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How To Start Your Own SaaS Business

If you’ve been planning on starting a SaaS business, then there’s never been a better time in embarking on such an endeavor. Many SaaS (Software as a Service) enterprises have emerged in the past decade and have successfully left their mark in the industry.

Established tech giants such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft have made available their own SaaS offerings. And users have been reaping the benefits of accessing these cloud-based applications cheaply and easily. Now, we’ll look further into what it takes to start your own Saas enterprise.

1. The Rise Of The SaaS Enterprise

The internet has radically transformed the way we do business and consume. Enterprises can release powerful apps far quicker than before, while users can access these applications almost effortlessly. And digital distribution has played a vital role in making this possible over the past two decades.

But even digital distribution has its fair share of bottlenecks that impedes the accessibility and evolution of software. In many cases, users have to pay a steep upfront cost and download and install files on their computers. And in the case of freemium or mobile apps, users may not have to pay a cent, but they’ll likely have to watch ads or whip out a credit card to access certain functionality.

Nowadays, users don’t have to relegate themselves to any digital distribution platform to access powerful and useful apps. With the rise of the SaaS enterprise, users can try out web-based solutions directly from their browsers.

So, what exactly is a SaaS enterprise? Well, it’s a company that develops an application or a series of applications meant to solve specific problems. These applications are hosted on a cloud service either by a third-party or on the company’s own servers. In the latter case, the company needs to update and maintain its SaaS applications and hardware. But that’s a boon for end-users since they don’t have to worry about updating their apps. And they no longer have to trawl forums or contact support when an update or installation goes wrong.

We’ve seen that this SaaS business model has been gaining traction in recent years. If you’ve used MailChimp, Slack, or Zoom, then you’ve used a SaaS product. But it won’t end there, as we’re bound to see many trailblazing SaaS enterprises emerge in the coming years.

2. Why You Should Consider Starting A SaaS Business

Whether you’re an appreneur or leading an enterprise, you’re likely coming up with cool and unique ideas. A few of these ideas could be solutions to problems that most people encounter in their day-to-day lives or enhance existing business processes. Either way, for these ideas to come to fruition, they’ll need the right vehicle to drive them forward.

One of the best ways to do this is by starting your own SaaS enterprise. And the good news is that it’s entirely possible with a small investment and a bit of sweat equity. Online marketing expert, Neil Patel, managed to launch his SaaS business based on a call-tracking idea for under $ 40,000. With his organized approach to building web-based businesses, Neil found a designer and a developer, built his product, and then focused on marketing and sales.

While we’re not insinuating that building a SaaS is easy, it’s doable with the right approach. Furthermore, you’ll benefit by establishing an enterprise that’s entirely your own without requiring a substantial investment. And, if your SaaS proves popular, it won’t be difficult sourcing venture capital (VC) to grow your enterprise further.

3. Choose The Right Funding Model

If you want to have maximum control of your SaaS enterprise, you should consider personally funding the entire endeavor. But if bootstrapping isn’t possible, then you could borrow money from friends and family. A word of warning, if you haven’t planned and validated your SaaS idea, you’ll be risking these funds on a project that could potentially fail.

However, if you’ve done your homework by conducting a competitive analysis, creating detailed financial forecasts, writing a lean plan, and validating your idea, then your funding options widen. Now, you’ll be in a position to seek funding from financial institutions, angel investors, and venture capitalists. But you’ll be giving up some control, and your business decisions will have to line up with requirements set by these entities.

4. A SaaS Business Starts With Proper Planning

Every serious entrepreneur draws up a business plan from day one. After all, no financial institution or angel investor will lend money to an enterprise without a business plan. And when building a SaaS, it’s essential to get your ideas on paper as quickly as possible.

However, it’s not necessary to draft a long and complex document initially. Start with a one-page pitch that briefly describes your business, unique value proposition, competitors, target market, sales forecast, expenses, milestones, and schedule. You can go into more detail once you’ve solidified your business model and SaaS proposition.

5. Creating A Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

Determine whether or not users have an interest in your SaaS. Moreover, validate if these users are willing to pay to use your app. Without releasing a full-fledged product, you’ll never know for sure. But by creating an MVP, you’ll be able to quickly gauge if users are genuinely interested in your offering before building a SaaS.

6. Building A SaaS

Ideally, you’ll have talented developers on your team that will help bring your SaaS ideas to life. While you’ll probably do most of your development in-house, you may need to outsource some work. For a smooth collaborative process, it’s always better to work with experienced developers such as NS804.

Be sure to start small and choose the right software development methodology for your project. Then, get a beta version of your SaaS out the door as quickly as possible, and don’t add any unnecessary features before launch.

