With any small business, especially in the early stages, it can be difficult to determine the best use of your budget to achieve your business goals. However, almost 42% of small businesses have a mobile app available to their customers. So does that mean you should, too?
You might wonder if it would make your business look more professional, perhaps even look bigger. Might it help you reach more potential customers or support your planned business growth?
These are all common questions to have. However, whether you should invest in a mobile app largely depends on your individual business needs—your budget, your growth plans, and your overall business goals.
It is a decision that should take some thought, research, and planning. This will help you to ensure you will get the most value for your money.
Consider All Options
What many owners of small businesses don’t realize is that there is a whole range of potential options to consider when marketing and growing your business.
In fact, there are a number of applications, such as web and desktop apps, which might well be more suited to your business outcomes. What’s more, they might give you even more value for your money.
On the other hand, by consulting professional mobile app developers, you will be able to discuss your needs, budget, and objectives. They will then suggest the most suitable option for your business.
Get the Basics Right Before You Decide on a Mobile App
A common mistake many people make is to get a mobile app simply for reaching new customers. If this is your main reason, you might find it useful to explore all of the more traditional ways of marketing first. For example, improve your strategies with regard to SEO, social media, email, and so on.
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Think of it this way: How often do you stumble across a new business because you found their business app? Rarely? Or, more likely, never! An app store is an unlikely place where individuals go to look for new businesses.
Therefore, before considering developing a mobile app, assess your current marketing platforms and make these as effective as they can be.
Also, if you are looking for a mobile app because your website is not mobile-friendly, you might be better off investing your budget in improving your website first.
So depending on your reasons for wanting a mobile app, think about if any of your current platforms can be improved to achieve better results.
Develop Clear Objectives
However, a mobile app will certainly bring more value if you have clear objectives about what value it will bring to your business.
You will need to define your target audience. You’ll also need to be clear about exactly how the addition of an app will benefit your longer-term business goals.
So avoid investing in an app just because you think you should. Instead, spend the necessary time looking at your potential return on investment (ROI).
Asking the following questions may help you to get to this place:
- How might an app add value to my customer’s journey and experience?
- What areas of communication and information exchange could be improved with the addition of a mobile app?
- What would I like to achieve with a mobile app? For example, do I want to increase sales?
- How will I be able to measure the success and impact of a mobile app?
- What metrics can I put against these goals to measure progress and impact?
Know the Benefits of a Mobile App
When developed for the right reasons, there are lots of benefits to having a mobile app for your small business. These benefits include:
- Enhancing customer communication and loyalty
- Increased convenience (for instance, mobile payments)
- Interactivity with mobile features and social media
- Improved user experience with fewer limitations
- Increased time on site
With the necessary groundwork, a mobile app may well be the right choice for achieving your business aims and objectives.
If you are still unsure if investing in a mobile app is the best course of action for your small business, you may wish to park this decision until you feel certain.