It’s practically impossible to run a business today without technology. No matter the size and type of enterprise, there’s a universal need for simple, functional software that streamlines processes and improves daily operations, while also attracting users and serving customers. But small businesses, in particular, have unique needs and challenges related to technology, as well as new opportunities.
Traditional software development is a costly and time-consuming endeavor that often requires experienced, expensive specialists that aren’t always available or affordable internally. For many new and small businesses, this can seem like a daunting problem. At the same time, though, an intelligent solution has never been closer – right in front of you and at your fingertips: low-code/no-code development.
Whether you’re building a mobile app or opening a flower shop, you can use a low-code/no-code platform to launch and scale your business, doing everything from website design, project management and accounting to marketing, customer engagement and creating APIs. If you’re in the startup phase, low-code/no-code (LCNC) is especially appealing because it is versatile, customizable and open source, so you won’t feel trapped by your architecture or have to start over when you change programs. You can just keep going and growing.
In this article, we’ll share insights informed by our experience working with small business owners and startup founders who used Draftbit’s low-code/no-code platform to save hundreds of engineering hours and reduce their time to value.
In software development, LCNC is an approach that requires little to no coding to create applications and processes. These development platforms use visual interfaces with straightforward logic and drag-and-drop features, rather than complex coding languages. They offer intuitive tools that enable users without extensive programming knowledge to build web applications, including mobile apps.
Low-code/no-code platforms are becoming more and more popular as a simpler, speedier option than traditional software development. Professional and nonprofessional “citizen” developers alike are able to use LCNC to build apps that accelerate digital transformation, automate key processes, meet business development demands and much more.
Increasingly, low-code/no-code solutions are being considered as advantageous for small businesses because they are cost-effective, mitigate the IT skills gap, expedite application development, require minimal training, can be deployed cross-platform (mobile, web, desktop, cloud) and are highly scalable.
LCNC platforms are a phenomenal way for small businesses to build and deploy effective, easy-to-use applications with little to no coding experience. Any company can use low-code/no-code to create custom-made apps to help automate workflow-based internal tasks or provide tailor-made solutions to their customers.
Low-code and no-code platforms can lower costs and build complexity for software development, allowing for an accelerated time to market. Successful platforms offer user-friendly visual interfaces. Prebuilt, reusable components and connectors empower non-technical business professionals and power users to quickly develop apps and easily integrate them with existing systems. Small businesses no longer need to engage in lengthy projects that would have been required using traditional consultant routes.
Because LCNC utilizes reusable code and is expandable, it’s easy to rapidly deploy apps while still allowing for adjustments to meet the changing business environment. Small companies know right away how their business models vary and when their customers desire more.
These days, customers expect that companies of all sizes will deliver high-quality digital applications and experiences. This means startup founders and IT leaders face intense pressure to produce applications quickly and improve time to value.
But traditional coding processes are time and money intensive, requiring well-trained teams of developers that are too expensive for most small businesses. Still, reaching customers online is critical for the success of SMBs, 80% of which will fold within 10 years of launching.
To ease the mounting pressures, some small business owners are taking advantage of the explosion in low-code development. Low-code/no-code platforms are making it possible for non-IT individuals, a.k.a. “citizen” developers, to create applications quickly on their own and at a fraction of the cost. These technologies are dramatically changing the IT landscape and giving small businesses the lifesaving tools they need to stay relevant.
Brand loyalty is the key to new customers, happy customers, and repeat business. In fact, 98% of U.S. consumers surveyed by Microsoft view customer service as a crucial factor in deciding which brands deserve their business. And, according to Forbes, roughly 75% of companies with above-average customer service perform better than their competitors financially.
Small businesses know their customer needs and desires better than anyone else. By taking the initiative to develop their own applications, they’re enhancing customer experiences and delivering quality service like never before.
Here are nine reasons small business owners should be thinking about low-code/no-code right now:
For small companies, the cost of traditional web and app development can be prohibitively expensive. But LCNC allows users the opportunity to develop apps on their own without the need to hire high-priced programmers.
These tools are also incredible time savers. In a recent worldwide survey, 29% of global respondents reported that low-code development was 40-60% faster than traditional development.
Cost-effective growth strategies are a major challenge for small businesses. Competition is high, especially if your brand awareness is low. But data suggests that consumer engagement trends are shifting.
