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Are Old Ideas Holding You Back From a New Level of Efficiency?

Posted Wed, October 2, 2013 by Julie Short

Despite the fact that we live in a so-called "digital age," there are a surprising number of companies holding on to very old ideas and ways of doing things. In fact, some are even using newer technologies without truly taking advantage of them – something akin to using your laptop computer as a paperweight.

Obviously, we're exaggerating just a little bit, but it isn't unusual for otherwise successful businesses to be using backward processes, especially in the field of manufacturing, where many of our best clients do their work. Instead of embracing tools like CRM software, inventory control packages, logistics platforms, and custom mobile apps, they are clinging to spreadsheets, telephone calls, and other similarly outdated processes.

Why is it that they are fighting change, when they could be enjoying benefits like bigger sales, lower costs, and faster delivery times?

Although many companies would say they aren't ready to make changes, the answers often lie in the psychology of an organization, or the mindset of its executive team, rather than any true limitations of the hardware or software they could be using. That's understandable, but it's also something that's easy to fix. 

Here are a few of the common issues we help companies with, along with a couple quick thoughts on each:

Clinging to old habits. When it comes down to it, a lot of people don't like learning to do new things, or dealing with change at all. What usually happens, though, once we show them how much time and money can be saved by doing things a smarter way, is that our clients can't remember how they ever got along without the new tools and ideas.

A general resistance to change. This involves the same kind of thinking, but in an organizational sense. If things have always been relatively successful working a certain way, why change? The answer is that doing something successfully doesn't mean you can't do it better, or with less time, expense, and stress.

Personnel bottlenecks. Occasionally, we have clients who would like to try to do things differently, but can't get permission from a key executive or decision-maker. Again, the reasons for putting off change are usually valid, but a thoughtful proposal and demonstration are usually enough to let them give our way a try.

The blame game. Conversely, change is sometimes slowed by the worry that, if the new methods don't work out, the person responsible for bringing the idea up (or making the final decision) are going to be blamed. But, that ignores the reality that they can also receive credit for taking the initiative, and could receive even more blame later if they didn't take advantage of an opportunity to help the organization.

If your company isn’t getting enough from technology, right now is the perfect time to decide to change things, become more efficient, and move forward. Call or email the WebRevelation team today and let us show you how a few simple cost-effective shifts in the way you do business can make all the difference.

Posted in : Business Strategy | 
Tags : business strategy


What the Right Mobile App Development Partner Can Do For You

Posted Wed, September 25, 2013 by Julie Short

With thousands of companies across America considering mobile app development projects to help generate sales and boost the bottom line, more and more of them are wondering how to find the right app designer… or even what exactly a good app developer actually does.

That's understandable. It's a very new field, and one that's growing so quickly that it's hard to keep track of different concepts, labels, and best practices. With that in mind, we'll begin by explaining that, in a basic sense, an app developer is usually a person or team who takes your idea, programs it into the right formats and languages, and gives you a finished piece of software that can be used on iPhones, iPads, Androids, and other mobile devices.

As with something like web design, however, there are a lot of different types of companies that can help you with app development – and a lot of different levels of service and value. So, rather than simply defining an app developer, let's look at a few other things that the right app development partner can do for you:

Assess your idea, the market, and your competition. A lot of business owners and executives want to rush an app to market, but that's not a wise approach. Your development partner can do a bit of research and see whether your idea is likely to succeed, and what kind of competition you're up against.

Help turn your app concept into a viable product. Few app ideas are ready for development after an initial brainstorming session. Often, a little bit of thought about the features and layouts that will be used can produce important improvements – especially if a team of seasoned app developers can give some input.

Handle the technical details of app development (and especially troubleshooting). In the same way, there's a big difference between "coding" an app and having it ready for sale. You want your app tested extensively, within different types of mobile devices, to make sure it's going to work correctly for customers.

Get your app to market and help you build initial sales. Apps hardly ever generate their own sales momentum, at least not when they are first released. That's why it's important to have a strong, efficient marketing plan in place to let customers know about your product and start generating orders and downloads.

