By: Jodi Reid
With nearly 2 million apps available across iOS and Android platforms, it seems as if there is an app for everything. Making the decision about whether or not to have your self storage business join the mobile app movement can be a difficult one. However, the popularity of mobile devices indicates that it is a sound market that will be around for a long time.
The number of people who access websites from a mobile device has grown significantly over the years. According to BBC News, at the end of 2011, there were more than six billion mobile phone subscriptions in the world. This number took into account the amount of SIM cards (two in one device was counted as two subscriptions). However, it is still quite noteworthy considering that there are nearly seven billion people on Earth.
A mobile app can help to distinguish your business from others in the self storage industry as well as provide more convenient options for your customers. Currently, there are only a few mobile apps available for self storage and more appear as time progresses. Being one of the early adapters to this trend can help to give you an edge over the competition.
How do you decide whether or not to build a mobile app or just optimize your current website for mobile devices? The answer to this question is not an easy one. There are several factors to take into consideration such as budget, time, and technical capability. A mobile website is fairly low cost and can often be maintained and updated on the same platform as a regular website.
Determining whether or not to delve into mobile business solutions should not be taken lightly. Often, this discussion comes down to money since apps can cost more to develop than mobile websites. Some small business owners have reported spending anywhere from $4,000 to $300,000 on app development. Conversely, apps can also generate income to cover the initial costs. There are many DIY app-building services that offer self storage business owners the ability to create apps from templates. It is best to determine the financial state of your self storage business before undertaking this venture.
Surveying your customers is smart way to determine whether or not investing in a mobile app is the right thing to do for your self storage facility. If a significant number would prefer to access your facility’s services via an app instead of a mobile or traditional browser, then it is possible that you draw in even more customers as well.