Tag Archive for 'mobile technology'

RESULTS: How much do you depend on your smartphone?

The Question:

How much do you depend on your smartphone for tasks other than calling, texting, and email?
24% — Heavy dependence, like social media, newspapers, navigation, travel, etc.
53% — Just a few other tasks right now, but increasingly using it more.
9% — Nothing other than the three in the question.
14% — I don’t own a smartphone.

Jim’s Comments:

There are several reasons why more people - 77% of respondents in our latest poll - are increasingly using smartphones for tasks in their lives.  For example, it now costs no more to manufacture a smartphone than a dumb one, mobile apps increasingly appeal to the

non-technical user, mobile networks encourage them in a number of ways, and perhaps the most important - the cool factor.

I’m pleased to see that small business owners are increasingly owning and using smartphones. When we polled our audience about this not long ago, barely half owned a smartphone. For several years I’ve told you in my articles and on my radio program that if you don’t have and use a smartphone, you can’t keep up with the ever-evolving expectations of your customers.

In my new book, The Age of the Customer, I devote an entire chapter to mobile computing. From Chapter 13, one of the most important points I want you to remember is, “Global computing was not any part of your small business’s past, but it will dominate your future.”

My friend and Brain Trust member, Chuck Martin, has written books about mobile computing and, indeed, has devoted his entire career to the topic.  I encourage you to increase your understanding of the impact of mobile computing with my thoughts and then graduate to Chuck.  Here’s his website where you can find all of Chuck’s information:MobileFutureInstitute.com.  And here’s a link to interviews on mobile computing I’ve had with Chuck on my show.

As a small business owner, using your smartphone for more things delivers two benefits: It will help you become more efficient and productive personally, while providing key insights into what your customers expect from the companies they do business with.

Smartphones and customer expectations

There are several reasons why more people - 77% of respondents in our latest poll - are increasingly using smartphones for tasks in their lives.  For example, it now costs no more to manufacture a smartphone than a dumb one, mobile apps increasingly appeal to the non-technical user, mobile networks encourage them in a number of ways, and perhaps the most important - the cool factor.

I’m pleased to see that small business owners are increasingly owning and using smartphones. When we polled our audience about this not long ago, barely half owned a smartphone. For several years I’ve told you in my articles and on my radio program that if you don’t have and use a smartphone, you can’t keep up with the ever-evolving expectations of your customers.

In my new book, The Age of the Customer, I devote an entire chapter to mobile computing. From Chapter 13, one of the most important points I want you to remember is, “Global computing was not any part of your small business’s past, but it will dominate your future.”

My friend and Brain Trust member, Chuck Martin, has written books about mobile computing and, indeed, has devoted his entire career to the topic.  I encourage you to increase your understanding of the impact of mobile computing with my thoughts and then graduate to Chuck.  Here’s his website where you can find all of Chuck’s information:MobileFutureInstitute.com.  And here’s a link to interviews on mobile computing I’ve had with Chuck on my show.

As a small business owner, using your smartphone for more things delivers two benefits: It will help you become more efficient and productive personally, while providing key insights into what your customers expect from the companies they do business with.

Video - Are you an Internet dynamo or a dinosaur?

In this week’s video I offer advice on executing an online strategy within your small business.

Check out more of Jim’s great content HERE!

Take this week’s poll HERE!

Watch Jim’s videos HERE!

Are you ready for mobile primetime?

Somewhere in America a small business owner just experienced an anxiety attack that included breaking out in a cold sweat, because he had just discovered two things:

  • Half of the prospects and customers in his market cannot find his business.
  • Half of the calls his prospects and customers want to make to his business never get through.

Pretty scary, huh?! Glad that’s not your nightmare, right?! Well, hold on to that thought as you digest the following information.

Currently, about 100 million Americans own smartphones and that number is growing exponentially. That’s about half of the U.S. population who are likely to own a smartphone sometime in the near future. Here’s the math: 300 million Americans, minus children and others not likely to own a smartphone equals about 200 million, of which half already own smartphones.

So what are 100 million Americans doing on the tiny screens of these magic wands? Besides making calls, texting and sending emails, they are:

  1. Shopping online – making decisions about what they want and who to buy it from.
  2. Navigating to businesses – the one they chose while shopping, or the one previously unknown to them that pops up in their local search.
  3. Buying stuff – using PayPal, credit card, or internal charge in the case of an established account.

