I view mobile applications today as being in a very similar place to where websites were in the early days of the Internet. The big companies had websites, but the rest of the world had not bought into the idea of a website. Now, your company is not taken seriously unless you have a website. The purpose of a website typically falls into 1 of 3 models: Promotional, Sales, or Both. All good websites have a call to action. A website may promote a person, business, idea, or product and ultimately drive the audience to hire the person or business, believe in an idea, or buy a product. It is reasonable to say that some websites deliver functionality themselves. For example, the Amazon website lets you create an account and do your shopping online all through the website. Other websites promote a business. For example, the website for a dentist has a goal of educating you about the dentist and ultimately driving you to their office to have your dental work done.
If we look for parallels in the mobile application space what we see is a lot of examples of apps that deliver functionality themselves, but far fewer examples of apps that promote an external business. A business used to be cool if they had a website, now they are uncool if they don’t have one. This is where businesses have an opportunity to boost business today. If your business has a mobile application, and you include verbiage like find us on the app store, or there is an app for that in your promotional material you immediately set yourself apart from your competition that hasn’t bought into the concept of a mobile application. In 2-3 years you will have to have a mobile application to compete and you will have lost your advantage if you don’t take advantage of this opportunity soon. All of this is an easy sell in terms of convincing folks that they need and want a mobile application. To use an analogy, a company may decide that having a private jet is something that would benefit their company and they probably would have one if it made financial sense. Jets are millions of dollars and cost a lot to operate. So how much will a mobile app cost you?
The short answer is: “it depends.” The audience for this blog post is the small business or individual looking to promote themselves or business. A custom mobile application for this group typically costs between $5000 and $25,000 depending on the complexity of the project and the number of different devices they want to support (iPhone/iPod Touch, iPad, Android, etc…). Most small businesses are already spending a significant amount of money promoting their business in other ways like radio, tv, mailings, billboards, etc… A billboard can cost $3000 per month, and radio/tv advertising can cost even more. A custom mobile application is something you pay for once, and it is there forever. When our clients consider how much they are already spending just to keep up with the competition a mobile application is an easy sell to set them apart from their competition. So up to this point the sale of a mobile application for a business for promotional reasons is an easy one. There is one final hurdle however…
Most small businesses do not just have $5000 to $25,000 sitting in the bank that they can spend on a mobile application regardless of how great of an idea it might be. We combat this problem by working with a financing company that allows our clients to finance our work over as much as 5 years. While most small businesses can’t afford $5000 to $25,000 up front, they can afford roughly $200 a month to make a mobile application a reality for their business. I encourage you to contact me today at 262-353-6205 or email@example.com to talk about a project for your business and how much it will actually cost. This discussion won’t cost you a dime and you are under no obligation to do anything. So you literally have nothing to lose.
Stay tuned next week for when I discuss custom mobile application in the workplace to enhance productivity and to keep your clients coming back. This is really an exciting time, and while this blog post was intended as a sales pitch to get you to contact us, I sincerely hope you have been educated. This series will also delve into social media, custom websites, and turn-key complete solutions for businesses of all sizes. We will also continue our consumer awareness series along side this effort.
Dr. Michael Litman, PhD
President & CEO