Although a lot of companies offer "app development" as one of their services, very few really give you the level of value that you're probably looking for. Remember that, and then choose your app development partner wisely.

Want to learn more about mobile apps and how they fit into your business? Call or email WebRevelation today to arrange for a free consultation.

Posted in : Mobile Apps | 
Tags : mobile app


5 Ingredients to a Great Mobile App Development Project

Posted Wed, September 18, 2013 by Julie Short

These days, almost everyone thinks they have a great idea for an app. But, once they get to the market, many apps fail to make an impression, either because there is too much competition, the design and development are lacking, or the concept ends up being unworkable as an actual piece of software.

So, how can you tell if your mobile app will be a success? There aren't any surefire answers, but here are five ingredients for a successful app development project:

1. A unique concept. There are a lot of really great app development ideas that fail simply because others have thought of them in the past. If your app is similar to others that are on the market, it needs to do something different, or better, in order to stand out.

2. A strong list of features. Does your app development project truly represent big value for someone who would buy or download it? By examining your list of features – that is, what it is your app will actually do – you can decide whether or not it's actually needed in the market, and whether customers will actually come looking for it.

3. Streamlined design with an emphasis on usability. No one wants to spend a lot of time learning to use an app, and if it doesn't shine from a usability standpoint, it's only a matter of time before a competitor releases a product that's easier to navigate. The same goes for design, where your app should have a pleasing look and interface.

4. Extensive testing and compatibility research. Apps that crash frequently, or don't work consistently across different mobile operating platforms, will struggle to achieve even modest sales. Because you don't want your app to get a reputation as being unstable, extensive testing is a necessity before you release it.

5. A comprehensive marketing and promotion plan. It's very rare for an app to simply show up for sale online and start to generate attention and reviews all on its own. Just as websites don't automatically appear in Google's rankings, an app promotion and marketing plan is important to generate momentum and find those all-important initial buyers.

Does your mobile app idea meet all of these criteria? Whether it does or not, now might be the perfect time to speak with the WebRevelation team – we can help you get more from your concept or turn it into something that's profitable for years to come.

Posted in : Mobile Apps | 
Tags : mobile app


3 Ways Companies Make Money With Mobile App Development

Posted Wed, September 11, 2013 by Julie Short

Mobile app development is a big business, and one that's getting bigger all the time. With millions of iPhones, Androids, and iPads flying off the shelves each month, Americans are becoming more and more connected through mobile web devices – and looking to new apps to help them make their lives and careers more convenient at the same time.

But, while businesses across the country are looking to cash in on app development, many will struggle to even break even on mobile software packages. There are a lot of reasons for this, including competition and a lack of understanding about app development, but one of the most important is that companies don't always know the best ways to profit from apps in the first place.

To help keep you from making the same mistakes, here are three ways that businesses profit from app development:

1. By becoming an app store bestseller, or steady sales over time. By now, you've undoubtedly read about an app that has made its founder or creator millions of dollars (and might have even purchased a few of your own). While these kinds of apps are obviously incredibly profitable, they also require that you have an original idea, along with more than a bit of luck. It's certainly possible to come up with a popular app, but know that you face lots of competition and will have to have a concept that's well above average.

2. By lowering costs with customer convenience. Another way to profit from apps is by giving your customers convenience they couldn't find elsewhere. In other words, by giving them an app that lets them place orders, for example, or update account information online, you don't just make life easier for them, you lower your own customer service costs at the same time. Looking for that mix of convenience and savings can be a great way to use inexpensive app development to boost your bottom line.

3. By using apps to introduce buyers to different products. Sometimes, the best way to make money from an app isn't to sell it at all, but to give it away and use it to promote other products and services to those who download it. Of course, you don't want to go overboard with the advertising or your app might get bad reviews. But, put together a handy tool that leads customers to other parts of your company, and you might have a win-win marketing solution.

One thing you'll notice about each of these ideas is that they all represent a different mobile app development, pricing, and distribution strategy. So, just as you need to know how you can make money with an app, it's also important to envision what that chain of profitability will look like before you begin if you're going to maximize your chances for success.

Have questions about app design and development? Get in touch with WebRevelation today and let us find the answers you need.

