Hundreds of thousand of apps are flooding the App Store every day - do you really think another business app won't be lost in the abyss? Daniel Bramhall helps you decide whether your company needs an app.
These days, everyone is rejoicing at the idea of having a tailor-made app
developed for their business. Apps may have changed the world, but that's by no
means an excuse to go out and have an app developed if your business doesn’t need one.
It’s going to be huge!
Think that your app is going to be next Angry Birds, be downloaded millions of times and become the global topic of conversation? That's a worldwide misconception.
If the words, “This app is going to be a game-changer!” come to mind, then I urge you not
to get an app. You’re getting an app for the wrong reasons.
Maybe your app will indeed have a large appeal - then it's worth a shot. But releasing an app can be tedious, hard work and without the right marketing tools and customer-base or PR resources, it’s going to be hard getting your app off the ground.
If you think that having an app means you’ll be able to keep up with the competition, you’re wrong.
Sure, you’ll be more savvy and interesting, but this does not compensate for building a
good, strong business. If your competitors have apps, do have a look at them - they might not even offer anything bespoke. If the number of reviews on the
App Store is, let’s say, less than ten: it's not worth it.
If your customers expect your business to have an app, then
by all means: go for it. This is the case for a surprising number of businesses. For example, if you’re a technology-oriented company, a large-scale delivery firm or even a coffee shop then an app could be the way forward.
On the other hand, if your business is a sausage stall located on Manchester Market, chances are people don’t expect you to have an app and nor do you need one.
If you think that an app is expected by your customers then it’s important you get it done right. The last thing you want is people thinking less of your company because
your app frustrates them, is buggy and hard to use.
You’re not big enough, sorry
Currently there’s hundreds of thousands of apps on the App Store. Unless your business has an extraordinarily wide reach, it’s unlikely that your app is going to attract too much attention. Sadly, even a great app can sink into the abyss of the App Store.
If your company operates in a specialized field, don’t expect to reach the Top 100 of the App Store anytime soon.
In spite of this, an app can make a wonderful PR tool and you can use it to your advantage. Get in touch with media who write about apps and try to get your app featured. If it does, the number of downloads will likely spike.
If you think that your app is the right thing for your business, then the next aspect you
need to consider is the cost. Designing and developing a custom app can be quite an
investment. Sometimes the risk of paying so much isn’t worth the success that may not even come about once you’ve released it.
At the end of the day, it’s not likely that your app is going to be a game-changer. Nor will it “shake up the industry” (as I’ve heard countless times). However, an app can actually work wonders for a business if it’s useful for your clients.
At the end of the day, all it really takes is some common sense and the known-how of what exactly is required to make an app worth the download.
Daniel Bramhall is a software developer, designer and managing director of software development company Designated Objects.