Take a look at your phone for a minute. You may be reading this on it, for all I know, but if you’re not, just pick it up and have a look at your apps. And then consider what life was like before you had them.
One word: convenience. That’s what apps bring you. The ability to do things, check things out and find things out without moving anything but your fingers and/or thumbs. You’ve probably got a few that you don’t use anymore and it’s a good idea to have a purge every now and then, just to save space.
I’ve got one that acts like a spirit level, so if you’re putting something up at home that needs to be straight, your phone can tell you what is and isn’t level. Quite honestly I can’t remember why I got this one in the first place, but I just like having it there.
Apps are the electronic equivalent of a Swiss Army knife: you only think about them when you need them, but they’re always there. Wouldn’t it be cool if your startup was like that for your customers? Well, of course, it can be because you can build your own app. Existing customers can have access to it at all times and you can make potential customers aware of it and maybe tempt them to get it, just in case.
And here are five reasons why your business should have one.
1. You Can Help Your Customers
That’s right: I’m not talking about helping yourself primarily. That comes as a by-product of helping your customers. Every really successful business got where it is not through clever marketing but by giving people what they want and what they need, even if sometimes they didn’t actually know they needed it. That’s as true for a technology lawyer as it is for a graphic designer or any kind of innovation manager: we have to give people value for money. And you can tell when a business is only in it for the money as opposed to offering you the benefit of their expertise.
This is the sort of honest business tip that sometimes gets overlooked, and just because apps are closely linked with marketing, that doesn’t mean they can’t be genuinely useful.
2. You Get Close To Your Customers
If you’re on their phone, you’re at their disposal 24/7 and even when they don’t need you they are reminded of you when they scroll through their apps to find something else. So this is a sort of marketing, and it’s not a trick, but a fact of life.
3. You Can Stay In Touch With Your Customers
Send them notifications of stuff that might be useful to them. Don’t bombard them with garbage or they’ll turn off push notifications, but when you’re part of their infrastructure because you’re on their mobile device, you can let them know about special offers, new services, new developments and so on.
4. You Can Stay Ahead Of The Competition
If there are other companies making your little sector of the economy feel a bit crowded, you need to do everything you can to keep in front. So, because apps are so important, you’d better have one – and a good one. If you don’t and somebody else does, that puts you in the shade, and nobody wants that.
5. Why Not?
Not having your own app is like not having a phone or a car. They exist, they’re not all that expensive and because they are part of life in the 21st century, you’re a dinosaur if you don’t take advantage and get into the app store. There was a time, not so long ago, when people got all excited about having their own website, but technology moves so fast that now the world and his wife have got one and we’ve moved on. And sure, your website is still important, but there are differences between the platforms you put your material on, so you need to make sure the user experience on their mobile device is top notch.
As a business person in the early stages of a new venture, you’re probably pretty clued up if you’re browsing a site like this. Nevertheless, it’s great to read additional general advice on mobile apps, who knows, you might learn something new.