Small Businesses have their back to the wave and the water is cold.

The First Wave

Don’t laugh. All small businesses can recall the first time they heard the term “internet” and wondered how it might impact their business. Small businesses were some of the last entrants to take advantage of the web by investing in websites and ecommerce. Many still have minimalistic sites that were thought of as a necessary evil, and were setup by a daughter or son or the neighbor kid as a project .. and it still blows my mind they do not understand the “rinky dink” implications on their brand perception.

Small businesses (under $10mm) typically have limited technology and marketing resources are they notoriously thrifty and slow to change or try new technology.

The Bigger Wave

I simply don’t understand how these business owners CONTINUE TO ACT SMALL and ignore the potential of affordable tools that allow them to compete directly with large companies and multi-location mid size companies.

All indicators show that mobile search is outpacing desktop search and will continue to grow. One of the simple tools to compete in a mobile market is a website that is optimized for smartphones. Research indicates that mobile users are more action oriented (buying / visiting) than those desktop search users who do more investigation. Why force your users to squeeze your current website design onto a 4” screen?   This frustrates mobile users who are used to actionable mobile sites that are easy to navigate, and give mobile users just what they need.

A quick example: Dominos dominates the mobile space for online pizza ordering by making it very easy. Period. Most sole proprietor pizza houses can make it easy for mobile users to view a menu, click to call, click for directions and even order, but they don’t, and they lose business because of it. Dominos uses big-time email marketing and specials to keep their brand fresh to mobile users while small businesses typically don’t. But they can, and it does not have to be expensive or time consuming. Here are four options for small businesses to “get mobile” with websites.

DIY – The WIX solution and others offer drag and drop site creation. We find mostestablished small businesses are not well suited to DIY tech. ($)

Site Scrape – Other mobile providers will “scrape” your existing site and serve up all of your pages in lots of mobile tabs. ($$)

Mobile Optimized – These sites take just the most relevant content that will compel a mobile user to act (buy/visit). These sites do not disturb your standard website and require no intervention from your current provider. ($)

Responsive Design – For older sites, this involves a complete recoding and redesign so that a single set of content can be optimized for both desktop and mobile search. ($$$$)

Touchpoint90 uses option #3 .. the Mobile Optimized sites. We can have a mobile site for a small business up and running in two days. Cost $379 total for 12 months, with a $99/renew fee after year one.

As you hear the rumbling behind you, don’t keep your back to the wave.

This entry was posted in Business - Best Practices, Marketing - Web. Bookmark the permalink.