Mobile apps are on the rise. Many startups are being launched, and existing businesses are taking advantage of the innovative software solutions available today. An app can be a great asset for your business due to high margins, scalability, and value provided to the user at a reasonable cost.
However, apps are not always one-size-fits-all. That means that you need to evaluate whether an app is a profitable step for your business. It can take a lot of time, resources, and payroll to get a good app launched.
So before taking on such a project, look at the areas below to see if you should take this step.
Consider Your Industry
Before you determine whether an app is justified, you should first look at your industry realities. Each industry is unique, and some are more suited for app solutions than others.
Some industries like finance or transportation can use apps to simplify the process for customers, enabling them to create accounts, use their services, and receive promotions via the app. These are industries that inherently involve a lot of math behind the scenes.
On the other hand, if you are a car dealership, you might have issues getting customers to download your app in the first place because the perceived need for an app in this industry is low. Looking at your industry first will help you determine if you are truly being innovative or simply reinventing the wheel.
Look at Your Sales Process
Every company has a unique sales process. These are the steps that you take a prospect through before earning their business. Some products may be “one-off” purchases for small dollar amounts or simple transactional sales that can easily occur online or in an app.
Other industries need a longer sales cycle. For instance, if you are B2B, you need to talk to multiple gatekeepers and decision-makers along the way. Therefore, you might not be able to generate revenue directly through your app. However, for eCommerce and B2C, you can conduct transactions right in the application.
An app can have its benefits in terms of marketing and lead generation. Also, it allows you to stay top of mind with the customer so that when they are ready to buy, your company will be what they think of first.
Evaluate Customer Service
Customer service is essential for any business. Ask yourself if you are providing the level of customer service that your market expects, or if an app would help you deliver better solutions faster.
An app can help customer service in a number of ways.
First, it allows agents to have one place where they can filter inquiries and make quick responses. Secondly, you can collect information about customers to observe their behaviors and cater to their needs with a better user experience.
Consider the way that your market pays you. Apps can replace traditional web portals to accept various forms of payments. If you have a B2B business with accounts payable, for instance, it may make things easier for customers to simply log into the app and pay you that way.
The same goes for B2C products, where you might have recurring revenue due to repeat purchases on a monthly basis. At the end of the day, if customers are okay with paying you within the app, you can simplify that process for them.
Create a Budget
Every business needs to balance the books. Knowing what your expenses are in relation to your revenue is crucial to ensure that you maintain profitability. So one of the first things you should do before creating an app is to sit down and create a budget first.
Start with your fixed overheads and then look at your recurring costs. Is there room in your budget for more research and development to invest in an application? If not, it may be worth budgeting for it in the future so that you already have the funds set aside for your app when the right time comes.
Evaluate Your Goals
What are the goals that you have for your business right now? You need to have a clear picture in your mind to see where an app fits into your objectives.
Are you looking to improve customer service? Do your sales need a boost? Knowing what your specific goals you want your app to help you achieve will refine your approach to avoid wasting time.
Do Market Research
At the end of the day, you want to ensure there is a market demand for your app before creating it. Otherwise, you might find out that you are providing a solution where there is no problem, and thus no demand.
Start by researching the kinds of problems your market currently has and determining if an app would deliver appropriate solutions in a timely fashion. Keyword research can also help in the market research phase to find what users are searching for.
Analyze Your Competition
Look at your competition to see if there is something to be learned from their approach to your market. If competitors are beginning to create apps, then you know that there is a reason for it, and it would be wise to follow suit. On the other hand, being the first in your marketplace to do it could also be an opportunity to stand out.
Having an app for your brand allows you to reach customers in unique ways and build value through in-app purchases, among other features. However, it takes knowing the right trends to make sure that your app is leveraging the best frameworks and technology available.
Mobile applications have great advantages over traditional websites or offline business methods. They save you money, time, and hassle while providing excellent value to your market. However, creating an app is easier said than done.
Before getting into the app development process, make sure that you understand your business, your market, and your financial goals. If an app would help you meet your business objectives, then it is one of the most profitable things you can do to modernize your business for the coming technology trends that keep evolving.