7. Employing Good UX Design

It’s just as important to have one or more competent designers on your team. After all, your SaaS shouldn’t only run well, but it must also look great! Users expect good UX design from their apps, and you must meet their expectations if your SaaS is to succeed. Your designers will need to have a solid grasp of the five key elements of UX designs, namely: information architecture, interaction design, usability, prototyping, and visual design.

8. Don’t Ignore Custom Development

While your SaaS enterprise may function amazingly on the cloud, this doesn’t mean that you should ignore custom development. Many users will appreciate accessing an offline version of your SaaS that runs natively on their computers or mobile devices. Furthermore, you can provide users with additional features, extended business functions, and improved security with a custom-developed app.

9. Should A SaaS Business Incorporate Custom Development?

Yes, every SaaS enterprise benefits from incorporating custom development. Many business processes require the speed, stability, and security that only a custom-developed native app can provide. And certain visually intensive apps only run well if they have direct access to a device’s CPU and GPU, which may require a custom solution.

In Conclusion

Every appreneur and enterprise should consider building a SaaS if they want to reach new users. While there’ll always be a market for native applications, many users enjoy the accessibility and convenience of today’s SaaS offerings. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you get your SaaS business off the ground.

Is Freelance App Development More Budget-Friendly?

As a business leader, you could be deliberating whether to hire developers for several upcoming Android freelance projects. And you’ve taken notice of the many online job marketplaces where you can find freelance developers. But is freelance app development more budget-friendly than working with an agency? We answer that question in more detail below.

1. App Developer: Freelance Or Company

If you’re planning on developing an app, then you’ll need to answer an important question. Will you hire a freelancer or a company to make your app? You may think that this is an easy question to answer, but this isn’t the case. We recommend that you consider the following differences between freelancers and agencies before forging ahead.

Now, it’s never been easier to find freelance developers online to work on your project at competitive rates. But many freelancers have set skill sets, meaning that they specialize in certain types of apps. If you’re developing a broad range of apps or have specific requirements for an app, then you may run into roadblocks with freelancers. However, if you work with an agency that employs developers with varied skill sets, you’re more likely to complete your projects successfully.

Also, consider how you’ll scale your projects in the future. For example, you hire a developer or two for your Android freelance projects, and they do good work. Then, you decide to port these projects to iOS but discover that these developers lack the necessary expertise. But if you were working with an agency, cross-platform development wouldn’t be a problem.

2. A Look Inside Freelance Costs

According to Freelancer, hiring a freelancer is the most cost-effective solution. The median cost of hiring such a developer is $ 543. But do keep in mind that these developers are based in different parts of the world. And many are from third-world countries where salaries are lower, and English isn’t their first language. Thus, the quality of work may vary, and communication may prove difficult, depending on who you hire.

3. Pros And Cons of Android Freelance Projects

You’ve decided to launch several Android freelance projects and have started perusing online job marketplaces. Sites such as Gun.io, Hired, Toptal, Fiverr Pro, and X-Team all vet their freelance developers to ensure their competence. But you’ll want to hire the top-rated freelancers that have already proven themselves. However, these freelancers are in high demand and may not respond to your job posts.

Therefore, it’s easy to find freelance developers on these sites, but you’re not guaranteed to hire your preferred candidates. And given the popularity of Android, you’ll find more freelancers specializing in this platform than iOS. So, when you decide to port and scale your app, you’ll find yourself in a disadvantageous position.

4. Why It’s Easier To Count On An Agency

An agency has far more experience developing a wide variety of complex apps and respecting intellectual property rights and non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). Furthermore, an agency is more likely to implement best practices in developing, testing, and deploying apps. Freelancers may ignore these steps, which can jeopardize the quality and security of your projects.

While freelance app development may seem more budget-friendly at first, you’re likely to have more satisfactory results working with an agency. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can turn your ideas into engaging apps that amaze users.

On The Other Side of COVID-19

The State of Things Post COVID-19

While the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t completely behind us, we’re certainly close to coming out the other side. It definitely hasn’t been easy, as the road forward hardly ever is, and the last year will absolutely have a lasting impact. One way in which the pandemic impacted the world was through a swift acceleration into digitalization. With stay-at-home mandates, and health risks everywhere, much of society embraced a virtual expansion. Despite the sudden onset of the pandemic, a lot of the world was already prepared for a digital age. During the last few decades, society made giant technological strides. From the birth of the internet, smartphones, mobile apps, VR, AR, and so much more. Correspondingly, this technology already prepared many businesses to allow for remote staff and a work from home environment.

