Mobile apps have changed the game, especially for businesses and brands. So, let’s dive into why you should create an app for your business and how to get that app built as profitably as possible.
Why Create an App For Your Business?
The businesses that invest in creating not just their own branded mobile app on both iOS (Apple’s mobile platform) and Android (Google’s mobile platform) but orchestrating the right mobile notifications that come with each platform are establishing themselves as the breakout success stories of their categories.
An app for your business has a massive return on your investment. How? When you have your own app for your business, two important things happen:
- You engage your customers more deeply.
- You deliver better results and transformation.
People pay for results and transformation, which means that when these two conditions are met, you can charge more money for your programs, memberships, or online courses. All because of your app.
Even better? You’ll also see more people join you.
That’s right. You can raise your prices AND grow faster at the same time. And that’s only the beginning.
So, how do you start the process of creating an app for your business?
The Truth About Custom Development
The most common way to create an app for your business today is to hire a software development firm to design, development, quality test, and deliver your own native mobile app.
These software development firms typically have a project management or sales office in the U.S. while their development teams are run in countries where the technical talent is high and the cost of living is low, such as India, Russia, or Estonia.
Until recently, using a software development firm to create an app for your business was the only way to get a native mobile app into the app stores offered by Apple and Google.
While custom app development can deliver an app for a business or brand, the negative consequences of this path have proven time and time again to outweigh the benefits. Here are just a few of the challenges of custom app development:
It’s expensive. With custom app development, especially for native mobile apps, the cost for creating your own app can be anywhere from $500,000 to over $1 million dollars or more. And that’s for just ONE platform – either iOS OR Android. Sadly, creating an app for your business on both iOS and Android will DOUBLE your budget.
Worse? These prices are just for initial development. Once you launch it to the world and people start using it, that’s when the cost of creating your own app skyrockets, as you find issues or bugs that need to be fixed or new features that people want that you didn’t plan for.
At that point, you have to start over again with a new “maintenance” budget to continue to improve the app.
It takes a really long time. The reason custom app development is so expensive is that when you are starting from scratch, it’s time consuming to create an app for your business. Especially when the teams doing the development are in different time zones and you may or may not be inexperienced with product design or app development, this fundamental dynamic is ripe for miscommunication and mistakes. (On this front, I speak from personal experience!)
If you are creating an app for your business, you have to plan for three months to take six and for six months to take a year or even more to get something that’s usable.
It’s risky. Software development–or the process of creating an app for your business–is difficult. While the benefit is that you can define exactly what you want from your app (which is fun), the actual process of building digital or mobile products that people actually want to use is not for amateurs.
There are entire disciplines from user experience to product design to mobile experience engineering and backend server or database engineering that go into creating an app for your business. Trying to design a product for the first time with little experience and working with a custom app development firm is a recipe for building a product that may or may not get adopted by the very people you want to serve.
As you can see, custom app development has created tremendous demand for new players to offer a better way to create an app for your business.
And that’s exactly what’s happened with the emergence of “custom-ish app development.”
There’s a Better Way: Introducing “Custom-ish” App Development
The new way to create an app for your business is to use “custom-ish” app development. With custom-ish development, the app is already built and all you have to do is:
- Add your branding and visuals
- Choose your features
- Drop in your content, online courses, and more
- Decide if you are going to make it free or charge
With custom-ish development, you still have wide ranging choices for customizing an app for your business but without the requirement of expensive, time-consuming, and risky custom development.
Custom-ish app development is a fraction of the cost of custom app development and typically takes no more than three weeks to launch directly into the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
While custom-ish app development is a new and emerging category with a handful of platforms offering it today (led by Mighty Networks’ with our Mighty Pro plan for communities and digital services and Shopify Plus for ecommerce), it’s the obvious solution for businesses who know they need a native mobile app to grow their business but are also smart enough to avoid the risks of custom development.
How Much Does It Cost to Create an App?
Where custom development costs quickly escalate to $1 million dollars or more, an investment in custom-ish development ranges from $30,000-$60,000–a fraction of the price for the same results.
When you can grow your revenue faster on a dramatically lower expense, the return on your investment is extremely high.
It’s profitable to create an app for your business.
What About a Mobile Web App?
One final note. You may be asking yourself, “but what about a mobile website?”
There’s a lot of talk out there about how a mobile website offered by services like Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly is probably a “good enough” solution if you want to have your own branded mobile spot out there for people to find.
While it’s important to have a presence on mobile web as well as desktop web, mobile websites are no replacement for a native mobile app that’s offered on iOS and Android and available in their respective app stores.
Why? Because even the best mobile web or “responsive” websites are slow, clunky, and awkward compared to their native mobile app counterparts. And as more people spend more time on native mobile apps from Instagram to Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, that’s what they are using to compare your business.
You’ll come out on the losing side in this comparison. With custom-ish development, you don’t have to. You can win.
The ways you’ll create an app for your business will continue to evolve from here. Innovation is happening rapidly and the result is more favorable ways for you to create an app for your business. With today’s set of choices, you can’t go wrong with custom-ish development.