Nowadays there is an app for virtually everything you can think of. This includes food and spirits delivery, movie times and locations, mixes put together by your favorite DJ, keeping up with your health insurance premiums and claims, banking, etc. Anything you want and/or need to get done may be completed by simply pressing a couple of buttons or tabs on your smartphone or tablet. The only time I step foot in a bank now is when I lose my debit card and need to get it replaced immediately, otherwise, it is so convenient to just bank from my phone for everything else. Additionally, when I want to hear music or order a Philly cheese steak from up the block, I just pull out my phone and do so, rarely needing to go to a computer to retrieve what I want.
These days many entrepreneurs and companies alike are feverishly developing and releasing the newest and most up-to-date apps to keep up with consumer needs and desires. Though many have recognized the marketplace for extensive development in this area, there are numerous roadblocks and challenges to getting it up and running. One particular roadblock, as explained by Carlos Thomas, CEO and Founder of Bezzirk, is “financing and finding a reputable team.”
If you are an entrepreneur, or an officer at a company seeking to expand the present business horizons by offering an app to smartphone and tablet users, here are five tips to keep in mind to land a successful digital extension of your products and services.
- Offer a Product or Service That People Want and Need. If your underlying product or service is crappy, no consumer is going to come checking for the app. Having an app, just to have an app, is pointless if there is no demand or desire for what you are offering. Be original, be creative, yet, remain true to any current customers and target demos you already have.
- Engage and Include All of Your Customers. Be certain that the functionality of the app is alluring, attractive, and useful to and for your target audience and potential customers. If there is a way to build in mechanisms that allow a continuous extension and invitation to friends and family of current users, then, by all means, include those. Additionally, be certain that the app is available for most, if not all, smartphones and tablets currently dominating the market. You wouldn’t want anybody to feel left out.
- Seek Outside Assistance If Needed. This includes fundraising and development. If you have a great idea for an app, but have no clue as to how to get started and/or how you can pay for its development, seek help. As this proves to be one of the most challenging aspects when developing an app, be certain to properly allocate enough time in seeking both so as to not miss the opportunity.
- Promote and Market Consistently. As with the launch of anything, you don’t want your company and/or business to spend a considerable amount of time and money allocated towards the launch of an app, yet fail to consider or budget for its continuous promotion and marketing. Sure, there is big buzz for the first couple of weeks leading up to, and after, its release, but what about weeks and/or months down the line when the excitement for this “new” offering starts to fizzle? Be certain you plan appropriately for short-term and long-term marketing and promotion of your app so there may be a continued interest brewing.
- Track, Measure and Don’t Forget Your Website. As with all offerings, you want to ascertain what is working and what is not working. What interface interests consumers and which ones do not? How many hits are you getting for both the app, and for your existing website? Keeping up with and measuring all progress or failures will assist in continued development of updates to maintain interest from both consumers and potential customers.
Rashida Maples, Esq. is Founder and Managing Partner of J. Maples & Associates (www.jmaplesandassociates.com). She has practiced Entertainment, Real Estate and Small Business Law for 9 years, handling both transactional and litigation matters. Her clients include R&B Artists Bilal and Olivia, NFL Superstar Ray Lewis, Fashion Powerhouse Harlem’s Fashion Row and Hirschfeld Properties, LLC.
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