The Secret to Unlocking Mobile App Revenue: Enterprise

Austin Smith

Revenue is one of, if not the, foremost concerns for any business, and that goes double for mobile apps or digital products.

Acquiring early customers and getting initial traction is hard enough, and even once you’ve tuned your product to the point where you have a strong customer base, revenue can easily stagnate after initial growth.

This is unfortunate – but even more unfortunate is the fact that so many founders shoot themselves in the foot without even knowing it.

Because they miss one key concept, many mobile app or digital product founders cripple their revenue before they even get started.

What are we talking about here? One word:

Enterprise.

Why You Must Incorporate Enterprise Into Your Growth Plan

Don’t get us wrong, there’s nothing wrong with designing mobile apps for consumers. It makes sense.

It’s easier and often faster to create demand and find traction with consumers.

Most of us have no trouble putting ourselves in the shoes of consumers, making it easier to use empathic design for more user-centric products.

And, while there’s no benefit to this, it’s true: everyone is a consumer, but not everyone is in enterprise. Most people tend to think of consumer-centric applications because that’s the world they know and live in.

But unfortunately, by living only in a consumer-centric mindset, you also put an effective limit on your business long-term.

Let’s put this into perspective.

Global spending on software will be around $471 billion this year, according to International Data Corporation (IDC). Of those dollars, $351 billion will be spent by enterprise companies.

$351 billion. With a B.

That’s fully 75% of global spending on software happening in the enterprise sector.

This means that if you aren’t factoring enterprise into your long-term growth plan, you’re saying no to three quarters of your revenue potential.

For every four dollars you might earn as your business grows, you’re choosing to blow your nose with three of them.

This is why designing for enterprise is necessary, whether you’re building a mobile app, a web app, or any other digital product.

So how do you do it?

How to Think About Enterprise Software Design

Implementing a plan for enterprise is easier said than done, but it’s always possible.

(Of course, if you want an expert opinion on how to adapt your software for enterprise clients, it never hurts to invest in a roadmapping session by Rootstrap.)

The key, as always, is user research and testing.

But outside of doing research with real enterprise users, you can start to reframe the ways you think about your product to make it easier to bridge the gap.

Start by breaking it down to the simplest core benefit of your app: what does it do? What problem does it solve? And why does that matter?

Then, think about how people may experience that problem at a big company. Also try to consider how the problem looks at different scales.

For example, an organizational program that uses AI to auto-label email is helpful at the scale of an individual employee because it helps her keep her inbox in order.

That same software may be helpful at the level of a department because it helps the department see how they spend the bulk of their time communicating.

That same software may help at the level of the entire corporation by providing aggregated big data that leads to insights on how to make company communication more effective.

Ultimately, designing software for enterprise is about solving problems – just problems at the scale of a multinational corporation.

Because here’s the big secret for enterprise application design: enterprise customers don’t do free trials.

They don’t need to.

Enterprise customers aren’t concerned with the details of your program.

They don’t need to be.

For an enterprise customer, what matters is whether or not the backbone of your software can solve a real business problem for them.

What matters is whether or not your application can be adapted to solve their problem.

Because an enterprise client has the money to make that happen. If your software can really solve a problem for them, they can pay for a semi-custom solution.

Because enterprise clients don’t “spend money.” They allocate budgets.

So when you’re trying to tackle enterprise, you need to think from a different mindset:

How can I adapt my software to solve the problems of this company?

Enterprise & Consumer App Development Are Two Sides of the Same Coin

In this regard, it’s the same thing as designing software for consumer. It all comes down to creating user-centric software that solves a problem or provides a tangible benefit to your user.

The only difference is that this time, your user is a company. A big one.

If you can figure out how that company works, what its problems are, and how your software can be adapted to solve those problems, then you can break into enterprise.

And when you do, you’ve literally quadrupled your available market.

That’s $351 billion dollars you’ve just opened up for the taking.

So what are you waiting for?

Go get your piece.