One recent report indicated 85% of users now favor apps over mobile sites because they’re more convenient, faster and easier to browse. Catering to these changing preferences, mobile app development makes it easier for small businesses to target and engage consumers.
Because apps allow for personalized experiences, they give people the customized content and communication they crave. Mobile apps offer customers the ability to set preferences and receive recommendations that can improve their experience and help boost the chance of conversions.
In addition, you can target consumers with tailored notifications, a simple and easy way to keep them up-to-date with product offerings and deals.
Customers are better connected and more informed than ever before. And, accordingly, their expectations have never been higher. Fast and smooth mobile experiences are prerequisites for the modern consumer’s digital experience.
Small businesses can no longer just offer a website and customer service contact. They need to build easy-to-use and intuitive apps responsive on all devices. Low code/no-code platforms are the solution for both technical and non-technical teams to deliver for their customers. Draftbit can help you digitize your business.
Mobile apps enable small businesses to keep in touch with the feelings and opinions of users by offering opportunities to share critical feedback. Not only does this help your business get better, but it also might encourage other potential customers to try you.
Some low-code/no-code platforms are collaborative, customizable and connected, offering the ability to publish multiple versions, share externally and run user tests, with access to software experts and a vibrant community. On a platform like that, your team members can work together, acquire valuable feedback and grow your user base.
Research shows that 89% of companies view customer experience as the number one factor in driving loyalty. With so many different options for customer service and engagement, the goal is to work smarter, not harder.
Of course, saving money is important, too. Thanks to advancements in LCNC development, apps are not only the most in-demand way that customers want to access your products and services. They also are becoming the most affordable, efficient way of reaching customers.
Low-code/no-code platforms typically are built to offer a wide range of integrations to leverage existing systems. Many platforms are ready-made to interact with existing services, and they allow you to use your own business processes instead of migrating everything to a new platform.
For example, if you built an app with a scheduling component, it could easily be tied to Microsoft Outlook or Google calendars. With Draftbit, you can add custom integrations that connect your app directly to supported third-party platforms, helping you maintain greater control over your applications and avoid bringing in costly developers or professional services to make updates.
Businesses don’t need to hire developers or contract vendors to create apps. With LCNC solutions, you avoid expensive planning and ramp-up stages by giving teams close to the business the ability to be hands-on and actively involved.
Effective low-code/no-code platforms will have a wide range of prebuilt templates purpose-built, ready for you to expand on and deploy in a short time. Flexibility and adaptability make solving once expensive problems cheaper and more streamlined, helping small businesses innovate in a way that would not have been possible before.
Department managers are now able to use their own people to bring ideas and innovation to market. LCNC solutions mean small businesses don’t have to try and find talented developers or wait until employees acquire new skills to enjoy the benefits.
Your team can understand app-based project needs and requirements better than any outside consultant. Why not give them the basic tools and training they need to deploy apps? Empowering your employees to do their jobs better and independently will boost creativity, cultivate buy-in and improve the overall product.
Small businesses today are facing a marketing and IT dilemma. It’s now 60% more expensive for businesses to acquire new customers than it was five years ago, making retention more essential than ever before. And mobile traffic accounts for at least half the total web traffic worldwide. Indeed, consumers increasingly prefer using mobile apps to access products and services.
Unlike larger, more established companies, most small businesses don’t have the time or resources for sophisticated digital advertising or expensive app development. But by harnessing advancements and embracing opportunities in LCNC development, small businesses can address these challenges with ease.
Mobile application development is just one of many reasons small business owners should be thinking about low-code/no-code, but it’s becoming an ever more important one. And Draftbit is just one of many great low-code/no-code platforms out there, but we’re the one to help you build your mobile app visually – the app maker for small businesses.
That’s because Draftbit offers citizen developers the most user-friendly experience with an ecosystem of tools and support designed for all skill levels. Our platform enables users to create Android or IOS apps online without coding by using powerful software like React and React Native.
Draftbit’s LCNC applications are built with real code at the core, meaning it’s designed to grow with your business. As your business expands, so do the coding demands for your app. When complexity expands to the point that you must hire trained coders, there’s no need to start from scratch, as is often the case on other platforms.