To run a successful business today you need to ensure smooth workflow and great marketing. Building custom mobile apps will help you improve both. Some businesses have embraced this idea so well that they have grown around specialized applications. Uber with their ‘Tap the app, get a ride’ motto is a great example of this. It started with a simple mobile app idea in 2008, and now it’s a successful business that spreads internationally.
If you want your own company to have an edge on the extremely competitive market of today, you definitely need to start developing your own custom mobile apps.
Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Mobile App
Many business owners, especially those who are just starting their career, think that mobile application development is too costly for them. However, look at Bird & Bird, an international law firm. They launch specialized apps regularly and those have already generated over 10,000 downloads. Their applications are used to both connect the lawyers within the company and offer some advice to prospective customers.
Every business, no matter how small, can achieve great results with a good custom app for the following reasons:
- Mobile applications increase customer engagement.
- Apps boost repeat visits, as customers are likely to use the program more than once after download.
- A well-designed application will allow for numerous online transactions.
- This program creates a channel for delivering news, coupons, special offers, etc.
- Your mobile app opens a direct line of communication between the business and the customer.
- Smartphone icons help build up brand recognition.
How to Build Your Own Mobile Business App
Step 1: Research your audience and competition
To make your app successful you need to create a solution that gives your customers what they need, and outshines your competitors to boost. The only way to achieve this is to research, and then dig even deeper until you understand exactly what people want.
Study surveys and consumer reports, look at social media pages, read discussions in forums, download and use your competitors’ apps. Do everything within your power to find out what makes your audience tick.
When you’re done, analyze all the information and set a goal for your app. You can do this by answering these questions:
- What must the solution do?
- How is it going to appeal to users?
- What kinds of problems is it going to solve?
- How will it stand out?
Step 2: Develop a layout wireframe
A wireframe is your storyboard. You can use it to sketch a design of your app idea so that you can have a good approximation of how exactly it’s going to work. Creating a wireframe layout is the first step of the actual development work, so you must invest both time and effort into it.
It’s the basis of your future app, and making sure it’s stable and efficient will reduce the issues at the further development stages.
Step 3: Build on your wireframe and assess the app functionality
Take a close look at your wireframe and Start bringing the ideas to life. You’ll have to do a lot of things, such as delineating your servers, data diagrams, etc. Don’t worry if you know nothing of it as you can find many specialized app building tools that will guide you through the process, such as Appery.io, The AppBuilder, or AppMachine.
Focus on creating the highest level of functionality as a mobile app is only going to get popular if it truly makes people’s lives easier.
Step 4: Test your model
Now is the time to call for reinforcements. Spread your model among your trusted friends and family. ‘Trusted’ in this case means that people who will be brutally honest with you. Don’t fall for empty platitudes as your business success is riding on this solution.
Ask people to write down what they like and dislike exactly. Seek constructive criticism and watch how they use the app so that you can see how easy navigation is.
Step 5: Build the modified app
Take all the input you received as well as your own observations and use them to make your app better. Don’t rush and work out every detail, testing how it performs in the overall framework.
Use a quality building platform to ensure you get the best app possible as bugs are a huge turn off for the users. It’s also the time to set up accounts on Google PlayMarket and AppStore.
Step 6: Design the look
Make sure your own design is different from your competitors lest your customers think you plagiarize them.
Step 7: Test the app again
There isn’t such a thing as ‘too much testing’ for app development. Run your solution through any test you can think of and have your friends help you again.
At this stage, you need to consider both the look and functionality.
Step 8: Make more adjustments
It’s time to make final adjustments based on the latest feedback. Correct and double-check everything to make sure your tinkering didn’t disrupt the system as a whole.
Have a professional go over the app to verify its structure and functionality.
Step 9: Launch the beta version and test it live
Now that your mobile app is 99% done, launch the beta version and see how it works in real life. Android and iOS have different mechanisms for this, but you’ll have to go through both checks if you want your app to reach the maximum number of users.
Use the beta testing option available on the platforms to have real people assess the solution.
Step 10: Release your app
If your beta run is successful, launch the app full force. If not, make corrections and try again.
Remember to launch officially only when you are 100% sure that the solution is perfect. It will reflect on your business’ reputation, so it must be the best.
Build Custom Mobile Apps to Give Your Business a Boost
In the year 2016, mobile devices have already beaten desktop computers in popularity and frequency of use. Not having an app of your own to appeal to the mobile audience means you are well beyond the times.
To bring your business back into the game, you must create a top-quality application, and to do this you need to research your audience and competition. Develop your plan, and then develop an app itself by using specialized software. Test rigorously to remove any bugs and launch your solution when you are confident in its success.
Seek inspiration from companies that have already embraced the mobile app trend and are both developing and using these solutions for their success. Red Robin Gourmet Burgers is a fine example of any customer-oriented developments. They launched their most popular Red Robin Customizer app in 2011 and since that time, they’ve been improving it as well as creating other useful solutions. This led to the increase of their customer base, but the company has also used the power of mobile apps to reduce the staff turnover. To do this, they have an outstanding interactive training app that teaches new employees through games, scavenger hunts, and simulations.
You should also take a look at Chubb Group sales support apps. The company is one of the leading insurance providers, and their customer-oriented solutions generate tens of thousands downloads. Chubb Group knows how to make truly functional apps as they attract people by allowing them to check their policy, make payments, and even file claims using their mobile phones.