- How much will it cost?
- How much time will I spend managing the development process and maintenance?
Most business apps are not particularly complex and should, therefore, not be particularly expensive. If you are a car dealer, you want to give GPS directions to your dealership, send coupons and promotional materials, show inventory, deliver sales-related data, survey customers, and perhaps let customers make service reservations and see service status. If you operate a hotel, you want to communicate hotel and event information, show facilities, show availability and facilitate reservations, offer coupons, and communicate special promotions. If you have a law firm, you’ll deliver information about attorneys, representative cases and clients, facilitate direct connections to law promotional material and social media, publish white papers and articles, and facilitate communication between professionals and clients. If you have a medical practice, you will accept appointments, give GPS directions, facilitate prescription refill requests, and perhaps publish content of interest to patients.
If your business is not mobile now, it will be someday soon – or you will lose market to those businesses that are.
Custom development can be expensive and time consuming. We’ve previously mused about how custom development costs, noting that the average cost to develop a mobile app can be $6,453 (or more). The average cost of an experienced, reputable US-based developer is $100-$120 per hour, and the average project takes between 60 and 80 hours. Because of the initial investment of time and energy, few custom developers will discuss a project that is less than about 50 hours.
If you now recognize the need for your business to be mobile, but do not want to spend the time or money to develop a fully customized mobile solution, semi-custom app development may be for you. For less than a couple thousand dollars, you can have a significant mobile presence and features like GPS directions; social network connections; photo sharing; professional directories with direct connections to phone, email, and SMS; reservations systems; article, white paper, and press release publishing; RSS fees; streaming; and much more.
The semi-custom app is not for everyone. But, there are few businesses that would not benefit from a mobile presence, and if a custom app is not in the cards, a semi-custom mobile app may be the ticket.