Can the Small Business Owners Benefit from a Mobile App?

There is an App for that

And the same applies to business. App development has come a long way and has become an integral part of a variety of businesses big or small. Unfortunately, this particular marketing medium still goes untapped more often than not. While some corporations have become aware of the importance and potential of mobile marketing, many are still in the dark. However, app development has helped businesses that utilize it. Here is how it can benefit you as well –

Embrace the Mobile Age

People are dependent on mobile technology more now than ever before. Everything from ordering food to making dinner and ticket reservations can be done with a few taps on a Smartphone. This is because the businesses of today realize that while optimizing websites for mobile does give them a competitive edge it is mobile apps that allow them to connect with their target audience on a more personal level.

Let’s explain this with an example. A pizza joint is looking to grow its customer base. However, they weren’t getting many customers during the day. That was before it decided to launch an app that allowed its customers to order and customize their orders on their Smartphones. In time, the pizzeria started getting more calls for lunch orders during the afternoon. Most of their clients were busy professionals who couldn’t eat out because of busy schedules and chose to order instead.

That is what the owner of The Gentleman’s Barber Michael Rechichi did. He realized that his clients would prefer an easier booking process. This prompted him to create an app that utilized push notifications and mobile booking to draw in customers. The initiative paid off. In fact, the idea worked so well that is clientele grew enough to allow Michael to hire new staff members and expand his business. “We have customers who download the app before they’ve even stepped foot in the shop, and push notifications bring them in,” says Michael.

What is the lesson here? The main purpose of marketing resources such as apps is to bring target audiences value. 

Provide a Productive and Fun Mobile Experience

You might be inclined to say no if the word “fun” doesn’t exactly come to mind when you think about your business. However, it is important to keep customer preferences in mind. You can still create an app that features fun social elements that may appeal to your customers even if all your business specializes in are sales. For example, it can have games that allow customers to win fabulous discounts or free gifts.

Will an app benefit my business? Is it worth spending the limited resources I have on an application that might or might not improve my ROI? These are only some of the questions that an owner of a small business asks himself. Remember, the key to app development is to draw people in by providing them with value. Creating apps that have fun elements and using the variety of features that go into app development will make people take notice. Give the prospect some thought before you dismiss the idea.

Why your Business Needs MVP

It’s the same old story; you have a product that you want to sell. You know that there are going to be takers. After all, field tests do not lie. So you do what makes sense in this day and age; you take your product to World Wide Web. But how do you market it? The businesses of today use MVPs.

What is an MVP?

MVP or Minimum Viable Product is a term in web development. It basically defines a process in which new products or websites are developed according to specific features that will attract early adopters.

The term itself was coined by startup consultant and writer, Eric Ries who defines it as “…a version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.”

In other words, an MVP is an elementary version of a product.

In order for an MVP to have any affect at all, it must have at least three basic characteristics –

  1. It has enough value to attract buyers or users
  2. It has enough potential to retain early adopters
  3. It has a feedback loop that provides data for future development

Of course, you also need to ensure that your product gains the feedback you need to guide development.

The Benefits

Starting a new service or promoting a new product as an MVP has its benefits –

Less is More

While you may be tempted to perfect your first product from the get go, the decision may come back to bite you especially since you don’t know how it will be received by your target audience. You aren’t alone. Most new businesses tend to overbuild new releases in a bid to outrun the competition. This is often accompanied by a fear; a fear that underbuilding might set the product up for failure.

But can such a product guarantee its success? The beauty of an MVP is that it actually improves its chances of success. Here is how –

  • It doesn’t need to be reworked as much
  • It allows you to focus on core value propositions and efficiencies
  • It brings focus to critical business functions
  • It allows you to create relationships with customers immediately

Example

Let’s explain the concept with an example. Let’s say that your pizzeria just started a home delivery service. You decide to design an app that has basic functions and allows users to place their orders online. You get in touch with them once they select their choice and provide their contact information. Keep in mind; you still don’t know how successful your idea will be until you test it out. If your customers are happy with the app, you can add some more features that will make it even more valuable for paying customers.

By allowing you to create relationships with early adopters sooner, a Minimum Viable Product makes it possible for you to authenticate your value propositions early as well. Testing basic functions before you scale ensures that the weakest are improved and that any feature that you add in the future works perfectly for your target audience.