Custom apps and small business

Most small-business owners are aware that they need effective, tailored apps to remain competitive in the new digital age. Having some crucial information on bits of paper, some in spreadsheets and the rest in their head isn’t workable, and even the smallest business requires up-to-date technology to achieve their goals.

SMEs, however, face unique challenges in acquiring the right apps – off-the-shelf apps are too generic for many businesses, but they cannot afford the high financial and time investment involved in getting custom apps from big IT development consultants.

It is now possible to develop custom apps with relatively inexpensive, easy-to-use, software that empowers non-IT savvy business owners to develop their own solutions.

We recommend businesses prioritise their processes and kick off with simple, quick-to-implement apps – start with the ‘low-hanging fruit’, the key tasks that technology can improve by avoiding repetition of work and removing human error.

Take a step-by-step approach and address processes over time, in order of importance and simplicity as you become more proficient at developing your own apps.

Small business wants to be mobile, getting out to customers and being able to access your data so you can provide quotes on the spot or issuing an invoice on the spot without having to go back to the office and prepare the paperwork – without this capability you’re likely to lose out to a competitor who is able to provide the instant quote or close the sale there and then.

Choose a custom app platform that combines mobility, automation/integration, ease of use, security and performance. The latest release of our platform, FileMaker 15, works across iPad, iPhone, Mac, Windows and the web. It has a multi-lingual facility, can store images as well as data, touch ID support that enables developers to securely access their custom apps with the touch of a finger, field-based data entry, a virtual signature system that allows sales to be completed ‘on the road’ and data transfer is protected by the highest level of encryption, AES256.

David Head, APAC Consulting Engineer, Filemaker, Inc.


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