There's an App for That

It is probably safe to say that if you are a customer of Concur Breeze and employ their easy-to-use online expense reporting tool, mobility is important in your business, and you get just how significant the smart phone revolution is to the mobile workforce. More than just a work tool, and more than a high-tech toy, iPhones, BlackBerrys and the rest are the 21st equivalent of a Star Trek Tricorder – an all-in-one device that is increasingly becoming indispensable.

Why? Because there is an app for that. It turns out we use our phones for a lot more than just talking.

Yes, the universe of apps has become very crowded, but it is crowded for a reason. We love our apps and use them. Lots of them. At last count, the iTunes store carried more than 100,000 apps.

Yet even so, let me suggest that one of the best things you can do in your small business is to create an app. No, I am not saying that you need to spend tens of thousands of dollars and create the next Doodle Jump. Instead, as discussed below, you can very affordably create a simple app related to your business and offer it for free.

The reason you should consider creating an app for your business is two-fold:

1. It is a value-added tool: Maybe your business has a great website, or blog. Turning those into a smartphone app is another way to add value and stay connected with your customers.

2. It’s edgy: Let’s face it, in this interconnected, 24/7 wireless world, there is near constant competition for eyeballs. You have to stand out. By creating an iPhone or BlackBerry app offering, and prominently mentioning it on your site, you brand yourself as an innovative leader – even if no one ever downloads it.

And the good news is that creating that app can be both easy and affordable.

For example, consider Sweb Apps, a company that allows you to use a drag and drop interface to create your own app – quickly, and for $399. It works this way: Sign up at the Sweb Apps website and you will see a virtual iPhone. Pick how many buttons you want your app to have — 4, 6, or 8. Decide on the look you want. Then all you need to do is drag over the parts of your website that you want on the app. It could be:

  • Your store — allowing anyone to purchase products through the app

 

  • Blogs, articles or other content

 

  • Social media buttons

Another great, easy option I have come across for creating a small business content blogs is Mother Apps. How easy?

  • Choose the content you would like to include (blog, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, etc.)

 

  • Provide an app description

 

  • Upload a few images

 

  • Done

So what are your waiting for? Hop on the app bus, Gus!

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