Are you interested in increasing loyalty, engagement and retention for your small business or organization?
If so, a mobile app could be just the tool you need to do it. I run into a lot of folks who have thought about creating an app for their business, but their perceptions about creating a mobile app have prevented them from moving forward.
The mobile industry is dynamic and in a constant state of change. The realities of mobile app development and maintenance have changed dramatically in the last five years. Many of the myths people believe about mobile apps simply aren’t true any longer.
Here are the top 3 myths I see come up over and over again:
MYTH 1: Cost is Prohibitive for a Small to Medium Sized Business.
Many of the custom app developers I know won’t look at a project for less than $30K. Even on the low end, you will be hard pressed to create a high-quality custom mobile app for less than $10-15K. You can find lower priced freelancers, but you need to be very cautious to ensure you get what you pay for and that your freelancer won’t to here today and gone tomorrow.
This is why most small businesses believe the cost will prevent them from creating an app. This is simply no longer the case!
There are a number of app creation platforms and providers that allow small businesses to easily create a custom looking app for a fraction of the cost involved with custom app development. These are typically referred to as “off the shelf” mobile app providers.
Many of these app creation platforms are similar to most content management systems used to create websites. The only difference, in this case, is the content management system is used to create an app instead of a website.
Most off the shelf app providers can meet the feature requests of small business owners, eliminating the need to consider custom app development.
MYTH 2: Creating an App Takes too Much Time.
Custom designed mobile apps can take 3-12 months or longer to create, which is why many folks believe this myth.
With off the shelf app providers, you can have an app designed and live in the app stores in as little as 4 weeks without spending hours of your valuable time to make it happen.
Like any other marketing or communication tool, if you decide to use a mobile app in your business you will need to be committed for it to be successful. Once you create your app, marketing its benefits to your customer base consistently will be critical to your success.
MYTH 3: My Business Doesn’t Need a Mobile App.
This myth really comes down to a lack of understanding about mobile apps and how powerful they can be as a marketing and communication tool for small businesses.
I’ll be the first to tell you, a mobile app is not right for every business. For some types of businesses, a mobile app simply doesn’t make sense. Having said that, there are many businesses using mobile apps right now to drive sales by increasing customer loyalty, retention, and engagement.
Mobile is now THE preferred method for consuming and accessing information. What could you offer of value to your customers in a mobile app? If you take a few minutes to think about it, I’m sure you can come up with a number of valuable features and benefits a mobile app could provide to your customers.
Talk to a quality app provider who can help you determine whether an app is right for your business before you dismiss it.
I don’t want you to think an off the shelf app provider is the solution for everyone, but for many small business owners, it’s a great fit that debunks the myths I’ve outlined.
Here’s a quick checklist to help you determine if an off the shelf app provider may be right for you. If you can answer “Yes” to all these questions then it will be a great option for you.
- Are you hoping to deploy your mobile app quickly (within 1-3 months)?
- Do you have a limited budget (less than $10K)?
- Will an off the shelf product meet your feature needs?
- Can you afford to pay monthly fees for app hosting and maintenance (typically ranges between $30-125 a month)?
There are off the shelf app providers that allow you to do everything yourself and eliminate any upfront costs. If you’ve got the knowledge and the expertise then go for it, but for most people, I would not recommend this option.
Enlist the expertise of a provider who can guide you through the entire process from app creation, app marketing, and ongoing maintenance to ensure your investment is a success. Upfront costs for a provider like this can range anywhere from $250 to $3000 or more depending on your specific needs.
I hope you found this helpful. If so, feel free to comment below or share.
Tim Fitzpatrick is the President & Founder of Rialto Mobile. Rialto Mobile specializes in mobile apps and responsive websites for small businesses and K-12 schools with a focus on increasing customer loyalty, retention and engagement.