A recent Fox Business story about “Tech Trends Expected in 2013” predicted mobile apps will become more prevalent for small businesses this year, “enabling them to be more connected, productive and use those moments of time that would be wasted if it weren’t for mobility.”

If your small business is ready for its own mobile app, how should you get started? Here are some features to look for when researching the right mobile app partner for your business.

  1. Easy to Set Up – creating your mobile app should be an easy step-by-step process that doesn’t involve coding on your part.
  2. Affordable – a mobile app doesn’t have to be a huge investment for your business. There are some great options out there now for small businesses that do not include large upfront costs or set-up fees.
  3. Mobile-Optimized Website – look for a mobile app provider that also offers a mobile-optimized website so customers can find your business whether they are searching from a desktop, smartphone or tablet.
  4. Solves Business Issues – a mobile app should make your business more efficient with features such as appointment scheduling, messaging and mobile payments.
  5. Marketing – a mobile app should help you connect with customers through coupons and deals, photos and videos and social sharing.
  6. Dashboard – a mobile app should include an easy-to-use dashboard that allows you to make changes to the app, respond to communication, create invoices and receive payments.

The right mobile app partner will understand your business, the challenges you face and will ultimately increase your ROI by saving you time and making your business operate more efficiently.