Most Business Owners don’t realize how much un-tapped potential lies within the marketing power of a mobile app. Some proverbially scratch their heads asking, “What would an app do for my business?”

If you’ve stumbled across this article, you might be one of those business owners who is trying to decide if an app is the right choice. Honestly answer the questions below to help you gain clarity on the subject of mobile apps and answer that question, “to app or not to app?” 

The truth is that a mobile app will work well for most businesses, but some may not see as big of an impact as others. If you’re one of those businesses that the results could go either way, there are some ultra creative ways that we’re seeing businesses use apps in order to keep a competitive edge.

Here are the questions to help you make a sound decision about a mobile app: 

1) Would you benefit from reaching your customers 24/7?

Pretty easy question, right? Our customers are just as busy as we are. Some of them are business owners too or they work long hours at their jobs. Sometimes the only time to connect, research or shop with a business is sitting on the sidelines of a soccer game or cheerleading practice, late at night when everyone else has gone to sleep or at the crack of dawn when they have to let the dog outside. Mobile apps bring your business to your customers any time they are ready to interact, engage, make a reservation, schedule an appointment or make a purchase.

2)  Can you provide an enthusiastic, information and efficient mobile experience around your brand or business?

You may need to a read a few of the other articles on this blog before answering this one. An app provides you with great ways to be creative with promotions, coupons, rewards points, punch cards, videos (even if they’re not your own), forms (personal chef/ personal shopper, contests and review just to name a few). A good Small Business App Developer is a great person to ask for some creative ideas. These guys come up with ideas that you might never have thought of.

3)  How will your business benefit from your mobile app?

Before answering ask yourself, “What is the end result I want my app to do:

…make more sales at my place of business or on-line stores?

…create goodwill?

…information source?

…generate leads for my sales team by creating a community?

Once you know what you want your app to do, you can quantify the benefits.

4) What’s in it for me?

The answer to question number four will be found by asking yourself:

“If I could earn more money through my mobile app, what would that mean to my business?”

“If I can reach a new set of customers, what would that mean to my business?”

“If I can showcase new products and services what would that mean to my business?”

5) What’s in it for my customers?

Ask yourself:

“Am I making it easier to do business with me?”

“Am I making it more fun or a more enjoyable experience to do business with me?”

“Will they feel like they are getting a VIP experience?”

In 1994, there were fewer than 3,000 websites live on the internet. In 2014 that number surpassed 1 billion!

In July 2008 there were 800 apps on the App Store and as of 1.5 million apps.

Mobile Apps today are where Websites were 20 years ago and where Facebook was 10 years ago… in their infancy. Just like you can Google search a website or products, I think in the near future you will be able to do the same kind of searches in the App Store. You used to only be able to search an app by its full and proper name but now Apple is changing the criteria for how we search for apps, making them easier and more accessible.

This brings me to the final question to ask yourself:

6) What will I lose by not having an app?

Will you lose anything? Competitive advantage? Growth potential? Sales and customers to your competition? Nothing at all?

I’ve personally never met a business owner who has regretted building a mobile app. I’m sure they are out there, and its mostly likely because their app was created by an app developer who didn’t ask the question, “how can your business benefit from this app?” When you build an app based around that question, the business owner will win and win and win and have an incredible experience “growing mobile.”

Colleen is co-founder of Brandgarden Mobile Solutions.

Colleen is Co-Founder of DIY Mobile Apps and Mobile Solutions. She’s an Entrepreneur, Writer, Speaker, Trainer and Napoleon Hill Instructor. She lives in Charlotte, NC and enjoys Bikram yoga, wine and a great cup of coffee. Follow her #Coffeetalk on Instagram @AppGirlontheGo

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