The future is mobile. It’s been said so many times in the last few years that we have almost become immune to the fact that it’s true! Increasingly we get the information that we need to help us live our lives to the full from our mobile home screens. This is happening more and more with business apps too. Whatever industry you are working in, the likelihood is that it’s “going mobile”. So welcome to the future! Now let me ask you 3 questions:
How big is the mobile app market?
Pretty huge. According to research from the University of Alabama, 1 billion smartphones will be sold in 2015, and on average a smartphone owner will spend 30 hours per month playing with their collection of apps. Given that they will pay for just under half of the apps they use, the 268 billion downloads expected in 2017 will generate $77 billion of revenue. Mobiles are outselling personal computers and laptops by 2 to 1.
How profitable is the market?
There are essentially 3 ways to make money with apps: in-app purchases, in-app ads, and big data gathering. Studies suggest developers stand to make just over $1,000 dollars for developing an Android app, $4,000 for an IOS app, or $625 if they choose Microsoft. Analytics firm Garner estimated that $18 billion would be spent on mobile advertising in 2014 and that by 2017 the market could be worth as much as $41.9 billion. It’s harder to put a number on how much value big data analytics can add to a firm, although research has suggested that putting big data at the centre of your company’s marketing strategy can improve your ROI by 15-20%, and of course there are plenty of data hungry companies out there who may wish to buy your data from you.
So how do I get into the mobile app space?
If the first two questions make a pretty strong case for building a mobile app for your business, then this third question is a little trickier. It’s a great time to be a developer right now because conventional thinking says that if you want to build a beautiful, useful app with a UX and UI that meets your client’s expectations, you may need to spend upwards of $25,000 for design, development and deployment. Ouch!
Allow us to let you into a little secret, however; developers may not have it all their own way for much longer. Remember back in the day when website design was the privilege of the few? There weren’t many coders around so a company would have to pay a premium for services, and maybe some coders got a little greedy, because the reality of what they were doing was not actually as complex or as intellectually rigorous as they were letting on. Then Matt Mullenweg, WordPress, and democratisation in the form of snippets of code happened, and suddenly any business owner could build and maintain a blog, ecommerce, or company site, for free!
Apps are by nature a little more complex than websites or blogs, partly because they work a lot harder for your business, but I bet you will still be surprised if we tell you that you can build and maintain a native iOS and Android app, as well as an HTML5 version for just $16 dollars per month? To which you might think, “that’s fine and I would do it, but I lack the design skills so I’d best leave it to the coder”. But there is a better option.
GoodBarber is a company stuffed full of talented designers creating easy to use templates to help you build an app from scratch without writing any code. Maybe the fact that they are based in Corsica helps them attract top students who like to surround themselves with beautiful personalities and nature. Either way, the back office they have built is incredibly intuitive and easy to use. It’s very easy to get up and running; GoodBarber provide a selection of templates and just when you think of something you need to add it’s there in your display, and all you have to do is follow a set of simple, dynamic, instructions.
Ali Soroka, a Country Manager at GoodBarber who has travelled all the way from Pennsylvania in the US to join the team, believes that the effort that has been put into understanding the mind-set of a non-coder is what makes the tools work so well. The company, which was only founded in 2012, is about to complete its version 3.5 of the back office, and each time they have used their experience, plus in-depth research and analytics of client needs, to help them build in new features, design options and a specially adapted interface aimed at providing “the simplest and most enjoyable experience possible”.
The customer testimonials you can find on the site tell you everything you need to know about how simple, and how good for business it can be to produce a mobile app to run alongside, or even replace, your company website. It can be intimidating when you first think about switching to mobile; we have interviewed many companies that have experienced that fear of the relative unknown, but we haven’t, to date, met anybody who regretted it. One of the biggest worries and hurdles that has to be overcome is the concern that the market is getting over-saturated. Will my app stand out, will it even get approved by Apple or Google? Shouldn’t I be paying somebody to make sure I succeed?
Most entrepreneurs will know that that is not the right attitude to have. If you want something doing, as they say, do it yourself! That’s not to say never outsource to designers, but do it sensibly, and if you’re a start-up, try to do it cheaply. Another advantage of developing with Good Barber is that you can always ask one of their team for advice and guidance; unlike a lot of customer service portals, they don’t leave you hanging; is there anything more frustration than submitting a support query with no knowledge of how long it’s going to take for somebody to come back to you, only to receive a curt one liner 48 hours later that doesn’t come close to answering your question? GoodBarber offers free Skype sessions to all of its customers and promises to treat every query with due care and attention, plus their site is packed with useful blog posts and handy tips. After all, they are a start-up too, so they know how it feels.
There’s a sliding scale of services, too, so as you or your team grow more confident you can start adding code yourself. But most importantly, all of the cool things that you expect from an app, the things that made you want to “go mobile” in the first place, are there; push notifications, user generated content, internal and third party ad networks, traffic stats; there is a sliding scale of services depending on what you need your app to do; the priciest, at 48 euros per month, will keep any coder happy, although a developer option is available to tack on to all the plans for just $4 p.m. And don’t forget the reason you started this journey in the first place. The very real financial benefits that a good mobile app can bring with it.
Here’s one final reason to consider GoodBarber; one of the biggest fears of any company switching to mobile is finding out that their app has not been accepted by the Apple store. As we all know, Apple demands impeccable design and unique ideas, and that can hard to get right at the first time of asking, no matter how good your underlying product is. Knowing this, the team at Good Barber have made it their mission to design a range of templates and features that meet and sometimes exceed the standards of quality that will ensure your app stands out from the crowd, whilst meeting all the requirements to go straight on to the Apple store. Now, that is what you will see when you go on the site and start the process of creating your perfect app.
As you will discover, there’s nothing to be scared of, but a lot to get excited about. Good luck!
Good Barber are currently offering 50% off your first month’s subscription to their site, the coupon code is HTIMES. For more detail regarding GoodBarber’s service please contact Ali Soroka, firstname.lastname@example.org