Does My Business Need a Mobile App?

In a recent post, we talked about reasons you should consider upgrading your iOS6 app when iOS7 is released later this year. But what if your business is just in the early stages of exploring whether or not to build an app? Having an app for your business has become a hot trend, and the perception is every business should have an app. Customized business apps are becoming as ubiquitous as having a company Facebook page. Before your go down the path of building and publishing an app there are two BIG questions you should ask yourself that will help you figure out if an app is the right choice.

1. What problem are you trying to solve?

Before you get started, you need to define the goal you want your app to achieve.  To help define your goals, do some research. See what others in your industry are doing with their apps.  Search on the app stores around keywords associated with your business to see what other people are doing in your space.

Carefully consider why you are buiding the app in the first place. The three objectives I hear the most are: 1) to attract new business, 2) to expand the company and improve customer relations 3) to deepen connections with existing customers.

2. Can this problem be solved without building an app?

Apps can be great investment. They can reach people in new ways (everyone has a mobile phone), generate buzz about a new promotion, and help earn revenue. However, an app isn’t a silver bullet solution for every situation.

Ask yourself this question: Is there a way you achieve your goal without investing in a mobile app? Email newsletters, mobile friendly websites, and web apps can be effective ways to connect with your target audience, and often can be done for less than the cost of an app.Consider your target audience. Maybe technology isn’t necessary. Placing ads in publications such as specialty magazines can effectively reach niche audiences that may be more difficult to target on mobile devices.

With the mobile industry booming like it is right now, many businesses are developing mobile apps to promote their products and services, attract new customers, and strengthen client relationships. Bottom line: If you have a business problem that needs to be solved with an app, find a development team.

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