23 replies
Hi,

What advantages do apps offer for a small or medium sized business?

How would different types of businesses use apps?

Are there uses in the business to business market as well as business to consumer markets?

I'd be grateful for all your ideas and for any resources if you know of any.

John
#apps #business #small
  • Profile picture of the author liaswift
    Based on our product EfficientPIM. It helps business team to manage information and share resource to get more efficient. For example, list and assign tasks, manage demos, notes, track contacts, and organize passwords and urls for all the social media pages, etc.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Marshall
      Originally Posted by liaswift View Post

      Based on our product EfficientPIM. It helps business team to manage information and share resource to get more efficient. For example, list and assign tasks, manage demos, notes, track contacts, and organize passwords and urls for all the social media pages, etc.
      Thanks, Lisa. Some good points.

      Further examples of how apps can helps SMEs would be most appreciated.
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  • Profile picture of the author AadhyaMehra
    Banned
    Yes apps are very useful for businesses. As compared to website, Apps are more useful. It helps in managing business easily. Customers are also using apps more than website.
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  • Hi John;

    I'm not sure if this answers your question but a while back I sold some apps to small local businesses for the B2C market. The app had to have something more to offer than a website and some reason for the consumer to keep using the app. I usually focused on things like loyalty programs, online ordering/ecommerce, and push notifications. Nowadays, you can basically do all those things with a mobile site and SMS platform. So the debate goes on here as to whether small businesses should have an app.

    Hope this helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author jonathan12345
    Mobile apps are great if they actually do something to either save time for the business owner or customer. For example, if I can schedule a hair cut at my local barber. Or if I can order food from my favorite restaurant. Or if I can throw away stamp cards for a nice digital loyalty program.

    If your app doesn't provide any utility to customers you might as well not build it, as no one will use it.
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    I resell mobile apps for a company called Bizness Apps. Not affiliated at all, just a fan and supporter.

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    • Profile picture of the author AUKev
      These guys have nailed it for you. The primary value in an app for a small business is to offer something to the customer. It is not just a website for their mobile device. Loyalty programs, scheduling appointments and ordering all add value. Once you have a good client base, Push Notifications for specials, deals and announcements help engage your existing client base.

      Keep in mind most local business apps need to be promoted to get downloads. The owner/workers need to encourage customers to download otherwise it will just sit in the Play or iTunes store without much traffic.
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    • Profile picture of the author mytime
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      • Profile picture of the author savidge4
        I would seriously question some of the answers in this thread. The idea that you need an APP for a client to make an appointment or set a restaurant reservation is disturbing at best.

        How clunky is the idea that you have to download an app to make a reservation? Say I am on a business trip in Atlanta GA. I go to my phone I type in "Steak House" I get a number of listings and decide I am going to the Outback. I click on their site. I am getting directions to their front door, and I just clicked on their reservations link and set a seat time 30 minutes from now. ( The directions say it will take only 20 minutes to get there but I am being on the safe side. ) easy enough right?

        Now lets play that out if I need to download an app. I search "Steak House" on the phone and Bills Steak House comes up. I have heard good things about Bob's from some of the local people I am doing business with. I click the link. I get sent to some responsive site. I can see the address, but I cant get directions. I see they have an app to make reservations... guess what... I'm back to the search engine to find a better and easier solution.

        From a B2C point of view, Unless the intent is to cater entirely on local traffic, an APP for a small business is an absolute waste of time. As you move up the business food chain and get into companies that are Regional, National, and International.. that's when I can see the uses.. but your local mom and pop... just short of stupid.

        The flip side of this, that has been mentioned here is centralizing business needs and information with the use of an APP internally within a business, and that type of service makes sense.

        The past present and future of small business mobile development is in mobile sites. The Google BS that "Responsive" is all good is a crock. I will bet many reading this would agree. ( I am also sure there are many that will disagree, and to that I will say you don't have a clue. )

        Understanding not only your clients needs, but the needs of the end user are key here. Universally how can we as developers provide a product to our clients that can be seen and used by all without the limitations of downloading this and that. Push notifications to 300 users is not helpful if there are 40,000 possible customers in the same reach area.
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        • Profile picture of the author steveka
          Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

          I would seriously question some of the answers in this thread. The idea that you need an APP for a client to make an appointment or set a restaurant reservation is disturbing at best.

          How clunky is the idea that you have to download an app to make a reservation? Say I am on a business trip in Atlanta GA. I go to my phone I type in "Steak House" I get a number of listings and decide I am going to the Outback. I click on their site. I am getting directions to their front door, and I just clicked on their reservations link and set a seat time 30 minutes from now. ( The directions say it will take only 20 minutes to get there but I am being on the safe side. ) easy enough right?

