Is your internet business set up for the mobile era? If not, nows the time to change that, because, like it or not, the mobile era is upon us. For the majority of us, a mobile phone has become just about as indispensible as our personal identification or credit cards, but, until now, theyve been mainly used as a communication device.

But, thats all changed, and here are 5 reasons why.

1. The Numbers Dont Lie

Market intelligence firm IDC predicts that, by the end of 2010, over a billion mobile devices will have a web connection, which is about the same number of PCs, but the growth rate is two-and-a-half times faster than PCs. This means its a necessity that web sites be optimised for smaller mobile screens, and not just an afterthought. And the time to do that is now.

2. Mobile Banking And Financial Transactions

Most banks and financial institutions either already offer mobile services or are in the process of doing so, and for good reason. In a recent survey conducted by George Mason Universitys Mercatus Center, it was found that banks can increase the number of new customers by 60 percent if they offer mobile solutions. Also, mobile banking offerings were found to be the determining factor when new customers chose a bank, beating out branch location, online banking and ATM access. As consumers get more comfortable performing banking transactions on mobile devices, making mobile purchases will become just as comfortable, as more micro-payment options are made available by companies like Google. As long as there are consumers, theres the chance to make money, and the opportunity to make money is what pushes new development and innovation more than any other factor.

3. The Introduction Of The Droid

The arrival of the Droid meant that the iPhone finally had some competition, especially when combined with the 3G coverage offered by Verizon and their enormous mobile subscriber base. Using mobile web is getting much faster and Droid raises the bar for all mobile manufacturers, which means more competition, which should lead to lower prices, allowing more people to join the mobile web revolution.

4. Social networking

Social networking is not just a trend, its a growing global and cultural phenomenon, which lends itself perfectly to mobile, being a natural platform for communication. People connect with each other through various social networks, which also provide a viable method of marketing goods and services to people regardless of their location. Its probably not too much of a stretch to state that the majority of people using social networks do so via their mobile devices.

5. Growing Number Of Affordable Apps

By the end of 2010, its expected that there will be around 300,000 iPhone apps and over 50,000 Android apps, with more on the way as app development gets cheaper. Some companies are able to build apps or provide the tools to allow users to build their own for less than $100. The availability of apps is a major driving force in the adoption of smartphone technology its like walking around with a host of different businesses in your pocket and represents a great way to build brand equity, since apps are completely opt-in.

Obviously, its not a question of whether the web will go mobile it already is. The main question is, Is your business taking advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and setting your internet business up for mobile marketing success?. Hopefully, the answer is Yes, otherwise youll be missing out on the greatest opportunity since the dot.com boom.

If youre on the fence about whether or not to set up a mobile version of your web site, or arent sure what you need to do, now could be an opportune time to seek out the services of a UK internet business coach, who can advise you on the best way to go about implementing your mobile marketing campaign. The sooner you go mobile, the better.