Making an app seems like a good investment in a world where majority of the time people use their phones to do everything. Some companies focus on mobile usage, some on websites and some on both. But when is the right time to create an app for your company? What aspects are relevant to understand?
What are your reasons behind making an app?
Because everyone else seems to have an app as well? Because it’s trendy? If those were the first thoughts that popped in your head, maybe it’s time to take a step back and think again. Keeping up with trends and being on track of what your competitors do is important, but not everything works for everyone and not everything is profitable for everyone. Maybe your competitors have succeeded because they have put effort into making their visions and imagination reality and thus lured in users for their originality. So find the reasons why developing an app would be profitable, essential or beneficial for your company. Will it be monetarily beneficial? Will it solve a problem you’ve had for a while now? In the end, if you come up with enough reasons which will benefit your company in its own way and develop it to a better direction, it could be time for an app.
Are there enough resources compared to the profitability?
Improvements are essential for a company to develop and gain more users, but if these improvements are costly and and take a considerably large amount of your company’s resources, you need to make sure that there are enough resources compared to the profitability. How much will it cost you and how much could it benefit you monetarily? How much effort does it take regarding employees compared to the gain on users and the amount of work to keep the already existing actions going? Is it worth the time spent or could that time be spent on improving something that already exists? And remember to assure that it’s not a +- zero benefit; you need to gain more than it costs you. If you already have a website, take into account its profitability and what it profits you. Maybe having a website is good enough and maybe you don’t need an app in the first place.
Are you in a hurry?
If you want your app to come out as professional as it can the first time around, it takes time. Making an app, or anything at all, half-efficiently means you are just wasting resources which you could be using for another purpose. It is better to take the time and effort and make the app as best as it can be and not waste your resources for something made way too quickly and left-handed and then waste resources again when you realize the app needs improvement all the time. Take all your aspects and think them the first time and create something that will not be useless within a week after you release it. Obviously, everything needs improvements from time to time, but these improvements should be extra on top of something already amazing; not something you realize that could’ve easily been there from the beginning, if you had only taken the time to make them happen.
Is an app beneficial for your users?
Now that you’ve taken the time to make sure that creating an app is beneficial for your COMPANY, take a look at your users and target audience. They are the core purpose of your business, right? So is this app going to be beneficial for THEM? Does your company provide services which could be done via an app and thus make the user experience more efficient and better? Or would it make it more difficult? Having a solid user base is rewarding when making changes or improvements, since they are willing to try out new things coming from a company they support. But thus you have to put yourself into their shoes and find out whether an app would make any difference on their user experience. For example, a company which provides services that inquire fast interaction and usage, could benefit from an app which is right there in people’s pockets. But maybe your users are going to benefit more from a big screen and keyboard while using your services. Thus you know your customers will take the time to open the computer and creating an app wouldn’t really make a difference; it would only eat up resources you could use to improve your already existing platform.
If you wish to read a very simple guide on how to start developing your app, check out part 1, 2 and 3 of our How to make an app-series!