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This article was published on June 8, 2016

3 things you should consider before building a business app

3 things you should consider before building a business app
Amber Leigh Turner
Story by

Amber Leigh Turner

Owner and Creative Director of January Creative

Owner and Creative Director of January Creative in Nashville, Tennessee, Amber has been a self-employed graphic and web designer for over ei Owner and Creative Director of January Creative in Nashville, Tennessee, Amber has been a self-employed graphic and web designer for over eight years, starting early in her collegiate career. Amber has a unique passion for not only all things design, but all things business as well. Freelancing as a student gave Amber an opportunity to write a student freelancing book, appropriately named Students Freelancing 101: A Start to Finish Course to Becoming a Student Freelancing, to help other students who want to start freelancing. Follow her on Twitter. Email her at

Companies often need to manage anything and everything inside their organization – from accounting, to customer relationship management, to human resources. Even e-commerce and inventory management.

There are hundreds of tools and applications that help companies manage all of these areas and more, which makes finding one that fits all of your company’s specific needs a bit daunting.

So why bother? Perhaps it would be better to build a business app yourself.

Before you go down the path of creating your own application, however, there are some things you should consider before jumping in and creating your own.

Understand your requirements and exact needs

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The best place to start is by analyzing and organizing what data you’ll be collecting and managing.

Determine what your requirements are for your custom app by considering these three areas: Data, process, and people.

  • Will you be storing customer details and purchase history?
  • Will different departments need access to different information?
  • Will you be managing employee daily tasks and can this be automated?
  • Do you want an easy way to sync your inventory to your e-commerce system?
  • Do you want it to handle purchases and shipping?

Know the exact pieces of data to be collected and why they are needed to meet your overall business goals.

Proper planning at this stage is key to the success of your application, so it’s important to make sure everything is brought to light and discussed, and organized so the development stage of your app goes much more smoothly.

Look for and choose the right platform

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From do-it-yourself platforms to hiring developers to custom build one, choosing the right platform that caters to your organization’s needs is important as well.

If you’ve already taken the time to determine the individual information you need to meet your business goals, then it’s time to take a look at the platform itself.

  • Is it easy to use and get started?
  • Is there good customer support to help you along the way?
  • Will it allow you to easily and quickly put together your application without needing extensive help at every turn?

Additionally, consider the overall price of developing and maintaining your application. And never be afraid to ask questions – what you don’t know, could hurt you in the long run. Look for terms and conditions pages and feel free to ask about future pricing.

Consider and anticipate additional benefits and features

Chepe Nicoli /
Chepe Nicoli /

Not only should you anticipate the needs of your application today, you should also anticipate any benefits or features you’d like to have as your company grows and your needs expand.

  • Will your application be mobile friendly or have a mobile app version?
  • Can it scale with you and your company as needed?
  • Are there any third party applications that you would like to have integration with?
  • Will you have access to new features and benefits without additional cost?

As your company grows, your application should be able to grow with it. Your app should be flexible enough to handle growth in any area of your business and you can’t spend a lot of downtime waiting to integrate tools.

Make sure you have a complete idea about what to expect and how to grow with this platform.

Before you get building

Analyzing how your business works, what you want the application to do, what types of data it should store, the platform in which it will live, and anticipating future needs and benefits are all crucial items to nail down before you start the development of your app.

If your company finds themselves wanting to create their own application to meet their business needs, then taking some time for planning and forethought can make or break the success of your application.