Entrepreneurs looking to take their business to the next level need to seriously consider developing a mobile application. The first step is getting over the fear that you have to be tech savvy for an app, then comes the uncertainty of how much it cost. For small businesses, a mobile app can seem like an impossible dream – something only the largest corporations have the resources to consider. That’s simply not true anymore. There are dev shops all over the country with talented software designers that could be in your neck of the woods or can work with clients remotely. It’s time for all small businesses to give some serious thought as to whether or not a mobile application will help you scale, because they have never been more attainable than they are now.
Why invest in apps even when you’re small
The new lines of revenue generated from the app alone are reason enough to undertake this venture but if you still need some convincing, consider that by 2020 mobile apps are projected to generate $188.9B. This isn’t just for big businesses. Small businesses or even single-service providers can see ROI from mobile apps. With the average person spending more than four hours a day on average on their mobile device, not having a mobile app is a missed opportunity.
Where to start
Analyzing your business and conducting an internal assessment to discover the benefits of a proprietary mobile application is a great place to start. All a business owner needs is the idea. A competent software development firm can guide you through the rest, including initial investment, Minimum Viable Product (MVP), as well as ROI estimates.
How to stand out in a crowd
A thorough Discovery session with someone who understands both technology and business will take you a long way towards determining the viability of your app idea. Having someone outside of the project provide you with an honest assessment is an invaluable step that can save you thousands of dollars.
There are a multitude of mobile applications out there and some of them may even compete directly with the idea that you have for yours. Understanding how your app can stand out against the others is absolutely critical to its success. No one wants to put time, energy, and resources into a project only to have it lost in the shuffle. Most apps aren’t going to resonate with everyone, that’s just a fact. However, finding your niche market or unique users, can and will help you stand out against your competitions even if you offer similar service or product. That, or finding a key differentiating feature within the app will really set you apart. Finding that one thing within your business that you do better than your competitor is the thing that you want to highlight when building an application.
A mobile application can garner great financial benefits but can also result in increased customer engagement, attracting new customers, building and strengthen your brand, improving customer loyalty and standing out against competitors. The lasting positive outcomes can be endless and deciding to move towards development is smart business decision that all entrepreneurs need to seriously consider.
Real world examples
Recently, I worked with a trainer who had maxed out the number of clients he could physically work with on a daily basis. He sought a way to expand his business but had no way of adding additional clients to his roster. The trainer sought advice on how he could expand this into a whole platform that would deliver individualized workouts to people at all levels of fitness.
In this case, the trainer was looking to expand and wanted a way to reach and train more individuals but had only the man power of one. The most efficient way to do that was to create a platform in which individuals can access personalized workout plans through the direct knowledge and expertise provided by this trainer. Essentially, we were able to gather all the years of information and expertise that he had amassed over years of experience and condense it into viable application that acted as a personal hand-held trainer for any individual who downloaded the application.
Mobile applications have the ability to take an idea or service provided by a single person, and transform it into a global platform. When a person with deep domain expertise works with a developer that truly understands their vision, the resulting mobile application pays for itself. Small businesses owe it to themselves to at least explore the opportunities an app could represent to their business. Combining technology and expertise is a proven recipe for profit in any businesses.
JP Prendergast Business Development Manager, Shift3 Technologies. As the business development manager for Shift3 Technologies (www.shift3tech.com), JP is in charge of the professional services side of the social impact software company. Working with clients to find unique solutions to their problems, he is consistently focused on the best outcome for the end user.