The Internet certainly changed the world, but the apps changed the Internet. They could be one of the reasons smartphones are so popular. And, as statistics show, more than half of the users access the internet using their smartphones rather than good old laptops and desktop computers. 

But from the point of view of a small business, it might seem to you that only big corporations have their apps. Probably they are the only ones who can afford it is what you’re thinking, right? 

Not really. Developing an app only seems like an expensive affair. Probably because you are thinking about all the features those of the big companies have. In reality, nearly a third of SMBs will tell you that you don’t need that many features to satisfy your business’ and customers' needs. And fewer features means less money to invest. 

Why do you need an app for my SMB anyway?

Before we proceed to the basic steps an SMB needs to take to develop their app, we want to make sure you understand why you need one in the first place. Because maybe you didn’t think it was expensive but rather thought only the big players on the market need them. 

The first reason we mentioned in the beginning: customers often prefer to use their mobile phones to access the internet. And for the most convenient use, they need your app and they would for sure enjoy it more than simply accessing your website. 

Of course, we’re not saying that you must have it, but here are the top three pros: 

  • Data mining: an app will provide you with useful data about your customer’s behavior and way of thinking thus helping you understand them and fine-tune your offer toward their needs
  • Easier marketing: your promotions and special offers will travel easier and be more on point through an app
  • Feedback: the way apps function makes it easier for your customers to give feedback and for your business to use it

How to get your app

If we persuaded you that you need an app and you can see how much your business will benefit from it, it’s time to decide which approach suits your business and budget the most. Here are the three possible options and their pros and cons. 

Hire a mobile app development company

Your first option is to hire professionals that will build your business app from head to toe. A mobile app development company can help you choose the best features that will suit your customers. They can also create the best possible UX/UI design following your needs. 

On top of all that, an app built specifically for you, means you have control of security. This could be the most important characteristic. 

And those were the pros. So, what’s the catch? This process can be pretty pricy. And not just in the process of development. You need someone to take care of the maintenance as long as the app is running and that will add up to the cost. 

Other than the hole this option can make in your budget, it’s also time-consuming. All this tunning to your needs can’t happen quickly. 

But great things take time. If money is not an issue or you can make some adjustments to your budget, this is the best possible option. 

Buy a white-label app 

Your second option is to go for a white-label app. This means buying a template that can be customized to your needs. To a certain extent. Because only some features of UI design can be tuned. 

Depending on your budget, you can purchase a single-tenant or multi-tenant option. The first option means data storage just for you while, you guessed it, the second means you’re going to have to share. The single-tenant option is much better as it allows you to update whenever you want. This of course makes it the more expensive one. 

This type of app on the other hand is faster to develop than when a company is making one just for you. And the people who sold it to you will take care of the maintenance so that’s a relief for your budget. 

Use an app builder 

When you opt for an app builder, you use software created to make it possible to people who don’t know to code to develop apps. So, no, you don’t need to learn a programming language. You just need to choose one kind of this software and there are a couple on the market. 

The tool will allow you to choose the template and features from a list offered to you. Depending on your personality and overall knowledge, this can be great but also difficult. 

Something that’s for sure a downside is the security level of apps created this way. Some would say that the templates and features offered are outdated, but we think you just need to try better software. 

A definite pro of this approach is the cost-effectiveness and the speed of the process. 

To conclude 

For an SMB to have an app, it’s necessary to choose the best approach. And figuring out what’s best for you will be much easier if you assess your budget as well as your technical knowledge of the matter. Because doing it alone might save you money but it won’t be successful if you don’t know much about the features your customers need. So make sure you do some research.