You don’t need a rocket scientist to tell you just how many people have smartphones, tablets and mobile devices these days. Simply hop on the nearest train, head to the grocery store or pretty much just step outside and chances are you’ll see a slew of folks glued to their devices as they go about their days.

Numbers help, too: According to recent research, nearly 65 percent of American adults own smartphones. Beyond that, 42 percent of them own a tablet. Over time, both of these numbers have increased steadily, which should lead business owners to a simple conclusion: It’s becoming increasingly important for a vast majority of organizations to develop and maintain mobile applications.

Still, not all businesses need mobile apps. For example, local barbershops and neighborhood locksmith companies may be fine running their operations without one.

However, in today’s increasingly mobile world, many competitive businesses would likely be wise to invest in apps if for no other reason than to appear modern and hip. Case in point? A recent survey indicated that 91 percent of top brands have their own mobile apps. Unfortunately, if you want to join that club, you’ll have to play by their rules.

Thinking About Developing an App? Ask Yourself These Questions

It wouldn’t be too wise, of course, to develop a mobile app for the sole reason of simply doing so or to fit in with the crowd. Prior to moving forward with the development of your business app, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How can I pay for this? First things first: There’s no sense in spending a bunch of time devising a mobile app if you won’t be able to pay for it when all is said and done. Prior to brainstorming ideas about how to design a killer app, first figure out where you’ll get the funds to pay for it. Remember, you can either build your own apps in-house or you could choose to partner with an agency to design one for you.
  • What am I trying to accomplish? After you’ve figured out you can afford designing a mobile app, you need to start thinking about what problem you’re trying to solve. If you’re an e-commerce company, it could be something as easy as giving your customers more opportunities to buy your products. Once you pinpoint what you’re trying to accomplish, it’ll be that much easier to make measurable headwinds toward those objectives.
  • What are my users like? If you want your app to be a hit, you need to understand how your users go about their days. That way, you can figure out how they’re most likely to use your app. After all, there’s no sense in pouring resources into the development of an app simply to bring it to market. When you understand your users, you’re more likely to understand what they want in an app.
  • What features make apps good? For mobile apps to succeed, they’re got to be useful. As you go about designing your mobile app, ask yourself how you can provide the most benefit possible. For example, this company’s app helps those in the construction industry manage their projects with ease. By extension, the app makes those folks’ jobs easier. Take a similar approach with your app.
  • What risks do I need to beware of? You can never be too careful when it comes to digital security. When designing an app, figure out what kind of holes may be in the software so you can proactively patch them up and keep your customers’ data secure.

The world’s already mobile, and it’s becoming more so every day. As such, many businesses understand the necessity of catering to their customers’ increasingly mobile lives. Mobile apps provide businesses a great way to connect with their customers, help build brand awareness and provide additional sales opportunities.

What’s not to like?