Should small and mid-size businesses consider launching a mobile app? Can apps be beneficial for these businesses. To provide a compelling discussion, allow us to answer this question with the following set of questions and answers.
How difficult is it to create apps?
The conservative answer is “not that difficult.” In fact, it can even be easy. There are already many tools you can use to build your own app. You don’t even have to learn coding. You can find cloud-based software tools that allow you to create a wide variety of apps based that come with the functions and features you want. Hence, there’s no reason not to have an app for your business if you really want to have one.
The idea of launching an app here is not just about having an app that can be used for managing or overseeing business activities like electricians who use electrician apps. The point here is about making use of apps to connect to potential customers, like local gym owners apps that can engage with members to track workouts or promote special events and promotions.
How much does app development cost?
App development costs are certainly not small. Based on an interview by an app development blog with an app client, the cost can be from $10,000 to $1,000,000 depending on the size of the company or organization commissioning it. These, though, are the costs you can incur if you go to an app development company. As pointed out earlier, there are ways to create apps on your own, without learning how to code or without becoming as proficient as the “real” app developers. With some creativity and a good sense of taking advantage of available technologies and free resources, you can build an app you can use to promote your business or to boost customer engagement without spending a lot. Ingenious and creative sole proprietors can even come up with a useful app for their business without shelling out a dime.
How do apps benefit SMBs?
Launching an app can benefit small and medium-sized businesses mainly through app marketing, customer engagement, and sales facilitation. For example, you can launch a game app or an informational mobile app that subtly promotes your business, brand name, or specific products. You can also offer an app that allows customers to interact with you or among other customers. It can be a QR code or barcode reading app that allows customers to earn points as they discover trivia or answer questions about your business or general trivia questions that can be related to your business. It could also be an app that helps customers locate your business or contact customer service. Moreover, you can launch an app that makes it easy for customers to place an order. An app for processing payment, though, may not be that easy for small businesses.
What’s the assurance that apps can be really useful for SMBs? Proofs?
Of course, there’s no 100% guarantee that launching an app for your business will automatically make it successful. Just like traditional marketing methods, apps only work with the right strategies and implementation. Also, even the perceivably excellent app marketing strategies can also lead to a failure. Arguably, there’s also the element of luck. However, these should not be a reason for SMBs to shun the launching of their apps. After, doing something and failing is definitely better than doing nothing at all. There have already been a number of app marketing success stories in the past. They should serve as proofs that SMBs can expect something to reap in launchging their apps as long as they put thought, time, and effort in it.
Can you manage the app you launch?
SMBs may hesitate to launch their apps because of the corresponding management and maintenance that will be required. This is not something to be worried about, though. It’s possible to create apps that don’t connect to servers or that don’t need any maintenance. Small game or “infotainment” apps, for example, don’t even have to be online and don’t need to be updated. What’s important is that you include your crafty promotional elements in it and that you get to make your potential users install and use it. The need for good app management is mostly a concern for big time implementations, wherein companies launch apps that are connected to servers and need to be properly overseen because malfunctions or defects can lead to lost sales or problems in customer and sales records.
Is app marketing/promotion suitable for your business?
Using different apps to boost customer engagement, or to facilitate sales is not limited to specific types of business or industries. It can be used by virtually any kind of business. All it takes is creativity and a knack for thinking out of the box. Even funeral homes can use apps for promotion, albeit mostly limited to an informative tone or theme. Something humorous may also work but it has to be carefully thought out. A game app on preparing for one’s departure, for example, may be launched but it has to be meticulously designed to avoid being macabre and offensive.
Can SMBs get new customers and retain old ones by launching apps?
As discussed earlier, apps can be used for marketing and to enhance customer engagement. There’s no doubt that apps can help small to mid-size businesses in attracting new customers and converting them into frequenters or patrons. Again, to emphasize, this is not about using business apps or software tools for managing day-to-day operations, which by the way, are also great for getting new customers and retaining old ones. This is about businesses launching their respective apps mainly for marketing, customer engagement, and facilitating sales.
The year 2016 was once dubbed as the year small businesses must develop mobile apps. Now, there are more reasons SMBs should consider launching their mobile apps as these can be greatly helpful for marketing, for enhancing customer engagement, and in making it easier for prospects to become customers. App development does not even have to be expensive and it does not have to be something that needs to be meticulously maintained and managed. Additionally, any kind of business can try app marketing strategies. It’s just a matter of being creative and a having a keen eye for opportunities.
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