Ryan Williams
Jeremy Julian

Launching an app for your business: what you need to consider

July 13, 2016

Bring Your Own Device in the Restaurant

 

How do you know when you and your business are ready for app? It’s a hard question to ask and frankly, no one has the answer as to when is the best time. However, when it comes to building an app, there are many factors to consider and questions to ask. Today, we are covering the factors you need to investigate when considering to create an app.

Are you ready?

First and foremost, you have to ask yourself, is your business ready for an app? Yes, there is an app for everything nowadays, but is it right for you and your customers? You have to be honest yourself and your priorities. You need to investigate and see if a mobile app is in line with your marketing strategy, company values, image and if it brings value. Is creating this app a reactionary measure because your competition is doing it or, will it be a consistent revenue stream that is not cannibalizing your other channels?

How much will it cost?

Because there are so many different variables, the price for a mobile app could range anywhere from $5,000 to $500,000; however, the price range will typically be somewhere between $80,000 and $300,000, with the entire development process taking 12-20 weeks. It’s obviously a hefty investment, both in time and money. This is why asking if an app will be a valuable asset to your business is important: the investment should work for you and add value, not be a money-drain.

Speed to market

Now that you have decided to create an app and it aligns with the company goals, how fast can you get the app to the public? It depends. There are two options when it comes to actually building an app: go the custom route, meaning an app is built piece-by-piece to the specifications of the client and is unique. Or, there is something called ‘white labeling.’ The definition is: a manufacturing and marketing practice in which a product or service is produced by one company and then rebranded by another company to make it appear to be their own. In another words, you can a template or skeleton of the app and fill it with your content and imagery. The downside is the uniqueness. It could look and act like many other apps or a competitors’, but just have your color scheme and/or brand.

Going with a white label is faster and less expensive, but offers little to no customization and may look exactly the same as a competitor and other apps. Going the custom route take a lot of time and money, but it can behave, look and do exactly what you want.

Which options fits your needs the best?

Where will the app be managed?

Deciding if the app is to be maintained and managed in-house or outsourced is key to the overall health and longevity of the app. If you have or are capable of maintaining a large team dedicated to the app and all web components, then by all means, manage the app in-house. However, if staff is limited and there may not be many or any folks that are tech/app experts, then outsourcing is an easy and feasible option. Generally, the folks that made your app also have the capabilities to manage it. So if you were happy with their work, this may be the easiest route to follow.

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Design and features

We touched on this earlier in speed to market, but customization offers the greatest freedom when it comes to features. Functionality is what is limited when going with a white label. Other than reskinning, the flow and look are similar to other brands. It’s difficult to stand out. And that may be the best reason to start from scratch: to create a custom experience for the customer that is truly and uniquely linked to your business. But you can ask a white-label supplier to add features, and some may oblige—but there’s often an extra cost.

If you are in the position of deciding whether to build an app, ask yourself these questions and see what you come up with. We are here to help you and your business.

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