As the world reopens, though, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic won’t simply just disappear. In fact, the pandemic may have changed the world forever.

Impact on the Application Market

One of the few markets that saw a boom during the majority of the pandemic was the application market. This boom resulted from the intersection of a few key variables. The first; timing. This isn’t the first pandemic that’s swept the world. However, it’s the first pandemic to sweep the world since the birth of smart-tech, loaded with capabilities. This presented opportunity. The second variable; accessibility. In recent years specifically, there has been a push of creating accessible technology. In this same push is the shift to a more technological basis for education that includes coding, script writing, and programming. Finally; free time and isolation.

With smart technology an integrated aspect of everyday life, and the push for more accessible technology all around, the last pair of variables that led to the app market boom were free time, and isolation. With the surge in unemployment, more and more people were looking for a way to spend their days. Not to mention, social interactions were kept to a bare minimum, and stay at home mandates were implemented all over the country. Enter smart, accessible technology, paired with the college of YouTube, and other free avenues through which to learn programming, and suddenly a whole new pool of programmers and developers hit the scene.

That’s only half of the coin though. On the other side of this same perfect storm is the influx of user-base, for all the same reasons the app market saw an increase in developers. New users flocked to applications all across the market, from enterprise, to gaming, to meditation. It was truly a gold-rush.

Spreading The Word

While the surge in app developers, programmers, and users isn’t going anywhere in the post-pandemic wake; applications certainly helped to encourage users to get the vaccine. Organizations in today’s economy have higher expectations to participate in the social atmosphere than they have in previous decades. Corporate America isn’t perfect, by any means, but some of the players are at least trying. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, applications specifically, helped to encourage users to get the vaccine. Many applications used advertisement slots on their own dime to inform users on where to get the vaccine for free. Even large name applications like Tinder, and others, offered vaccinated users an incentive, like a free premium trial, date-night specials, or other in-app incentives.

Beyond Spreading The Word

Applications and technology helped us through the pandemic in more than one way, though. Applications also saw a boom in usership as they worked to bring people together in dire times, unlike any technology has before. Video conference applications like Zoom saw unprecedented growth as families relied on it to commune with one another, long distance relationships only survived because of it, and businesses got by with it. Gaming applications became a way for communities to develop even while individuals dealth with physical or mental isolation.

Enterprise applications were another market segment to see an influx during the COVID-19 pandemic. As businesses and organizations of all industries had to adapt to the virtual economy; many sought the help of enterprise applications. Business oriented applications designed to facilitate communication and collaboration between remote employees.

Beyond spreading the word, and bringing communities together, the technology available even helped in the actual creation and distribution of the vaccine itself. Discovering optimal distribution channels, running algorithms, and elevating scientific processes, the technology of today is, at least partially, responsible for the availability of the vaccine across the globe.

Looking Ahead

Moving forward, there is some question as to what the lasting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic will be. However, there are some trends that certainly seem stickier than others. For instance, it’s quite possible that the majority of the workforce remains remote, as there seems to be little-to-no evidence that professionals were less effective working remotely. On the contrary, many studies found that the individual professional was more proficient working from home than they were in the office for a variety of reasons, and largely attributed to quality of work-life balance. Additionally, the lack of a commute to and from work, proved significantly beneficial to workers mental and emotional health, which ultimately led to stronger overall performance.

The application market as a whole, is also likely to remain in a ‘boom’ period. While a large percentage of amateur programmers and developers might begin to drop off from the scene, there are bound to be a few who fell in love and stick around. Not to mention, the influx in the userbase is likely going to see a much softer dropoff. Therefore, there will ultimately be a higher user-to-developer ratio in the application markets than we even saw during the height of the pandemic.

The Virtual Economy

In addition to the trends that are likely to stick around, the virtual economy is likely here to stay. Permanently. Businesses and organizations of all shapes and sizes faced a sobering reality during the pandemic. Supply chains all over the globe disintegrated into thin air, as a tragic number of smaller businesses closed their doors. The organizations that successfully pivoted from in-person operations to remote or virtual operations are the survivors. Larger organizations that took a financial hit also had to make the pivot from brick and mortar to remote operations. This is a lesson that won’t be soon forgotten. In fact, current and future businesses are more likely to offer remote services and virtual operations now, and moving forward, than any type of in-person services. If it’s possible to be digitized, it will be.

Of course, the entire world won’t stay virtual forever, with live-performances opening back up, and bars and restaurants inviting customers back indoors, a portion of society will always be personable.

