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Should I get an app for my small business?

phone-1601Every once and a while, someone will ask me if I can build them an app. Depending on how complicated the app is, this is something I can do; however, it’s not always a good idea.

In order to decide if it makes sense for you to get an app for your small business, it’s a good idea to consider the following questions.

What extra value will this app provide to the end user?

As a business owner, it’s appealing to have your app installed on your customer’s phone. The real question, however, is “Why would someone install the app?” Many of the most basic and affordable apps, to create, provide little or no more value than a mobile website.

Do you have the kind of business that is a natural fit for an app?

If you are running a restaurant, you could use an app for things like notifications of specials and a virtual punch card. If you are a plumber, it’s much more difficult to find those things that make your app useful. (See the previous question).

Is this a good use of your money?

It’s uncommon to spend less than $1200 on an app; even the inexpensive ones are regularly more than $2500. If you have a brilliant idea for a custom app, it might even cost 10’s of thousands of dollars or more. Considering the other, more cost effective, ways of accomplishing the same things, an app is mostly a poor investment for a small business.

This is just a quick post because the questions came up again recently. What are your thoughts on it? Do you still have questions or are unsure? Please let me know. I’m happy to update this with further information.