Preparing Your Small Business
So what does this mean for your small business? For one thing, be prepared to (eventually) offer your web site on the mobile web. For industrial and renewable energy organizations, giving your customers access to blueprints, technical knowledge and computer data directly from the job site may be the unique selling point that puts your organization ahead of your competitors.
Experience as Marketing
As the web grows, so do the consumer pathways for praising or vilifying a business. Keeping your business personal, ethical and responsive is more than a good idea – it is a critical marketing strategy. As B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore write in The Experience Economy and Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want, the experience of your service may be more important to customers than the quality of your products or pricing rates. Creating a fundamentally user-friendly application or web site may be the unique selling point that gets your company noticed - and promoted.
Not-for-profit organizations, in particular, may find this transition difficult at first. Many NGOs have a high employee turnover rate and low operating budget, which classically results in poor web site design and ongoing maintenance. By organizing better web maintenance within the organization, not-for-profits can fully use the web as a social medium - a strong site can help to bring more interested parties to your campaign.
As the mobile web and cloud computing grows, we are seeing reduced operational costs for not-for-profits here at CartaNova. Organizations are increasingly using Gmail and other 'free' services to replace or supplement their existing platforms. Many cloud-based project management tools offer free or discounted services to not-for profits groups, such as Google Apps, the 37signals suite or Zoho.
Beware the Bubble
Finally, we expect to see another rise in disreputable web services following the growth the mobile web. As mobile/cloud browsing and computing grows, scammers will begin to target those services more heavily. Be wary of empty promises about placing your business on mobile map applications and free advertising services.
Final Tip: Be careful with your personal data - privacy is hard to get back.