We’re at the peak of the Digital Age and it’s not slowing down. To stay relevant as a business, you must stay ahead, or at least keep up.
You don’t have to feel overwhelmed by the technologically-driven world we live in. To succeed you need to embrace it and use it to your advantage.
With business app development, organizations can improve their operations and increase customer satisfaction. In turn, the business will gain customer loyalty, higher profits, and achieve strategic business goals.
All of those sound good, right? Read on to start envisioning your cutting-edge app and voyage into new opportunities.
What Is Business App Development?
Business App Development is the creation of software programs for business functions. A Business App can be run on either desktop, mobile, or web browsers, depending on the organization’s needs.
Benefits of Business App Development
As a business, growth is essential to staying competitive. Business App Development can help your business grow in these ways:
- Improve productivity: Streamlined business operations help employees focus on the high-priority workflows.
- Time management: Work will be completed quickly and effectively.
- Easy access: Employees can easily access data and other business functions anywhere, anytime.
- Target audience: An app adds to your online presence, which is useful for customer outreach.
- Customer satisfaction: An expertly-designed app will add to the customer experience.
- Increases revenue: A Business App designed for sales will make it easier for customers to click the buy button, leading to more revenue.
- Customer insights: Collect data to understand your target audience better and improve upon products and services.
- Culture of growth: After one innovative idea comes to fruition, constant improvement will be part of your organizational culture.
Lastly, when you go the custom software route, executives will have more control over the features and functionality of the Business App.
Types of Business Apps:
There are 3 different types of Business Apps that you could use to improve your business.
Business to Business (B2B)
B2B Apps are developed to cater to business stakeholders like suppliers, manufacturers, and retailers. It’s designed to simplify interactions and processes between your business and its partners.
For example, an app that allows efficient ordering of materials from suppliers.
Here are a few examples of B2B apps:
- Asana – A work management platform that helps businesses organize, track, and manage work.
- Google Analytics – A web analytics service that tracks and reports on website traffic and other interactions.
- Hubspot – A CRM platform that connects marketing, sales, content management, and customer service.
Business to Customer (B2C)
These apps serve consumer interests.
For example, e-commerce apps allow customers to buy products directly from a business online.
Another example would be a customer loyalty app where customers can purchase goods and reap rewards in specials and other exclusive offers.
Here are a few examples of B2C apps:
- Amazon – The world’s largest online retailer that focuses on e-commerce, media, logistics, hardware, etc.
- Starbucks App – An app that allows customers to manage their Starbucks cards and balances while earning rewards for food and drinks.
- Netflix – An online streaming service for tv shows, movies, documentaries, etc.
Business-specific apps are for organizations to use internally.
For example, a Business workflow management app that lets the business manage their complex workflows efficiently.
Below are a few more examples of internal business apps:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – Software that helps your business track vital customer interactions while providing an efficient experience for the customer.
- Content Management Systems – An app that helps businesses manage and organize their content.
- Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) – Software that improves the management and storage of the employees’ data and processes.
Why You Need Business App Development
You may understand why some businesses use Business App Development to better themselves, but why should you?
Below are a few reasons that show how it can help you improve your business in the long run:
- Achieve the organization’s goals: It can help organizations gain ground on their end goal.
- Collaboration: It becomes easier for teams from different departments to collaborate.
- New goals: It can help discover new avenues for your business.
- Data management: It can automate and optimize databases for faster workflows.
- Better decision-making: It can help executives view insights and track analytics to make better decisions.
- Business process automation: It can help automate tedious tasks to allow employees to focus on growing your business.
- Customer engagement and loyalty: Prioritizing your customer’s experience will create a stronger relationship with them, making them loyal to your business.
- Branding: A business app can help solidify your brand in consumers’ minds.
- Marketing: It will be an effective way to promote your services and products directly to your target consumers.
- New revenue streams: A business app can open doors to new opportunities, leading to new target customers and more revenue channels.
- Beat the competition: Stand out to the customers in your market and stay ahead of the competition.
Custom Business App Development vs Off-the-shelf
Every business is different. These differences impact whether you build your own app or purchase one from off the shelf. Let’s get into what sets these 2 options apart.
Custom development means the software is tailored to the specifications of the organization. At every stage of development, the scope and goals are considered to create an app that fits the business needs like a glove.
Off-the-shelf software is ready-made and developed for the common objectives businesses may have. It takes the general goals of multiple businesses and aims to meet those with standard app features.
Custom Business App Development – Pros and Cons
Off-the-shelf Business App Development – Pros and Cons
How to Implement Business App Development
Are you ready to start your journey toward successful Business App Development? The below outline will give you a good idea of how to plan your next steps:
- Requirements analysis
- Create the business plan
- Picking the right company to build your business app
- Develop your business app
- Test the business app
- Market your app
- Launch your app
When finding which gaps your business needs to fill in the market or internally, you need to conduct some research.
Start by finding out what competitors are doing well and what needs they’re meeting in the market.
Next, research what your target customer wants by conducting surveys and analyzing reviews to spot possible needs.
If you want to work from the inside out, analyze internal areas of critical work and see how you can assist the employees in those departments. A survey to see what the employees struggle with should also provide insight.
2. Requirements analysis
Once you have an idea of what needs your business, customers, or employees have, you can begin with analyzing requirements.
Here are a few areas to delve into:
- What problems will the business app solve
- Who are the target users
- How will the target user benefit from this app
- Possible functionality and features of the app
- What technology is already used that could impact the development
- What are the current system specifications
- What are the potential risks
Choose the right type of app for your business
You may not know which type of app may suit your needs. That’s for the experts to finalize. But understanding each type will help the process go much smoother.
