Smartphone showing apps against a black background representing how to create an app

As a business owner or entrepreneur, you may have decided to have an app created for your business. Whether you run a local cafe or a large conglomerate, chances are you will benefit from mobile technology. However, a few things to consider before you dive straight in.

In an ideal world, you would have the app created, launched, and used by your customers within a week. However, the way to creating and getting an app approved in respected stores takes time. It involves working with an expert software developer in the process.

Whether you’re looking to outsource the app creation project to a software developer or looking to do it in-house, you should know what you’re letting yourself in for. What questions should you be asking yourself …

Why do you need an app?

The first question you should ask yourself is – why do you think you need an app? Perhaps you need an app to support online orders, for customers to order drinks via table service in response to the ongoing pandemic, or maybe you just like the idea of it.

Before proceeding with the development process, seriously consider all factors involved. The process could be time expensive, requiring some commitment on your part. Make sure it’s the best idea for your business and not a passing notion.

Ask yourself if your business actually needs one

So you’re sticking to your guns and ready to take the app development process to the next level. Let’s first list a few ways a mobile app benefits a business:

  • Drives direct communication with customers
  • It’s professional looking and builds brand awareness
  • Marks your business out from the competition
  • Increases website and general business visibility

We have a look at these in more detail below.

Direct communication with your customers

Firstly, when you create an app you open up a new line of direct communication with your customers. You’re able to reach them on a much more personal level, allowing them to build further trust in you as a business.

Also, if your app requires the user to register, you can collect these email addresses to add to your email list for further marketing.

It’s professional and builds brand reputation

Having an app looks very professional and allows you to build up your brand reputation. Think about it: how many businesses in your local area have an app? Chances are, very few. As a brand, apps increase awareness of your organisation and its professionalism – two important components of growing a business.

Standing out from your competition

As mentioned, having an app helps you stand out from your competition. This is a very useful tool if you’re in a particularly competitive market. With the addition of a fully-supported and functional app, you’re setting your business up for success.

Increased website and general business awareness

Finally, having an app also increases website and business awareness. More people will discover your business through the app and Google Play store, alongside regular search and advertisements.

Overall, this increases business awareness, allowing more people to find you, enquiring about your product and business services.

What about the cost?

Now that we’ve discussed the benefits, let’s address the cost. Creating an app yourself is extremely challenging, especially if you have no experience in coding or software development. This could take months or even years, a serious time commitment.

Instead, you will likely need to hire a professional coder or software developer. Be aware that there is a shortage of coders, meaning the price of hiring one may be higher than usual. If you can’t afford the development process, you could also raise funds or get a business loan to be repaid later.

Getting your app approved in mobile stores

You can’t upload any app to the Apple App Store or Google Play store. It will need to go through a vetting process, ensuring it’s safe to use and a good app. This process can be lengthy, anywhere from just a few weeks to several months.

Usually, this is the longest part of the process, the development of the app notwithstanding. When submitting to the app store, you may be required to make a few changes to meet their criteria, so it’s worth keeping your developer on hand for this eventuality.

Be patient with the process, it will take time. From initial idea to the ‘go-live’ date, could take months, so ensure you’re fully committed to the idea before committing yourself.

Outsourcing is the logical option

Before creating or outsourcing an app for development, it’s important to first be fully on board with the idea. App development can be a time-consuming process, so be sure to think it through first, weighing up the pros and cons.

Despite this, having an app is an excellent business tool and could be the extra dimension your business needs. It will allow an organisation to stand shoulders above the competition, make it look professional and increase business and brand exposure dramatically.

Even small companies and a charitable organisation have benefitted tremendously from having their own app created for them by the BSPOKE Software developers. We specialise in creating all kinds of custom software, including app development.

If you would like to get in touch with the BSPOKE Software team, click here. To see apps we’ve created for others, click here.