What do you use your smartphone for? If you’re like many people, you use your mobile phone to call your friends, family members and employees, among others. A smartphone is a phone, after all.
But, is calling others in a traditional manner the primary way you use your phone or do you use an app like FaceTime to reach out to your contacts? Is communicating with others even the main reason you use your smartphone at various points throughout the day or do you use it more to stay connected in other ways?
With mobile now accounting for more Internet consumption than desktop – a trend that isn’t expected to reverse course anytime soon, if ever – more and more people are relying on their mobile devices to stay connected. Not just with the people in their book of contacts, but with the world in general.
How do people stay connected? In large part, they use apps.
Apps and Small Businesses
Every day, thousands of new mobile apps are published in Google and Apple app stores. Some of these applications are games, some are designed to become the next Facebook and still others are ecommerce apps. Naturally, the nature of an app is typically determined by its purpose.
In a 2018 study, Clutch revealed that 42 percent of small businesses in the United States currently have an app. This figure represented no change from the year before despite an additional 25 percent of small business owners claiming they would build a mobile app by the end of 2017.
While small business owners in all generations recognize how valuable a mobile app can be, the likelihood that they have one for their organization varies by generation. According to Clutch, 55 percent of small businesses that are owned by Millennials have a mobile app, but only 13 percent of small businesses that are owned by Baby Boomers have a mobile app.
There are three primary reasons many small businesses owners across generations choose to build a mobile app. Nearly 30 percent create an app to attract new customers, 18 percent build an app to earn a competitive advantage and 17 percent make an app to increase sales.
While it’s certainly understandable why a business owner would create an app to achieve any of the objectives just mentioned, some experts suggest those goals shouldn’t be the main motivation for developing an app. That’s because consumers normally don’t browse for an app. Instead, they look for an app for a specific purpose.
In general, mobile apps are fantastic for enhancing communication with your existing clientele base. They’re also ideally suited to support loyalty programs because they can do things like track rewards points and send push notifications that can include discounts or information about new products or services. These functions can increase the loyalty your current customers feel for your business.
While increasing loyalty is one benefit that an app can provide for a small business, a well-designed, purposeful app can provide other meaningful benefits. Here are some of them:
- Increase efficiency
- Improve work processes
- Create additional value
- Increase engagement with customers
- Build brand awareness
- Distinguish business from competitors
Developing an App: Getting Started
While you may be eager to start enjoying the benefits that having a mobile app has the potential to provide, you might not be sure where to start when it comes to developing one. The development process begins with an idea.
If you don’t already have an idea for a mobile app, look for problems that your business is positioned to resolve for consumers. Once you have a list of problems your business can resolve, whittle it down so that your list only includes the issues that are the most relevant to the majority of your current clients and the consumers you want to attract to your business.
With your shortlist in hand, it’s time for you to do some research. You can use Google Keyword Planner to figure out the number of people who are looking for resolutions to the problems you’ve identified. This will help you determine which problem is the most pervasive one for you to resolve through a mobile app.
Once you’ve validated that there is demand for your resolution, you have an idea for a mobile app that’s based on the needs of consumers. At this point, you should detail your idea in writing. It’s essential for you to write down how you want your app to flow and all the features you want your app to have. Doing this will provide a vision of your end product for the developer you’ll team up with to create your mobile app.
Hiring a Developer
Hiring a developer is the next step in the development process. For your app to be successful, it’s vital for you to seek out a developer that puts design first. This means you’ll need to find a developer that’s primarily concerned with user experience, not just the appearance of your app.
When choosing a development company, make sure the organization has a talented, experienced development team. Ask for examples of their past work and a list of references you can contact to inquire about what it was like to work with the company. Be sure you read any reviews that are available about the development company as well.
Don’t rely on a developer’s portfolio alone when it comes to evaluating the company’s work. Visit app stores to see what other applications the developer created and how often they’ve been downloaded.
Since it’s quite likely that you’ll want to tweak your app after it’s published and your app will need updates over time, you need to ensure that the developer you choose will be available to handle these things. If a development company won’t support your app moving forward, you may want to look for another developer.
Once you choose a reputable developer, the company will manage the remainder of the development process. This includes bringing your idea to life, testing the completed app and publishing it in app stores.
With decades of combined experience, our app development team has the experience and the focus to create an app for your business. We’ve created successful apps for small businesses in the Los Angeles area that compete in various industries.
Here are two examples of our work:
Health Calculator Pro
This innovative app combines six unique health calculators into a single application. Users can now quickly and easily access calculators including Body Mass Index (BMI), Waist-to-Height Ratio (WhtR), Waist to Hip Ratio, Ideal Body Weight, BMR and Total Calorie Needs, and a Heart Rate Monitor.
We created an app that allows users to send fast online money transfers in multiple currencies. Funded by either a bank account or a credit card, Hawil can be used to send and receive money with friends and family or to pay for products and services.
We invite you to look over more examples of our work and to learn more about our mobile app development services now. If you’d like to discuss the app you want for your business, we encourage you to contact Sunlight Media today.