There are 3 main types of apps: Native, progressive, and hybrid.
The main differences between these app types can be boiled down to:
- The different programming languages each type uses in development
- Access to native functionality (camera and other device-specific abilities)
- The platform the app will be available on. For example, Android or Apple operating systems.
|Native App Development||These apps work on one platform and can perform heavy-duty tasks like taking videos. These apps utilize the native device’s capabilities.|
|Hybrid App Development||This is a combination of web and native apps. It has a web browser look and feel and runs on a native device’s browser.|
|Progressive App Development||This combines native and web development to create a web app that behaves like a native app.|
3. Create the business plan
You’ve now determined an area of improvement and the requirements. Time to break it down into achievable business goals.
Fine-tune the purpose of the business app and the desired outcomes for your business. Next, start filling out your business plan with the below elements:
- Case studies to give a deeper understanding.
- Financial analysis to find out the available budget.
- Outline of App design and analytics.
- Testing criteria.
- Resource allocation. For example, who and what will be impacted and involved in the business app development.
- Will training be required for the users?
- The type of maintenance and support that may be required.
- Possible estimation for timelines and cost (that can be negotiated and amended to suit the development process).
The Truth About Costing and Timelines
Is there a set cost and timeline for your app development? And can a random blog or article on the internet estimate that without knowing your specifications?
Costs and timelines vary from one software service provider to the next. And it also depends on your specification needs, the technology involved, the developers’ level of expertise, and many more factors.
If you feel like you’re flying in blind when booking a consultation with a developer, the next section is for you.
4. Picking the right company to build your business app
There’s no simple pros and cons list when picking the right software development company for your business. You must consider your business values and the partnership synergy potential with their team.
Your business and the developers will go on this journey together, so everything should match up comfortably.
Besides the willingness to collaborate, these are a few aspects you should check out when deciding who to go with:
- Their experience and expertise
- Their reviews and case studies
- Review their portfolios of past successful work
- Check references to confirm work done
- The technology stack they have available
- Their understanding of your requirements
- Timeline estimate
5. Develop your business app
Next, you will join forces with the software development company of your choice to create the app.
The app development process is very similar to a normal Software Development Process:
- Planning: The project team will gather requirements and analyze them to map out the scope.
- Designing: The technical team of developers will outline the design of your app based on the requirements and then estimate the cost and timelines.
- Developing: The developers will get going on the development of your business app .
- Testing: After building each function or feature, there will be a round of testing to approve it before moving on to the next set of features.
- Releasing: The business app will be deployed to be used by the intended users.
- Reviewing and Maintenance: If there are any bugs or issues, the support team will manage them.
The developers will handle this process but your business will work hand in hand with them to get the best app possible.
It’s important to note that the above process is an outline. The priorities for development depend on the requirements of your app.
For example, if you’re building an app for data management, you may have to provide the developers with access to databases. And throughout the development process, you will need to ensure the functionality properly reflects the desired workflow.
Or if it’s a loyalty app for customers, the app needs to be displayed in a user-friendly way that showcases your business’ branding upfront.
Note: You will have to become accustomed to the agile methodology in software implementation as it is very popular. Most developers love it because it is focused on delivering a solution as close to the specifications while being flexible to changes.
6. Test the business app
Testing is a huge part of producing a successful business app. This phase is meant to iron out bugs and nail down the expected user experience. Therefore, your business plays a crucial role in this phase.
The aim of testing is to ensure:
- The functionality has no defects.
- Each new feature is user-friendly.
- All data is secure and there are no vulnerabilities.
- The app is optimized, for example, it loads quickly, the battery of the device does not get drained too fast, etc.
7. Market your app
If your business app is meant to cater to customers or other stakeholders, you need to let them know it’s on its way!
To ensure the app is a success with your customers and business partners, put together a marketing strategy to promote it. For example, create buzz around it via social media, email newsletters, etc.
The aim is to promote the features and benefits of the app so customers and business partners will be eager to try it out.
Even for internal employees, you can promote the app to create a positive view of it so there is less resistance to change.
8. Launch the app
All the hard work has paid off and it’s time to go live!
Be sure to check the guidelines, requirements, and good practices for releasing apps on Play Store, Apple App Store, or on the web. You want your business app to have a smooth launch on whichever platforms you pick.
Note: Remember that once it’s launched, there may be issues discovered by real users to be dealt with by the support team. This is normal!
Plus: The app should be updated to keep up with the changes in software and technology. Also, if you have any changes you’d like to have on the app to match new business goals, discuss them with the developers!
Why Software Fails
We told you what needs to be done if you want a well-built business app. But to accomplish this, you need to know what to avoid. Below are some common reasons why business app development fails:
- The business’s needs and requirements are not fully identified
- The app’s initial goals are not considered in the process of making it
- The target customer is not reached or catered for
- The app is not user-friendly
- Not considering the full extent of the user’s needs
- The app has too many features
- Neglecting the testing phases
- Underestimating timelines
- Poor communication between the business and the developers
- Going for a cheap solution instead of a business-focused, cost-effective one
Your Tailored Business App
A software solution should not be one-size-fits-all. Every business is unique and deserves to be treated that way. Your business app should set you apart and help your business grow to new heights.
With new technology always on the rise, our landscape is constantly changing, so businesses have to change along with it.
If you’re looking to step into the world of technological brilliance, then we can help you on your way. Your journey starts with one discovery call, so get in touch using this enquiry form!
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