A Brighter Future Beyond COVID-19

The last year+ of the COVID-19 pandemic really flipped the script in more way than one. Between the massive influx into the application market, and the push for a more digital economy; some of these soceital changes and trends are going to remain long after the last case of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information on the application market as it stands, or help planning out your next mobile app venture, keep browsing NS804. NS804 is the proud developer of the everyday appreneur.

Bring it Back To Basics: Making a Splash as An Appreneur

Offering Value As an Appreneur

When it comes to app development, it is one of the most supersaturated markets that exist. This is because of its wide accessibility, and the massive audience pool from which to draw. As an appreneur or aspiring appreneur, it’s important to understand how it is that you or your application are providing value. Because app development is such a competitive market that utilizes technology, it goes to reason that it’s a field that sees an above-average amount of technological advances and evolutions.

However, new technology doesn’t always equate to high-quality applications to which users flock. Creating a truly valuable application that attracts a wide range of users takes a comprehensive approach to app development, which includes utilizing new technology, delivering value to users through optimized user experiences, and offering solutions or utility to the end-user.

The Picasso Effect

Picasso is famous for his abstract approach to art. The way that he depicts people and objects is completely surreal. However, Picasso didn’t start his journey creating brilliant works of abstract and surreal art. Rather, his first education in paints was as traditional and classical as it gets. Before he revamped the art world almost single-handedly, he first mastered the traditional fundamentals of the craft. In other words, he learned how to paint a perfect bowl of fruit, before flipping it on its side and making it something else entirely.

This evolution also occurs in application development. Oftentimes, new developers, programmers, and appreneurs want to jump headfirst off the high-dive and right into the deep end. In other words, appreneurs get so excited about the newest technology and newest features that they start sacrificing fundamentals in order to layer more and more features, without doing the due diligence to fully flush out those features.

This leads to a poorly designed application that feels unfocused and clunky. Worse yet, rushing through the integration process of a new sophisticated technology into your existing applications can lead to bug-ridden applications that are faulty, incomplete, or simply non-fucntional altogether.

This is why Picasso mastered classical painting before branching out and evolving into his legacy of abstract art. By fully understanding the concepts and fundamentals of the classical and traditional form; he was then able to evolve the field entirely.

Merging The Old with The New

In integrating these hot new technologies as they emerge, an appreneur needs to have a strong sense of vision. I’m not talking about your prescription glasses, rather, the term vision here indicates an ability to see vertical alignment and synchronization. It’s important, of course, to learn and be aware of the new technologies that hit the market place, but on the other hand, integrating them into your current and future projects is another endeavor completely.

The most successful applications find a hole in any of the existing niche-markets of the application development world. By providing a solution to an existing issue that end-users are experiencing, your application begins its journey with an advantage. Furthermore, by continuing to invest into the time that it takes to develop a comprehensive application, your end result is a more thoroughly thought through application that offers users a direct solution and immediate value.

Going beyond the value-proposition and the solutions that applications offer, the next level is both design and user experience based. It’sp important to note that the user experience is often regarded as the most important aspect of any application. Mainly due to the supersaturation of the application markets and the hyper competition that accompanies them.

A Look At The Newest Technology

When it comes to the new technology of applications, the choices range far and wide. One of the fastest growing technologies over the past decade is VR, or virtual reality. Some of the first iterations of VR came through gaming systems, like PS4, or Google Oculus. However, VR has a much deeper practicality than merely the video game market. Virtual reality technology has real life practicality in massive industries like healthcare, mental health, sporting, and even fashion.

By taking the time to learn the ins and outs of VR programming, your team will not only be able to build a quality VR system, but further, they’ll be able to construct a high-quality VR system that offers genuine practicality.

AR, or augmented reality, is next on the list. AR is a type of application that overlays additional imagery or visuals over physical locations. As you can imagine, this type of technology has a ton of potential. However, AR is still even a bit newer than VR, so many developers and programmers are still finding avenues through which to integrate and make use of AR in their application designs.

Finally, another technology that’s generating an incredible amount of buzz is facial recognition software. This software has quite swiftly become a popular feature. Think about the new Iphones and the ability to unlock your screen with a facial scan. On the flip side of this, however, is the dangers that facial recognition software poses to individual privacy. Many are weary that military and police institutions will leverage sophisticated facial recognition software inappropriately.

Value Versus Flash

When you boil it all down, successful applications have one thing in common: a strong and practical value proposition. This value proposition is then flushed out, developed, and used to inspire and create an MVP, or minimum viable product. The MVP leads to investments, funding, and partnership, which leads to a finished application, and finally your product launch.

