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So you\’re thinking of building your own app? Before you jump in feet first, there are a few things to consider.

1. What purpose will the app serve for your business? Is it worth the time and money to invest in an app that won\’t help you reach your goals? That\’s a question that has to be answered before you start drawing up plans and putting down dollars.

2. Do you have a product or service that would best suit an app format? If not, is building an app something that could catch on with customers through word-of-mouth? Does your company have partnerships with any companies who might be able to leverage the availability of an app (like Amazon, Apple Stores)? If the answers to these questions are no, you may want to slow down and think about whether an app is the best way to get your product or service into the hands of your customer. (Or, if it\’s a game like Minecraft, maybe it is.)

3. Do you know what type of app would be most useful for your business? For instance, the benefit to having an e-commerce app is you can make updates on your product listings constantly without the need of any outside parties and you\’re able to track traffic that comes from users searching for your product. On the other hand, anyone with a smartphone or tablet can access your app instantly – not just those who frequent websites.

4. How will you make sure the app is successful? If your app is for a specific region or budget, how will you expand it to fit the needs of your customers\’ growing businesses? Will you provide customer support for those who have issues using the app?

5. How will your company scale with the success of the app? How will you scale with the success of the app? When it comes to scaling your business, make sure these questions are at the forefront. It\’s hard enough to manage one successful business, let alone multiple.

6. Will building an app help bolster your current online presence? Is it worth taking time away from working on what has already worked for your business? If you\’re considering taking the plunge into app development, make sure that it\’s because you have a clear strategy for success. There are many apps out there that have never been used simply because the end-user had no idea they were available. The launch was designed to be flashy and promote itself – but not to encourage any type of use.

You may want to invest in an app if it\’s beneficial to your end-users. For example, apps that help people schedule flights, track their spending habits, or get regular updates from your industry are likely going to be used by your customers more than once a month.

The bottom line: If you\’re not sure if an app is the right choice for your business, talk with a developer. They can guide you in to what\’s best for both parties involved in an app development project. If you aren\’t ready to jump into app development, there are other options that could be more effective for your company\’s needs. Luckily, no matter what type of software you\’re trying to create, there are ways to get it out into the hands of customers – and make sure that they use it.

Join Liz Bohlmann and me as we discuss the questions you should be asking when contemplating designing building new products for your business.