Creating an app is definitely as exciting as it sounds, whether it may be for your existing business or a means to start a new one. With the bright prospects for mobile marketing, developing an app may be a lucrative business move for you. However, developing an app and ensuring its success may be a bit complicated for some, especially those who do not have the technical know-how in programming or those who are not well exposed to the app market. If you are building a mobile app for the first time, here are some scenarios that you might find yourself in.
I have tons of ideas for a mobile app. Which one should I pursue?
Finding yourself amidst several app ideas is perfectly fine. In fact, a lot of successful entrepreneurs started with multiple business ideas that eventually helped solidify their business. Hence, do not limit yourself to just one app idea. Do not fall in love with your first idea either. Continue to build your ideas, study which apps succeeded and failed, and seek feedback from other people.
Developing apps has been compared to releasing music singles. Each music single can be a hit or miss – just like an app can be. As soon as you have released your app, it is recommended to wait for about half a year. If downloads still seem to be a bit slow, then move on to your next idea.
Developing apps may sound expensive, but be informed that there are multiple tools out there that can let you create apps on your own through their user-friendly interface. Hiring a programmer has its own advantages, but if cost is an issue for you, you might want to resort to one of these tools instead.
I have already made up my mind about my app idea, but I do not know how to go about it.
Do not underestimate the power of a plan. Write down your idea as clearly as you can, and draw a mock-up of your app. Make this mock-up as detailed as you can – create a screen-by-screen plan if possible. There are various prototyping tools on the Internet that can help you with this. As soon as you are satisfied with your prototype, list down your requirements and seek the help of a company that can execute the development and design for you.
Again, if you are hesitant with hiring a developer, a cost-efficient alternative for you is to create the app on your own. This is not advisable though if your app idea is complicated. Just make sure to review your financial forecasts to ensure a sound return on your investment. Furthermore, release a prototype to test if the market for your app is large enough to cover for your development costs.
Does my app idea really have a market?
The secret here is having a prototype. Your first prototype does not have to be complete with all the features you have in mind. Rather, it should contain the core proposition of your app. For example, if you are thinking of delving into e-commerce through an app, limit your app prototype with your product display and checkout. Social media integration, wish lists, and other features can come in later on.
With the core proposition at hand (which is, in this case, enabling sales through an app), you should be able to test the market and see if there are enough customers to buy. To help improve your idea, remember to ask for feedback from your customers.
Should I outsource the development my app, or should I have my own development team and build the app in-house?
For the first release of your app, it is ideal to keep the costs low so as to test your market as well. Thus, you might want to outsource developer, but make sure that the developer you are hiring understands your needs clearly. At this point, what is important is getting your idea out there, and seeing if there are people who buy into your idea. If you see that there is a demand for your app, then that is when you can consider developing and maintaining your app in-house.
I do not know how to place my app in the Android Market and the Apple App Store.
Publishing your app in these app stores is pretty simple. All you have to do is create a developer account with Google and Apple through their website. Both companies charge an annual app store fee of $25 and $99, respectively. Your developers should take care of the process of uploading the app into these app stores.
Should I offer my app for free, or should I charge for every download?
Whether to offer your app for free or not should depend on whether your market is willing and able to pay or not. Study your market carefully. What are the kinds of apps that they purchase, and what are the kinds of apps that they are willing to download but only if it’s free? Ultimately, the choice is yours.
Remember though that there are many other ways in which you can make money out of an app. Charging for downloads is just one of them. Make sure to have a clear monetization strategy before developing your app.
I have now built my app. How do I promote it?
If you want to keep your marketing cost-efficient and yet effective, start with word-of-mouth. Have third-party endorsements (i.e. reviews) from popular tech bloggers, publications relevant to your app. Once you begin to see traction, do not make the mistake of halting your word-of-mouth efforts. Keep these efforts sustained so that your traction will be sustained as well.
How much does it cost to develop an app?
App development costs depend on a lot of factors. Development costs can be as low as $2,000 and can be as high as $100,000. This will ultimately depend on the design, features, and complexities surrounding your app.