Keeping that progression in mind, it’s rather clear that an application stuffed full of sophisticated technology is not guaranteed to be a success, nor even fully functional. It’s much more important in application development to focus on a fluid user experience, a strong value proposition, and aligned technology. By focusing on integrating only the modern technology that will benefit or elevate your specific value-propoisition, your application will stay much simpler and much more user-firendly.

Implementing User Feedback as An Appreneur

Once you’ve identified the value proposition and built the app, it’s time for an app launch. This is like cutting the big red ribbon on opening day, and it’s extremely exciting. Yet, the work is far from over. At this point in an applications life, your team needs to ensure that it remains relevant, updated, bug-free, and offers value to the user.

One of the most helpful strategies that appreneurs use is the user feedback in the app store. Paying attention to the app store reviews, and user feedback in general, brings your team better understanding of where they hit the nail on the head; and where their application could use some work.

A Brief Overview On What it Takes To Be an Appreneur

Noone said that being an apprenuer would be easy. And if they did, they lied. However, for the dedicated and committed appreneur, there are resources to help guide you. Do your due diligence, and conduct plenty of market research before jumping down the rabbit hole of your newest application, and consider the Picasso effect before attempting to tackle sophisticated application technologies like AR, VR, and Facial recognition.

For more information on successful appreneurship, or anything app development related, keep browsing NS804. NS804 is the application developer of the everyday appreneur.

Perfecting Your MVP Pitch

Crafting The Perfect Pitch For Your MVP

Businesses do not start from nothing. No, rather, a business forms from a thought. Sometimes, a single thought that undergoes nurturing and care until it’s a full-blown business operation. Think about Steve Jobs starting the behemoth that is Apple out of his garage. That’s some all-star thought-nourishment. As with any venture, a vital step is taking that thought, and turning it into a tangible prototype. This is the epicenter of an MVP when it comes to app development.

Designing a prototype that exemplifies the core concepts and values that your idea offers is integral to gaining traction; not only with investors and potential partners but with users as well.

The Ins and Outs of an MVP

MVP stands for minimum viable product. However, an easy way to think about MVPs is like they are the prototype of the application market. In that way, they share many of the same responsibilities and functions that a prototype serves in other industries. For example, MVPs often contain core components of the ultimate design, function, and user experience so that investors and potential partners can get an idea of how your app will deliver its value to the end-user. Now, that’s an extremely important word when it comes to MVPs – ‘value’.

The value-proposition is what should really drive the development of your MVP. When asking yourself or your team which elements need to be included in the MVP, consider which components you would regard as a core aspect of the value proposition. Asking and answering this question acts as a guide that yields a well-crafted MVP that contains the core aspects of your application and demonstrates the value that it will bring to users.

Building Value With Investors and Partners

Investors and potential partners are often akin to NFL coaches in a sense when it comes to “seeing it on the field”. In other words, ideas and potential are just that until they’re proven and tangible. This is what an MVP offers to your investors – the proof they need to sign on the dotted line and hand over the rest of those start-up funds. Plus, by having an MVP to show to interested parties and partners your team will be generating more buzz around the exciting new project that’s being developed.

Doubling down on this point, an MVP should also contain aspects of the user experience and design intentions. This will give investors a more immersive sense of what to expect from the final product, which keeps everyone aligned to the same value proposition and expectations.

Pitch Tips and Tricks

There are many pitching techniques and sales strategies that developers and programmers use. However, the most potent strategy in delivering an impactful MVP pitch is the integrity of the MVP and the value-proposition themselves. A strong MVP speaks for itself.

Wrapping Up on MVPs

The minimum viable product, or MVP, is an extremely important aspect of the application development world to grasp and master. For more information on MVPs or anything else related to app development; continue browsing NS804. NS804 is the proud app developer of the everyday person.

When Should You Create A New App Versus Updating Apps?

When deliberating over updating apps versus creating an entirely new app, appreneurs face a serious dilemma. Will updating their existing apps continue to excite users, or will a new app take their business to the next level? We take a deeper look at both and answer several questions that you may have.

1. Should You Ever Stop Updating An Old App?

There are several reasons why you’ll want to stop updating an old app. For one, it’s so old that the user base has dwindled significantly, and it’s no longer feasible to provide updates. Secondly, it doesn’t run well on newer hardware, and an app update won’t take advantage of modern chipsets. Thirdly, your codebase has become bloated and unmaintainable that your app would benefit from a complete rewrite.

Of course, there’s always a risk that you’ll disappoint your loyal users if you stop supporting a much-loved app. Ensure that you don’t alienate these users by communicating that you’ll create an entirely new and improved app that will replace the older app. And make it easy for them to move to the new app via an effective onboarding process.

