There are approximately 30 million small businesses currently working within the US. Although, statistically speaking, as much as 96% of those businesses won’t last for more than a decade, there are so many new businesses opening up every single day that we don’t even notice.
In fact, each month a total of 543,000 businesses open their doors. And at that rate – you can rest assured that no matter how many businesses fail, the market will still be overcrowded with competition.
Some find this fact disturbing, and entrepreneurs find it depressing at least. With so many companies opening up and shutting down daily, and with all the famous brands and multimillion dollar companies that are dominating the market – it is not an easy task for a small business owner to thrive in this competitive environment.
However, there is a way for a SMB to stay profitable and sustainable. Instead of concentrating on the bigger picture, owners are advised to start small and think locally. After all, you will have to become popular in your own street and in your own town before you try to take over the global market.
Until you reach that point in your career where you can actually challenge larger enterprises and present a threat to your competition, you will have to be inventive and embrace a few trends which might just skyrocket your business.
So have you considered targeting mobile devices? No matter the industry, your customers probably own a mobile device, and missing out on that source of media might be a fatal decision for your business. Here is why.
Believe it or not, there are officially more mobile devices in the world than there are people. So if you are neglecting the fact that people will look for the services you offer via mobile – count on the fact that your competition won’t make the same mistake.
For example, Starbucks already announced an app that they are planning on publishing very soon, and which will be used for taking orders. This means that you can order and schedule your coffee before you get to the coffee shop, and just pick it up when you get there.
If you were wondering what makes a business successful, be advised that innovation and taking advantage of technological progress is right there on the very top of that list. So how can you leverage mobile technologies in order to get more customers? There are literally dozens of ways. Here are just a few that you can implement today.
Utilize Your Facebook
All chances are that you are already on Facebook. After all, more than one billion people is. So if your target audience is spending a lot of time on social media – don’t be afraid to get in their faces. Although spending time on social media hardly seems like something that will bring substantial revenue through the door, you will be surprised how simple optimization tricks can do exactly that.
Claim your business on Facebook and monitor your brand mentions.
Make sure that your address and your location on the map is correct.
Pin your offer posts and make them permanently available to everyone that visits your page.
Encourage your customers to share and like your posts.
Keep your posts short and engaging; consider employing content marketing services
Leverage visual content (it performs much better than text FYI)
Since even Google is aware that desktop computers are the thing of the past, (sort of), you should be well advised and invest in mobile SEO. Search engines are challenged by such services as Amazon, and other platforms that people are using on the regular to search for products. On the other hand, there is still a vast number of users that will search for a local business via mobile device and via search engines.
So what will they see when they reach your landing page? Is your website optimized for mobile? Here is a short checklist that will help you to find out.
Make sure that your website theme is responsive.
Scale your landing pages to fit both portrait and landscape screens.
Combine fewer elements.
Keep your textual content as short as possible.
Have mobile-friendly forms for your subscribers and customers.
Make sure that your loading speed is under two seconds, preferably.
One rising trend that you should look into is geo-fencing. This rather unique method allows you to target local customers and send them notifications. So as soon as they pass your store you can send them a virtual coupon. Or even better – you can target your competition and send your promotional material to mobile devices of their customers.
If you have a mobile marketing strategy that is bringing your local customers to your business – I would love to hear about it so let me know in the comment section. It is evident that we will have to adapt to this rising trend, and all chances are that it will soon become a standard of doing business.
So is your SMB local but mobile? It should be if you want to remain competitive and successful.
Nate M. Vickery is an entrepreneur and business consultant from Sydney, Australia. In his free time he likes to share some of his insights and experience by blogging.