Good businesses should not fail because of a lack of capital or investment

No, not nap. App. Nice try.
Business owners who want to stay in the game must resolve in 2018 to stop patting themselves on the back for their elegant and professionally produced web sites. Statistics show that smartphone use has surpassed the use of traditional desktops, laptops and even tablets. In case you haven’t heard, the future is mobile.
Yes, mobile-friendly web design can help. If your business hasn’t already optimized its web site for tablets and mobile devices, that’s a must-do, too.
But you still need an app, and here’s why: Brand loyalty and increased number of transactions per user. The reason is simple. If users have to open a browser, type in your url on that itty-bitty keyboard and navigate through the web pages – even simplified web pages – they will quickly turn off and search for a simpler way to do business. That easily could mean turning to a competitor.
You might think it seems lazy, but it’s the honest truth. In fact, at Mars Spiders, we found that customers who installed our app used our services significantly more than they would have using a web-based platform. To live our vision — that good businesses should not fail because of a lack of capital or investment – we had to be where investors and entrepreneurs are. That means mobile.

We are a social-matching service for the financial and business industry, and we wanted to make it simple for businesses and investors to find each other by using technology to break down the walls that divide money and opportunity. We weren’t going to be able to accomplish that using even the most tricked-out web page, on its own.
So we developed a unique mobile application platform to simply and easily connect investors with opportunities. It’s a simple idea, backed by a proprietary business-matching algorithm. It’s complex technology, but we also knew that our customers only would care about two things. First, does it work? Second, is it easy to use? We knew they would demand a clean, simple and intuitive interface, so we made that our end goal.

More people are qualified to design apps these days

A lot of small- to midsized companies have this perception that app development is far too complicated for their staff and would demand far too many resources for their budget. In fact, more and more people are qualified to design apps these days, so even if it’s not a skill that your in-house personnel have or can develop, you easily can contract with a highly qualified developer.
The key is to check references and be very clear about timelines and terms. Also, remember that computer programming isn’t magic – no matter how magical it may seem to a layperson. If a developer has great credentials and a good track record, listen to him or her when she or he tells you that what you are asking for is complex or even impossible.
But very few businesses need apps that ask for the moon and stars, anyway. Usually, you’re looking for a sleek-looking app that does one or two simple functions.
At Mars Spiders, for example, we wanted users to be able to fill in some simple information so the algorithm can get to work. All businesses have to do is download our app and register with their LinkedIn profile. Then they can create a project and upload as much information as needed to pique investors’ interest: business plans, amount of investment required, sector, etc. Then they sit back and wait for the “connect” requests.
On the investor side, users simply download our app and register with their LinkedIn profile. Then fill in a few specific investment criteria. Within seconds, they’ll be viewing business opportunities matching their profile. When a business sparks their interest, they simply click “connect.” Once both parties agree to connect, they can get to know each other through Mars Spiders Chat. If they like each other, they can meet to formalise the business opportunity, and our job is done.
Piece of cake.

Of course, there are a number of details to manage when you are developing your app – user experience is one. Security is another biggie. Especially if you are asking people to register with sensitive financial information, your reputation and future business success will depend on a bug-free, secure experience.
But investing the time, energy and money into creating an app that is elegant, easy to use and does a few things very well will reap enormous rewards, even if you have a niche customer or client base. You don’t have to be one of the big boys to create your own app. In fact, it just might be your app that gets you to that level.

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Mars Spiders is an award winning creative digital agency, blending strategic and creative app design & development, with marketing expertise to promote and expand your businesses. Our headquarters – Hackspace, London. Our www: marsspiders.com

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