medium. If you are a small business owner it is imperative that you understand the importance of this mobile revolution and how you can ensure your company is 21st century compatible.

Typically the traditional small business owner is set in their ways, and has an inability to adapt.  Yet as a small business owner your greatest asset should be your ability to make quick changes and adapt to various market forces and/or technological advances, since there is not bureaucratic red tape, or hundreds of committee meetings to make simple decisions.

Adding Mobile to Your Marketing Mix

Despite this great benefit, the small business owner often steers clear of new technologies and tries to fight against market forces as opposed to moving with them.   For example, the use of mobile technology has increased exponentially in the past few years, but what are small businesses doing?  Pouring advertising dollars into boring old traditional media instead of diverting resources to mobile advertising, mobile web sites and mobile apps.  And when they create their old school print ads or brochures, they don’t connect them with their online content (using QR codes of NFC for example), thus failing to make them relevant to the 21st century consumer.

If you are a small business owner, it is incredibly important to evolve with your customers, the technologies your customers use, and the technologies that will enhance your customer experience and drive sales.

Here are four things you MUST be doing to catch up with the mobile revolution:

1)      Create a mobile optimized website.  If you haven’t done at least this by now you are in big trouble.

2)      Advertise online, both mobile and non-mobile.  By far the most bang for your buck, and the biggest area of growth in the past few years.

3)      Create an App or mobile website app —assuming your business could benefit from it.  Provide links to your new app in the physical world.

4)      Mobile optimize your physical store, marketing and advertising materials.  Make sure you don’t lose to mobile competition, pre-empt their in-store internet price searches.  Connect your offline media to your online media, and unite your customers with relevant information, entertainment and deals.

Do these four things and your small business will likely succeed; don’t do these and you will likely fail.  Times are changing and as a small business you must adapt with the changing conditions.  Get out of your comfort zone, stop complaining about the internet and embrace it, it is your new best friend and greatest sales person.    The mobile revolution is here and it isn’t going anywhere, it’s time to get on board.

Chart reference: http://www.statista.com/topics/779/mobile-internet/chart/1009/mobile-internet-traffic-growth/