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The Ultimate Guide to Building Mobile Apps for Small Business Owners

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Mobile apps are one of the best marketing strategies to engage customers.

In a study conducted by App Annie, a global provider of mobile data and analytics, global consumers spend 4.2 hours per day using apps. But Aussies spend more time at an average of 5.5 hours per day, according to a survey conducted by reviews.org.

These statistics clearly demonstrate that having a mobile app for your business is one of the best strategies to engage with customers, encourage customer loyalty and improve customer retention.

Close to half (42%) of global SMB’s and SME’s worldwide now have a mobile application, and 30% plan to create one in the near future, but most don’t know where to start. In this blog post, you’ll learn that you don’t have to be an IT expert or a web developer to build your own app.


So, where do you start? Here’s your ultimate guide to building your own app to drive outstanding customer experience, team performance, cost efficiencies and profitability.


The 5 stages in mobile app development

The Themes

The first thing you need to decide on is what the app will actually be about. This includes the type of application you want to build, the audience it will serve, and what the app’s functions will be.

Many business owners who don’t have an app fall into the trap of putting all their attention and resources on building an app that will draw in new customers. But this isn’t always the best approach. Getting new customers is just the secondary outcome of having a powerful, high-performing, user-friendly app.

Instead, consider building an app that will provide value, solve a problem and make it easier for your customers to complete tasks, such as, ordering products, scheduling appointments, checking out and filing invoices.

Remember, there’s no point in building an app that doesn’t let users carry out tasks effectively and efficiently. It is essential that you understand what your target market will expect from your app. After all, you need to create the app that your customers are most likely to use. 

The Features

Consider what kind of features your mobile app will have because these will impact its usefulness and usability. Knowing the fundamental features that people desire and expect will help you start correctly. You must have an intended purpose for how your app would make life better for your customer.

If you’re having a hard time thinking of a purpose, start with your customer’s top pain point, and think of a feature that will solve it. Sometimes, having one feature that solves the biggest pain point is better than having many.

If you incorporate too many features, your customers might be confused about the main goal of your app and how it fits into their lives. What’s worse is you might be just complicating and disorganizing your user flow with a ton of features that will not even be usable in the end. Find that one most important feature and add more depending on your customer’s needs. Here are a few secondary features that might be helpful for your app:

  • Push notifications
  • Feedback form
  • Search feature
  • Share to social media
  • Mobile payment

The Platforms

There are some significant questions you need to ask yourself before creating your own mobile app. Are you planning on creating your app on Apple or Android? Do you need a native app, a hybrid app or a webapp? The answer depends on your target audience.

You have to consider what kind of device and app your target audience is most likely to use. Whatever kind of customer profile you come up with, we highly recommend that you consult with an expert app developer at this stage since you would require technical expertise to proceed efficiently.

Web and app development agencies, like LemonApp, will ensure that your app is built on the best kind of platforms, based on your customer profile. Be one step ahead of your competitors by consulting with experts and professionals who are better-equipped and know the industry inside-out.

Here are some questions that agencies are likely to ask before building your app – What is the main purpose of your app? Who are your target customers? What is your timeline in building an app? What is the most crucial function that you want your app to have? How much is your budget?

Once you have the answers to these questions, it’s time to create a business plan for your app. You need to find a problem you can solve and create an app that solves it.

Development

As we said, you don’t have to be an IT expert or app developer for you to build your own app.

Your best bet in building an app from scratch is to either use app development platforms or hire a professional team of developers to custom build your app. We recommend the latter. However, there are some criteria you have to consider when opting for a developer.

Here’s a quick guide on how to choose the right app developer:

The most important aspects you have to consider in choosing a developer are transparency and communication, which are both integral to LemonApp’s best practices.

We guide our clients from start to end through our AGILE approach, meaning, we stay transparent with the progress, provide regular updates, and embrace the changes our clients may have in design sprints and meetings, ensuring that we create the best app envisioned by them.

In contrast, app development platforms often just provide limited functionalities and features, app design, and support.

Here’s what our app development process looks like:

  • Evaluation
  • UI UX Design
  • Coding
  • Q/A
  • Testing
  • Delivery

Marketing the App

When the app has passed the final testing and QA phase, it’s now ready to be released and registered in app stores like Apple AppStore and Google PlayStore!

If it’s for mass consumption, then you are going to have to do a lot of marketing since your new app will be the only one for your business. If it’s for your company’s usage only, then you may release a memo to your company, or hold a meeting with the desired app users.

When it comes to marketing, you need to ensure users don’t have to do a lot of work to find you. Having a landing page or a single-page website that explains what the app is for is a good way to promote your app without putting a lot of energy into marketing.


Now that does not look as complicated, right?

This is just the introduction to building an app for your small business. If you want to learn more and ultimately want to start with your app, we are offering a no-obligation consultation where we scope out your ideas and check for feasibility. 

Building an app is easy as 1-2-3, and we’re here to help you make it ‘appen.

Click the button below to get started!

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