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Could your business benefit from a mobile app?

mobile app photoAs a business owner or IT Professional, how much of your day-to-day business do you now conduct on your Smartphone or Tablet device? 10%? 25%? More?

You might be surprised to learn that research (see the infographic below for the full details) tells us that 75% of employees in small businesses use their smartphones to check email — the lesson here is, make sure your emails (including newsletters and sales messages) are mobile friendly.

But even more interestingly, 27% of small business owners already use business related apps. That’s more than a quarter of SMB’s do business via their smart phone or tablet.

mobile usage for SMEs

Which begs the question, are you making it easy for that growing quarter of the small business community to access your own business via mobile?

Is your web site responsive?

At the minimum, your business web site should utilise a responsive design — an approach to web design aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones).

My own statistics show than 17% of all visitors to this blog do so via a mobile device. Knowing that the experience of browsing a non-responsive site on a small Smartphone or tablet screen isn’t one lent to encouraging the visitor to return, I quickly made sure my web site design was retrofitted to make it responsive. Visitors on mobiles and tablets can now read my articles without being frustrated by having to zoom in and out.

If you’re about to get your business web site refreshed, then ensure the refresh incorporates a responsive design.

Could you business benefit from an App?

But the traditional world wide web is slowly being circumvented by a technology most of us are already familiar with — the mobile app.

Business Insider reports that the web as we know it is being replaced, slowly but surely, by mobile apps.

A responsive mobile friendly web site is good, but if your clients are repeatedly visiting your web site to conduct their business with you, an App might be a better fit for them.

Even if your clients may not directly benefit from a mobile app to do business with you, would your employees benefit from conducting their business more effectively via an app? For instance, how many IT companies are allowing their engineers to log time spent on client sites via a mobile app quickly and easily rather than going via a web interface?

The power of Apps to business is so great that I regularly share my own “Friday Favourite” series of popular blog posts – weekly blogs that typically an App that helps make your business life easier!

Building a mobile app for your business might not be as difficult as you think. Services such as Chupamobile which allow you to create iPhone and iOS apps, even without any coding or skill design using simple templates.

Could you create an app that allows your clients to quickly and easily log support requests with you, or find out information about your business?

If you don’t have an app that does this, consider whether one of your competitors does…

Conclusion

People consume information and do business in the way they find most convenient, and increasingly, small businesses are turning to mobile apps to conduct their business. They find these apps accessible, convenient and quick to use.

Is your business ready to allow your clients to do business with you through mobile devices? Do your staff utilise mobile apps to help them do things more efficiently? If the answer to either of these questions is “no”, then you may find that you’ll slowly but surely fall behind to competitors who are making the most of the new world of apps.

 

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Richard Tubb

I help IT companies grow their businesses in a scalable and sustainable way. My clients are business owners of small to medium sized IT firms. at Tubblog
Why not find out more about how I can help your business. You can also check which events you can find me at or read one of my books.

Comments

  1. Hi Richard,
    Interesting piece. Waracle are mobile app developers, working for many years for clients such as Roche, Imperial College, Ryder Cup, NCR Corp, Virgin, etc … so I’d like to hope we know a little bit about this …

    Yup, all small businesses ought to think about mobile, especially if they’re dependent on Google search and or web. I’d question whether every should think about an app. As you say, the should definitely have a mobile responsive site.

    • Chris – good to hear from you and as somebody with an extensive background in the IT and MSP industry, you certainly know what you’re talking about! Agreed on the fact an App isn’t the best fit for all businesses, but it’s always worth considering!

  2. We have made our website (www.itcservice.co.uk) responsive and compiled it into an app container – a short term, low cost fix for businesses wanting a mobile app to test the water.

    Great article by the way, lovely infographic!

  3. Thanks for this Richard, great article. I really like the infographic!

    Whether an app is right for your business is a really tough question, and one that we’re frequently discussing with our clients at ItsMonkie (article link below). There are definitely opportunities out there on the mobile front, even for small businesses, but often the cost of getting an app developed outweigh the benefits – especially for pure consumer facing apps.

    I definitely think that if its just about internet presence getting a responsive website first is a must for small businesses. Once that is in place then looking at analytics data about number of people visiting on mobile and considering unique characteristics of the mobile platforms might make getting an app made worthwhile.

    For me, the key is all about the unique benefits of the mobile platform – if a mobile app doesn’t offer anything more than a responsive website, then its a pretty tough sell!

    Ref: http://www.itsmonkie.co.uk/developing-app-business-pros-cons/

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