I had go at being been an entrepreneur. It’s not easy; it’s always hard work and it can be the loneliest work in the world. But, it can be the most rewarding time in your life. This morning I met over 200entrepreneurs when I spoke at the start of Fingal County Enterprise Board’s Enterprise Week, 2012. Today’s theme was ‘working in a digital age’. Noel Davidson spoke (as usual) brilliantly about social media, Karl Connon spoke about how to leverage LinkedIn as a business owner, Beatrice Whelan had fascinating insights around social and particularly blogging as a business, and Colm Lyon, founder & CEO of Realex spoke about the online-payments for SMEs.
I spoke about how disruptive technology is changing things for both the consumer and consequentially the SME. The single message that I hoped to leave attendees with was ‘think mobile’. With mobile devices accounting for around 30 or 40% of internet traffic, and that traffic is, we’re, more likely to lead to sales it’s becomes obvious that it’s critical that business owners prepare themselves to deal with the mobile customer.
…because if someone is searching for you on a mobile device they’re not just browsing. They are shopping, researching or about to buy. They are in the car, on foot and willing to find you – in fact, research tells us that the information mobile users want most from a mobile-friendly website is your opening hours? That’s not e=mc2 – if they want to know if you’e open, they want to buy – they’re about to be a customer.
If you’re a small business you probably look after your own website. So what can you do to make it mobile friendly, and at a reasonable cost? Today I suggested getting a good mobile template from a site like ThemeForest, my current favourite for good design that looks custom made. If you’re in Ireland or the UK, there are great public-private partnerships for getting your business online, supported by the Enterprise Boards. elsewhere online, Shane Ketterman has a wonderful piece about installing Word Press plug-ins – go mobile in a minute, literally. Don’t stop there – I’m convinced we need to bring the customer’s web experience off the desktop – or laptop – and on to the smart-device. But son’t stop there; if you’re a Mac user go to the Mac App Store and get iBooks Author. Create a brochure, price-list or free content for your customers and publish an e, or rather iBook. If you’re using Windows, get Sigil, which does much the same for Windows or Linus users. After we wrapped up today’s presentations – about ten people asked me a variety of questions – five of them: “tell me about that Apple program for publishing my stuff on iPads”?
My final thoughts at the FEW2012 presentation: key things for your mobile friendly website:, opening hours, click to call and directions.
If you can tell the mobile user you’re open and where you are, they and you, are half-way there.
External links & references
- Fingal Enterprise Week Homepage
- Andy O’Donoghue Presentation: Keynote [8.4MB] | PowerPoint [3.4MB]
- Animated version of my presentation
- Getting Business Online