How to Create an App for Your Small Business


Summary: The article details the process of creating a mobile app for your small business. Steps involved include: coming up with app ideas, hiring a freelance coder to create your app and signing up for an Apple developer account.

Image representing Apple as depicted in CrunchBase

Mobile apps are quickly becoming an important marketing tool for many small businesses.  We all know that the large corporations have apps for their products and services, but now even local businesses can launch an app solely for their clients use.  Dry cleaners, limo companies, bakeries, cleaning services; these are the types of local businesses that could benefit from having their own app.  For example, a local pizza restaurant could have an app that takes pizza orders, allows customers to select toppings and then displays an approximate delivery time.  This app could be very useful for regular clients who don’t want to have to call in their order.  ??

So how does a small business create an app?  The answer is simple: hire someone to create it for you.  First decide exactly what you want your app to do and create a basic outline of what your app will offer.  Next you should register with a freelance website such as elance.com or odesk.com. These websites have thousands of freelance coders eager to work at a reasonable price.  Once you have registered, create a job posting for your app.  For example your ad might read “Need app created for local printing company”.  When your ad goes live, you will begin to receive a wide variety of bids on your project.  These bids will vary greatly in price and each freelancer will have a different level of coding expertise.  ??

Take the time to look at each bid that meets your budget and check out all the portfolios of the providers who have applied for your job.  Nothing speaks louder than prior work examples and reviews from previous clients who have hired these freelancers.  Once you choose a provider, you will agree on a price for the completed app.  Make sure you agree on exactly what features the app will consist of and a deadline for the completion of your project.  Next you will pay the freelance website and your payment will remain in escrow until you are satisfied with the completed app.  Be sure and specify to the provider if you want an app for the iPhone, Android or platforms. Each of these will need separate coding and will add additional cost to your project.  Many business owners start with just the iPhone app, since it is the most popular platform.??

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...

When your app is complete your provider will send you a file consisting of your app’s code.  You should be able to test your app prior to releasing it to make sure there are no bugs that need to be worked out.  The next step is to sign up for a developer account with Apple, this account costs $100 for the year and it allows you to add your app to the app store on iTunes.  It may take a few days for Apple to approve your app.  Once approved, your app will go live almost immediately and you can begin letting your customers know about it.  Android and Blackberry have similar processes for submitting an app, be sure and look into the submission procedures for each platform.  ??


As you can see, the process of creating an app for your business is not as difficult as many people think.  In many cases you can have your app created and live on the app store in less than one month’s time.  So what are you waiting for?  Start the process of creating an app for your business today!

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