A few years ago, most strategists would have told you that having a mobile strategy is key. But today it is a lot different. Mobile strategy is first. Every facet of business has been affected by the little supercomputers we carry around in our pockets, and that’s not about to change anytime soon. So, if you’re considering doing anything in business you must consider mobile first. That means understanding how your users will access your website, product or services from their mobile devices. And if they can’t you’re losing precious eyeballs, and that means money. So, think mobile first, every time, and understand your mobile minute – that precious tipping point will mean the different between life and death for your business. Here are five ways to start strategically thinking about mobile.

1. Know your business

If you don’t know where you are, you don’t know where you’re going. The old adage is true. So before you go barreling into the world of mobile, first understand your business inside and out. Chances are, mobile can help you reach new customers. And, today for the first time in history, mobile devices actually outnumber people. But, how do you reach them? You must know what your business goals are and what you’re trying to do before you figure out how mobile will help you to achieve those goals. Get a solid foundation in your field and then, look at how you can improve it with a mobile roadmap. Chances are opportunities abound, they just need to be found.

2. Find your mobile moment

The Mobile Mind Shift is one of my favorite books to recommend to business owners on how to integrate a mobile strategy into their day-to-day business. The book defines the “Mobile Moment” – the critical time in every businesses’ development when a potential or existing customer grabs their mobile device and performs an action that is critical to business success. That is the mobile moment and these days, every business has one. It’s up to you to find that moment, capture it, refine, it and use it as the basis for your mobile strategy. It should be the North Star that guides your business forward because this is where you give your customer or client precisely what they want when they want it.

3. Know your customer

Yes, it is quite possible that you may have customers who aren’t mobile. But, it is highly unlikely. How do your customers currently interact with their mobile devices? And how will that affect your business? Are customers currently accessing your website from their mobile phones? What browsers are they using and what pages are more popular than others on your mobile site? You should be intimately familiar with your customers and their online behavior. If you run a brick and mortar business, strike up conversations with your customers when they come in. Ask them some of their favorite things to do on mobile and better yet, ask them if they’ve visited your site and how they use it. Getting live feedback from your customers and watching them interact with your app or site is a great way to get to know what they like – and what they don’t. Use this information to make your product better. Your customers will notice if you do or do not adapt to their needs.

4. Always be improving

Even though you may have done the first two things on this list, you will undoubtedly encounter additional issues and pain points during the lifecycle of your mobile product. Your mobile strategy will never be a set-it-and-forget-it kind of thing. The sheer number of mobile devices on the market will make your job more challenging. So, it’s important to plan for changes, fixes and of course, improvements. Add a few hundred (or thousand) users and watch your issues increase exponentially. If you are serious about mobile, you’ll know that mobile users are notoriously picky. Do it right or lose them. So, once your mobile strategy is in place, be sure to keep fine-tuning, improving and optimizing as you go. This stands for your app or mobile website. Technology moves fast and mobile is at the front of the line. Innovations on every corner can make your job easier – or harder if you let it. The key to a successful mobile strategy is to get out in front and continually optimize it to get the very best performance and results from your mobile products.

5. Address major issues quickly

Software development can be tricky but it doesn’t have to be. Typically, your release will have some issues, even if you’ve tested well. Some of the largest software companies have encountered problematic releases with their software. If you have issues at launch, which you very likely will, don’t panic. Address the most critical bugs first. Remember, there will almost always be bugs. However, it’s important to prioritize and address them in a timely manner so that your users get the very best experience. Initially, users are usually forgiving, as bugs are pretty popular with new apps and websites. One notable exception is if your bugs affect payment systems. If you are incorrectly charging people, they will naturally be upset. It is best to handle those and any bugs that affect the critical path of your product immediately. This is true across the board, but with your aforementioned picky mobile users, you will need to remember that there is always another option. You are essentially renting space on their devices and there’s always another app, website or service waiting to take your place. If you’re not addressing major issues you may lose users – your most important resource.

About the Author

Sian Morson

Sian is the founder of Kollective Mobile and also Cast Beauty, a new mobile platform that uses weather data to bring users personalized product recommendations. In 2015, Cast was one of three startups recognized by L’Oreal as Next Generation Award winners for having the potential to disrupt and transform the beauty industry.