Mobile apps are a tool that allows businesses to approach customers through a channel they spend a lot of time in their smartphones.
With the average user spending at least 3 hours a day using his phone, it is fairly obvious why businesses fight to become the go-to app for any given product or service, although the cost of achieving this has to be adequately assessed before jumping on board with launching one.
Whether you are planning on using your company’s own resources or applying to small business loans to develop an app for your business, the following article will provide a glimpse of what you could expect once you get started.
Are apps useful for businesses?
In the United States alone, mobile shopping has grown roughly 70% since 2018 and this trend has been accelerated by the pandemic as people have been forced to shop online while they remain locked down in their homes.
This uptick can be explained by the fact that 90% of the time that people spend using their phones is invested in using apps – instead of making calls or sending SMS.
Meanwhile, in regards to the effectiveness of apps, the food services industry is a good example of how powerful they can be since mobile apps have been a game-changer for the sector with the number of orders exploding by around 130% from 2016 to 2018.
How much does it cost to build an app?
The cost of building an app varies. First, it is important to design how the app will work before you start requesting quotes from different vendors, as your app’s features will likely determine how much you will pay for it.
Some of the elements that may weigh on the cost of an app are:
- The operating systems supported by the app – Android, iOS, etc.
- Do people have to log in to use it or not?
- Will users have a personal profile?
- How payments will be handled.
- Does the app need to connect with back-end software?
Those are some of the things that will likely determine the cost of your app, while most estimates put the cost of a fully functional mobile app going from $25,000 for the most basic to as much as $100,000 for more complex projects.
Yes, it is a sizable amount for most companies. For this reason, businesses take small business loans to invest in these projects, aiming to cover the cost of the project through the extra sales they will bring through it.
Tips to start building an app
If you have already gathered the necessary funds to start investing in a mobile app for your business, the following are a few tips to help you in accomplishing the results you expect:
Due diligence and planning
The first step to develop an app is to research the market to see what others are doing, which are the best practices, and what works the most in your particular industry.
This probably involves hours of reading reports, but it will be time well spent as you will feel more secure when you move to the next stage, which is to pitch your idea to a developer.
Make sure your developer understands the goal of each feature
Now, you will have to hire a developer – whether that is a company, a freelancer, or an in-house full-time developer – who will execute the project based on your blueprint.
Although some of your ideas may not be fully possible without investing sizable amounts of money, your developer should do his best effort to create the closest thing to your ‘ideal’ app.
Small business loans can help in financing the cost of a turn-key project or they can also assist you in covering the operating expenses of hiring a full-time app developer.
Divide the project into separate milestones
By splitting the project into multiple milestones, it will be easier to keep track of how things are going while you will also have the possibility of making modifications before it is too late.
How will you get people to download it?
Once your app is completed, you will have to figure out how you will get people to download it.
One way to accomplish this is to give users a reward for using the app that they wouldn’t get otherwise.
Additionally, you could also include app-only features that force your customers to go ahead and download the app. However, make sure those features are valuable or rewarding enough to persuade the user to include another app to their probably already overcrowded smartphone.
Have you already considered the idea of building an app for your business?
Small business loans can be a great alternative to raise the funds to accomplish such a project and financial technology companies like Camino Financial have facilitated the process of applying for one by allowing business owners to complete all the steps without leaving the comfort of their home or office.