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“Does My Business Need an App?” – 5 Questions to Ask

By Nick Epson on August 20, 2020

Building a mobile for your business might be just what you need to break through whatever glass ceiling that stands in your way which begs the question, “Does my business need an app?” Businesses recognize the value an app could bring but is building an app for your small business worth the investment??

As a recognized leader in the app development space, we’re here to shed some light on the matter, Yes, it could prove to be a costly venture with too slow a churn on ROI to make a difference. But in other cases, new software can prove to be a valuable asset with the right goals and proper design. Join us as we cover some of the most topical matters you should consider when mulling over the question, “Does my business need an app?”

“Does my business need an app?” – 5 questions to consider

Much like solving problems in the higher echelons of mathematics, the solution isn’t a static answer – you’re going to find that there are tradeoffs with just about every decision along the way. An app can bring substantial value but there are reasons you may want to either hold off or rethink the overall design of the software you’re imagining for your business.

1. Is a mobile app the best choice?

Depending on the nature of your business, it’s highly likely that your customers expect you to have an app. If your company exists in the B2C realm and your website is a major contributor to your business, an app may well be a great extension for your business. Last year, some 62% of smartphone owners made a purchase using their mobile device so it’s a no brainer if you’re selling product.

If you’re an eCommerce business, then a mobile app is a good idea. You can create a lot of functionality to incentive further spending – if you’ve spent any time buying random things from Wish, then you’ve surely noticed how they entice you with extra rewards and discounts almost every time you add something to your cart. Too, loyalty programs for physical stores like Starbucks and Chik-fil-A offer rewards as well as convenient tools like saving order and payment information to make each trip a breeze.

However, if your idea for an app is simply to extend a website you mostly use as an informational resource (i.e. it’s not a highly-used portal for your business) then you need to consider: is building an app for your small business worth the investment? If you’re simply looking to broaden your footprint on the Internet without a solid model to generate mobile app revenue then your app will mostly serve as an expense with an inadequate return.

2. Does it need to be an app?

A lot of times with smaller businesses – and even with larger organizations – it could be that you don’t need a mobile app. Because there is a lot of buzz about mobile app development, everyone wants to get in even though they may not completely understand what it entails to develop, market, and maintain.

In some cases, a website is more than sufficient for business. For the most part, a mobile app is simply an extension of an existing site. However, if the site is lacking in features, efforts to increase business should first focus on the website and put the app idea on the backburner. Businesses can often expand their offerings by investing more into their site and expanding features as well as putting efforts into focused SEO to rank better in Google and other search engines. Here, you might want to consider reaching out to an individual or agency that specializes in increasing web traffic and conversion through your site.

Other times, a mobile app is almost better than a site. For example, gyms that offer mobile apps for check-in as well as offer ways to engage with other services, say, buying a drink from their juice bar are ideal for customers. The easier it is for someone to do something, the more likely they are to do it!

3. Do you have the funds to cover the cost of building an app?

The cost to build an app serves as a sticker shock for some, especially for those that haven’t spent a lot of time shopping around. You have to consider the magnitude of what it takes for a team of developers to not only build an app but the additional costs of marketing the app. You can’t simply throw something onto a marketplace and expect people to organically flock to your app.

Too, the term “app” is quite broad – it’s important to understand that there is a different amount of work required to build and market an app that exists an extension of your website versus building something novel like a new platform with unique features. It’s critical that businesses considering building an app work with prospective developers to understand the timeframe and costs as apps mostly start off as a major expense where the ROI takes time to build momentum.

4. Can you afford the 30% transaction fee from Apple or Google?

Whether you’re selling an app on the Apple App Store or Google Play, your earnings will be skimmed by a standard 30%. This goes for the app itself as well as any in-app purchases (IAP) you offer. We recently discussed this matter in depth when we covered how to increase mobile app revenue.

To summarize, it’s important to factor this into your budget if you’re planning on selling the app or subscription services through your app. In some cases, you might be better off selling your products, services, and subscriptions outside of a mobile app where you’re free to collect all of the revenue instead of just a portion.

5. Does your network include those with the specialized skill sets required to build an app?

It’s no secret that your team members are the key to your success – finding the right people to augment your team or fill a division in your company is crucial for every business process. Unless you’re looking to build a high-performance game, you’re going to want to ensure that you find the best developers for whatever framework is needed for your project.

Depending on how your organization is structured, you might be best hiring internal developers for your team. The caveat here is being able to understand what skills they bring to the table as this makes or breaks your project. Consider reaching out to agencies like us who have substantial experience in developing a breadth of apps. At the very least, this will help provide insight, enabling your business to make the best possible decision.

Blue Label Labs understands the ins-and-outs of app development

It takes more than one bee to make honey – Blue Label Labs is a hive of creative problem solvers who work together to deliver results that delight. Most importantly, we understand when it’s right to build an app and we’re straight forward when more sensible solutions exist. When the answer to ‘does my business need an app’ is ‘yes,’ then we will deliver the best possible product for your dollar. Get in touch to learn more about our app development process and discover if an app is in your best interest.

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