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The pros and cons of creating an app for your startup

Posted by Kanika Sinha

January 16, 2017

You’ve got the mobile-friendly website. You have a digital marketing strategy that includes email marketing, social media and pay-per-click.

What about the app?

Assuming, your startup isn’t app-based like Snapchat, let's look at the pros and cons of creating an app for your startup.

If you’re looking to add an app to your marketing mix, we’ll lay it out for you so you can make the best decision for your startup.

The pros

One of the biggest pros of creating an app for your startup is that apps are built for phones and tablets, thus providing your customers the best possible experience right where they spend the most time.

They have control over how they view the content, and they have a wide-range of options available in-app. For example, they can choose to allow the app to access their camera, their contacts, etc.

Another advantage is that your startup virtually “lives” on your customers’ smartphones. Each time they look at their phones, there you are for instant accessibility.

This is a great way to increase awareness of your brand.

With your own branded app, you can send notifications directly to your smartphone users. You can use your app to promote your loyalty program, send promos and connect with your customers on a daily basis.

Plus, you can generate revenue through your app either by in-app purchases or a small fee you charge users to download your app.

You can also allow non-competing businesses to advertise on your app to generate even more cash flow.

According to Small Business Trends, if your business doesn’t have an app you’re missing out. Why?

They project that “non-game app downloads will grow 23% in the next five years, exceeding $182 billion in 2020.”

They estimate that in the next five to ten years, nearly everyone will be a mobile shopper. This is often easiest done in an app, so if your startup sells online, an app might be the way for you to go.

Finally, since your customers are already on social media, an app makes it easy for them to post, share and comment.

Talk to us about how our back-office services can help your startup move and make decisions faster.

The cons

On the flip side, creating an app for your startup is expensive. With apps, you have to have several versions – one for Apple users, one for Android users and one for Windows users.

Building an app usually takes an entirely different group of people then your web development team, so you’ll also incur costs here.

Wondering how much it costs to build an app? Well, even the simplest ones can start around $25,000. For many startups, the cost can be prohibitive.

In addition, you need to budget for long-term expenses for app management and adding fresh content. You’ll need to update your app to keep it secure and in line with the newest iOS and Android standards and other device updates.

An often-overlooked disadvantage is the amount of money you have to give the Apple store just for selling your app or your in-app purchases.

The cons for creating an app lie most definitively in the cost arena.

Final thoughts

Now that you’ve got the pros and cons of creating an app for your startup, it’s up to you to decide if it fits in your marketing strategy, and if so, when it would be most beneficial to create.

You might find it’s best to launch your startup with an app, while another company might decide to wait a year to create a branded app.

We’ve put together a list of a few questions to ponder when considering whether or not you should create an app for your startup:

  • Do you have the money to build both a website and a mobile app?
  • Do you have a mobile website? If so, is it working efficiently for your customers?
  • Do you have something extra to offer them that can’t be found on your website?
  • Will a mobile app enhance the experience your customers have with your business?
  • Do you have an estimate of your return on investment?
  • Can you generate income from your app?
You’ve heard the pros and the cons, and if you’re now wondering how you go about building an app for your business, the easiest way for a startup is to outsource it.

Want more?

Escalon has helped thousands of startups maximize their business and potential with our back-office solutions for accounting, HR, payroll, insurance, and recruiting and taxes — and we can help yours too. Talk to an expert today.  


Kanika Sinha
Kanika Sinha

Kanika is an enthusiastic content writer who craves to push the boundaries and explore uncharted territories. With her exceptional writing skills and in-depth knowledge of business-to-business dynamics, she creates compelling narratives that help businesses achieve tangible ROI. When not hunched over the keyboard, you can find her sweating it out in the gym, or indulging in a marathon of adorable movies with her young son.

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