The mobile application industry is growing every day with more people accessing information on their smart phones instead of traditional computers. Mobile applications allow your customers to feel more connection with your company, as they take your company with them, in a sense.

So this begs the question, does your business need a mobile app?

The are four main things to consider when deciding whether or not to create a mobile app:

Is your ROI going to outweigh the cost?

Creating and maintaining a mobile app costs money, depending on what you want it to do. Be sure to decide if a mobile app is in your budget and how it will bring customers in.

Are your customers eagerly using (and looking for) mobile apps?

Carefully consider whether your primary customers are using smart phones before you create an app that they don’t want.

What’s in it for your customers?

Are there clear business benefits for developing an app, other than “our competition is doing it” or something else that is self-serving?
Is it unique?

If there are already apps with similar functionality, what will make yours better or worth downloading?

The goal is to develop an application that is fun to use, or that provides valuable information (or both). It also must be easy to use. Give your customers something that they will need and want to use while away from the computer. Get them interacting!

Provide your app for free, unless there are compelling reasons to charge for it, outside your normal business model.

If you decide a mobile app is necessary, there are some basic build-your-own app programs online. However, for a more integrated and professional app, it may be better to hire a professional team to develop mobile applications for you. Costs will vary greatly, depending on the desired features and functionality—which brings us back to the No. 1 question, Is your ROI going to outweigh the cost?