If you’ve invested heavily in an older app, it’s not necessary to abandon it. You can still refactor the codebase and keep releasing it to your existing customers. But even if you do a complete rewrite of your app, you can still launch it with the same bundle ID and app name, and your users would get it.

2. Is Updating Apps More Time Consuming Than Starting Over?

If you’re working with an experienced development team, then updating apps shouldn’t take much time. The team should regularly provide minor and major updates throughout the year to keep these apps relevant. And these updates will take the form of additional content, bug fixes, enhanced functionality, new monetization options, platform compliance, and security patches, to name a few.

However, it’s important to mention that it takes several weeks for Apple’s App Store and Google Play to approve bug fixes and updates. A competent team will make several fixes before submitting a revised app to the stores. Thus, saving valuable time and ensuring that users have the most up-to-date app available.

3. Are Your New App Design Ideas Limited By Old Code?

Whether we like it or not, a piece of software will always face obsolescence at some point. No matter how advanced and innovative your app is, it’ll become obsolete eventually.

For example, you may want to implement new app design ideas that take advantage of the bigger screen real estate of foldable phones. But your older apps were designed for smartphones with single and smaller screens. You decide to roll out an update that resizes your app for foldable phones, but users complain that it feels shoehorned and that the User Interface (UI) doesn’t feel native to their phones or that the User Experience (UX) doesn’t feel quite right.

You may be able to implement these new features with an app update. If you’re refactoring your codebase and following software best practices, then you should be able to make the necessary changes. However, if this isn’t the best solution, consider rewriting your app to take advantage of the latest smartphone features.

4. How Often Are Users Updating Apps?

Every time you release an app update, ensure that you’re monitoring how often your users are updating your app. Why this is so important is because it tells you if users are still interested in your app. If they’re not regularly updating, then it’s likely that interest is waning.

Furthermore, you must gather and analyze user feedback to determine what users truly want. Perhaps, they’ve grown tired of your app, as it no longer provides them with features they find valuable. Or your app’s lagging behind competing offerings, and you’ll need to create an entirely new app to remain relevant.

5. Is A New App More Profitable Than Updating?

It largely depends if your app can retain user interest over a long period. Consider the costs associated with updating your app every year, which is approximately 20% of your initial development costs. Within five years, you would’ve spent about as much on updating an existing app as you would on a new app.

If an existing app can retain profitability over five years or more, then updating makes sense. But if an app doesn’t retain a sizable user base over this period to ensure its profitability, it’s better to create a new app. Moreover, you’ll likely attract more potential users and expand your user base with a new app, provided you also properly market and promote it.

Another side benefit of releasing an entirely new application is for listing purposes in the app stores. When you launch an app for the first time, it will get listed in the ‘what’s new’ section. Inevitably, this will enhance your app’s visibility and help you draw new users that you could never reach before.

6. Did A Major App Update Perform Well Or Not?

A major app update will increase brand loyalty as long as you provide users with the features they want. But it can also go horribly wrong if you’re not careful. When you’re implementing additional functionality, this inevitably increases your costs. Ideally, you’ll want to monetize these extra features, especially if users find these valuable. However, it’s also possible that users don’t want to pay for these features, meaning that you won’t see a meaningful ROI.

7. Can You Transfer User Settings To A New App Easily?

Do keep in mind that there are often compatibility issues when attempting to run older apps on new hardware. But compatibility issues don’t end there. If an older app uses a different file format from a new app, transferring user settings will prove difficult.

Of course, a competent developer will offer a workaround that allows users to transfer their settings. However, it’s always good practice to implement commonly-used data formats such as JavaScript Object Notation (JSON). All your apps should parse data with this format to make it easy for users to move to your latest app without inconveniencing them.

8. Is It Too Difficult To Add New Features To Your App?

It shouldn’t prove too difficult to add new features to a well-designed and engineered app. If you’re working with an experienced developer, such as NS804, updating apps won’t be a problem. But if your app has become bloated after several updates or suffers from technical debt, it will become hard to maintain. Moreover, adding new features will only make your app more unstable while negatively affecting its usability.

It’s crucial that your projects allow you to implement your new app design ideas. Users are always looking forward to features and improvements that make their favorite apps more engaging. Therefore, an outdated codebase can become a liability if it’s hindering you from moving forward with your ideas.

9. Will A New App Boost Your User Base?

There are no guarantees that your latest app will succeed if you release it out in the wild. It’s always easier and less costly to promote an existing app than an entirely new offering. But if you want to know if your new app design ideas are feasible, then it’s best to create a minimum viable product (MVP) to measure interest. After all, it costs less and takes less time to make an MVP than a full-fledged app, which inevitably reduces your risk.

