How Apps Can Help Small Businesses
If you’re a small or mid-sized business owner, you probably haven’t put much thought into creating an app for your business. The time, effort and money involved must be too much for anyone who isn’t turning a huge profit, right? Wrong! Small and mid-sized business owners need to start looking at mobile apps as the indispensable tools they are — tools that can raise brand awareness, drive traffic and ultimately increase profits, making them worth the investment. It’s all about creating an app strategy that makes sense for your business goals and choosing features that help you build lasting connections with your customers, improving their experiences with your brand. Here are a few key ways apps can help small businesses!
Be a Utility or Resource For Your Target Audience
You can build an app that solves a pain point for your customers, while connecting them back to your product or service. No matter what your business is, you can find a human problem your target audience has and use a mobile app to help them solve it. For example, we created an app for Rapala, a fishing lure manufacturer. Many beginner fishermen are unsure how to choose proper lures from the vast selection available, and frankly can be a little intimidated by the process. So, the Rapala app has three functions: it defines what lures are best for different species; it helps anglers select the appropriate lures for their fishing conditions using real-time data on water temperature and depth; and it lets users purchase lures for their next fishing trip directly from the app, saving them a trip to the store. What problems do your customers struggle with? Take the time to figure out what they need, and how your mobile app can help them. Done right, your app will also reinforce how your product or service is the solution they need.
Create a Great Loyalty Experience
Mobile apps can offer you so many ways to reward your customers. For example, are you an independent coffee shop owner? Instead of the stickers or punch cards many places use for their loyalty programs, stand out and make yours fun with gamification on your very own mobile app built using TheBaseApp! Your customers can check in and complete tasks to earn user loyalty badges, like trying your newest roast or bringing a friend. Offer discounts or free drinks to your customers after they reach a set number of check ins, and offer a special incentive to the customer at the top of your leaderboard each month to keep driving traffic to your business. In a similar vein, let’s say you build custom furniture — why not use your app to involve your customers in the process, by offering live streaming at points in production so they can see your work in action? The beauty of an app is this: it lets you decide how you can best engage your customers, gives you the freedom to try new approaches, and makes it easy for your customers to stay up to date and get on board with new initiatives.
Scale Your Business
If business is booming, building your own mobile app is the perfect way to expand and scale your business. Technology can enable you to provide your services and products to an audience beyond your local coordinates! Utilize a mobile app customized to your business to expand globally — if your physical store is in one country and you don’t quite have the capital necessary to expand to another, that doesn’t mean you can’t start building awareness and selling product. A mobile app can integrate e-commerce solutions, increase awareness of your brand and give you the ability to solve the needs and wants of larger audiences in the global marketplace. Plus, an app can help you gain insight into how your product or service will perform in a given area, potentially saving you time and money in the expansion process.
Take a good look at your business and your customer base — you’ll find there is so much opportunity to grow your business and reach your customers in engaging, innovative ways. Mobile apps are the first step in unlocking that opportunity and seizing your potential: you just have to take it.