          Now lets play that out if I need to download an app. I search "Steak House" on the phone and Bills Steak House comes up. I have heard good things about Bob's from some of the local people I am doing business with. I click the link. I get sent to some responsive site. I can see the address, but I cant get directions. I see they have an app to make reservations... guess what... I'm back to the search engine to find a better and easier solution.

          From a B2C point of view, Unless the intent is to cater entirely on local traffic, an APP for a small business is an absolute waste of time. As you move up the business food chain and get into companies that are Regional, National, and International.. that's when I can see the uses.. but your local mom and pop... just short of stupid.

          The flip side of this, that has been mentioned here is centralizing business needs and information with the use of an APP internally within a business, and that type of service makes sense.

          The past present and future of small business mobile development is in mobile sites. The Google BS that "Responsive" is all good is a crock. I will bet many reading this would agree. ( I am also sure there are many that will disagree, and to that I will say you don't have a clue. )

          Understanding not only your clients needs, but the needs of the end user are key here. Universally how can we as developers provide a product to our clients that can be seen and used by all without the limitations of downloading this and that. Push notifications to 300 users is not helpful if there are 40,000 possible customers in the same reach area.
          I don't understand why can't you get directions, if it's a responsive web site? Google maps or Waze should pop up on your smart phone, once you click on it.

          Also the small business apps are mainly targeted for customers who already have tried the establishment's services or products and enjoy the experience whether it is a hair cut or a pizza.

          The main goal of the app is to retain the customer base and keep them happy by loyalty programs, discounts etc.

          The app is supposed to provide convenience for the current customer and encourage them to come back again and again. They try the service, become a fan then usep the app to get a faster service and earn points for rewards.

          If I like a specific restaurant's food or a hair dresser's cut, then I would like to be able to make an appointment or get my pizza to my doorstep, without having to pick up the phone every single time. I shouldn't have to wait on the line hanging for my next teeth cleaning session either.

          This is convenience and it means repeat business for the establishment. Of course, people are not going to clutter their phones with apps of businesses that they have never tried before. It won't make sense, but it is a life saver for people who are a fan of that specific service.

          People love convenience and they want to be remembered, appreciated and rewarded for their repeat businesses and a mobile app is a great way of doing that.
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        • Profile picture of the author jonathan12345
          Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

          I would seriously question some of the answers in this thread. The idea that you need an APP for a client to make an appointment or set a restaurant reservation is disturbing at best.

          How clunky is the idea that you have to download an app to make a reservation? Say I am on a business trip in Atlanta GA. I go to my phone I type in "Steak House" I get a number of listings and decide I am going to the Outback. I click on their site. I am getting directions to their front door, and I just clicked on their reservations link and set a seat time 30 minutes from now. ( The directions say it will take only 20 minutes to get there but I am being on the safe side. ) easy enough right?

          Now lets play that out if I need to download an app. I search "Steak House" on the phone and Bills Steak House comes up. I have heard good things about Bob's from some of the local people I am doing business with. I click the link. I get sent to some responsive site. I can see the address, but I cant get directions. I see they have an app to make reservations... guess what... I'm back to the search engine to find a better and easier solution.

          From a B2C point of view, Unless the intent is to cater entirely on local traffic, an APP for a small business is an absolute waste of time. As you move up the business food chain and get into companies that are Regional, National, and International.. that's when I can see the uses.. but your local mom and pop... just short of stupid.

          The flip side of this, that has been mentioned here is centralizing business needs and information with the use of an APP internally within a business, and that type of service makes sense.

          The past present and future of small business mobile development is in mobile sites. The Google BS that "Responsive" is all good is a crock. I will bet many reading this would agree. ( I am also sure there are many that will disagree, and to that I will say you don't have a clue. )

          Understanding not only your clients needs, but the needs of the end user are key here. Universally how can we as developers provide a product to our clients that can be seen and used by all without the limitations of downloading this and that. Push notifications to 300 users is not helpful if there are 40,000 possible customers in the same reach area.
          I believe having BOTH a mobile app and a mobile website together is the best mobile marketing strategy. They both have different use cases. Mobile websites, great for customer discovery (bring them in). Mobile apps, great for customer retention (keep them coming back).

          You're missing the main point of a mobile app for an SMB. They're not for the typical customer, they're for the customer that will frequent a business often. Do I download a mobile app for every business I go to -- definitely not.

