This article is meant to be a high-level overview of how to build an app. With the mobile market continuing to grow exponentially and the demand for applications exploding, the business of app creation has never been more attractive. The forecast for 2017 calls for 197 billion mobile app downloads which will help users flirt, play, travel, watch movies, and do pretty much everything else you can think of. With the potential profits for app creators continuing to grow, more entrepreneurs are drawn to invest every day. But how can interested parties give themselves the best chance for profit? Read on and learn more about building a mobile app.
Everyone knows that “Time is money.” The phrase has been around for ages. Only now – especially in the app industry – it’s undeniably true. In an extremely competitive environment; the quicker your idea gets to market, the better your chances are to make some real money.
One of the most important concepts for helping creators quickly develop and release their app is “Lean Startup.” Essentially, Lean Startup proposes that app creators optimize efficiency by reducing the waste of time and resources as much as possible. An important part of this idea is that customers are seen as a primary source of consultation. Who can give you better feedback than the individuals who will use your app?
However, building a mobile app is a far more complicated process than any one concept can encompass – even one as critical as Lean Startup. Let’s review the most important factors for ensuring an app is viable and potentially profitable.
There is a huge problem with overconfidence amongst entrepreneurs in the app industry. It seems far easier to make large profits than it actually is. Too many app creators forget the most important part of validating their apps – the research.
Researching your app’s subject matter is critical. Without understanding your market, the potential risks, and optimal strategy for your target demographic, your chances of success are far lower than if you do your due diligence.
Today’s app market is extremely saturated. Unfortunately, most of the ideas you have will already exist in the form of a fully fleshed out app. This difficulty causes many investors to get frustrated and give up. However, competition isn’t always a bad thing! As is the case with writing, music, and most other worthwhile endeavors, there’s nothing wrong with creating your own spin on an existing idea. If you can improve on an existing app in a novel and exciting way, your idea might still be viable.
The most successful entrepreneurs seek to understand their market on a deep level; a well-researched and nuanced comprehension of your subject matter will always produce the best results. It’s also important to note that it’s not enough to get a feel for the present environment; you should understand the history of your app’s market and try to anticipate the future, as well.
You can give your app its best possible chance for a long life by devoting time to updates, improvements in its functions, and advancements in user experience. As long as an app remains useful and beneficial to its users, it will be used.
- Seek feedback on your application ideas
Once you have a well-researched understanding of your app’s market, it’s time to seek feedback. Due to insecurity regarding their ideas and fear of people stealing their concept, many app creators make the blunder of not sharing their idea at all. Don’t do this! As with researching your app’s market, it’s highly beneficial to collect as much information as possible in the form of feedback. Get all the opinions you can and your analysis of the feasibility of your project will be far more accurate.
Don’t seek empty compliments and Yes-Men. You need real, honest feedback. Give value to critical opinions and try to remain objective. Your ego does not belong in the feedback process. The more you learn, the better. As your success grows, your confidence will, too. Then, you will experience less emotional distress when your ideas are criticized, and your situational intelligence will rise.
If you’re really worried about having your ideas stolen or shared without your consent, you can protect yourself with a simple confidentiality agreement. This is a great option for securing the rights to your project and putting your mind at ease.
- Build an MVP
According to Eric Ries, a famous Silicon Valley entrepreneur and author of the book The Lean Startup, an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is the minimum version of a product that allows a team to gather maximum learning and validate its potential customers with the least amount of effort and investment possible. This stage gives you the best possible idea of whether people will actually use your app.
The MVP is a critical step in the development of an app for getting an idea of how complete its concept is. The faster you can develop a minimal set of features that are capable of deploying and testing with an audience, the better. Once your MVP is launched, you will gather crucial information about the interactions your customers have with the developed product. Without an MVP, you cannot be sure whether or not your app is actually feasible.
If the launch of your MVP is successful, you can start looking into companies that might be interested in developing your application. Be selective! If you find the right developer, you can save yourself a great deal of time and money. Of course, if you make the wrong choice, the waste can be significant. Regardless of who you choose, be clear about your requirements, ask all the questions you can think of, and insist on agreeing to a clear, pre-determined budget.
- Start building your identity
It’s never too early to start building your brand, but it’s an absolute necessity to prioritize this step in the process once your app has launched. In a world with overwhelming amounts of new information, an idea that’s exciting and feasible today could easily be obsolete tomorrow. It’s also important to remember that what’s out of sight is out of mind, so act fast and act decisively.
Your image and your brand need to capture the essence of your app’s purpose. Effective visual identity and design go a long way toward promoting interest and awareness in your app. If your product isn’t attractive and easy to use, people won’t give it enough attention to discover its useful features and options. So keep aesthetics in mind; they can make or break your app.
- Make a sales plan
Before embarking on a long business plan, focus on the following question: “How do I get my first customers?”
You can have the most complete business plan in the world, but without customers, your business is nothing. Create a sales plan that clearly outlines your marketing strategies. Take it seriously and make sure it’s as complete as possible; you need to be prepared to show it to investors, partners, and other stakeholders.
In today’s market, ideas for apps are so abundant that they’re actually worth less than one dime per dozen. Set yourself apart from the amateurs. Take the time to understand and execute the five major steps outlined in this article and you’ll give yourself the best shot at building a mobile app and eventually succeeding in a difficult, yet highly profitable environment.