Most people involved in one form of commercial activity or the other make the mistake of assuming that only the prominent brands needs a mobile app for their business. That is just ridiculous, because, believe it or not, mobile apps are one of the most productive product awareness platforms in the business world today.
In this post, I will be explaining to you why your business needs a mobile app as well as development options that should be considered like mobile app development costs, the platforms of execution and much more.
Why does your business need an app?
To start with, more small-scale businesses are building mobile apps for their businesses because they are quite aware that a mobile-friendly website is no longer enough when talking about effective mobile strategies.
Moreover, a mobile app gives you an unlimited and easy access to a service and this freedom could be the key to achieving the goals listed below;
- Increase visibility of your business to your clients.
- Brand Awareness.
- Sales leads.
- Direct marketing channel with every client/customer.
- Cultivation of customer loyalty and increasing their dependence on your service.
- Increase customer/client engagement.
- Improve employee collaboration.
However, if at least four of these points are part of your long or short term business goals, then a mobile app is important to your business than you think.
What purpose will your app be serving?
The main reasons why your business’s need for a mobile app
have been classified into;
- Your Customers
- Your Operations
- For Branding
Now that it is crystal clear that your business needs an app let's dive into how best to go about it. Apart from configuring an app to interact with your customers, apps can also be developed for branding. Moreover, it is also important to reach and engage other stakeholders which include employees and shareholders. Besides, the app you will be developing your business should at least serve one of these purposes.
- Sales and Customer Service Mobile apps
Apart from having a mobile app where products and services displayed are accessible by your clients (which are the most popular these days), having a reliable support system is important to every business structures. Moreover, while satisfying your client; if the business goes smoothly, profits will roll in even during the weekend because the customers that need immediate assistance do not have to wait for opening hours to be attended to.
Moreover, you could have a business app that allows customers to write the support for assistance and which will in turn alert the necessary officials to take action.
Giving a regular and detailed update to all stakeholders of the business is another way to make them happy. You can develop a mobile app that generates and send all the periodic results of your business activities to every stakeholder and concerned parties. With apps, you can present this data in readable formats such as charts, infographics, and images.
- Broadcast and Collaboration mobile apps
Instead of newsletters and emails, you can easily get an app that sends vital information to all your employees. However, instead of using a graphic design app, and compiling reports into pages of documents, before mailing it to your employees, you could use an app where you only have to edit certain values and update it for your staff to see.
- Mobile apps for quotation
This type of apps helps field workers and sales agents generate quotes easily through their mobile devices. Also, this ensures deals are closed faster than before when they had to make calls or ask to come back with quotations.
IMPORTANT THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN YOU DECIDE TO GET AN APP FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Different mobile app platforms work for different business types, and it is important to understand them so that you know how they work.
It is no doubt that the iOS and Android platforms are the leading mobile device operating systems in the world today. However, some factors such as target audience, demographics, type of service/product influences the platform you choose for your business app.
SHOULD YOU BUILD YOUR MOBILE APP INTERNALLY, OR BUY FROM AN OUTSIDE SOURCE?
- Trying to run multiple and older versions of these platforms can be relatively expensive and complex. Therefore, you need to decide which version exactly your app will be running on.
- After consultations with mobile app developers, you have to choose whether you will prefer to maximize returns from multiple operating systems or stick with a native app.
- Your business needs, target audience, budget, and time required to complete the mobile app project should not be overlooked because they are also very important.
- Furthermore, it is very important to make sure that the business app is designed in a way that they offer the same user interface (UX) and are responsive regardless of whether they are used on smartphones, tablets, or any other digital devices.
With these requirements, one might be forced to wonder if outsourcing an app developing job would be a better decision than having someone work on it internally.
When it comes to outsourcing, you might not be able to communicate every bit of information at once, so visiting the developer frequently might be stressful.
Moreover, this type of project requires a constant revision of processes and procedure, and this can only be done if you supervise the app developing process from start to finish. Hence, to ensure a close supervision of the entire process, and to make sure your idea is well executed, it is advisable to choose someone from your team to build the app.
But if you cannot get any of your team members to do it, then you might have to hire the developer as a contract staff till the app is completed. Also, remember to include a scheduled quarterly maintenance in the deal if you hire an external or freelance developer.
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NATIVE PLATFORMS, CROSS PLATFORMS OR HYBRID PLATFORMS - WHICH IS BEST FOR YOU?
Native apps are apps that use languages and development tools supported by both platforms (Android or iOS) to create a specific platform. Therefore, different apps with the same working model have to be developed across different platforms – namely, Android, IOS, among others. (i.e., the Android app is developed separately from the iOS app, etc.)
Moreover; this works when you need a custom app that’s specially designed for your business. It gives each user a native feel and also eliminates the need to spend a lot of time and money, testing a particular app modification across all platforms.
As a bonus, the app looks stylish and sleek, and according to reviews, users tend to have better experiences.
- It is cheaper to build.
- It works for all platforms.
However, there is a big difference between the interface; and this is determined by the choice and quality of browser preferred by each user.
As the name implies, this type of app is a combination of native plug-ins and HTML5 languages. It is cost-effective and affordable. With just a simple design, every user can get the best out of multi-platform mobile apps.
Hybrid mobile apps
- Hybrid Mobile Applications
help to combine the best elements of HTML5 and native apps. They have HTML5 apps embedded into a thin native container which helps to provide access to native platform features.
BUDGETING FOR THE APP
Now that you understand the role apps play in making your business more accessible and appealing to potential customers, you can place its budget under your advertisement and business development budgets.
However, while the type of app you are trying to develop for your business might have an impact on your budget, you must ensure that it will produce the desired results in terms of speed, growth, leveraging tech, and innovation among other factors.
Every business likes an app
that will enhance their capacity in terms of increased employee productivity, seamless internal reporting as well as ease of accessibility to information among other factors. Moreover, this goes a long way to attract more customers and to ensure a speedy sale.
Besides, all the benefits mention above guarantee the growth of your business and the most important thing is to make sure you take advantage of the app revolution to scale your business.
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