Consider a peer board–because it can be lonely at the top!


By Valerie Riefenstahl, President, The Alternative Board of Tarrant County

Consider a peer board - because it can be lonely at the topSmartphones and tablets have become the device of choice for many and Apple’s slogan – “There’s an app for that” –has instilled the idea that people need to use apps rather than go to a website – even mobile specific websites.

Have you wondered if your business needs one? A TAB board member who owns a 30 year old day care center didn’t know if she should spend the money to create a mobile version of her website or an app. Her board advised her to start asking her potential clients, “How did you find us?” 60 percent found her company by searching for her service on their smart phone! She decided an easy-to-use app was what she needed more than a full mobile website.

Outlined below four key areas you should consider before you decide whether an app is right for your business.

1. Customer Demand. Have customers asked about your app? Do potential customers say, “I found you on my phone.” More and more people look for you first on their smart device. Ask them what they want to do—just call to make an appointment or search more fully your services—you may or may not need a full mobile site.

2. Competition. Do your key competitors have an app? What services do they offer on it? You will need to closely monitor what your competitors are doing and try to improve on it, while being careful not to simply imitate it.

3. Development. What functionality will it have, and what platforms will it be released on (Apple, Android, etc.)? Developing an app can be very expensive, depending on what functionality you want to include in it.

4. Maintenance. How will you update the content and test for bugs? You will not only need to update content regularly, but also update the app for new software releases for phones and tablets.

This article was brought to you by The Alternative Board of Tarrant County.

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