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When is a mobile app right for your business?

It seems like every business has a mobile app these days, so the temptation to develop your own app makes sense. If your new app gains popularity and develops a solid user base, it can bring a lot of value to your business.

How do you decide if building a mobile app is right for your business? Here are four basic questions to ask before you jump in:

Will your app solve a customer problem?

Find a compelling reason to make your app different from your mobile-optimized website. If your app doesn’t offer additional functionality or unique features, you will struggle to maintain regular users. Instead, think of the pain points your customers face. How can your app resolve them? Utilizing the unique functions of mobile devices, like the camera or accelerometer, is a great place to start.

Do you have a budget for development AND updates?

Building an app isn’t cheap. A sophisticated, feature-heavy app requiring a back-end database and operating on multiple platforms (iOS, Android and even web) can easily cost up to six figures. Maybe you don’t need a lot of features? It’s still expensive. Another factor that impacts cost is who you go with to build your app. From freelance developers to large app companies, each comes with its own risks and rewards.

The work doesn’t end once your app goes live in the app store. Before your app even launches, you should plan your first two updates. This includes allocating a budget for updates too.

Do you have 4-6 months to spare?

A quality, well-produced app usually takes 4-6 months to create. Defining your app’s functionality and testing are two of the most important steps and can sometimes take the longest. Be aware of app scope creep. More is not always better.

Other important steps include planning, UX, design, development and app store submission. Working with an experienced app development team can often make or break your timeline.

Will you treat your app like a business?

Your app is more than just an app. Just like any business, it requires branding, strategy, marketing, customer support and analytics. It’s important to not lose focus on your users. Read app store reviews, gather feedback from groups of beta testers and look at hard data. It’s a great way to refine and add new features your users will actually use.

The attention and thought you give to answering these questions can determine your app’s success. If you answered yes to most of these questions, then it’s probably time to contact our sister company, Workhorse Development.

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