Posted in : Mobile Apps | 
Tags : mobile apps


Will Your Mobile App Development Project be Profitable?

Posted Wed, September 4, 2013 by Julie Short

Whether they express it directly or not, this is a question that is on the minds of a lot of business owners and executives when they come into our office to discuss mobile app development. Will they make money from the project, or will it be an expensive waste of time?

Obviously, there isn’t any single answer to that question – too much depends on your idea, the execution, and what kind of impression you make in the market. Plus, there is the harsh reality that developing a mobile app is the business equivalent to writing a novel or screenplay: Some go on to make big money, many generate solid sales, and more than a few are never noticed by potential customers.

So, how can you produce a big hit and avoid sinking money into a losing project? The first thing to do is realistically evaluate your app development idea. Here are three important questions to ask yourself from the outset:

1. How many other similar apps are already available on the market? There are really two important components to the answer. On the one hand, dozens of other existing apps might mean that it’s hard to gain attention and market share for your concept, especially if other apps are already entrenched as bestsellers.

On the other hand, though, having no other apps in your market isn't always a good thing, either. It could indicate that there just aren't enough potential buyers for the app you want to develop.

2. Does it do something different or better than other available apps? This is probably the biggest point that most would-be app developers overlook. In their rush to get a "great idea" out to the public, they don't stop to think about whether they have something that's truly new and interesting.

Unless your app offers something that other existing products don't, buyers are likely to stick with the ones they know and trust and ignore yours altogether.

3. Does it have value to your business beyond the sales it generates? Often, the key to a successful app launch is in figuring out exactly how you'll profit from it. In other words, some apps make money without ever being sold, because they bring customers back to your mobile website, encourage online sales, or reduce your customer service burden.

Before you invest money into app development, figure out how it can be distributed, and whether profits can be made in ways that don't involve selling it directly to customers.

Need answers to your questions about mobile app development? Contact WebRevelation today and let our team walk you through everything you need to know.

Posted in : Mobile Apps | 
Tags : mobile app


5 Online Tools You Can Use to Manage Your Company More Effectively

Posted Wed, August 21, 2013 by Julie Short

It isn't uncommon, when we meet with new business web design and marketing clients, to find that they have dozens more software tools and applications than they really need… but at the same time are missing out on some of the "essentials." In other words, they have a lot of things that won't really help them run their company, but have missed out on some of the most convenient and powerful tools out there.

To help you get more from your business, and your schedule, here are five that we can recommend you check out and incorporate into your company right away:

1. Trello. This amazingly simple piece of software makes project management a snap. By helping you sort tasks and milestones, complete with icons, next-step reminders, and other simple features, it gives you a straightforward way to move through large, complex projects, even when lots of different people are involved.

2. HootSuite. We mentioned this piece of software in a recent post about social media marketing, because it can be a wonderful timesaver for almost any business. Not only does it bring all of your social profiles together in one place (so that you don't have to log into them individually multiple times a day), but it lets you schedule tweets and other social updates ahead of time. If you feel like you don't have enough time to keep up with your social accounts and connections, HootSuite could be the answer.

3. Dropbox. This application lets users share large files with one another, and then update them on an ongoing basis. That means you can transmit pieces of data that are far too large for email, without uploading them to a public part of your website, and then collaborate with other team members, vendors, or customers at remote locations.

4. Skype and/or GoToMeeting. We've lumped these two together for the simple reason that traveling to face-to-face meetings isn't always a viable option these days, for financial and scheduling reasons. But, by using either piece of software (or both in conjunction), you can communicate with others and show off intricate presentations in real time, and all for a small fraction of what you'd pay for a single airline ticket.

5. Evernote. Although Evernote has a few distinct functions, we love it because it's document management at its best. Save important emails, paperwork, etc., and then tag it by date, folder, and even keywords. The result is that you'll never find yourself looking for an important file or piece of paper again, because they've all been stored and backed up in one convenient place.

Need more great tips on running a successful business in the digital age? Visit our blog for future updates, or get in touch with a member of the WebRevelation team today to see we can do for you.

Posted in : Tips and Tricks | 
Tags : online tools


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