Did you hear about the latest news that came out last week from Strava? An Australian university student discovered military bases in the Middle East by looking at Strava Heat Maps, which track the activity of Strava users all over the world and is accessible to anyone.

Have a look.

Without getting too technical, this raises questions around how your data is stored in apps, what ‘anonymous’ really means and how to use apps as safely as possible.

For us, it raised the question of why more people aren’t using custom built, mobile or web apps for their business, so they don’t have to rely on third party apps to store their data and protect their identity.

small businesses, we’re looking at you.

For many small businesses, the idea of a custom app can seem either unnecessary or too expensive, something that’s only used for large organisations.  These assumptions are wrong.  To break it down quickly, a custom app is a purpose built program which is personalised for your businesses particular needs.  They’re built with the intention of catering to a group of people with specific needs, rather than a ‘one size fits all’ option for larger audiences. 

Think of apps that your business might use such Xero, Trello and Slack. These are all off-the-shelf apps that have been built for large audiences with variable needs and can be great.  But, sometimes you need something with a little more functionality, that can be used for a large team without exuberant annual costs and this is where custom apps come in.  

So, if you’re one of those business owners that think it’s all too hard/expensive..

here's 5 reasons why a custom app would be more relevant for your business.

1. Security

Linking to the Strava scandal, this is a major factor you should consider when switching to a custom app. You can guarantee your data and identity will be safe as you get to decide the level of security. The custom app is being specifically designed for your business security needs and requirements.

 2. Customer service

Have an issue with your custom app? You won’t have to join a frustrating online chat or be stuck in a line of 100s of other support queries to fix it.  Chances are, you can contact your app developer directly and have the issue fixed and sorted within minutes.

 3. It's not expensive

Contrary to MANY beliefs, custom apps don’t have to be expensive! They can be made simply and still suit all of your required needs.  And when you take into account the annual costs of some off-the-shelf apps and how much you have to pay every time you want to add an extra person to your team or increase functionality, off-the-shelf apps get pricey, quickly.

 4. Enhance efficiency + productivity

There’s no doubt that using an app that’s specifically designed for your business will increase efficiency and productivity.  There’s no annoying features or pop-ups that you don’t need, or slow down your desktop or mobile.  If built correctly, there will be a clear sequence on how to achieve the task you’re after, get more done and this increased efficiency = productive teams.

 5. Easy to modify and update

Our small businesses and small business environment is constantly changing and having a custom app allows you to stay up-to-date with the industry and changes that occur. Custom apps are easy to modify, make changes to, add further functionality and update, to make sure they’re running at their best. 

There are so many more reasons why custom apps are relevant for small businesses today, but the ones above will get you started on your journey to thinking about how a custom app could fit into your business.  Importantly, it’s a way to give yourself a competitive advantage and continue to give your clients, that added value in your work.

Other musings:

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