As business owners, we’re constantly looking for ways to improve our companies and take them to the next level.
There are lots of steps that businesses take to outshine their competitors and achieve their goals, including building an app.
Building an app can definitely be an effective way to build customer loyalty, improve customer experience, and boost your business.
However, apps aren’t for everyone.
If you’ve been on the fence about building an app, keep reading.
This guide breaks down some of the most important questions to ask yourself to decide whether or not this is the right option for your business.
Is My Website Optimized for Mobile?
One of the first questions we recommend asking yourself is whether or not your website is optimized for mobile.
If the answer to this question is “no,” we recommend starting here before you jump into investing in app development.
Making your website mobile-friendly is a much easier and cheaper — but still highly effective — way to reach a larger audience.
Keep in mind, too, that mobile devices are the source of over 60 percent of U.S. website visits.
Even if you don’t have an app yet, you can see great improvements in your website traffic and conversions by creating a mobile-optimized site.
Why Build an App for Your Business?
If your website is already mobile-friendly and you’re thinking about moving on to the next step, pause and ask yourself why you want to build an app in the first place.
In most cases, there are 3 reasons why a business owner might want to build an app:
- Increase sales
- Improve the customer experience
- Stay competitive
All of these are great reasons to consider building an app.
Do any of them seem relevant to you and your business goals?
In addition to helping you decide whether or not building an app is right for you, remember that the answer will also help you determine the type of app you will build.
If you want to increase sales, for example, you’ll likely want to build an app with e-commerce capabilities.
If you want to improve the customer experience, you’ll likely want to build an app that features robust chat features so customers can talk back and forth with your customer service team.
Do My Competitors Have an App?
If your goal is to stay competitive in your specific industry, this is one of the most important questions to ask yourself.
If the answer is “yes,” you need to get to work right away on building an app for your business.
The sooner you can release an app — while still prioritizing quality and user experience, of course — the easier it will be for you to remain relevant and avoid losing your customers to another business in your field.
Even if the answer is “no,” you still may want to begin working on an app.
This will help you to gain an advantage over your competitors and reduce the likelihood that your customers will jump ship and start looking into their products or services.
How Will an App Make My Customers’ Lives Easier?
Another way to ask this question is “What problem (or problems) will my app solve?”
Here’s an example of how an app can make customers’ lives easier:
Imagine a company that builds industrial valves.
There are 3 contacts on this company’s customer side: the buyer, the operator, and the accounting team.
The buyer sends a request for a quote.
Then, the operator emails or calls them to ask about specifications, tracking information, etc.
The accounting team also contacts the operator and buyer to verify information, request more information, and submit payments.
In this case, an app could be a great solution for all 3 contacts.
An app would reduce the number of phone calls and emails that need to be made between the buyer, the operator, and the accounting team because everything would be stored in the app and provide easy access.
This streamlines the manufacturing process and keeps everyone in the loop from start to finish.
How Will I Differentiate My App from Other Apps?
You don’t want your app to be a carbon copy of any of your competitors’ apps, do you?
Not only does this open you up to potential legal drama, but it also won’t create the kind of experience you’re hoping to provide for your customers.
You need to think of how you can separate your app from other apps and give your target audience something different.
If you haven’t already done this, it’s time to start brainstorming.
Sit down with your team and make a list of special features your app can offer that will make it more appealing and help you stand out now and in the future.
How Much Will it Cost to Build an App?
Depending on whether you decide to develop a mobile or desktop app, you should expect to invest long term.
Building an app can cost anywhere from $25,000 to well into the six-figure range.
In general, the more features and complexity, the higher the final price will be.
Are you feeling a little intimidated by those prices?
The good news is that you don’t always have to pay that amount upfront.
Many agencies and developers, including us, offer financing options to help make the cost of app creation more manageable.
Keep in mind, too, that it can be worth it to invest more money upfront in exchange for a high-performing app.
In the world of app development — as is the case with most things — you get what you pay for.
Spending more money now can help you to avoid problems that might be more expensive to fix in the future.
After answering these questions, are you leaning toward creating an app for your business?
If so, below are some essential design tips to keep in mind.
Essential App Design Tips to Get You Started
Keep the Design Simple
In general, the best apps are the ones with the simplest, most streamlined design.
It doesn’t matter if you’re creating an e-commerce app, a productivity management app, or anything in between.
Your app should feature a simple, minimalist, non-distracting design.
A few ways to accomplish this include:
- Eliminate unnecessary images, icons, videos, etc. to keep the app clutter-free
- Limit actions to just 1-2 per screen
- Use clear headlines and limited text
Be sure to use colors and fonts that align with your other marketing and branding materials.
This prevents confusion and helps to build brand awareness.
Watch our video below: 3 UX Design Principles for Website & App Design
✔️ Prioritize Readability
On a similar note, make sure the content on your app is easily readable.
Use large fonts so people don’t have to squint to read what you have to say.
Use lots of white space between paragraphs, too, so people aren’t daunted by big paragraphs.
✔️ Make It Accessible
Accessibility in app design is essential in this time and age.
Keep users with various abilities in mind — hearing impairments, vision difficulties, etc. — so you don’t accidentally alienate potential users.
✔️ Work with an Expert
Don’t be afraid to work with an expert to design a high-quality app.
Can you do it yourself with a drag-and-drop app design tool?
This option requires a lot of work on your part, though, and you might not be able to get the kind of high-powered, high-performing finished product you’re looking for.
You might also have to spend more later to update your app and improve its functionality as your business grows.
Partnering with a professional helps you to ensure your app works properly, helps you to achieve your specific goals, and features a UX design (user experience design) that solves your target customer’s problems and pain points.
Watch Our Video Below: 5 UX Design Principles for Mobile App Design
In this blog we answered these questions on why you should build an app for your business:
- Why Build an App for Your Business?
- Do My Competitors Have an App?
- How Will an App Make My Customers’ Lives Easier?
- How Will I Differentiate My App from Other Apps?
- How Much Will Cost to Build an App?
- Plus, Essential App Design Tips to Get You Started!
Comment below any additional questions! We’ll update this blog post with the answer 😊
But wait, we have a question for you!
Now that you know more about the benefits of app creation and how it can help your business, are you ready to move forward and start working on app development?
No matter what your answer is to these questions, we can help at Boral Agency.
If you want to move forward with designing an app, contact us today for help getting started.
If you’re still on the fence, you can set up a meeting with one of our marketing specialists.
We will ask you some more questions and help you make the decision that’s right for your business, your customers, and your long-term goals.