Would you like to develop a mobile app for your business but have no idea where to start? Additionally, you have no or little technical experience? Don’t you worry, in that case, we are here for you. We are bringing you a list of 5 vital steps you need to go through before making your desired mobile app!
Knowing what is out there is vital. Don’t sit in the helicopter, grab your phone, download and play with a couple of apps similar to your idea. See what is doable and what others are doing with their mobile app. Talk to a professional to see if your solution is technically feasible. The time spent researching often comes back to you tenfold.
Many entrepreneurs building a mobile app believe they have the next big thing that will disrupt their industry. In reality, more than 8000 apps are launched every day. So we are sorry to burst your bubble but not all of them make it to the top featured list. In fact, most new apps introduced to the Play and App Store fail shortly after launch. That leads whoever came up with the idea of the app into losing both money and time invested.
There are a couple of things that need to be considered in order to successfully introduce a new mobile app. Are you solving a real pain in the market? Are you truly making the lives of your target audience better? To answer these questions you need to make sure that your mobile app has a strong value proposition. Only then, you will be able to attract the desired target audience.
The target audience, in particular, is the absolute key. Without identifying who you are targeting, it is impossible to build a strong user base. Also, building a strong user base fast is a make it or break it question. Additionally, when assessing your target audience, you will discover the answers to all kinds of questions. Are your users mainly using iOS or Android devices? How often they use the app and at what times? When you understand your target audience, you’ll be able to develop an app specifically tailored for them.
2. iOS or Android or Both
In case you have a limited budget and you want to enter the market ASAP to validate your mobile app idea, you should focus on whether your mobile app is for iOS, Android or both. If you are not sure, head back to point number one and do more research. Because choosing the right platform(s) for your mobile app is one of the most important decisions you have to make. You should never assume what your user base is using.
Once you know the platform, you will be able to make good technical decisions. Choosing between native, hybrid, or a web app carries many implications for later development and maintenance. This is why it’s key to leverage your market research and value proposition of your mobile app so you can make the best decision possible early on.
The core differences between native, hybrid and mobile apps:
- The programming languages they are built in. This depends on your budget, desired time frames, and available expertise.
- Access to native device APIs. This depends on the functionalities that you want your app to be able to access on a mobile device.
- Distribution method. This largely affects the way you market your app and define your marketing strategies.
- Multi-platform support. This is based on your target audience and the market you want to penetrate. Most likely, you will want to be present both on Apple’s App Store and Android’s Play Store.
Native apps are perfect for heavy-duty tasks such as gaming or the use of photos and videos. On the other hand, web apps are the best for solutions that require easy updates but don’t need any access to the device’s native features.
Native and web apps sit on opposite sides of the app spectrum. Native apps being the most expensive and typically slow to develop, while web apps are quite quick and low-cost to build. However, you can’t amplify web apps through app stores or have the users download them to their device.
The combination of both worlds is hybrid apps. They use the same code base for both iOS and Android. The hybrid apps can access the device’s features and they are available in both app stores. They are also an ideal choice for most mobile app goals and purposes, including productivity, utility and enterprise apps.
Once you’ve decided on the type of a mobile app you want to build, you are much more equipped to allocate your resources and plan your entire project development.
3. Time and Resources
Ideally, you’ll be able to announce your launch date ahead to create the buzz around it and make the people waiting for it excited.
In order to do that, you need to be aware of the time frame to scope, design, develop and test your app within the given time period. Due to that fact you need to start a conversation with your developers and technical teams asap. This will help you guide your entire project more effectively and allocate appropriate due dates to various planning and development stages, such as:
- Scoping required functionalities
While aligning expectations on the timeframe, this is also the best time to settle on your budget. Depending on the app’s complexity, features, infrastructure and many other factors, the full price from start to finish can vary greatly. It can go from under $10,000 for a simple app all the way up to six-figure budgets. Also, keep in mind that the final price depends on the agency and the developers you choose. It is based on agency size, expertise required, available time frame, and more.
Another costly factor is the ongoing support of the app. It will require continuous monitoring, crash logs review, optimizing for user experience based on comments, and keeping up with the operating system updates.
Knowing what resources you’re working with early on will prevent any emergencies and delays further down the line.
4. Maintenance, Privacy and Security
In short, every app has an ongoing maintenance cost once it’s published – no matter who builds it. After you launch your app, you still have to create new content, track how your app is performing, and let the users know what’s new. If your app relies on a server to store information like user records, or payment history, you’ll also have to pay to manage this information. Make sure you know what is needed to maintain the app that you are launching to avoid being a one-trick pony.
The benefit of taking this step so early is to give yourself plenty of time to get any legal consulting you may need, as well as plan and implement safety measures within the mobile app.
The security of your mobile app is one of these bread and butter things that gets easily neglected. Don’t make that mistake, ensure that security is being included early in the development process. Your users’ data is the most valuable asset. Therefore, make sure that you have the processes in place to collect, handle and store the data, as well as to manage any potential security risks.
5. Business model and Monetization
An app can play many different roles for your business and your bottom line. Generating revenue directly from the app is an obvious one. Other roles may be serving as a resource for your audience, indirectly assisting other phases of your sales funnel or increase your brand’s reach.
What role do you want your app to play in your business model? If you are planning to make money directly from your app, this is the time to look at the app monetization models.
- Freemium apps – These apps are free to download, but certain features and contents are locked, and they can only be accessed through a purchase.
- Paid (premium) apps – The user needs to purchase the app from the app store in order to use it. Because of the cost barrier of this model, a mobile marketing strategy is critical to demonstrate the unique, superior value compared to the free apps.
- In-app purchases – This model works by using the app to sell digital or physical products as a mobile commerce sales channel.
- Subscriptions – This model is similar to freemium apps, but brings a benefit of a recurring stream of revenue.
- In-app ads – This is possibly the simplest model of all because there is no cost barrier for the user. As with any advertising space, it’s important to never sacrifice user experience in order to gain more ad space.
- Sponsorships – This model usually becomes possible when you achieve a solid user base, as it allows you to partner with specific brands and advertisers. It is a win-win situation as brands pay for user actions, and your app generates further engagement for the user.
As with any other choice, each comes with benefits and disadvantages. Even though you can change your mind later, it’s vital that you establish your choice on a solid understanding of all the possible business models first. After that, you are able to steer your mobile app development based on what aligns with your business goal.
Once you go through these preparation steps, you will be ready to dive into developing your app, putting it on a path to a successful deployment and launch!
Keeping those 5 crucial steps in mind, you are ready to develop your own app. So wait no more and contact us. Let’s make your business digital! Also, if you want to read more about Digicentr, visit our website.