Hands up how many people own a smart phone? How many of those remaining believe they will own a smartphone in the next year or so? How many with a smartphone, or hoping for one in the near future, run their own business? Now those with their hands still up how many are planning to have their own app downloaded onto their smartphone within the next year. If your hand dropped to your side like a lead balloon on the last question, maybe you should read the following and think again.
I am currently waiting for an App to pass through Apple’s notorious approval process. I don’t predict any problems, (famous last words!) as this is a simple app that involves no risky categories or in-app purchases. The app has been written for a taxi company. It allows users to register their details following app launch, providing the information necessary to enable very quick data entry when a taxi is required. The taxi company in this instance specialises in airport runs. They already have a number of corporate clients which utilise their services on a regular basis. The app simply provides another mechanism that the customers can use to to make their bookings easier.
I mention corporate clients but they don’t have to be large clients. An individual can just as easily download and use the app. All they require is an email address, to receive booking confirmations, and a willingness to register their details with a competent, trustworthy company.
The app wasn’t produced for a large company, it wasn’t even produced for somebody who operates in a high tech environment. Although the first platform the app has been developed for is the iPhone, the client doesn’t even own an iphone. In his own words he is just a taxi company. He may have built up a business involving several cars, as oppose to being a one man band, but it is still a simple business. The only reason he approached me to create an app is because he wanted to make it easier for his existing clients to utilise his services. If in the process of developing and releasing the app he receives new clients then all well and good, but that wasn’t his main goal. I don’t doubt that as word of the app spreads he will increase his customer base, as well as being the envy of local competitors.
This project was interesting to me for two reasons. It was good to hear of a business owner who has taken the time to listen to his customers and determine what he could do to make their lives easier. Equally it was good to see that the world of apps is now starting to appeal to the smaller companies in the UK. It is a good way to show the smaller businesses that commissioning a development company to produce an app need not incur an extortionate cost. If you pick the right company, who is willing to work with you all the way through the development, you can have an app to complement or enhance an existing service or simply to work alongside your website promoting your business. For those businesses that believe they do not have a sufficient offering to warrant an app on their own, or are struggling with the costs, there is always the option of collaborating with fellow local businesses to produce an app which promotes your area or specialism. There really is no excuse for not joining the app revolution. The only limit is your imagination.