In today’s highly competitive and increasingly tech-savvy world, finding ways to succeed and stand out from the crowds of start-ups and other small businesses is not easy. For many companies, whatever their size, creating customized internal applications for smartphones, tablets and touch-screen computers to enable improved communication and collaboration between employees, along with apps designed for better customer service and access, has become a necessity. Not only can a well-made app increase sales and client retention, it should also achieve this while keeping costs to a minimum.
Types of business apps
Business apps may be geared toward either internal or external use. Internal apps include analytics, which compile reports and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to help with individual and team management; collaboration, assisting employees to communicate with each other and the office; integration tools, which facilitate using third-party programs, and personal productivity, geared toward helping the user improve their efficiency. Internal apps are usually directly connected to the business itself and are installed on office computers and devices.
External apps are geared toward increasing the company’s sales and expanding its client base. These types of apps are available for customers to download and use at will. External apps typically include features to assist customers in accessing their accounts, making purchases and submitting payments from anywhere; they also include apps that enhance the customer service experience, including tracking reward points, displaying transaction history and providing interactive maps and store locations. One of the most visible external business apps allows customers to scan UPC or QR codes on products.
Creating a custom business app
For many, creating a custom business app begins by contacting an external development house. Even for businesses with tight budgets, employing a firm such as Worry Free Labs services is a good idea. Thrifty small business owners and entrepreneurs with a do-it-yourself impulse may want to explore building an app for themselves.
Regardless of whether an outside firm is employed or the IT department steps in or it is a solo project, building a custom app requires going through a regular set of steps in order to produce a usable and successful app. Step one is to plan the app carefully, outlining what the goals and objectives are. The plan needs to include what types of resources are available for the project and how they can be allocated; the app’s functions and unique attributes and a timeline for the completion and rollout of the new app. During the next phases, the app is built and assembled from computer code, tested and debugged. The final phase involves having customers access the app, test it out and finally carry out any modifications or fixes that may be required.
Characteristics of a successful business app
When building a successful business app there are certain elements that are essential to the process.
Firstly, when developing a mobile business app it is important to use the skills and knowledge of a professional app developer. This specialist may be part of a professional firm that specializes in app development or he or she could be an individual hired by the company; this is probably the best option if a number of apps will need to be developed. Having someone skilled in charge of creating these new applications; an individual who has detailed knowledge of a variety of operating systems, is well versed in different programming languages and who understands the latest web-based technologies and practices, will produce the best quality product possible.
Before starting the development process, it is important to ensure that sufficient funding has been made available for the entire process, from beginning to end. Being unable to complete the project from the beginning or running out of cash when the app is half-built can prove disastrous for all concerned, leaving customers disappointed and potentially ruining the credibility and entire future of the business. The message is to be sure to plan carefully.
Take time to be certain that the content to be provided is worth the customer downloading it. An app is only as good as the volume of its usage; if customers are satisfied by a steady stream of special offers, discount deals, information and other positive reasons to visit the app, then it can be viewed as successful.
Whether a business chooses to seek outside help during planning and construction or simply decides to go ahead and build it, creating a successful business app involves following a process, keeping in mind the unique needs of the company and its target customers. The result will be an essential tool that will enable any company, whatever its size, to be competitive and to stand out in a highly competitive global economy.