Are you a hold-out when it comes to leveraging mobile technology for your small business success? If so, you’re now in the minority which means most likely your competitors are using new technologies to increase their market share. New survey data from Constant Contact found 66 percent of small businesses are using mobile devices, including smart phones and tablets, or a solution, like mobile-optimized websites and text message marketing. However, of those not using any mobile device or solution (34 percent) for their business, well over half said they have no plans to do so in the future, mainly citing a lack of customer demand. To those business owners I say, “Wake up and small the coffee!”
Take a look at the statistics. Mobile computers are spreading faster than any other consumer technology in history. In the United States, smartphones have even begun reaching the group of relative technophobes that consumer researchers call the “late majority.” About half of mobile-phone users now have one. By the end of 2013, there will be more mobile devices on Earth than people, a new report suggests. According to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, last year’s mobile data traffic was nearly twelve times the size of the entire global Internet in 2000. It’s predicted global mobile data traffic will increase 13-fold by 2017, with more than 10 billion mobile-connected devices by then.
Savvy entrepreneurs are jumping on the mobile technology bandwagon for marketing and management tools. The Constant Contact survey notes the following top uses of mobile applications by small businesses.
- 73 percent conduct social media marketing.
- 71 percent conduct email marketing.
- 44 percent advertise through social platforms.
- 34 percent have a mobile-optimized website.
- 18 percent run a mobile tablet-based payment point-of-sale.
- 18 percent use mobile apps to manage operations, like accounting.
The survey found the top applications for management operations to be:
- 82 percent use a calendar/time management app.
- 74 percent use a customer communications app.
- 52 percent use a GPS and mapping app.
- 44 percent use an accounting/invoicing app.
- 44 percent use an app for industry news/information consumption.
- 29 percent use a travel planning app.
Mobile technology is the wave of the future. If you aren’t leveraging it in your small business there is no time like the present! Familiarize yourself with available options and start slowly. There are excellent resources on the Internet to help you learn how to best utilize the power of mobile technology solutions for your small business.