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Any edge your small business (SMB) can gain to stay in the ring with your heavy weight competitors is crucial. In a world full of millennial customers, your advantage is your mobile presence. Bottom line—if your business is not set up to serve the mobile population, look for a knock out punch to come from the competition.

It’s no secret that SMB is the backbone of the American economy. It’s also no secret that technology is a major factor in a SMB’s success. You would think that as technology continues to evolve that SMBs would have greater opportunities to compete with their larger competitors. This is the case on some occasions, but for most, modern technology is evolving faster than businesses can keep up with, thus leaving many scrambling to understand the changes they need to make.

Apps as a Mobile Option

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Smartphones have dominated the mobile market as of lately. In fact, 64% of Americans or 2/3 of the population own smart phones, and 19% of those people rely on their smart phone as their primary means of staying connected online. Again, as a SMB owner, you have no choice but to begin developing your mobile presence. By putting it off and assuming that people will just find your website, you are easily loosing 19% of the population as potential customers.

In the case of developing a mobile presence, the decision is abundantly clear. You need to find the budget to get yourself a smart phone friendly existence. With a little legwork, you can have your business competing in the mobile market for relativity low cost.

As more and more technology platforms shift focus towards apps, it is in your business best interest to invest in app development as well. Apps offer mobile capability, but they also offer many additional innovative possibilities. Because an app can work directly with the device on which it is downloaded, it has the potential to allow customers and clients a more interactive mobile experience. Customers like simplicity. The like to go to the app to, book appointments, order supplies, get reminders, check status, etc. Simply put, an app offers a much more user-friendly experience.

Additionally, apps engage users more. If your SMB niche offers or requires any of the following, and app is most certainly the mobile market you want to begin using:

  • Regular customers like coffee shops, hair salons, nail salons
  • Extensive research before purchasing like car dealers, real estate
  • Continued communication like contractors, event planners
  • Vacation or entertainment like a casino or a resort
  • Location reminders like a restaurant or a concert venue
  • Valued reminders like a car garage or a dentist (13)

Studies indicate that 90% of media time is spent using apps instead of browser technology (12). Again, what that means to you as a SMB, is that you need to invest in app technology.

Conclusion

A mobile existence is going to be your SMB’s next life line, and if you wait too long to invest in the shift, you are going to end up spending more money trying to rebuild the online presence you’ve already built. Watching how the trend unfolds is no longer an option for your SMB.  You have to begin adjusting to the change.

-Andrew Gazdecki