As useful and widely accepted as mobile apps have become, not all small businesses can afford the investment in a developer to get one custom-created for them.
For those businesses not yet ready for a deeper plunge into the apps world, Web hosting provider imSMB.com has launched a drag-and-drop app builder for the iPhone that boasts app creation that takes five minutes and eliminates the need to budget for design and developer costs.
The basic version is free, and an upgraded version allows features like social media functionally, real-time content updates and reservation and payment functions to be added.
Do-it-yourself dev tools certainly aren’t new – there are plenty of options for Web applications and Web sites, and even Google has a tool to help non-techs build mobile apps.
Apps developers may chafe at the idea of business owners developing their own apps, but that view could be short-sighted. Even though solutions like this one from imSMB.com takes developers out of the picture, that's likely to be only a temporary situation. As more small businesses realize the potential of mobile apps for developing and expanding their businesses—and as their business strengthens and they have more resources to devote to mobile marketing—demand for more sophisticated apps that require expert developers is likely to increase as well.