If you’re a small business owner, you’re likely already feeling burdened by the day-to-day operations of not just keeping yourself afloat, but also thriving and growing. It’s difficult to be a small business or startup and even more so when you’re focused on your digital strategy.
A lot of startups and small businesses put all of their attention on things like creating their website and either driving traffic to their brick-and-mortar location, getting more traffic to a website or both.
There’s not a lot of time left over for everything else, but there’s something essential small businesses should think about for the new year, and that’s developing a mobile app.
It can seem like an unfamiliar idea to most small businesses when they think about having their own app, and it can feel overwhelming even for tech-savvy startups, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
First and foremost, as a startup or small business, understanding why you need a mobile app can go a long way toward giving you the encouragement you need to get started.
The following are some of the biggest reasons that in addition to doing things like having a digital strategy and driving organic traffic to your website, you should also make developing an app a resolution in 2018.
First, if you’re a brick and mortar startup or local small business, you may think a mobile app has no value for you, but it does.
Mobile apps are great for geo-targeting, so essentially what you can do is target potential customers and users of your app with messages that are specific to their location.
It’s not difficult to work with a developer to include geolocation technology into an app, and just as an example, if you have a storefront you can send out messages to customers that are nearby with special, limited-time offers.
This is excellent for segmenting and very specifically targeting your audience.
You can also use a combination of geo-targeting and SMS messaging to reach customers who are near your location immediately.
People Are Always on Their Smartphone
This is one of the simplest and most straightforward reasons any new or established small business needs a mobile app: people are always using their smartphones.
Almost the entirety of the time people are spending on their devices is dedicated to app usage. People use their phones more than they do pretty much anything else, including watching TV, so if you’re not targeting them where they’re at, you’re missing out.
What an app delivers to any business, regardless of how long they’ve been around or their size, is a direct marketing channel straight to the customer. Along with geo-targeting, touched on above, there is a myriad of other ways to reach customers in interesting and useful ways.
This includes things like directly releasing information about news or upcoming offers, as well as push notifications.
It’s Not Expensive to Develop an App
Many startups and small businesses are working on a shoestring budget, so they have the idea that developing an app just isn’t within their price range.
However, that doesn’t necessarily have to be true. Companies are offering different app development packages that are very affordable and give businesses even with tight budgets the opportunity to reach customers in this effective, convenient way.
An app with bugs can spell disaster for any business, so most development services also offer regular maintenance and bug testing, or you can use a third-party provider that does just that quickly and inexpensively.
You Can Learn More About Your Customers
It’s not just the app usage itself or the way it serves as a direct route to customers that’s important.
It also delivers small businesses unique ways to gain insight into their customers that can be used for future marketing and planning.
It gives you ways to identify new business opportunities so that you can meet the needs and preferences of your customers.
Once you have the information that can be derived from an app, you can segment your audience in highly specific ways and improve your ROI on all of your marketing campaigns and tactics.
Finally, if you invest in a mobile app for your startup or small business, you are putting your brand and your name in front of your customers at all times. It doesn’t even necessarily have to mean that your customers are using the app all the time, but that they see you right there on the screens of their smartphones.
That makes your business feel more familiar and more accessible to them, which is important for engagement and loyalty.