Apps are big business. In 2016, Apple’s App Store alone topped $28 billion in revenue for developers across the globe. It makes sense, then, that as a small business, you might want to get in on the act. Even if you don’t want to create an app for the sake of making money from its sale, apps are a great way to market businesses of all kinds, making app development a worthwhile use of funds.
Unfortunately, creating an app for your small business can be pretty challenging, with lots of pitfalls along the way. If you want to avoid those pitfalls, check out these tips for better small business app development:
Be Clear on What You Want
First of all, if you want your small business app to be a success, you need to know exactly what it is you want your app to look like and what you want it to achieve. If you aren’t clear on this, it is going to be almost impossible to create anything useful. So, work out if you want your app to include voice commands, whether you want it to be shareable if it needs to know the user’s’ location etc.to ensure the end product is something you can get behind.
Talk to the Developer
If you’re outsourcing the project, and in most cases, this is probably the best way to go about things, it’s important that you talk to the developer about your app in detail, so you can be confident that you’re both on the same page. It’s also a good idea to check out previous examples of his or her work so that you can be confident your developer is a good fit.
Set a Deadline
If you don’t want the creation of your app to drag on and go way over budget, it’s important that you set your developer/team a fixed deadline with lots of little milestones along the way, and that you play an active role in monitoring and enforcing this.
Invest in the Right Tools
If your app is being developed in-house, you will have to ensure that your development team have all of the right tools to make the project a success and get things done on time. If you read What is Java Garbage Collection? How It Works, Best Practices, Tutorials, and More, for example, you will see that this is a great tool that frees up memory and makes it a lot simpler/efficient to create a light, functional app that the market will love. Reading 9 Tools for Building Your Own Mobile App will give you, even more, insight into the process and what is needed to make it a success. With the right tools, anything is possible, so don’t skimp on this aspect of the process.
Review Apple’s Submission Guides
When the app has been created, you will need to take a look at each app store you’re submitting to’s submission guidelines, reviewing your app to ensure that it meets the criteria without missing out any important stipulations like minimum size requirements, for example.
If your app doesn’t meet the requirements, you will need to get back to your developer/team and have them make changes, or you will not be able to put it up for sale/download, and all of your efforts will have been for nought.
Promoting Your Small Business App
Once that’s sorted, it’s time to think about App store optimization to ensure that your apps rank highly in the app stores and get downloaded by lots of people. This is perhaps the hardest part of the process, but it is not an insurmountable challenge.
In order to sell your app, it needs to be easily found through searches, and this can be achieved by using the kinds of search terms that your target audience are likely to use to find the kind of app you’re offering. A good digital marketing or SEO expert should be able to help you with this, but if you know your brand (and who’s likely to know it better than you?), it shouldn’t be too difficult to work out which keywords will attract the right kinds of people.
As a minimum, your app store entry should include a catchy title with the 2-3 most relevant keywords included, and it should be accessible via a link on your website. The description should also feature one or two good long-tail keywords and persuasive language to encourage downloads.
In summary, if you want to create a successful small business app, you need to know the basics of app development, hire the right people with the right tools and make use of the best SEO practices. If you do this, your app could be one of the biggest boons to your business this year.