Think about your day as a small business owner. How do you conduct business? How do you check in on your office? How do you keep on top of things? Like most entrepreneurs, you probably use your mobile device. If you are like most of the over 4 billion mobile owners, you probably pick up your phone when you wake up and don’t put it down until you go to bed. There have even been claims that more people in the world own mobile devices than toothbrushes. Whether that is true or not, many people are using their mobile devices to buy their toothbrushes.
The idea that small businesses should go mobile is not a new one. Back in 2012, the Huffington Post coined the term “SoLoMo” for a trend the considered significant in the small business world. SoLoMo stands for “Get Social, Go Mobile, Spend Local.” That trend continues as more and more small businesses are not only go mobile by optimizing their website for mobile devices but also by creating their own mobile apps.
Mobile Credit Card Reader
T-Mobile is focusing on more than just offering cell phones. They were the first provider to offer a mobile credit card reader and service, called Square. The reader attaches to a smart phone allowing the phone to become a card reader. The service then processes the credit card. Being able to accept credit cards anywhere breaks down the barriers to sales, enabling businesses to sell wherever they are.
Creating a Business App
Creating your own app is another major way you can expand your business. Starbucks is one of the best business apps available and sets the bar for other retailers. With its app, customers can earn points, receive updates and even pay with the app instead of a credit card or cash. But creating an app for your small business doesn’t have to give things away free to help your business. Simply having an app can reach millennials, who are rapidly becoming the largest customer base. The younger generations are changing how business is done. A recent study showed that, on average, mobile device users used mobile apps 9.4 times a month, compared to the 4.4 times they used a mobile website.
Optimizing Your Website
If you are not ready to take the dive into creating your own app for your small business, it is important to at least optimize your website for mobile devices. Google reports that mobile websites have a 75% higher engagement rate than sites without it. A mobile website can increase sales as well as create a more satisfying customer experience. A redesign that optimizes your website for smartphones will help you grab more of the mobile market without the cost of creating a mobile app. By optimizing your website for mobile devices, even if you decide down the line to invest in a mobile app, you can reap the benefits of an optimized website.