Small Businesses Investing in Mobile Applications
When determining if a mobile application (Apple or Android) is a good fit for your business, it’s important to understand why businesses invest in mobile applications in the first place. The general perception is that all business apps are designed to interact with consumers, however that’s just half of the equation when it comes to the possibilities of a business investing in a mobile application.
A key area many businesses overlook or just don’t realize they can fix is automating internal business processes. Millions of dollars are lost every year due to operational inefficiencies. Mobile applications enable businesses to streamline activities that are time consuming to employee’s and error prone to the business.
For example let’s take a plumbing company that has been in business for 20 years. Chances are they are still operating many of their processes by hand with pen and paper.
By doing a simple evaluation of their current business processes they would discover that many tasks can be streamlined with a single mobile application.
- Improved estimating processes
- Improved invoicing processes
- Improved inventory tracking processes
- Real-time employee updates
- Employee status via GPS
Every business has unique business needs and building a mobile app that fit those needs can pay big dividends for your overall bottom line in the future. The question becomes do you want to pay now to improve your business or pay a lot more later by ignoring the problem. One thing is certain, mobile technology is the way of the future for improving business processes and it’s just a matter of time before you will need to adapt to them to compete with your competition.
The second major area businesses are investing in mobile technology is customer convenience via phone apps. This is the area most people think about when you bring up the topic of mobile applications. Customers can quickly and easily download a businesses app to their smart phone. As a business, you’ll need to decide if this is a good strategy for your business model. The number one aspect of adopting a mobile application for your business is adapting to your customers needs. About 70 percent of your customers will have a smart phone. If you can build a convenience factor with a mobile application you can instantly create higher repeat business volume.
Here are just a few ways businesses are using mobile apps to build convenience for customers.
- Customer ordering processes for restaurants
- Customer proposal submissions
- Appointment and reservation confirmations
- Customer engagement through deals and updates
There are also many hidden benefits of having a customer convenience app for your business model.
- Easily track customer behavior and engagements with the use of analytic
- Offer targeted deals to customers to increase sales
- Build customer loyalty with a points system for returning customers
- Request customers for feedback faster
- Building your brand awareness
- Keeping up with your competition
Building a mobile application for your customers comes down to two things, convenience and building value for both your business and your customers. As the use of mobile technology for consumers is on the rise, businesses need to assess if there is a need for their customer, can an app help grow the business, and will this help keep up with the competition.