Once you’ve ascertained that your MVP has gained traction with users, it’s time to scale. You can now move ahead and implement more of your ideas that’ll differentiate your app in a crowded marketplace. Be sure to market and promote your latest app to reach new users and increase your user base. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you create a new app that engages and excites your users.

Build An MVP: 8 Mistakes To Avoid For Success

If you’re about to build an MVP, then you’re going to face several challenges. You’ll want to implement a ton of cool ideas, but you’ll probably pare these down for project feasibility. Then, you’ll have to consider Waterfall methodology vs Agile and choose the right model. And, budgetary concerns may make you spend too much or too little on your upcoming project. The wrong decisions could potentially derail the success of your MVP. Therefore, we’ve compiled this handy list of 8 mistakes to avoid to keep your project on track.

1. Build An MVP Too Complete Or Slimmed Down

Everything in life is about balance, and the same applies to building an MVP. Quite often, developers get excited about making a mind-blowing MVP and go overboard by adding unnecessary features. They waste company resources by spending time on these extra bells and whistles, hoping that they’ll wow clients. But the result is an unfocused product that confuses clients or doesn’t deliver basic functionality as it should. Small or inexperienced teams usually have trouble implementing complex systems with robust functionality.

However, it’s not a good idea to build an MVP that’s too slimmed down either. While it makes sense to keep things simple, this doesn’t mean that it should be too basic unless that’s what’s specified by the client. Ideally, you want to create an MVP that delivers all core functionality in a near-flawless manner. But you also want to implement the user interface (UI) & user experience (UX) to make your MVP feel complete. Ultimately, you want the MVP to give the client a clear picture of how the final product will look.

2. Choosing The Wrong Methodology

Developers are a passionate lot, especially when it comes to their favorite programming languages, tools, and methodologies. You’ll catch them feverishly debating the Waterfall methodology vs Agile on Stack Overflow, Quora, or around the water cooler. You may even have a hotshot developer on the team that’s eager to dive into an MVP agile project. Thus, it’s easy to be swayed by popular opinion of which methodology to adopt in your upcoming MVP.

The best course of action here is to consider all benefits of the Waterfall methodology vs Agile. Moreover, you’ll have to decide on which model suits your MVP the most. If you need to get deliverables out to clients quickly, then we recommend the MVP agile approach. But if you’re working on a larger or very defined project, then it’s better to apply the Waterfall methodology. Keep in mind that it’s difficult going back and making changes after commencing or testing a project with Waterfall.

3. Build An MVP That Costs Too Much

We don’t recommend that you skimp on costs to build your MVP. After all, you want an MVP that’s of reasonably good quality. But don’t burn through your entire budget, as your project may prove unfeasible in the long run. By working with an experienced developer, such as NS804, it’s possible to determine costs beforehand and avoid nasty surprises along the way. Moreover, a competent developer will deliver the MVP on time, implement best practices, and meet expectations.

4. Spending Too Much Time On Research

It makes sense to do your homework before building your MVP, but don’t overdo it. One of the reasons you’re making an MVP is to determine its validity in the marketplace. Ultimately, it’s your target audience that will decide if your project is worth scaling into a full-fledged product. Researching too much will also give you plenty of ideas, which may tempt you to apply all these in your MVP. Overloading your app with too many features will make it harder to develop, maintain, and scale.

5. Building An MVP Without Understanding Your Audience

One of the biggest mistakes you could make is building an MVP without understanding your audience. If you’ve never released an app before, you may think that all users will find your MVP appealing. But when you eventually launch it, you’ll come to the harsh realization that few users bother to download it.

Now, why does this happen to so many developers?

In most cases, they’ve failed to do market research to understand who their audience is and what they want. They’ve cast their net wide, hoping that they’ll attract a large mainstream audience. But that’s now how the app marketplace works! Users invest their time in highly-popular apps such as Evernote, Facebook Messenger, and Signal since these provide the features and functionality that people find valuable. Thus, only incredibly talented development teams with massive marketing budgets can compete with the above offerings.

Before embarking on MVP development, it’s critical to think about target market segmentation. Moreover, it’s necessary to ask several questions such as: Where does your user live? What’s their demographic group? What’s their general attitude or outlook on life? What hobbies and interests do they spend their money and time on? And what life stage are they currently in?

Also, it’s vital to understand the differences between a target market and a target audience. It’s’ easy to confuse the two terms since they often have overlapping meanings. Succinctly, a target market affects every aspect of an enterprise’s decisions relating to its product, pricing, and sales processes. But the target audience will only influence the enterprise’s marketing and messaging endeavors.

