The pros and cons of developing a mobile app for your small business

Mobile site or mobile app? That is the question. Do you require one or the other, or both? Understanding your businesses’ needs goes a long way toward helping you decide if you should invest the time and money necessary to develop and put into play a mobile app for your business. Does a mobile app make sense for your company? What are the costs, both in building one and in maintaining one? Have you got anyone capable of updating it? You need the answers to these and many other questions in order to really make a wise decision. Let’s take a peek at some of the pros and cons.

The Pros and Cons of creating a mobile app for your business

Pros:

  • Over 50 percent of adult Americans are employing smartphones for consumer and business purposes
  • Keeps your brand prominent in the marketplace
  • Increases customer retention and loyalty, as the app is constantly in front  of them
  • App users typically spend a lot more time on apps than on mobile sites
  • Usually load faster than mobile sites
  • Available offline, though they would need to login to buy, or perform any other action

Cons:

  • A mobile app needs to be developed for each platform, iPhone, Android, Windows, or any other platform
  • Mobile apps require ongoing care, both as regard fresh content along with technology updates
  • Mobile apps are not as easy to optimize as a mobile website
  • Mobile ads may well serve the purpose
  • Apps can be extremely expensive! If you go the Do It Yourself route, be prepared for a lot of headaches, as they frequently break, and need to be updated.

We all know there are as many uses for an app than you’ll be able to imagine, however some are better than others. This is an example of how apps were developed in the health care market. By ensuring your app is useful and not a mere novelty goes a long way toward helping you make your choice. While it’s a given that you require a mobile version of your website, the question of whether or not you should shell out what might be big bucks for an app is one you ought to examine carefully. Take the time to weigh the pros and cons for your business before you leap into developing a mobile app!

Green Marketing

Green marketing: a smart move for your local business!

Don’t look now but Earth day is here again, and so this might be a good time to take a look at how Green Marketing could benefit your company by appealing to your environmentally conscious consumers. Green marketing is not only a sensible way to preserve our dwindling natural resources, but it is often a deciding factor with regards to consumer purchasing decisions. Beyond the benefit that Green marketing has for our environment, it could work magic for your company’s public image also! This is turning out to be a critical factor for many individuals weighing where and who to purchase from these days. There are a growing number that will opt for an eco-friendly choice over another company isn’t simply on that fact alone.

How can you attract socially conscious consumers?

Getting the word out in your normal media is an important path for many companies to emphasize your green practices, improve your public image, and generate overall good will. As outlined by a report by D S Simon Productions, “media initiatives with a corporate social responsibility focus generates 35-50% more positive media coverage on television, radio, web and social media than comparable programs without the CSR hook”. Developing “green teams” within your business can get employees involved and help brand your business as one that truly cares about conservation and the green initiative. Organizations like EarthShare can help.

How Arya Cleaners went green and it worked!

Arya Cleaners, a dry cleaner in Chula Vista CA, went all in for green marketing and it paid off handsomely. Updating their natural gas burning water heaters with a new technology that transfers heat from the boiler to their commercial laundry machines, replacing their company vehicle with a fuel efficient clean burning delivery van, and also by using wet-cleaning technology that reduced their use of PERC (perchloroethylene), a harmful chemical solvent used by dry cleaners, by 90%, are a few of the steps they took.

This lead to Arya Cleaners being named a CoolCalifornia.org Small Business Excellence Award Winner, being a Certified Chula Vista Clean Business, and being given the Mayor’s award for excellence in 2009 for green friendly business practices. Arya has got it. Branding themselves as an eco-friendly business in a business where there are few that are doing so made a huge difference. Take steps to embrace green marketing today, and discover if it doesn’t have a positive impact on your bottom line!

Website Management – Doing a Doctor’s Check Up for Your Business Website

Just like your body, your business website also requires a check-up. It’s easy to let things slip, and the consequence of that would be a steady decline in traffic, reputation and ultimately sales. This is a rather insidious way for you to lose traction with your site, as you don’t immediately see it occurring. But it’s very real, and will have very real results.

So in the spirit of prevention, listed below are 5 ways you can make a huge difference in terms of how your sites appear, operate and prosper.

  1. Are your pages loading quickly? – It’s been said you’ve got less than 10 seconds to load your page or the majority of people will abandon and head for faster, greener pastures. If your site is image heavy, and packed with flash, you may well want to optimize for faster performance. Moreover, Google will punish your site in the search rankings should your pages load too slowly.
  2. Old products, programs, links lurking – Be sure you remove any old product, programs and links that are no longer relevant. Nothing says your page is stale and dated more than your PDF download from 2008 that’s not only dated but unavailable. Dead links and 404 pages will also not help your search rank, either.
  3. Stale content and old images – Likewise cull out text and images that are no longer topical. All those great pictures from 2007 which feature people no longer working with you can probably be archived, don’t you think? People and search engines are usually after fresh, current content!
  4. Refresh your social media – Ensure that your social media buttons not only link to your current social media sites, but that you’re up to date with them.
  5. Fresh content – Nothing will help nearly as much as fresh, updated content, consisting of posts, videos, audios, and images. If you have posts on the first page of your blog that are older than a month, you really should rethink your content strategy.

Break out your virtual stethoscope and start breathing. Your visitors will thank you!