The trends are very telling – mobile small business apps is the smart way to reach your audience.
The latest research shows that the primary reason small business continues to place traditional advertising such as their annual yellow page listing is because everyone else does.
With the sharp downward trends of traditional advertising it’s time to go where your audience already is. Let’s examine closer where you can improve a much higher promotional ROI with your mobile apps for small business investment.
First Steps Toward Mobile Apps for Small Business
1. Know your current ROI.
What is your yellow pages (or other print) actual ROI?
How many new customers came to you through your print listing?
What was their average purchase amount?
Does your incremental sales margins cover the cost of your print ad?
2. Start small. Take just say 10-15% of what you are already spending and pilot some of the mobile small business apps.
3. Leverage both. For example, use your yellow page listing to include a promotion that drives traffic to free Facebook business page such as opting in for a discount coupon.
The Most Commonly Perceived Barriers for Mobile Small Business Apps
Anything new and different always has initial barriers.
Let’s explore whether they are fact or fiction so that you can decide if this exciting and fast growing medium is right to consider for your business.
We’ll start with the most common perceptions.
- Time – Overwhelmed business owners have little time to research new technology for mobile small business apps and consumer tastes.
Fact- Customizable templates offer turnkey solutions for even the most non-technical business owner.
- Cost – Normal development costs for mobile apps can be costly. Typically $4,000 to $15,000. Don’t forget multiple technology formats and future software changes create additional costs.
Fact – Affordable options are now available for the smallest promotional budget.
- Branding and Customization – Mobile app templates don’t allow me to express my unique brand, benefits and features for my business.
Fact – Menu driven templates allow you to choose which small business apps functions will engage your target audience the most. You can even choose your own logo, color, look and feel that mirrors your web site and print collateral. This custom menu approach saves you thousands of development dollars.
- Technology – How could I ever keep up to be sure my mobile small business apps can be viewed on Android, Apple iOS, Blackberry and Windows smartphones. How about all the different tablets?
Fact – Exciting cloud based solutions mean all that back office technology stuff is done for you so your business apps are always easily accessible to your customers, no matter what device is in their hand. More importantly your information is secure.
- ROI Tracking and Control – How do I keep up with a repeatable tracking system for my mobile apps?
Fact – You select the measurable traffic and customer conversion indicators you want to track and the system does it for you. Once you decide what you want you can maintain your system in less than 15 minutes a day.
- Type of Business – My business isn’t about connecting with local mobile shoppers like restaurants and Realtors. I don’t see how mobile business apps would work for me.
Fact – If you have a product or service that provides additional value to help people with solutions they need there are mobile business apps waiting for you to connect to. Because of the widespread use of smart phones across all demographic groups (1 billion by 2016 globally!) every business has a sizable audience to reach.
Think outside your local market. With mobile apps it’s time to consider regional, national and even a global reach.
While this article emphasized smart phones don’t forget to include tablet users, another exploding mobile platform many small to mid-size businesses are not effectively connecting with.
With a world gone mobile the time is now to rid all the barriers in helping your mobile small business apps connect with growing your business.