          But if there's a restaurant I frequent often and their mobile app offers loyalty programs and the ability for me to order food / reserve a table from their app, I'll download that! The main point is to create incentive for your best customer to frequent the business more often.

          Think of mobile apps as customer retention or customer loyalty tools, and this is extremely important because most SMBs will see 80% of their revenue from 20% of their customer.

          Hope this helps!
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          I resell mobile apps for a company called Bizness Apps. Not affiliated at all, just a fan and supporter.

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  • Profile picture of the author John Marshall
    Thanks, everyone. I'd like to diversify my income so I am not so reliant on income from ads on my apps. You have helped me a great deal because it's one thing being able to technically produce apps and something else to be able to build a business providing them for local business customers. It's quite terrifying making the leap into offline particularly as I'm the sort of guy who likes to provide a great service and real value to his customers.

    Any other thoughts would be appreciated whilst I think about how I can promote apps to my local businesses and also try to build up courage to crawl away from my computer and deal with real, living people!

    Thanks again.

    John
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  • Profile picture of the author jonathan12345
    But don't forget mobile websites too for small businesses!

    BOTH ARE IMPORTANT!
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    I resell mobile apps for a company called Bizness Apps. Not affiliated at all, just a fan and supporter.

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  • Profile picture of the author trevordd
    As for me, one of the most important parts of mobile apps for business is notification system. I use such puch notifications from Jeapie service to contact my clients directly. It is a great feature
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    • Profile picture of the author ChaletDM
      Hi John,

      I have found that many businesses confuse mobile apps with mobile websites. To many businesses it is "one in the same" and simply means "something they can see on their phone". In order to give good value to a customer it is important to understand their specific needs and provide them with a solution that will meet these needs.

      If all they have is a traditional website you can educate them on the importance of a mobile website as their customer base is becoming more and more mobile and their traditional website may not provide these customers with an enjoyable and useful user experience.

      The next level up is a mobile app, and as mentioned in the previous posts it will usually provide some extra level of sophistication and functionality that benefits the customer. A mobile app for a dentist's office might offer the ability to schedule an appointment. Restaurants will find a mobile app offering some sort of loyalty program to be very beneficial. Gaming apps are great for some businesses as well as people love games and will keep coming back to their app (and seeing their brand and advertising) again and again.

      I hope this helps.

      All The Best!

      -Wallace
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  • Profile picture of the author Nonsi
    Yes , Mobile apps is very useful for small business. Try to promote
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  • Profile picture of the author unicom
    As going mobile is catching viral fever nowadays it is definetely important for any type of business to go mobile irrespective of its size. It may be a small business or large business it needs a mobile for sure. There are large users of mobile nowadays as mobile internet is very cheap compared to broadband.
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  • Profile picture of the author anchor1914
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  • Profile picture of the author kpawan
    Hello, Most of business owners prefer to do their marketing work directly from a smartphones. All the marketers have favorite apps which make their job easy & make them better at their jobs.
    Here are some great apps which make you more productive-
    Lead converter, Moat, Toggl, Xero, Userium, Quora, Evernote, Grammarly, Convert . Try These apps.

    Thanks and Regards,
    Pawan
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  • Profile picture of the author Juhiadattract
    Its true that apps are very useful for business compared to website because you will find more number of customers using app than website..as now it has become more convenient to use app..
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  • Profile picture of the author onehalf
    Mobile apps for businesses are really helpful on different aspects of managing a businesses. It can help you efficiently store and manage important data, get loads of new clients and a lot more.
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  • Profile picture of the author fullflavor
    One of the biggest benefits of having a mobile app is that all the information you’d like to provide to your customers – including special sales and promotions is right at their fingertips.
    Advantages:
    Be Visible to Customers at All Times.
    Created a direct marketing channel.

    Build brand and recognition.
    Improve customer engagement.
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    With our mobile coupon software you can create
    and distribute redeemable, trackable and
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  • Profile picture of the author Idvert Group Ltd
    Apps for Ecommerce business is a good chance.
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  • Profile picture of the author HCDdaking
    The customers will start thinking about your service and they will like your company.They will see your business through their mobile phones Its like a ad. People can easily reach your business.
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  • Profile picture of the author bigblairsong
    Yes good apps are good for business. But if you don't have enough investment to develop an app, it will be a nightmare for users. So be careful.
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  • Profile picture of the author harryvent
    Yeah business apps are very useful to small business, mostly prefer software available in both web and mobile. Many small business apps are available in market place, some apps are Basecamp, Insightly, wave, Apptivo. These apps are suitable to small business.
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