Everybody thinks they need a mobile app for their business. But when faced with the costs of custom mobile app development, many small companies decide to rethink their plan.

In markets such as restaurant, beauty, or retail, your decision will be much easier. There is likely an off-the-shelf white-label mobile app already out there and ready for you. For example, if you want to offer online ordering for a restaurant or appointment booking for a beauty salon, you have plenty of existing options. You won’t need to develop custom software.

What’s Behind a Mobile App?

Mobile apps need two things: data and function. Sounds simple enough. But is it? Not really.

When a prospective client is suffering from sticker shock, I have to explain the architecture to them. First, you need a place to store data. Then you need a way to get that data to the mobile app. Finally, you need a way to manage that data. And you probably need a website that also contains the same data.

That means for every mobile app, we build a data layer, a web management console, a way to transfer data between the data layer and the mobile apps (an API), a web version of the mobile app, and at least an Android app and an iOS/iPhone/iPad app. So for every mobile app, there are at least five individual development projects!

That Sounds Complicated. So Who Actually Needs a Custom Mobile App?

There are plenty of reasons to develop a custom mobile app. We’ve created apps for online testing, wine shopping and scoring, and even customer account management apps for utility companies.

If you have a sufficient mobile user base to justify the cost or there is no off-the-shelf option available to you, you may need a custom mobile app. For example, you could mobilize your field agents. You could give them access to your corporate data, or allow them to collect customer signatures or to easily upload site location photos at time of service.

You might have an idea for a consumer-driven app that just doesn’t exist on the market. Or your particular niche is just too narrow to have any other options. Maybe you need to utilize some function of the phone, like the microphone or camera.

What Do You Recommend?

All of our enterprise web applications use responsive design techniques. When we develop custom software for you on the web, that software works and looks equally well on any platform. Whether you use a phone, tablet, PC, or Mac, our software looks and works great!

We can write the app once instead of five times. That costs you MUCH less, and ultimately your users probably won’t care that you don’t have a mobile app.

Unless you REALLY need a mobile app, our regular web-based apps work perfectly well on mobile devices. If we simply presented your web app inside a mobile app, nobody could tell the difference.

So What Are You Saying?

We’re perfectly happy to create a custom mobile app for you. We’re just saying that you might not need it. There is a certain panache to having a mobile app, but that panache comes with a cost. We’re here to give your company the best solution and also try to save you money. Contact us today and let’s talk about your specific needs!