The popularity of mobile applications has continued to rise. Mobile apps are not just limited to consumer use but are being used by businesses for their internal operational processes like data processing or sales support. But if you think mobile apps are solely for big businesses or popular brands, you couldn’t be more wrong. Small businesses are also leveraging the opportunities a mobile application offers, knowing that an effective mobile marketing strategy involves more than just a mobile-friendly website. In fact, today many businesses have their own dedicated mobile app. These companies are ahead of the game when it comes to taking their business to the next level. So if your business is not capitalizing on mobile applications, you need to look at how it is impacting your business and start developing a strategy to meet your customer’s expectations when it comes to mobile. #1. Why Create a Mobile App for your Business While your business may not collapse if you do not have a mobile app, it is worth remembering that the world has gone mobile. The number of people using the mobile web on smartphones and tablets has far surpassed the number of desktop computer users. You also need a mobile app because most desktop webpages won’t display well on mobile screen. But if you are still undecided whether you’d want to create your own mobile application, here are a few reasons that you should consider. #2. Improve Customer Engagement No matter whether you are selling electronics or massage services, your customers need a channel to reach you. Having a (help desk) or chatting feature within your app can truly make a difference in the way you connect to your customers. Integrating features such as in-app messaging, comments and likes into your mobile application could see your business improve its social standing. People spend many hours on social media every day, and having an app that offers all social media features will help get them engaging to your app. This way, consumers are able to discuss products/services, review them and even share them with their friends. This is undeniably one of the best ways to market your products or services. #3. Mobile Apps can be Monetized There are several ways in which you can monetize your application. In fact, you do not even have to be a mobile application development expert to make money from your app. In other words, you do not need to have technical expertise or training in programming to start developing apps for iOS and Android as most businesses contact a mobile application developer to build applications for them. Many of the free applications you download and install on your device are ad-supported. Even though the user will download it for free, he or she will see ads from time to time. This’s only one example in which your business app could act as your daily income stream. #4. Be Visible to Your Customers Always One of the best ways to increase the number of customers is to make your business as visible as possible to the right audience. Luckily, mobile apps give your business visibility that spreads beyond the internet and literally into the pockets and purses of your customers. Your customers do not need to search the internet to find your business. With an app, they will have everything they need in the palm of their hand. While it is true that a website plays a critical role in making your business visible online, the number of companies that are shifting attention to mobile apps is rising swiftly and will continue to increase in the coming years. And since customers are no longer using their desktop web browsers, it will be very difficult for them to find your website. Rather than doing a Google search from their desktop PC to find a particular company, customers are utilizing their mobile apps to find the businesses they want. A mobile app can make your business more visible than a website. #5. Direct Marketing Channel Mobile applications offer rich user experiences and all manner of functionality. They can provide general information, search features, booking forms, newsfeed, text messaging, and much more. The biggest advantage to having a mobile application is that all the info you would like to provide to your customers, such as sales and promotions, is right at their fingertips. Text messaging, for example, provides a way to send personalized messages to your customers. It can help you build more personal relationships with your clients in a way that other traditional marketing channels –such as an email –cannot. Also, small businesses are using apps to broadcast simple messages via Bluetooth to a defined geographically proximate audience to promote location based marketing campaigns. Push notifications can help you have a direct interaction with your audience, and can easily remind clients about your products and services. They can also be used to encourage customers to respond to your campaign. #6. Stand Out from the Crowd Today, many small businesses do not have apps, and this is where you can take a giant step ahead of your competitors. Be the first to reach your customers before your competitors get the chance to reach them first. They will be amazed at your cutting-edge approach. If other businesses in your industry offer mobile apps, look at how you can capture market share by offering the most friendly, intuitive user experience on your app as well as optimizing content and functionality for the needs and expectations of your customers. Mobile applications may be easier to have created than you think, additionally, there are ways to reduce costs. You can partner with other businesses to enhance revenue and spread the costs. Finding another business that is willing to share the development cost of app with your business can eliminate some of the extra cost of building a mobile app and can bring more customers to both parties involved if you have complementary products. Keeping that in mind, it is strongly recommended to choose a business partner that won’t compete with your business and uses similar principles that your business uses or has customers that would also be interested in your products and vice versa. Conclusion If staying ahead of the game is important to you and your business, then create your app now. If you do not go mobile today, there is a good chance your competitors will. Remember the popularity of the mobile industry is rising steeply and if you want to make your business stick out and help to get it noticed when compared to the competition; a mobile app is the way to go. Images: “Close-up image of Man using digital tablet/Shutterstock.com“ ________________________________________________________________________________ Tweak Your Biz is a thought leader global publication and online business community. Today, it is part of the Small Biz Trends stable of websites and receives over 300,000 unique views per month. Would you like to write for us? An outstanding title can increase tweets, Facebook Likes, and visitor traffic by 50% or more. Generate great titles for your articles and blog posts with the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator.