If you have made a decision to have a mobile app developed for your small business, you probably don’t plan on engineering it yourself. Instead, you will be turning to a professional software development service provider to get the job done.
But even if you are not taking care of the technical side of things directly, the functionality and ultimate success will be down to you.
Your software developer should be able to provide solutions and suggest ideas to enhance what you are trying to achieve, but nobody knows your business or your target audience better than you do.
So with this in mind, here is a quick introduction to a few of the most important rules to follow when it comes to putting your first small business mobile app into development:
1. Have A Clear goal
First and foremost, you cannot expect your mobile app to perform to it’s maximum potential without first establishing what it is you wanted to do. In some instances, small businesses create mobile apps simply to entertain and engage their customers.
In other cases, mobile apps exist exclusively for the purpose of maximising sales. A mobile app can provide a wide variety of functions and any number of things combined, but you need to know exactly what you expect to get out of it before even thinking about putting a plan into action.
2. Know Your app’s audience
You’ll also need a comprehensive understanding of your target audience, in order to ensure that the mobile app created is as effective as it can be. This means carrying out as much research and analysis as necessary to find out how your audience interact with their mobile devices and what types of device they show preference to. This isn’t an easy or a quick job but it is of the utmost importance.
3. Keep your development simple
Simplicity is important for two reasons – the first of which being that mobile devices do not always have a great deal of power to work with. The more complicated your app, the more memory and battery life are required to power the processes. This is especially significant with lower-end devices. In addition, the average consumer is all about speed and efficiency when it comes to their mobile devices. As such, whatever it is your app is created to do, it should do it as quickly and simply as possible without unnecessary fuss.
4. Developing for iOS and android platforms
You will need to decide exactly which devices and platforms your mobile app will target specifically as there are enormous differences from one to the next. For example, it’s all well and good creating an app that delivers an outstanding user experience for iOS users with large-screen iPads, but what about the tens of millions of consumers with Android devices? The simple fact of the matter is the more devices and platforms your application supports, the better.
5. Unique app elements
Assuming your business already operates to an extent online, you need to give your target audience members some kind of reason or motivation to use your mobile app. After all, if the app doesn’t do anything different to your standard website, chances are they won’t bother. You could do something different with the user experience, perhaps introduce an exclusive special offer or really anything else that brings something unique to the table. To put it another way, your mobile app has to exist for a reason, not just for the sake of it.
6. Extensive app testing
It is of critical importance not to release a mobile app before testing it extensively and ensuring that 100% of bugs and faults are ironed out. This is particularly important if this happens to be your first mobile app. First impressions need to be excellent, and bugs and errors can reflect badly on your business. This also ties in with point 3 above, as simpler development processes can keep testing time to a minimum.
7. Monitor your app interactions
Last but not least, a mobile app launch is much like a website in that it represents only the first step in an on-going process.
From the very first day, it is of crucial importance to carefully monitor and analyse everything in terms of audience interactions, conversions and user behaviour. By doing so, you will discover exactly where to make improvements and refinements to make sure that every bit of your mobile app is as effective as it can possibly be. Even if this requires the help of a conversion expert, it is a good investment and one that must be considered in your app’s on-going improvement.