Developing mobile apps for small business

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Is it really necessary for me, as a small business owner, to have a mobile app? In their phones, users are 90% of time engaged with their apps rather than with the web. Sure thing it is better for you to know how to make a small business app! Unless you are selling an ice cream to penguins somewhere on the North Pole. Probably, even in that case, small business apps isn’t the worst idea to go with. As you may develop a great app to sell the ice cream (not necessarily only to penguins) and actually start making some money!

In their phones, users are 90% of time engaged with their apps rather than with the web

But, all joking aside, we are living in 2017 and small business apps are nearly a must have for almost any business. Especially if you are in retail. Especially if you own an e-commerce store. Let’s just look at the numbers: global mobile app revenue in 2015 was $69.7 billion, $88.3 billion in 2016, and in 2020 it has to reach astonishing $188.9 billion according to statista.com. Nearly 30% growth every year! And that is only the direct income. What about indirect profit, like promotion and client engagement?

But let us convince you a bit more, by showing how to make a small business app effortlessly.

Benefits

Possibilities, as well as benefits, here are practically endless. It all depends on the purpose of your app and the way you are going to use it. A lawyer can launch an app through which he will consult people on different issues. A local football team may create a social app for its fans. It perfectly works both ways. Lawyer gets direct profit (if those consultations aren’t free, of course) and indirect – in form of promoting his services. Football team gets indirect profit first as it expands its fan base, and then direct profit – the fan base brings more income.

One more way, how to make a small business app, is to create a supportive app specifically for your business. Yes, there are lots of decisions available from single-action oriented like FreshBooks to comprehensive ERP systems like EasyERP. But designed specifically for your business needs solution, might be a much wiser choice.

Would you like to find out more about benefits of apps for a small business?

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Nevertheless, the main and the biggest benefit of small business apps is that you are getting closer to your clients. Nowadays apps are a powerful tool which not only presents your company and services to the customers. Its best feature is a bit trickier. It can gather the info about them. Introduce direct feedback or survey forms and make your customers feel treated. Or simply gather statistic info about user’ behavior and preferences. Everything is crucial!

The best part is that the cost of developing an app declined significantly in recent years. That’s all thanks to the rise of the app building platforms. Those now harshly compete with regular app developing companies. And by 2018, more than 50% of all mobile apps are expected to be created without coding, Gartner says. As we all know, competition always benefits the customer.

By 2018, more than 50% of all mobile apps are expected to be created without coding.

Suggested features for small business apps

So, how to make a small app and how many features should be in it? For such a huge range of apps, there are quite a few pretty common and understandable features. But, trust me, those are very crucial. If you don’t want your app to be abandoned very after it’s been downloaded. As 26% of downloaded apps are neglect after being used once and 25% are never used at all, as Google states.

26% of downloaded apps are neglect after being used once and 25% are never used at all!

So, suggested features for small business apps could be these:

  • Thoroughly thought out relevancy to your audience. There is nothing worse than an app with a little purpose in it. Or what’s even much worse an app which demands some payments from a user and gives a little or even nothing in return. It may even drive your audience away from you.
  • Optimization, simplicity, and customization. Clothes make the man, right? A significance of UX and UI is tremendous. You have one chance to hook a user, don’t waste it! And if he will be able to customize the app for himself, it will give you a few more points.
  • Social networks integration and taps cutting overall. The more information and taps your app will require while registering, the more frustrated user will get. And frustrated user = absent user. That’s pretty clear. What might not be so clear is that social networks integration allows you to gather even more statistical info about users!
  • Feedback and analytics. As mentioned above – analytics is a key towards better app. Which means bigger client engagement. Feedback system and survey forms, live support, in-app tracking tools – everything goes. Just don’t be too persistent. People don’t like to be tracked or bothered with stupid questions.
  • Gamification. Entertain your users! Little games, achievements, competition tables – that all makes user stay longer and increases the chance of his/her return. Plus it may be a good spur to develop your own mobile game app.
  • Offline capability. Stay with your user as long as possible. Make your app available out of signal range and, probably, your customers will use it even on their weekend trip!

Some examples

When considering how to make a small business app it is better to have a look at some good examples. And those can be endless here, as a small business can be of any kind, so do the apps which serve to it.

Indeed Job Search  – great job-finding app. An Example of how the website for job search has been thoroughly turned into a comprehensive mobile app with 50 million uploads on the Play Market. It is a great example which contains all the features we have mentioned previously. Also, has cool features like a Geolocation-based search of a job, complete customization of search parameters and user cabinet.

Tiny Scanner  – a good example of a small utility app. It has only one function – to scan papers. But it does it nearly perfect. Thanks to its speed, simplicity, and user-friendliness it won its customers.

 

OurGroceries – very simple and pleasant shopping app. It helps you to create and synchronize with desired people a shopping list. It has won its audience thanks to design, great functionality, and intuitive user experience.

 

Zomato – a decent example of how a restaurant app should look like. Comprehensive restaurant search functionality, breeze food ordering, simple table reservation, informative feedbacks, pleasant social possibilities. That all is in it, plus much more. And all that, of course, with great optimization and design. BTW, we already have a review on how to develop a restaurant app, so check it out.

 

How to make a small business app

Such apps come in all shapes and sizes, and development of those may vary from a few months to a year. You probably have seen it on our examples. Those are specifically picked to represent all possible ways to develop your own app.

Some of them are purely native like Zomato, or hybrid like Indeed Job Search. How to develop a small business app: Native, Hybrid or Web – that is for you to decide. And that it is a crucial decision, as the price and the time and timeframes directly depend on this choice. Our article about types of apps might help you out with your decision.

So you have developed a thought out business plan for your app, calculated a budget and decided on approximative design and functionality. Now it is time to think about how to make a small business app actually, or whom are you going to trust the development.

App development platforms is a good choice if you wish to make a small business app with a little functionality and you don’t mind about design. It is also a good decision if you have a tight budget. But not always, as some platforms have high price tags for a decent functionality.

Develop it yourself. A great way to go. You completely control the development process, and you are able to cut the losses to the minimum. The huge disadvantage here is that this way is very skill-demanding and time-consuming. And even if you will put enough effort in it, the result is often far from ideal.

Hire a freelancer(s). In this case, you get some guarantees that your app will be of a decent quality (or not). It all depends on how much are you going to spend on the salary for the people you have hired. Plus you might have problems with protecting your intellectual property if you won’t get all the paperwork done properly.

Sign a contract with an outsourcing company. This time you’ll get real guarantees of a decent quality of your project and the safety of your intellectual property. As you hire real professionals including developers, designers, PMs and, if you wish, marketing specialists. This team will design, create and push your project on the market for the fair price. And this is right where Thinkmobiles can and will help you. We have a huge team of specialists who will take care of your app from the very first letter in its documentation till your first user in it. And that all for the price so low that you’ll consider it as a bribe!

We are always here, ready to help you with your project estimation!

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