According to Comscore, as of October 2011, there are 90 millionpeople in the U.S. who own smartphones—not including tablets. With mobile usage trending up how we access content will be critical moving into the New year and beyond. Every entrepreneur should think about how they backup and access content, and should have a robust cloud strategy to support their usage. Innovative entrepreneurs will develop business strategies around the screens they use to view data to optimize their business and their cloud strategy will be very important to their execution. Here’s a short list of cloud apps that you can download to your mobile device: Dropbox, Box.net, iCloudand Google Docs.
Establish a Google Plus Account
The online world is buzzing with new social networks updating almost every day and new ones being created just as fast. With that said, every entrepreneur should seriously consider Google Plus. It’s not just a source to create another social network profile but a great tool to engage your end customers with business-ready tools like, Google Hangout and Google Circles, among other things. Also, brand your Google Plus account by securing a customized URL at gplus.to (i.e. gplus.to/hajjflemings is my handle.) Note: This is just a branding tool that you can use to communicate your Google Plus URL in a neat fashion. In the future Google will enable customized URLs for Google Plus accounts.
Integrate Mobile/Online Payment Processing into Your Business Strategy
It’s easier than ever before to accept payments on the go. Some options like Square, Paypal and Google Checkout. Integrate a mobile payment process into your business strategy by doing the following: (1) Integrate payment buttons on your Website/blog that allow your customers to quickly and easily download and purchase your products or services. (2) Create a Square account so that you can accept payments via your mobile device. This strategy works well whether you have a brick and mortar store or if you are an entrepreneur that needs to process orders at the back of the room. Square is a great option to eliminate your monthly merchant fees and should be integral to your platform development strategy.
Create a Platform for your Business
The Internet is run primarily by four platforms: Amazon, iTunes, Google, and Facebook. The valuable lesson that I’ve learned about this is that owning a platform is critical in developing a sustainable business strategy. What is a platform? According to Phil Simon (author of The Age of Platform), a platform is defined as “an extremely valuable and powerful ecosystem that […] scales, morphs, and incorporates new features, users, customers, vendors, and partners.” A platform gives entrepreneurs a greater opportunity to scale their business for sustainable growth. For example the NewMe Accelerator (Angela Benton and Wayne Sutton), TechStars (Brad Feld and David Cohen) and The Lean Startup (Eric Ries) are great examples of platforms that were developed by entrepreneurs.
Create a Media-Ready About Page on your Website/Blog
You never have a second chance to make a first impression. When the media comes looking for thought leaders will they find you? Is your information compelling enough to create local and national media opportunities? Review your about page on your Website/blog and make sure that it is current and relevant to what you are focused on. Have you incorporated what you have done over the last 3-6 months? Have you added links of your most recent and compelling media content? Also, make sure your about page is written in the third person and aligns with the bio that you send out via email.