The Internet is developing in many different directions and each of them can be smartly used for improved business efficiency. While launching websites and business pages on social media are undoubtedly important features for every small business, the current popularity of gadgets draw special attention to that field of marketing.
What’s more, according to Statista.com, the number of mobile phone users will reach 5.07 billion by 2019. Therefore, increasing the role of mobile apps in your everyday business tasks isn’t only important for your contemporary projects, but it’s also an investment for the future.
Since we want to help business owners build their enterprises successfully and prepare them for the future, we’ve selected the most important advantages and drawbacks of using mobile apps in modern business.
How can mobile apps improve your business?
Running a business venture these days revolves about two major features: keeping your employees well-organized and ensuring high online visibility for your venture. So, mobile apps can help you achieve these two goals through the following app features.
Handy tools for smooth project management
Every business owner who hires people knows how difficult it is to keep them organized. Furthermore, more and more people are becoming remote workers and freelancers these days. For example, only in the US, 35% of the workers are freelancers. Therefore, you may need handy tools to smoothly organize your business projects and remote employees. Luckily, the quality and the number of business-organization apps follow the demand of the market. As a result, you can choose from a plethora of free project management apps to improve your business results.
No matter if you adapt your website to gadgets or opt for a native business app (we’ll discuss that later in the text), it’s crucial to make your business constantly available to your old customers and new clients. The easiest way to reach this goal is to communicate with your customers through social media apps. On the one hand, they can leave a comment on your wall or profile, or even your website, given that it’s connected with your social media accounts. On the other, they can contact you via various chat options and communicate with you in real time. Your long-term customers will appreciate this feature, especially when they have a problem that needs to be solved as soon as possible.
In addition to the aforementioned organization-enhancing apps, you can also benefit from using different cloud-based apps. That way, you can avoid paying an entire license for a software tool by going for an app instead. In some cases using the free app version of that software will suffice for your business. Some other times, you’ll have to pay for certain additional features, but only for the amount of time you need that very app. For instance, if you use Google apps, i.e. the G Suite crew at your business beginning, you’ll save some precious assets. What’s more, every modern app located on the cloud can be accessed, edited and synchronized from any device connected to the Internet. For instance, you can work on an online document from your mobile phone while an employee of yours can do that simultaneously from their office computer.
Launching a native business app
If you calculate that the number of your customers and website visitors demand for a special additional feature, it’s the right time to create and launch your very own app. For starters, this step will make your business stand out from the crowd. Let’s say that you run a restaurant in a mid-sized town and you launch a special app. Not only that your regular visitors will be delighted, but you’ll also attract guests from other restaurants.
Moreover, it will contribute to your branding and marketing, since putting your own app to use basically means opening new marketing channels for your business.
Making some extra money
Closely related to the topic discussed in the previous paragraph, it’s good to know that launching your own app can bring you some extra money. This is even more valuable if we know that having a professional app requires some initial investment. However, you may consider including in-app ads that could significantly contribute to the ROI. Still, make sure that you don’t advertise your rivals or businesses that your clients would find inappropriate. Also, add the escape option to every such ad.
Apart from that, you can add a shopping cart to your own app. In that case, make sure that the cart is connected with an easy-to-use payment gateway, such as Stripe or PayPal so your customers can pay as quickly as possible. Moreover, it’s recommended to integrate it with a reliable invoicing system, to swiftly meet the legal requirements of your buyers.
What cons should you be aware of?
Using a variety of mobile apps for business can pose certain risks and inconveniences. The rule of thumb is not to download or use apps that come from suspicious sources. Also, it’s vital to check the rankings and reviews for every app before you download it from Google Play, Microsoft Store or iTunes. Moreover, here are some other potential cons of using mobile apps for business purposes.
Poor customer support
If you download a business app that has unsatisfying customer support, you may experience slow loading, unavailability during the peak work hours or even data loss. Therefore, you should make some research on the quality of customer support for a number of business apps. Also, don’t skip a reliable app only because it charges a certain free for an advanced package of services. For a few dollars more, you might ensure smooth business experience for both your employees and your customers.
Considerable app-building expenses
In case you want to build your business app, you need to know that it’s no cakewalk, especially for business beginners. While you can choose from a wide range of DIY app-builders, they won’t meet the needs of more demanding business owners, in which case you’ll have to turn to professional app developers. On the one hand, you’ll certainly get a first-class app that won’t let you down. On the other, you have to be strict with your budget here, as well as with the performance of such an app. What you can do to ensure larger involvement in the entire process is study this checklist for the development of a business app, so as to know what features to ask for and pay attention to.
Inconsistency in quality
Since mobile apps are made by a huge number of developers, they don’t all have the same quality. After all, smartphones and apps have become widely available and popular in the last five years or so, which is a short period for any technological innovation. So, it’s important to know that even the business apps that are highly ranked on app stores can have some features that aren’t useful for your business. Because of that, you should take some time to test various apps for the same purpose, so as to see which ones suit your needs. Only when you’ve found the right app should you start using it for your internal business purposes.
This is the age of gadgets and apps, so it would be a shame not to use their advantages to improve your business experience. Nevertheless, don’t turn to mobile apps only because it’s trendy to use them. These features should become a part of your business only if you realize that they will bring an additional value to your management system and increase your revenues, as well as improve your overall productivity.
AuthorBio: Mark is a biz-dev hero at Invoicebus – a simple invoicing service that gets your invoices paid faster. He passionately blogs on topics that help small biz owners succeed in their business. He is also a lifelong learner who practices mindfulness and enjoys long walks in nature more than anything else.