But in order to do all three of these things in such a way that makes it easy-peasy for the smartphone owner, the business has to be mobile-ready. That means having all of your business information and resources compatible with the smartphone form factor and technology in at least two ways:

  1. Online information is optimized for mobile search, especially local search.
  2. A mobile website option is available to smartphone users.

By now you get the picture that the anxiety attack of the small business owner mentioned earlier is because his business isn’t ready for mobile primetime. So how dry is your forehead right now?

In The Age of the Customer™, where being relevant to customers is trumping being competitive, a big part of relevance is being fully accessible and high-functioning regardless of how a prospect or customer wants to connect with you. And every day, that connection is increasingly being requested from the palm of the hand.

This will be on the test: Not all small businesses need a mobile app, but all need a mobile website.

Is your business ready for mobile primetime?

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This morning on The Small Business Advocate® Show I talked with Kevin O’Brien, Director of the AppConnect program at our friends, Constant Contact, about including mobile apps in your growth strategy and how to know if your business needs an app or a mobile site. Take a few minutes to click on one of the links below and listen to our conversation — the future of your business could depend on it!

Why mobile apps should be part of your growth strategy with Kevin O’Brien

Does your business need a mobile app or a mobile site? with Kevin O’Brien

Check out more great SBA content HERE!

Take this week’s poll HERE!

There’s an app for high tech, not high touch

“There’s an app for that.”

This marketing slogan refers to a mobile app. A mobile app converts content and resources that otherwise would have been consumed through a browser on a computer desktop, to the much smaller and variably shaped screens on the many different kinds of hand-held devices. Mobile apps are proliferating because they are almost always handier and sexier than their website counterparts.

In 1998, broadband Internet connection was in less than 4% of households and almost no businesses. Reporting on this emerging capability, I made the macro prediction that the world would change when broadband Internet became ubiquitous and broadly adopted. Well, broadband ubiquity, today thy name is mobile. The proliferation of WiFi and mobile networks we know as 3G and 4G, has spawned mobile apps which are at once exciting and disruptive.

In 1998, broadband Internet connection was in less than 4% of households and almost no businesses. Reporting on this emerging capability, I made the macro prediction that the world would change when broadband Internet became ubiquitous and broadly adopted. Well, broadband ubiquity, today thy name is mobile. The proliferation of WiFi and mobile networks we know as 3G and 4G, has spawned mobile apps which are at once exciting and disruptive.

A generation before my broadband prognostication, a real prophet, John Naisbitt, published his landmark book, Megatrends, in which he prophesied, “The more high tech we have, the more high touch we will want.” In the 21st century, Naisbitt’s Law, balance technology and humanity, must be the North Star for any successful small business strategy.

So, how does a small business maintain a competitive advantage in the face of pressure from high tech innovation and the primordial human desire for high touch connection? The answer, as with so many 21st century questions, is not either/or, but both/and.

If you want customers to keep your business at their fingertips wherever they are, there’s an app for that. If a customer relationship would benefit from a welcoming smile, there is no app for that.

If a product tutorial video posted on your YouTube channel would help a customer in the field, there’s an app for that. To be able to interpret the troubled look on the face of a customer as a clue that you haven’t yet healed their pain, there is no app for that.

If customers want to check the status of an order they placed with you, whenever and wherever they are, a mobile app can be built for that. If customers do business with you because you remember their face, name and what they like, there is no app for that.

Remember Naisbitt’s Law: Blend and balance the power of high-tech with the humanity of high-touch.

There’s an app for high tech, but there isn’t one for high touch.

Click here to listen to more about blending high tech and high touch.

Check out other great SBA content HERE!

What kind of mobile phone do you use?

For some time now, I’ve been encouraging small business owners to buy and use a smart phone - the kind that allows those cool mobile apps to be downloaded - like an iPhone or a phone with Google Droid operating system. The reason is because mobile computing is the future. Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google said he expected Google to be more successful in the future with mobile than they ever had been with the desktop.

We wanted to know what kind of hand-held communication device you were using, so last week we asked this question: What kind of mobile phone do you have? Here’s what our small business audience told us:

Those who said they used some kind of a smart phone, represented 53% of our respondents. The rest, 47%, said they were still using a regular cell phone. Based on industry numbers about the smart phone adoption rate of all users (27%), our survey would indicate that small business owners are employing smart phones to a higher degree.

I love it when people listen to me.

On The Small Business Advocate Show, I’ve talked with Chuck Martin, author of the new book, The Third Screen, many times about the future of mobile computing and creating a mobile strategy to remain relevant in the 21st century. Click here to see all of the conversations I’ve had with Chuck on this important topic.




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