Should You Build an App for Your Business?

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With over 4 million mobile apps available today and 204 billion downloads in 2019, launching a mobile or web-based application for your business can feel daunting.

How do you know that you’ll get the return on investment that you put into developing your app and furthermore, how do you convince other decision makers and shareholders that this is in the best interest of your business?  

The truth is, it’s really hard to predict these things, and there’s a lot of conflicting information out there, but rest easy. You’re well positioned for success if you have a solid business plan, a well-defined purpose, and you’ve done the due diligence on selecting a custom software developer.

In this article we’ll highlight 3 reasons to build an app (mobile or web-based) for your business. We’ll also provide tips on how to get started and how to maximize your results through marketing.

Increase Security and Decrease Risk

Today, sharing and storing proprietary and customer data is an extremely prevalent topic, especially in healthcare, personal finance, non profit, education, manufacturing, and government.  

In addition, cybersecurity in small businesses is a growing issue as malicious attacks on SMBs continue to surface every day.

Even the seemingly smallest breach can lead to devastating financial and legal consequences for small businesses, potentially wiping them out altogether.

As you grow and scale, implementing business intelligence and data analytics becomes more and more important to the health of your business and you will need a way to protect your IP and user data.

Mobile and web-based applications can offer additional security for both companies and their users. This is a big motivator for businesses that take the leap and invest in building their own app.

Note: Most iOS and Android apps today are encrypted by default, but developers should still follow best practices to ensure they are providing the highest level of security for both organizations and their end users. Web-based applications can include web application firewalls (WAFs) and other security measures.

Learn how LionShare Negotiations added security by turning their sales training into a web-based application for their users.

Tips for Success

  • Clearly define the type of app you are building and the purpose. Is it for user communication, business logistics, HR or something else?
  • Dedicate time to vetting app and custom software developers. Find out about their process, reputation, and similar companies they’ve worked with.
  • Research privacy and security requirements. Proactively discuss your company and industry needs and concerns with your developer.
  • Layer in additional security measures. Examples include touch ID and face ID login authentication or a web application firewall (WAF).

Marketing Bonus Tips

  • Craft an email, product announcement, or post. Let your users know that you’ve invested in a new technology system to protect their privacy.
  • Provide a fun and easy user onboarding experience. Build in an in-app tutorial on how to use it and reinforce the value of the system.
  • Conduct online or in-person trainings. Put together a group of beta users to gather feedback early on.

Increase Engagement + Loyalty

As a business owner, you may not have a 24/7 support team or a self-service online platform for customers, employees, or partners. So how do you offer the same level of service both on and off the clock and create engagement and brand loyalty?

Small and medium sized businesses have been turning to custom software solutions to increase their reach and drive engagement and loyalty. This shift to digital has been largely due to evolving user behavior.

In a study done by eMarketer, US consumers spent approximately 3 hours a day on their phone in 2019. This is an 8% increase from the prior year.  

By mapping out your user experience and re-creating that experience in software, you are offering an accessible solution that communicates with users on their terms thus, you’ll gain more engagement and loyalty.

Tips For Success

  • Conduct an honest evaluation. Write down your business’s existing processes and customer touch points. 
  • Do research on the experience you plan to recreate. Ensure that the process you are looking to recreate in software is enjoyable, intuitive, and scalable.
  • Prioritize the user experience. Ask your development and design teams for suggestions on how to improve the process.

Marketing Bonus Tips 

  • Do research on your competitors. Find out what they are doing and how you can differentiate yourself through your app.
  • Gather feedback on the user experience. Host focus groups, conduct online surveys, or both to discover how users feel about your company and processes.
  • Make it personal. Use your users’ names and other identifying information to personalize the experience through artificial intelligence (AI).
  • Use App Store Optimization (ASO) best practices. Make sure your app is easy to find and accurately portrayed.
  • Implement in-app reviews or NPS surveys. Never stop learning from your users about their experience using your app.

Optimize Operational Efficiency

Custom software has opened the door for small and medium sized businesses to cater to unique workflows, collaborate remotely, and streamline business operations. Apps have played a huge role in this.

In-app features such as employee scheduling, food ordering, and document uploading have helped drive efficiencies across industries with digital automation. Many of these processes were previously manual and depended on another person to fulfill a service or request.

Your clients, customers, and employees are vital to the health of your business. Across all industries, apps are allowing businesses to to replicate their processes and communication, resulting in consistent and predictable outcomes, driving sales, and improving user satisfaction.

Equip your users with the right tools that allow them to be more productive and efficient in carrying out day-to-day functions. You’ll achieve better outcomes with less effort.

Tips for Success

  • Map out your manual business processes. Flowchart how things work together and talk to one another.
  • Identify areas of risk. Talk to your developer about how to best approach unique systems and problems for best results.
  • Talk to your app designer. Discuss best practices for a user flow and other important features like the admin reporting dashboard.

Marketing Bonus Tips

  • Provide support and guidance. Reinforce just how easy it is to work with your team or complete a task through the application.
  • Re-humanize the process. Try not to be robotic and bring a human element to your app.
  • Keep it simple. Reduce the amount of steps necessary to complete a function in every area possible.

Conclusion

Mobile and web-based applications have had amazing impacts on businesses around the world. The 2019 Top 10 SMB Technology Trends survey found that 76% of both Small and Medium Businesses agree strongly that digital transformation has had a noticeable impact on their business.

With added security, increased engagement, and more efficient operations being just 3 of many reasons to build an app for your business, it’s no wonder that companies feel this way.

If you approach your mobile app development strategy by asking the important question, “How is my application going to improve the lives of the people I serve and/or my employees,” and you set out on a quest to solve that mission, the positive impact on your business will be quick and your ROI will be noticeable.

Still on the fence about launching a mobile application for your company? Chat with one of our experts about your app idea.  Consultations are confidential and we’ll answer any questions you may have.

AppIt Ventures is a leading Denver-based mobile app design and development firm. We have provided innovative solutions on time and budget for a number of firms across many industries including healthcare, manufacturing, and logistics.


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