Cloud computing and mobile devices have opened new doors for small businesses. Technologies that would have been out of their reach in the past are emerging as accessible options. Solutions that would have given their larger competitors a major edge are becoming an option. However, there are still disadvantages in the small business space. In particular, large companies have teams of internal IT staff to design and develop custom mobile apps, websites and similar solutions to make their content and services stand out. Small businesses typically lack the personnel and resources to make that happen.

Development challenges for small businesses
An Information Age report explained that development creates considerable risk because of the potential for solutions to not fit well with business and end-user demands. This makes solutions that are properly aligned with company needs essential in the small business sector, something that is tricky to accomplish without access to in-house development resources.

"The demand for specialized, excellent apps is particularly acute in the small business sector."

However, the growing demand for custom apps has led to the rise of IT consultants and development specialists who can help organizations of any size create the kinds of solutions they require. The key, for small businesses, is to find partners that are willing to collaborate in order to create a solution that meets their nuanced needs.

The demand for specialized, excellent apps is particularly acute in the small business sector, where a SmallBizTrends report pointed out that many organizations run into problems creating a quality front-end interface and ensuring the system is elegant enough to function with minimal maintenance. In many cases, the operational burden of keeping apps running can be problematic for small businesses.

These challenges highlight the need to bring third-party development specialists into the mobile development equation. At first glance, smaller organizations may be thinking that they lack the resources to invest in a custom app, but that is increasingly not the case. Mobile apps and services are becoming a critical component of employee and customer engagement. As more people work on mobile, organizations need branded solutions to keep up with the competition. This makes apps more than a luxury item, they are a critical part of establishing a brand. Because of this, small organizations are in a situation where a custom solution is often essential to operating as a business. The key is to find a partner that can scale its services to the needs of a smaller company.

Custom development can help small businesses keep up in competitive markets.Custom development can help small businesses keep up in competitive markets.

What to look for in a development partner
We already touched on a willingness to collaborate, and it is worth bringing up again. Small businesses cannot afford to put time and fiscal resources into a custom app only to have that solution come out misaligned to their brand. Development partners that take the time to get to know the clients they work with and understand their unique requirements can be invaluable for small organizations, especially as these companies often lack the internal IT expertise to fully understand the technology implications of different application decisions.

From there, small business leaders should also look for development partners that offer a comprehensive solution. Having a developer meet with you to come up with technical specs, create a solution and leave it in your lap won't get the job done. Chances are you'll want help with QA testing, deployment and even management. Throw in getting backend databases in order, and you have a much more robust partnership in place.

At MC Services, we've built our development services in such a way that they can be adapted to organizations of any size. This begins with our commitment to creativity and communication, and follows through to a desire to create apps that solve problems in the most straightforward ways possible. Small businesses can't afford unnecessary complexity, and we're here to help them get the solutions they need to keep up in a changing marketplace without having to take on the risk of an unnecessarily complex and onerous project.