Every business needs a mobile app and small business is no different.
In today’s era, the mobile apps have become an inevitable part of every young working house, and if its a small business, then the mobile app needs to be there. As per a researched report by App Annie, the first quarter of this year recorded the most number of mobile apps downloads. Both the platforms, iOS, and Android registered a jump of almost 15 percent year-over-year.
There are numerous advantages of a mobile app. From directly connecting to the target audience to communicate on the go, a mobile app can do anything. According to another report, the Americans spend more time on mobile phones than the television. Also, about 75 percent of Americans check their mobile once in an hour.
With the beginning of mobile phone transformation to smartphones, the very aspect of reaching out to consumers have changed. With the likes of push notifications and geolocation technology, engaging with consumers was never so easy and a small business needs all this.
I am focusing on small business houses, so we also have to take note of the number of employees. Yes, here company size does matter because not every small business house can afford to have a mobile app. A recent study by the Manifest disclosed that about 58 percent of small business don’t own a mobile app.
The study further revealed that the business houses with a higher number of employees tend to have a mobile app. The 47 percent of companies with more than 50 employees had a mobile app well before 2017. Expectedly, only 4 percent of small businesses who had more than one or more employees didn’t show any interest in having a mobile app and didn’t even wish to own one in the near future.
I genuinely understand the struggle of time and money that a small business house needs to invest in a mobile app. Going by this, around 30 percent of the small businesses with one employee said that they don’t have any mobile app and nor they wish to have in future.
As I mentioned above, the development cost of a mobile app does matter, and small businesses shy away from getting a mobile app due to its cost. Less than 50 percent of companies shell out less than $25,000 on their mobile app. Whereas, more than one-third of similar companies spent between $25,000 and $100,000 on the mobile app. The rest of the lot invests over $100,000, which is undoubtedly a staggering amount for a small business house.
Over here, the small business may question me about the huge app development cost, which may be much lesser in other cases. For this, you need to understand the very fact that to meet the specific business goals, an app developed on a budget account won’t be able to achieve the ends of the small business.
Moreover, the mobile app cost simply doesn’t end with the development of the app. Being a small business house, you need to understand firs why should you invest in an app and it needs to infuse some of the other things in the mobile app, and for that, it needs to keep the app developer engaged. Then, for maintaining a mobile app, the overall cost of the mobile app can escalate.
So, before jumping to the conclusion, be very sure about the need for a mobile app and the resources that a small business is willing to put into it.
Now, let's get to the point. If you are a start-up or a small business, or for that sake, an established small merchandising company, you are required to follow some underlying fundamentals of mobile app development.
From the very idea to have an app to its designing, and from rolling it in the market to working in the customer’s feedback, everything has its own place. It’s just, how a small business manages to bind all these things together.
Following are the factors that a small business house needs to consider for building a mobile app:
Be it a small business house or a renowned venture; there should be a clear-cut ideology for getting a mobile app. Here are the points you need to ponder upon:
Nobody wants to fire in the dark. So, it becomes very crucial for a small business to weigh all the parameters before going after the mobile app with all guns blazing.
Expert Tip: As a small business, it can cut down on many of the aspects that are avoidable enough.
The mobile app platform is directly proportional to the audience the small business is targeting. If the targeted customers are more on iOS, the small business can consider releasing the mobile app on the App Store, and if the customer base is Android-based, it needs to get the app on the Play Store.
But what if, there is a mixed audience? For that, the small business can consider building the mobile app on a Hybrid or cross-platform. Both of these platforms offers a single app to be released on multiple stores. The only thing that differs them is the features and functionality that they offer. For more detail on this, you can go through our articles like “Advantages of Hybrid Mobile App Development” and “The Ideal Guide For Cross-Platform Mobile App Development.”
Expert Tip: By getting the app built on a hybrid or a cross-platform, the small business houses can get extra reach, which may prove useful in the long run.
The next significant thing that needs to be taken care of is to hire a mobile app development team that can build the mobile app as per said specifications. But you must remember that the small business will have to shell out money in order to get the app done. Depending upon the functionalities, a small business house can choose between these two:
Therefore, the actual cost of mobile app development will vary on the choice of developing the team. Also, the team size will also add to the overall cost of the development.
Expert Tip: A small business house can hire a freelancer, as development companies for mobile apps charge way more than them.
Now, as the mobile app is ready, the small business house needs to review the submission guidelines of the various app stores. Every app needs to go through the submission process, and more importantly, both iOS and Android have strict guidelines in place. So, it’s better than the small business to learn about the guidelines before submitting the app. Failure in adhering to the guidelines will only cause further delays with the approval process and as a small business, no one wants to experience it.
Expert Tip: Follow the said rules of the app stores and thoroughly go through the do’s and don’t’s.
ASO or App store optimization (ASO) is much like the content optimization that lets the app rank higher and ultimately increases the mobile app downloads. A small business, of course, needs visibility and reach. So, if the app is optimized smartly, it will help the small business to reach beyond the conventional boundaries.
For a complete app store optimization, we need to get hold of the detailed analysis of the target audience. This will help small businesses in finding the exact keywords that the audience uses to search.
For a detailed report on mobile app store optimization, you can have a look at articles like “Top 7 App Store Optimization Tools 2018” and “Know Everything About The Hidden App Store Optimization Tips.”
Expert Tip: Focus on the services and products that the company delivers.
We all know, without adequate app downloads, no app can survive for long. After everything is done, the small business needs to promote the app among the targeted audience, as this will help to get more downloads and engage more users.
To engage the user to a new app is the most demanding task that needs to get going. And for this, the small business is required to inculcate the very basic element of all, and that is the CPI or cost per install to grow the audience. In this, the small business will be placing digital ads on various media platforms to drive the
installation of the app.
Building an app by the small businesses do require time and expense, and for the same, everyone wants to get the returns as soon as possible. To cut down on the extra expense of hiring a team of developers for building an app, many of the small business houses have brought in use in-house staff to develop and maintain the app. Some of the companies make a budget before developing an app or some go with freelancers, but it all depends on the business, what specifications and functionalities it’s looking for.
So, with the tips mentioned above, anyone can start thinking of getting their first app. But be aware, a wrong app can hurt the business brand credibility and being a small business house, it needs to be spot on.
Be very clear about the audience's expectations and optimize the app to the best. With the right strategy, any app can penetrate targeted goals.
Aparna is a growth specialist with handsful knowledge in business development. She values marketing as key a driver for sales, keeping up with the latest in the Mobile App industry. Her getting things done attitude makes her a magnet for the trickiest of tasks. In free times, which are few and far between, you can catch up with her at a game of Fussball.
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