5 Important Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Build An App

A client forwarded an email to me recently with the subject, “Why don’t I have one yet?”

Have what? I asked. It didn’t take long to realize; an App.

They were excited about the prospect. In fact, the email went so far as to mock up an image of the specialize app. Who wouldn’t be excited? You must have heard it from every marketing agency. Build an app. It will make you rich by letting you take payments, give you fame by connecting with your audience, and help you grow client awareness by engaging with them more often. But will it? Is it worth creating an app for your business? We would argue no, not yet at least.

5 reasons why you shouldn’t build an app.

1. Integration Of Social And Other Apps

The sayings, don’t fix what isn’t broken and there’s nothing new under the sun have more meaning when you’re creating an app. If someone is pressuring you to create an app just so you can integrate your social media feeds into it, then they’re trying to steal your money. There are services such as Hootsuite that do a great job of that integration. You audience doesn’t need to use your app to follow you on twitter or Facebook; there are apps for that already.

Not only that, but apps such as WaveApp let you accept credit cards and Asana help you direct your people to the next task. There’s no end to the apps that you can download to your Android or Iphone device.

2. Cost Of Upkeep

It seems every time you plug in your phone half a dozen apps have to update. Sometimes they are updating for something simple such as a glitch that shuts down if you have another app installed. Sometimes it’s far more complicated to do with security.

Whether you have someone in house or you’re paying someone to do the work, keeping ahead of glitches or those who would take advantage of those glitches can become expensive. When it comes to security, a small update in the operating platform, Android or Apple can be catastrophic. Imagine a banking app that goes down for an hour, or a day. A small business can ill afford to lose that kind of time. Then again, imagine if your security is breached and you lose all the payments that should be going your way.

3. You Don’t Have Repeat Customers

Every industry moves in cycles. Some are shorter, such as grocery stores while others are longer such as roofers. If your business isn’t predicated on recurring business then engaging them every day with your app isn’t going to be worth it, even if it is a branding exercise.

Car sales, realtors, and even dentists are hard pressed to keep an audience returning to an app on a daily basis if they only sell something to them once a year or worse, once in a lifetime. That means your cost of acquisition is infinite and the only benefit you might gain is the possibility of a referral.

4. Your Audience Doesn’t Use Mobile

Knowing the demographics of your audience is important to every business. It is one of the first things you should be doing when you set out your marketing plan. Unfortunately for some businesses, their primary customers are older. That means they don’t have their noses stuck in their cell phones all day waiting for the next update to pass by their twitter feeds.
You will be hard pressed to convince your audience they need to download your app if they don’t have a phone to download it to.

5. You Have To Continue To Reinvent Yourself

According to Android Authority,77 percent of users don’t use an app after three days.
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To keep your audience engaged, you need to continue to reinvent yourself and your app. The question you have to ask is whether you have enough time to create content for all of your social media feeds and your blog (which you should be doing) as well as the upkeep on your app. Just because your competition has an app isn’t a good enough reason to have your own. If you want to engage your audience or draw more leads use Facebook social and Facebook ads. The upkeep on an app can run your in the thousands per year and that’s assuming you have a team who can debug any issues before your money or data is stolen.

If you genuinely have an app that will add value to your clients then explore it, but if it’s a regurgitation of what’s already in the marketplace, use someone else’s for free or a nominal monthly amount.