In the rapidly evolving digital landscape of SMBs and Mobile Apps marked by software advancements and internet proliferation, mobile apps have become a game-changer for Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs) seeking to enhance their web presence across devices. As Steve Jobs once said, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”
Today’s small businesses, particularly small business owners, are harnessing the power of apps to lead their local business markets. Whether it’s DIY or DIFM (“Do It For Me.”), the approach small businesses take toward mobile app development could significantly impact their growth trajectory.
This is especially true for small business owners and local businesses, where the use of apps can make a considerable difference. Current trends in the SMB mobile app market show an encouraging shift towards this digital product, with small businesses leveraging apps and technology to enhance their web presence and offer unparalleled service over the internet to millennials who are always on-the-go, thereby increasing customer engagement.
Determining the Need for a Business App
Spotting Business Needs for an App
Every business has unique needs. Some businesses need mobile apps to push out promotions, others require a robust web presence to streamline online ordering for better customer service over the internet.
Take a pizza joint, for example. A mobile app could simplify the product ordering process on our website, making it easy-peasy for customers to customize their pie and checkout with our service in no time.
But what if you’re running a local boutique? A mobile app could showcase your product’s latest fashion finds and even let customers virtually try on clothes via mobile websites or mobile sites.
DIY Vs DIFM: Assessing Pros and Cons
Weighing the DIY Approach
Now, you’re probably thinking, “I can build my own mobile app or mobile site for my product, right?” Well, there’s good news and bad news about developing mobile apps and websites.
Let’s start with the bright side of things. The Do-It-Yourself (DIY) approach gives you full control over your mobile app, ensuring 100 percent customer service through your website and apps. You get to call all the shots! Plus, using DIY tools like mobile apps can save some bucks in your pocket, especially with percent discounts on website banking.
But hold up a sec! It’s not all sunshine and rainbows with website apps, banking, and customer service. There are downsides too.
Here’s the deal:
- You need mad tech skills or at least a basic understanding of coding to navigate apps, handle website management, master banking systems, and provide excellent customer service.
- It takes time – lots of it!
- The end result of the banking apps or website might not be as polished as if a customer service pro did it.
Taking the DIFM Route
On the flip side, there’s the Do-It-For-Me (DIFM) method in banking apps and customer service websites. This is where you hire experts to develop your mobile app and website.
So what’s so great about this? Check this out:
- No need for any technical know-how.
- High-quality output from professionals.
- Saves time for other important business tasks.
Sounds perfect, huh? But wait! Before you jump on board, consider these cons:
- It costs more than doing it yourself.
- Less personal input in design and functionality.
Comparing Time, Cost, Skill Requirements
Alrighty then! Let’s break down how DIY apps and DIFM websites stack up in terms of cost, and skill requirements.
In terms of time commitment:
- DIY apps and website creation: Requires a substantial amount of time – learning curve included!
- DIFM: Frees up more time – pros handle everything!
As for costs:
- DIY apps and website: Lower upfront costs but potentially high long-term expenses due to errors or maintenance issues.
- DIFM apps: Higher upfront costs but potential savings in the long run due to professional quality.
And lastly, skill requirements:
- DIY apps: Requires at least basic coding knowledge and technical skills.
- Apps DIFM: No technical skills needed – it’s all taken care of!
Key Factors Influencing DIY or DIFM Decision
Technical Expertise Matters
Hey there, SMBs! Ever thought of creating a mobile app for your business? If yes, then you’ve probably wondered whether to do it yourself (DIY) or hire a professional (DIFM).
One crucial factor that will influence your decision is technical expertise.
- If you’re tech-savvy and familiar with coding languages like Java and Swift, DIY could be your thing.
- However, if phrases like “API integration” or “front-end development” make you break out in cold sweat, hiring a pro might be the way to go.
Remember, an app isn’t just about appearance; it’s about functionality too. A poorly built app can harm your brand more than having no app at all.
Budget Constraints Play a Role
Another important consideration is budget constraints.
- Going the DIY route can save some bucks initially as many online platforms offer free basic services.
- But remember, time equals money. The time you spend learning how to create an app and actually doing it could have been invested elsewhere in your business.
- On the flip side, DIFM can seem costly upfront but think about the long-term benefits – a professionally made app can boost customer engagement and potentially increase sales.
Before making a decision, weigh these factors carefully against each other.
Time Availability Influences Your Choice
Lastly, let’s talk about time availability. It’s no secret that running an SMB is like spinning plates – there are always tons of things demanding your attention.
- If you’re already struggling to find enough hours in the day, adding ‘app developer’ to your job description might not be feasible.
- In contrast, going for DIFM means delegating this task to someone else while you focus on what you do best – running your business.
Website Building Options: DIY or DIFM?
Overview of Suitable Platforms
Website building is a big deal. It’s like setting up your digital storefront.
You’ve got two main routes here. The DIY (do-it-yourself) route, where you roll up your sleeves and get down to business with a website builder. Or the DIFM (do-it-for-me) approach, where you hire a pro to do the heavy lifting.
Let’s talk about some platforms for both options.
On the flip side, if you’re looking at DIFM, hiring a web designer or agency might be more your speed. They’ll usually use advanced platforms such as Adobe Dreamweaver or custom coding to create your site from scratch.
