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Why Doesn’t Your Business Have an App Yet?

My Crossfit gym posts the workout of the day every night but I have to open a browser and visit the website to see it.  Why is there no app for that? There can be.  My school email does not have settings that I can program into my phone’s mail accounts.  Why is there no app for that?  There can be. Does your company serve customers that would benefit from being able to order your product straight from their phone?  There can be an app for that. Does your company have employees working in multiple locations that need to collaborate while traveling?   Would it benefit from a company drop-box or maybe GPS services for tracking shipments?  There can be an app for that, too.

Today, not having a company app is basically the equivalent of not having a website a decade ago.  The app revolution is here and you have already missed being one of the early adopters, but you are not too late.  Previously, getting an app required either writing your own (requiring the know-how and training) or paying someone big bucks to write an app for you.  Now, as the market has become more saturated with app developers, the prices have decreased while the options for developing have increased.

Take ShoutEm Inc. for example.  They have built a mobile app maker that lets you design your own app (without having to know code) and test it on the website.  You do not even have to pay up front.  If you like the app, ShoutEm will submit your app to both the iTunes AppStore and the Android Market.  ShoutEm believes that a mobile app should be an extention of your website, and offers full integration with the features in place on your current website so you can pull news feeds, sync events, and even embed updates for your app in your website.  They also offer WordPress and Drupal plugins for those that need them.  ShoutEm apps can use your smartphone’s GPS feature to register locations and can help organize and broadcast events.

Here is how it works.  You upload your business URLs and choose which RSS feeds and calendar events you want to sync with your app.  You can upload Youtube and Flicker content and sync with Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare if you feel the need.  Then you upload a logo and graphic for a splash screen and select your preferred color scheme.  From there you can edit the features and buttons that will appear in your app.  When you are finished ShoutEm submits your app so that people can begin downloading from the app stores.  Pricing is based on how many users you have and which features you need, but start at $29.90/month for basic services and can go up to 119.90/month for the Pro version.  There is also an enterprise edition for companies that have a large user base and want full customization.

If your company is not currently using an app as an extension of your website, you may be missing out on customers that you would otherwise not get, and this will become more and more important in the future.  Productivity can also be boosted by having a well designed app, so go get yours today.  ShoutEm.com is a great place to start, but there are other sites that offer similar products.  Check out Appbreeder.com as well and keep an eye out for more of these types of app builders as I predict they will be popping up all over the place.

You can see a tutorial video for ShoutEm here.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhAYQoUrtOM

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More Stories By Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley writes on enterprise IT. He is a founder and partner at Cognitio Corp and publsher of CTOvision.com

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