It’s no secret that many professional services and startups are embracing shared offices and foregoing traditional staffing. Does this evolution spark the adaption of using apps to help grow your service-based business? An app is one way to help smaller brands or solopreneurs provide a sense of place. It can even help you engage with customers when you’re unavailable.
Many successful businesses are built with only a website. Some examples include companies offering creative services, niche products or business admin solutions. In this smartphone era, many customers are accustomed to interacting with businesses using their phone and various apps.
Not every business will need an app.
Notably those with a core, largely local customer base or in a highly traditional market, however, many will benefit from the features an app offers.
For many writers, artists, service providers or work-from-home/mobile business owners, an app serves as both a digital business card and provides a greater sense of solidity, regardless of if you’re a one-woman show or a growing startup.
Pros of an app are the additional features it offers (see below) and the greater, personalized engagement with customers. The cons of needing an app include the extra expense of development and launch and it became one more thing to market or manage alongside social media and your other channels.
The Benefits of Mobile Apps
Reuse and Repurpose with Ease
If you decide an app is right for your business, you can have one professionally developed or take the do-it-yourself route. You don’t need great tech skills to build a mobile app, and, in most cases, you can reuse many of the same elements as your current website. If you want to push your business, a mobile app has the potential to offer much more to your customers than a traditional website.
For some startups, the app is the business, helping act as a service or solution across fast-growing markets from travel to finance and beyond. Apps can live alongside the website, evolving with your products or services or take over as the leading way to engage.
Stay top of mind.
Choosing an app brings the power of push messaging, just like text messages, to provide the latest insights and offers to customers. Time and location-based services can remind customers when you might be useful to them, and each engagement can take customers to the relevant part of the app, rather than leaving customers to navigate your website.
Make your business memorable.
Apps provide basic features like booking appointments, feedback tools, making sales or handling orders and customer support. And if you want to maximize the power of the smartphone, the app can provide useful extra services for your customers. That can be video, augmented or virtual reality, handy conversion tools, customization features and more, all helping make your business more memorable.
Apps also allow any business to break away from the traditional web template and allow your products or services to shine, with full-screen imagery of beautiful products or smartly designed templates and design tools to help the engagement process. From news and updates to sales and support, an app can provide instant access to everything your business offers.
Become an industry expert by keeping your customers informed.
To add further value to customers, your app can also act as a news hub of what’s going on in your market, region or area of interest, making you stand out as an industry expert. Where needed, it can help bring customers together via social media or a dedicated forum to discuss your products, designs or services in greater detail. Additionally, sharing photos to help promote the company and its products is simplified.
Creating your own mobile app is one unique way to deepen your brand’s connection to your customers. It can also help you to creatively stand out in your market.
Have you considered building an app to support your service-based business? What has worked well? What challenges have you come up against?