Now let’s chat dollars and cents. Which option gives more bang for your buck?
DIY website builders often have affordable monthly subscriptions. Some even offer free versions! But remember folks, time is money too. If you’re spending hours learning how to build a site instead of running your business, that’s a cost to consider.
Hiring professionals can be pricier upfront. Yet they bring expertise and efficiency to the table that could save you time and headaches in the long run.
Choosing between DIY or DIFM also depends on how much customization you want for your site.
With DIY products like Wix or Squarespace, there are limits on what you can tweak. You’re working within their templates after all. But hey, for many SMBs (small-to-medium businesses), these templates are plenty!
If you’ve got specific visions dancing in your head though, hiring a web designer might be worth it. They can tailor your site to your exact specs, making it as unique as a unicorn in a field of horses.
Impact of Mobile Sites on User Engagement
Mobile-Friendly Sites and User Engagement
Ever wondered why some mobile websites keep you hooked while others just don’t cut it? It’s all about user engagement, folks.
Sites that are mobile-friendly tend to have higher user engagement rates. Why so? Because they’re easy to navigate, look good on small screens, and provide relevant info without making users pinch and zoom.
For instance, a Google study found that 61% of users are likely to leave a mobile site if they can’t find what they’re looking for right away. On the flip side, 67% are more likely to buy from a mobile-friendly site.
Site Speed Influences User Experience
No one likes waiting around for a page to load. The speed of your website is crucial in keeping users engaged.
A delay of just one second in page response can result in a whopping 7% reduction in conversions. That’s huge! So if your landing page is taking its sweet time to load, you might be losing out on potential customers.
Google’s research shows that 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than three seconds to load. Now that’s food for thought!
Intuitive Design Enhances Interaction
Last but not least, let’s talk about intuitive design. A well-designed mobile site isn’t just about aesthetics; it plays a key role in how users interact with the content.
An intuitively designed site guides the user through their journey smoothly – like an invisible tour guide, leading them from one point to another effortlessly.
Take Amazon as an example – their ‘one-click purchase’ feature makes online shopping as easy as pie. This kind of smart design leads to enhanced interaction and ultimately drives up engagement rates.
Cost Considerations in App Development
Upfront Costs vs Long-Term Expenses
The question is always DIY or DIFM? Let’s talk dough. The upfront costs of app development can be a real gut punch.
We’re talking thousands, sometimes tens of thousands, depending on what you want your app to do.
- Fancy features? More moolah.
- Simple functionality? Less cash outlay.
But don’t forget about the long-term expenses. Think updates, maintenance, bug fixes – these things add up over time.
Complexity Level and Its Effect on Cost
The complexity level of your app plays a big part in its cost. It’s like building a house; the more rooms and fancy extras you want, the more it’ll cost ya.
- Basic app with simple features: Cheaper
- Complex app with advanced functionalities: Pricier
Remember this ain’t a one-time deal. The more complex your app is, the higher the cost for updates and maintenance will be down the line.
Budgeting for Post-Launch Maintenance and Updates
After launch, your app ain’t gonna run itself. You’ve got to budget for post-launch maintenance and updates too. This isn’t just about fixing bugs or making sure it runs smoothly on all devices (though that’s important too).
It’s also about keeping up with user demands and staying ahead of competitors.
- Regular updates to keep users engaged: $$$
- Maintenance to ensure smooth operation: $$$$
- Adding new features based on user feedback: $$$$$$
It might seem like a lot now, but trust me – it pays off in the long run. A well-maintained app can keep customers coming back for more which means more revenue for your SMB in the end.
Final Thoughts – SMBs and Mobile Apps DIY or DIFM?
Deciding between DIY or DIFM for your SMB’s mobile app is no small task. It’s like choosing between cooking at home or eating out – both have their perks and pitfalls. But remember, it’s not just about the cost. Think about your business needs, technical know-how, time constraints, and customer engagement goals.
So here’s the deal: if you’re tech-savvy with time on your hands, go ahead and roll up your sleeves for a DIY project. If not, don’t sweat it! Opting for DIFM can be a smart move to get a professional app without breaking a sweat (or the bank). Now that you’ve got the lowdown on both options, it’s over to you to make the choice that suits your business best.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
What are some benefits of DIY app development?
DIY app development gives you total control over every aspect of your app. It allows for flexibility in design changes and updates whenever you want. Plus, it can also be more cost-effective if you have the necessary skills.
How does DIFM differ from DIY?
DIFM stands for “Do It For Me.” In this case, professionals handle all aspects of developing your mobile app based on your specifications. This option saves time but may be more expensive than DIY.
Why should SMBs consider having a mobile app?
A mobile app can enhance customer engagement and loyalty by providing easy access to products or services anytime from anywhere. It can also serve as an effective marketing tool.
Is having a website enough or do I need an app too?
While websites are crucial for online presence, apps offer unique features like push notifications and offline access which can provide better user experience and higher engagement rates.
Can I switch from DIY to DIFM later if needed?
Absolutely! If you start with DIY and later find it challenging or time-consuming, you can always hire professionals to take over the development process.