Guest Author - Kathryn K Free
PC’s seem to be losing the battle with Smartphones. A new statistic states that sometime in 2012 there will be more smartphones shipped than PC’s and laptops combined. That is a startling prediction by those businesses who have just discovered how effective and necessary web sites are. Small businesses are falling by the wayside because they simply are not informed or refuse to catch up to the technology. Fear is causing many small businesses to hold onto their way of business so tightly they cannot see the light that PDA’s or Smartphones can bring their businesses. Morgan Stanley predicts that global smartphone shipments will eclipse PC/Laptop shipments in 2012. The totals expected are 400 million Smartphones shipped by 2012. If a small business is NOT found in some type of APP next year, I fear they will not be able to catch up!
The predictions of Morgan Stanley’s Tech Research are worth noting, as Smartphones have many advantages’ PCs and laptops do not. The Smartphone market includes not only Smartphones but iPads, aPads, iPods and soon, I believe, eBook readers. They are ubiquitous ~ you can buy them at any store and carry them in your pocket or purse. The price point makes these items affordable to everyone. Finally, they are also becoming very capable products with the numerous APP’s on the market.
The PDA has become Smart and the ‘name change’ is appropriate. No other technology has ramped up as quickly as this mobile revolution. Today Android and Apple’s iOS account for 42% of the smartphone shipments in Q3 of 2010. Mary Meeker extrapolates from the experience of Japan, where social networking on mobile devices rapidly took over from the desktop about three years ago and now accounts for 84 percent pageviews for Mixi, Japan’s largest social network.
Mary Meeker, Scott Devitt and Iiang Wu held a 2.0 web conference November 16, 2010. The presentation was packed with so much useful information and statistics. The title of the presentation was ‘Ten Questions Execs Should Ask and Answer.’ This presentation was conducted by Morgan Stanley Tech Research department.
Advice for small businesses in the PDA/Smartphone Revolution Era:
1. Show Off Your Business by being part of some type of APP or having an APP created
2. Use technology of today to ramp up for tomorrow ~ even if you do not understand it!
3. Create new avenues of revenue through a mobile APP
4. Combine what is working today with the technology of tomorrow
5. Earn your customers trust and loyalty by moving forward in today’s technology
6. Earn your vendors trust by proving to them you are ready for the future
7. Start today. . .not when it is so far in the future that you will never be able to catch up
I am both excited and worried about small businesses in America. Small businesses are what makes this country great and yet there are so many challenges facing them today. Many are pulling back, holding on to old and outdated ways of doing business. I believe in businesses holding onto old traditions and ways BUT unless you hold onto those ways with current technology businesses will continue to close. Ask yourself. . .what are the ‘old traditions’ that we should hold onto? Aren’t they about customer service, honesty and a fair price for the products your sell? Old traditions are not about paper and signs and such. The great thing about the PDA/Smartphone revolution is that small businesses do NOT have to understand the technology, they just have to let their customers use it.