We’re living in a world which is increasingly mobile, there’s no denying that. According to a 2018 survey from forecasting medium Statista, the number of smartphone users worldwide has increased from 2.32 billion in 2017 to 2.53 billion in 2018. What is more, this growth is projected to continue, reaching a staggering 2.87 billion in 2020.
Being multi-channel in this growingly mobile environment is becoming more and more important. In other words, business owners are faced with the challenge to establish an effective presence in all the channels which provide contact with their potential clients.
One of the most prominent, better yet, convenient ways to do so is through a mobile app for business.
Despite their seemingly obvious advantages, though, mobile applications, especially when it comes to small businesses, are reportedly hampered in terms of growth. A recent survey of 351 small business owners and managers conducted by Clutch revealed that there is no noteworthy growth of mobile apps for those companies in 2018 compared to 2017.
It’s Not That Simple
Developing a mobile app for your business does come with a lot of merits, there’s no doubt about it.
Mobile apps offer undeniable value, but what should always be put on the agenda is proper, hands-down defining of your goals as well as resource planning. Creating a proper, well-devised mobile application requires a lot of time, planning, and, of course – money.
The more rigorously you assess the need for a mobile app, the better. What you shouldn’t do is build an application just because you think you should. A few things to consider before jumping into mobile app development include:
- Assess the impact a mobile app could potentially have on your business.
- Assess whether a mobile app can enhance the touchpoints with your customers in their customer journey.
- Make sure to set specific metrics which are related to your goals and clearly define success.
Put simply, you need a proper mobile app business plan. Approach its development just as you would any other – with cautious, research, and, most importantly – responsibility. Creating an application of the kind won’t skyrocket your sales overnight and the quicker you realize it, the better.
That said, however, should you jump through the above hoofs, an app can seriously strengthen your presence and enhance your business. Here’s why your business needs its own mobile app.
It’s a Source of Valuable Analytics
This is likely to be one of the most underrated reasons why your small business needs a mobile app.
It will enable you to collect tons of useful information that you can further analyze and take advantage of. For example, a mobile app can deliver seamless statistics which determine your best selling products or services, your wors performers, customer retention, peak productivity hours, and many more.
Furthermore, the app will tell you a lot about its own performance as well. You’ll be able to know what features of it your customers like and dislike, how much time they spend on it and why, and so forth.
We live in a data-driven business environment where decisions should be backed by solid, flat-out facts. In this sense, mobile apps for small business owners bring tremendous value.
Business Process Optimization
What a lot of people are seemingly failing to understand is that a mobile app doesn’t necessarily have to primarily target your clients.
You can create an application for your employees and the way they interact with each other. Streamlining your own operations is crucial in this increasingly rapid world.
A simple mobile application can guarantee uninterrupted interaction between your employees irrespective of their current whereabouts. Remember, we live in a mobile world, which means that people are more commonly on the move. Instead of trying to limit and restrict that, a mobile app can help you embrace it and use it to your advantage.
What is more, even a customer-oriented mobile app can enhance your business process optimization by pinpointing stress points and outlining areas where you need to improve.
Being Multi-Channel Matters
As we said in the beginning, people are using smartphones now more than ever. If anything, there isn’t a better way to establish another point of contact with your potential audience than to offer them an additional way to interact with you.
Mobile apps can be used in order to attract a lot of attention to your brand through a broad range of marketing campaigns. Not only will you expand your potential customer audience, but you’d also be able to lay the foundation for trusting relationships.
Furthermore, launching a mobile app is the cornerstone around which you can easily streamline additional marketing efforts such as running polls, conducting surveys, and receiving invaluable feedback.
Competitive Edge, Or an Attempt to Get One
The above Clutch survey revealed that 42 percent of the participants (small business owners) already have a developed mobile app. Therefore, gaining a competitive advantage over them might by solely creating one is optimistic at best.
However, by failing to develop one, you’re surely not doing yourself any favors, which should be enough reason why your business needs a mobile app. It’s not because your competition has it – it’s because it opens up an opportunity to outperform.
All of the above would be impossible without a mobile app and you’d be missing out on a tremendous amount of invaluable information.
Sales, It’s All About Them
We said that a mobile app is not going to skyrocket your sales overnight, and that’s the truth. However, a well-devised market penetration strategy, proper marketing plan, flawlessly executed mobile app, thorough analysis and a lot of hard work will surely get you there.
Remember – your audience is getting increasingly mobile. While it’s challenging to capture it, a mobile app is likely to be amongst the best ways to do so.
The importance of mobile app development is growing and it’s forecasted to continue doing so. In other words, the trend is set and it’s more than obvious.
However, this doesn’t mean that jumping towards a rash decision to create an app that simply allows your customers to access your services on their mobile device will cut it.
It can’t be stressed enough how massively important proper planning is, especially when creating a mobile app. It’s critical to work with a reliable mobile app development company and to make sure that the entire process is communicated from top to bottom.
In addition, if you’re not entirely ready to take up this path, this is a list of 19 very useful mobile apps for small business owners. While most of them are targeted towards internal optimization of business processes, if used properly, they can help you strengthen your lines. And, who knows, perhaps they’ll also help you make up your mind towards this bold but potentially game-changing step.
Have you considered developing a mobile app for your business? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!