The mobile industry is a multi-billion dollar industry and it takes no guesses to say that it is growing by leaps and bounds. Usage of mobiles has largely increased because of the millions of mobile applications that have made life extremely easy for users. From business to entertainment and gaming, users are spoiled for choice. Businesses are smiling their way to banks as they are cashing on the growing trend of mobile application usage. It is not just the large businesses that are developing apps today but small businesses too have realized the importance of mobile application development and have jumped into the bandwagon.
Many far-thinking small businesses have already realized that they need to develop an app to reach their target users and market their brand or company better. According to a research by A&T, 72 per cent of small businesses have been found using apps for their day to day business. This figure indicates that irrespective of the size of an organization, apps are seen to add value of any business. When it comes to app development, a research done by Association for Competitive Technology (ACT) shows that 78% of the mobile apps developed in the US are made by small businesses (either directly or indirectly). This research has been conducted in association with Apple and Android App Stores that represent 85 per cent of the smartphone market.
Why Should Small Business Go For Mobile Application Development?
Since smartphone and tablet usage has risen exponentially, it goes without saying that we are talking about a huge market. Business, small or big, has a great potential user base that they can reach out to. Let us look at some of the reasons why small businesses can also successfully develop and make mobile apps popular:
- Developing apps is no longer a very expensive deal. Depending on the need of your business you can develop a simple or a highly complex app.
- Since there are several proficient offshore development centers that specialize in mobile application development, finding developers is not tough as well. Moreover, most apps can be developed to work on cross-platforms increasing the chances of their usage.
- Small businesses can also save substantial investment of large-scale marketing by launching an app. Nowadays, it has become very important for any business to go out and promote themselves. Marketing is a big deal today, something that big businesses can easily concentrate on. However, small businesses do not have the resources or the budget to do it to that extent. By launching a simple app, they can reach a large number of people at the quickest possible time, targeting their long term needs as well.
Decisions to Take While Developing Mobile Apps
When any small business decides to develop an app, the first thing that needs to be considered is why develop an app? The answer to this should be either to facilitate businesses or to reach a large number of people. Once you know what you want the app to do for you, future plans can easily be etched out.
Since you have to take care of the cost of development, time taken in the testing phase and several such factors, it is important that small businesses have the flexibility of changing their mobile strategy with least difficulty as and when required. It is best if you start small, ie test the app among your employees or small group of users and get immediate and honest feedback on the app, and accordingly make the necessary changes.
Who are you developing the app for? Broadly two distinctions can be made. Apps can be customer-facing apps or internal-use apps. While the former development will be for a large section of people and will need more budget and marketing plans, the latter can be launched at a much smaller scale basically to help an organization streamline their work.
What kind of app do you want to develop? Is it a must-have app you want to develop or a nice-to-have app (more for entertainment purposes). It has to be considered that many smartphone users like to shop from their phones, book tickets while on the go and do much more. Entertainment and gaming apps are downloaded more. Keep these things in mind while developing an app.
Are you developing the app for branding your business? An app can be a very good platform for branding your business. Apps can also add to the revenue of the business, thus you need to according plan your app to get appropriate and effective results.
Tricks to Sell Apps
Small businesses usually have lesser things at stake when they develop an app. Even then knowing a few tricks can yield positive results for any small business.
- Offer Something New: At the end of the day, your app should be useful to the user. Unless you have something substantial to offer, your app won’t sell. Ask yourself if the app solves any problem, does it make anyone laugh, does it entertain, is it information-driven etc.
- Special Promotional Schemes: Deals, discounts always attract more people. You can induce people to download your app by promising them goodies and rewards for using the app more. Loyalty from the users will mean a lot for you.
- Get Social Media Friendly: Most smartphone users inadvertently logs on to a social media site. If you can make your app social media friendly, you can reach more people, gain the trust of equal number of users and be able to interact with users on a real-time basis.
- Let People Promote the App: A simple ‘share’ button can do a lot for your business. Remember to include the share button so that more and more people get access to your app and through word-of-mouth more people start using the app.
Small businesses are ready with their apps and are here to stay and figures prove the point. According to the ACT research, small businesses develop a whopping 78 per cent gaming apps, while they develop 87 per cent of the education apps currently available either on Android or iPhones. If figures are any indication, it is the best time for small businesses to start mobile app development, earn revenue and brand themselves better.