Can Small Businesses Benefit From Having Their Own Apps?

These days, many small business owners are always on the lookout for ways to improve their companies and give them an edge over the competition, but this is often easier said than done. One area in which there might be some wiggle room to take a slight step forward is by using mobile applications to simplify certain aspects of a company, though experts say that some options will certainly be better than others in this regard.

While apps of many different types exist, and are gaining in popularity, those that can be developed to directly benefit a small business come in a much narrower scope, according to a report from Newsday. The latest data shows that in the last year, app use increased 52 percent, but it’s often difficult for small businesses to become successful when developing their own programs because of how difficult it is to break into the market. That’s not to say that these smaller firms might not benefit, but they could have difficulty getting a good return on their investment, especially in comparison with other types of efforts to improve customers’ mobile experience.

“There’s definitely a big opportunity for small businesses on mobile, but maybe not as much when it comes to apps,” Adam Lella, a Chicago-based analyst for comScore, told the newspaper. “It becomes hard for smaller players and stand-alone apps to capture an audience.”

What can be done instead?
It might be wise for owners to therefore look into how they can do other things to improve the user experience when utilizing a mobile device, such as optimizing their websites for mobile specifically, the report said. The cost of doing so through a third party – or even in-house – is often far smaller; mobile sites usually cost a maximum of $6,000 or so, and the most common lowest price for a brand new app is at least $5,000. The latter can grow to as much as $20,000, however, and that’s nearly 10 times as much as a reasonably priced mobile site.

For these reasons, owners who are considering spending as much as several thousand dollars or more might want to think about ways they can streamline their companies’ expenses beforehand. This could include finding more affordable small business insurance coverage – such as policies for liability insurance – which could help save thousands of dollars annually.