Billions at Stake for Small Businesses: How to Cash In
You won’t be getting billions in government funding or grants or legendary IPOs, but consumer dollars are up for grabs if you just do a little work to be sure they come your way. According to Bob Parsons, founder and chairman of GoDaddy.com, small businesses can cash in if they just do one thing. Offer a mobile website.
Sound too good to be true? It isn’t. If you’re part of the more than 75 percent of small businesses without a mobile website, you’re missing out on business. Check out Parson’s video blog on the topic below.
The video is only about seven minutes and it’s a good use of time. In case you can’t watch a video right now, or don’t want to, here are some of the highlights:
People are increasingly using mobile devices like smartphones, tablet computers, eReaders and so on to access information on the internet. They care about user experience and fully expect every website they visit to function on every device they access it on.
Businessman Bob Parsons says, “The reality is: a non-mobile website usually looks terrible on a mobile device. It’s difficult to navigate and find information. Google found that 79 percent of people who find a site difficult to use on their mobile device will give up and look for another site. Most likely, one of your competitors.”
Do you want to just hand business to another company because you were too lazy or cheap or forgetful or thoughtless to create a simple mobile site for your company? A mobile site doesn’t have to be flashy or fancy, it needs to impart basic information in a simple and usable way.
“Google did a study showing that more than 80 percent of smartphone owners use their device to research local businesses, and nearly 3/4 of those people either call or visit that business within a day,” Parsons said. “When people are ready to take action, they use their mobile phones to influence their decisions.”
So what should your mobile site have on it?
- Your hours.
- Your address in an easy to copy format so users can open it in their map application. Handy tips for finding you if you’re in a mini-mall or other location where you’re not immediately visible when driving by.
- Your phone number, preferably optimized to click and call on smartphones.
- Major sale or promotional information.
Be careful, though, that you don’t overdo your mobile site and go so far developing it that you over load it. According to Bob:
More than 50 percent of smartphone users say they’re less likely to engage with a company that presents a bad mobile experience. Yet, 75 percent of small businesses don’t have a mobile-ready website. 67 percent of mobile users say that a mobile friendly site makes them more likely to buy a product or service. Chances are, if you build your mobile site now you’ll beat your competition to the punch and boost your sales.
So what should you keep off of your mobile site?
- Skip the history of the business and any other in-depth biographical information. You can always let users link to your full site for major information like that.
- Embedded mapping programs or complicated “find us” information. With the prevalence of GPS mapping applications on mobile devices, simpler is better.
- Anything with lots of fields to fill in, drop down boxes and so on. Filling information in on mobile devices can be really tedious, so be careful about what kind of information you’re collecting via your mobile site and how you collect it.