Are Businesses in My Hometown Mobile Ready?

The use of smart phones in the US is reaching 70% of all cell phones.

arenskold-photoIn the target market of most Hudson businesses the percentage is doubtless nearing ubiquity. Yet, even a brief survey of Hudson businesses on my iPhone (if you are an Android user try this out on your device of choice) shows that very few are mobile ready. When people visit us they are using smart phones to find information. We need to provide them with smart phone experiences that will encourage them to come to our businesses. Most of our Hudson websites look like a completely worn out sign where the name of the business is barely legible – leaves the impression that maybe we aren’t in business.

What Does Mobile Ready Mean? 

Vico-photo

If you go to a website on your mobile device and you have to pinch and drag to find things on the site, you are not on a mobile ready site. To see a mobile ready site pick up your smartphone and go to:
 
 
You will notice that basic information, location, hours, telephone number, are right at hand, The text is easily readable. Navigation is obvious and easy. In most cases, if you touch a telephone number the phone will automatically dial it. Now go to the business of your choice on your mobile device and see what you find. 

Getting Mobile Ready

HALphotoThe good news is that mobile ready sites are not hard to create. If you are running a WordPress site, there are responsive themes that do a good job and there are plugins – I use WPTouch Pro 3. 
 
If you are using a template driven site like those on Square Space you need to go back and choose a mobile ready theme. They have them. Finally, there are web companies that will reconfigure your site on the fly when a smartphone user comes a knocking. All of this should cost you from $50 to $250 or so depending on your solution.
 
BTW – one fun smart phone user factoid: 75% take them with them to the bathroom.

 

Manager – keep your mouth shut – a path to the power of the team

zipit image - unkown source The First Job of a Leader is being Quiet and Let the Team Work

Many years ago, when I got to the point in my work life when I found myself sitting in meetings with a General Manager, I began to notice that once the General Manager had indicated his opinion of a problem, almost everyone on the team reflexively, and I am sure unconsciously, shifted their opinions to be in the same orbit as the General Manager. The scope of the discussion seemingly as on auto pilot shrank to encompass just the General Manager’s scope of thinking.

This phenomenon should not have surprised me. Continue reading

Is Your Business Website Missing the Boat on Smartphones?

Even a casual survey of small business websites reveals the painful fact that many, if not most, are still not mobile friendly. Websites appear that require extensive finger gymnastics to uncover basic information, where is the business located, what are its hours, what kind of services does it offer. Continue reading

Financial Incentives – do they work?

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Revisit an Important Topic – a repeat posting from 2013

It is accepted wisdom in human resource management practice that financial incentives, wages and bonuses, drive work performance((1)). This is a part of our business and political culture.((2)) Though studies and surveys have shown for decades that people find many other factors (growth of skills, engagement, sense of purpose, social connection, and many others) to be important in their work, the key to every human resource management strategy has been the compensation plan. Increasingly over the past couple of decades human resource management professionals have devised ever more complex methods for connecting various performance metrics to compensation plans. 

Do Financial Incentives Work? Continue reading

Footnotes:
  1. Note that we are talking about individuals here. Organizations, for profit, non-profits and government, definitely react positively to financial incentives and disincentives []
  2. In fact the notion that people make “rational” decisions based in part on financial rewards is a central pillar of our “if we only let markets work, everything will run smoothly” culture. []

Getting Paid For Your Problem Solving – a lesson from behavioral economics

Dan_Ariely TED_in_2009

Dan Ariely at TED in 2009

I am currently enrolled in an online course at Coursera.org, Introduction to Behavioral Economics taught by Dan Ariely (well known for his  Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our DecisionsHarperCollins, pp. 304,ISBN 978-0-06-135323-9). 

In a discussion by Dan Ariely about the psychology of money he pointed out that people have a very difficult time paying for expertise. This doubtless even more so for problem solving expertise. Continue reading