Increasing efficiency and reducing overhead. Many small to medium businesses Watch what they spend on a regular basis. Technology has become a great equalizer. I’d like to examine just two ways a business can do both.
Many businesses are still tied to a landline of some sort. Should that be the case in today's society? Many small medium businesses run service off of a mobile line. Depending upon you business type, it may be worth scrapping phone service all together and simply leveraging existing technology-the internet connection. One method of doing this is simply utilizing Google voice. This is a completely free service so long as you're not making international calls or you have switched a phone number once your Google voice account is set up.
If you wish to simply cut the landline yet still utilize cell phones, Google Voice does possess the capability of directly answering the call or sending to voicemail. Another benefit is transcription so if you are in an establishment that takes orders, you can quickly copy/paste the information for further action.
Marketing: The “old” way of marketing was to take an ad out in print media and/or have a TV spot air. The major problem with this is targeting when an individual sees it. Location is everything and that included where the ad was printed or viewed. Prime spots cost more than less visible spots and things were priced accordingly.
Today it is much simpler and cheaper and more effective two in gage in social media marketing. In lieu of indiscriminately targeting and “hoping for the best,” the targeting can be extremely specific based on a specific number of traits for whom you wish to target based on a specific number of factors. One example is Facebook. When you scroll through, you may probably see ads for products.
With that in mind, this is not a “build your app” type of article but merely one that just wants to encourage you to explore looking at a new way to utilize technology to reduce your overhead today if you’ve not done so already.
This NY Times article covers a number of important points.
-Encouraging mobile downloads via discounts.
-Promote deals via push notifications
-Sending feedback to the company.
Each aspect is something that has a long term return on investment. The article further goes on to address the 780% increase in a period of just five years. What’s driving this now? Mobile shopping.
Furthermore, what’s needed is a good, solid design much like any product an individual may utilize. If not, it’s easy to delete the app off of the device. The benefit for the app company is the tracking of consumer data to entice customers coming back.
Walgreens, Regal Cinema, and Panera Bread are all mentioned. The last, Panera is used as a case study. Approximately 30% of the users are opening the app every month. It’s used for all things Panera regarding nutrition, delivery time, and tracking the loyalty program.
That said, the article does go on to state that once deleted, there’s no chance of getting it back which stresses the need to get it right the first time out. Although it doesn’t take much to create an app, once deleted, people may not ever get it back. To help prevent this, depending on the establishment, one could get potential end user interaction. The simplest way of doing this is to take a computer to a limited pool of clients as they are in the establishment and ask them for direct feedback. This will help give the customer a say. This is more important regardless of the hard work that has gone into the design and potential delivery of the mobile app.
This allows you to roll things out on a limited basis to solicit honest feedback. The best way to do this is via what's called the web app. Here's an example using the Mobile App Pro platform. It's running in a mobile device's native browser and loses minimal functionality (essentially push notifications). Go here to the live apps page and download the app for your device and you'll see the differences. Once done download the build manual on the side of this page and get started today!
When it comes to maximizing investment, there are two sides. One side is for the customers. The other side is for the business itself. Let’s examine the customers first.
The primary thing customers concern themselves with is convenience. Remember how Red Box first appeared in grocery stores? They were derided by Blockbuster. Only Red Box remains. Combining two or more elements makes life much easier for the client. The mobile app equivalent is taking the basic website and connecting with some other sort of internet resource. The following are a few examples:
Authoritative (government affiliated agency)
Social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc)
The major benefit is connecting resources that the client may not have an app for. Facebook encapsulates a much wider audience than Twitter who tend to be more urban. Add YouTube into the mix which is visually appealing and the majority of people are visual. However, not everyone may have these individual apps loaded onto their devices. Combining shows that your business is “everywhere” when it comes to social media. Although not viewed as authorative, social media is the quickest way information goes “viral.”
In the 24/7 news cycle, it is very easy to “forget” when something happens. Given that the news is at times depending on perspective filled with negativity, putting a link to a positive story will continually remind your clients of the positive community contribution. Although the story may be aired once and not seen given many more people are “cutting the cord,” this will be a way to access information that is having a smaller effect in today’s world.
The last and slowest way is looking at things from an authoritative perspective. One way this can be done is linking to a government agency. This is something that can be used to show compliance with the law.
When it comes to the employees themselves, there are a number of benefits for them. Employee specific information can be hidden behind the padlock. One of the simplest things that employees would need to know is schedules. Aside from this, videos can be used for training employees. There is no longer the need to continually explain information. The app is used to save time for other tasks as necessary. The most immediate benefit are push notifications for inclement weather. This eliminates the need to maintain a phone tree. Each employee would get the same notification immediately.
This is all possible with mobile app development that can be performed in one day. Utilizing the unique app interface, it is possible to benefit both employees and clients starting today. All you need to do is log into the platform and build your app for free today.
Mobile application development can be an extremely confusing process. Here’s a few considerations:
Should it be a native/hybrid/web app?
How does it get built?
How does it get submitted?
What happens when an update is needed?
By way of quick explanation, here’s what it means:
Native App: Built specifically to be downloaded from an app store.
Hybrid App: Built specifically to be downloaded from an app store but is web based and integrates mobile technology that allows it to behave like a native application.
Web App: No coding or app store approval required, runs off a website link
Like anything in life, each one has tradeoffs. Going through the app store approval process (Apple in particular) can be difficult whereas the web app installs nothing so once the user hits “X,” the page disappears. Another feature is imagery selection. To make the Mobile App Maker Pro mobile app, all that you need to do is repurpose your content from your existing website. If you have none there are a multitude of free and low cost options. They include:
Whatever the method used, one the app has been made, one must submit it. This could be a host of difficulties as well. Submission on the Google Play platform is pretty simple and straightforward. Once the app is ready, one gets the app file that can be directly loaded. Apple is a bit of a different “animal.” One has to be running Mac OS to submit the app. Not only must one connect to Apple’s servers, there’s information that gets tied to the Mac that’s necessary for Apple to connect back as well.
From there, is the approval process. Google generally allows for an immediate release but will do its quality checks later. Apple takes up to two weeks and they have a team that reviews every submission on their platform.
Once released, there may be updates that need to be performed. Whatever method you used it may possibly cost to perform the updates. The advantage of the Mobile App Maker Pro platform is it integrates and performs the updates as necessary with no up charge. To get started click the link below.