6. Using The Cheapest Option Possible

You’ve decided to forge ahead with your MVP agile project but noticed that your input costs are mounting. With months still to go before your MVP is out the door, you decide to cut costs. You let go of several key developers in your team and hire cheaper contractors from abroad. Furthermore, you forego unit testing in the hopes of reducing your time to market (TTM) and overall costs. And, when you finally release your MVP, you discover that it’s a buggy mess plagued with problems.

Choosing the cheapest option almost always leads to unsatisfactory results. That’s why we can’t stress enough how important it’s to work with an experienced developer when building an MVP. Not only will a team of professionals help you craft a professional MVP, but they’ll also ensure that it’s budget-friendly.

7. Striving For Perfection

You should complete your MVP within a reasonable amount of time. But don’t rush it out the door, as its quality will likely suffer. Instead, focus on building an MVP that showcases its core functionality and avoid adding any unnecessary features. And don’t waste resources on too much spit and polish, which is better suited for your final product. You’ll meet your deadlines and goals if you keep your app as simple as possible and not try to make it perfect.

8. Promising Something Impossible To Deliver

You may be working with a phenomenal marketing team that’s ready to set all your social media channels on fire. You’ve handed over marketing materials and screenshots of your MVP, hoping the marketing team to build an enormous amount of hype. But have you thought things through about how you’ll be conveying your message to your target audience? Are you sure that your MVP will meet expectations, or are you overpromising? If your app doesn’t live up to the hype, then you risk damaging your reputation.

In Conclusion

Building an MVP is a rewarding but often challenging process. However, it’s possible to make the process a lot easier by avoiding the 8 mistakes we’ve covered above. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can make your next MVP a roaring success!

Increase App Retention Among Remote Teams

Remote Teams and App Retention

There’s no arguing it anymore. The digital era is here and it’s here to stay. While a more digital world has swiftly become the new normal, businesses are still adjusting. This means remote teams, digital conference calls, and no more “office hours”. That said, however, many organizations are still patching together digital solutions. Consequently, leaders, managers, and developers alike need to have their thumb on the pulse of the mobile app market. Doing so, will give your firm insight into some of the factors that drive app retention. Especially in remote teams.

When analyzing the user base of your applications, it is important to remember that the application market is a growing, evolving, and saturated one. As such, users are typically extremely quick to bounce from one application to another after a single negative experience or misstep. That being said, it’s vital that your app development team is diligent and detailed in their user base analysis.

Focus On Full Customization For Business Apps

This seems like it should be a no-brainer, but there is actually a lot of ‘plug-and-play’ type of software on the market. While that type of technology is certainly useful in specific contexts, it limits a remote team’s ability. Rather than using traditional methods or templates to create run-of-the-mill business applications, take a more customizable approach.

Developing custom enterprise applications for businesses and remote teams will enforce them to double-down on their commitment to your application. Ultimately driving app retention and creating a user base that’s less likely to jump ship. Additionally, each organization and each remote team is slightly different, and has different needs. Addressing the specific needs of any single remote team is best accomplished through personalized and customized enterprise applications on which that team can dependently rely.

Improve UX Design

Design is a major influencer in the world of consumption. Not only in art or architecture but in virtually every industry. From the cereal-box industry to the auto-industry; design is a key ingredient to the success of any product or service. The same is specifically true in app development.

The user experience is one of the most telling aspects of an application, and it starts as soon as the user opens the app. From the design of the loading screen to the flow of information on the application itself, to the ease of functionality and navigation. Prioritizing the UX design in your mobile app is sure to increase your app retention rates.

Listen To and Incorporate Feedback From Remote Teams

It’s becoming more and more accepted that people simply want to be heard. When it comes to developing enterprise applications, there is an entire well of value in mining feedback in all its forms. Combing online reviews, soliciting user surveys, and addressing user comments in application updates will show your user base that you hear them, leading to an increase in user-loyalty and app retention.

Finally, if it makes sense for your business model, there are ways you can incentivize remote teams to choose your enterprise application over your competitions.

For more information on app retention in remote teams, or anything else mobile app development, visit NS804 today. NS804 is the mobile app developer of the everyday person.

The Toolbox of The Appreneur

The Tricks Of The Appreneur Trade Start With The Tools

Every trade has masters to look to for exemplary work. However, an important aspect to keep in mind when admiring these great achievements, is where those masters began. They certainly didn’t start their journeys creating masterpieces. In most cases, the greatest successes have modest and humble beginnings. Simply learning any trade takes years, and mastering a trade is a whole different story. There is hope, though. For instance, Malcolm Gladwell theorized that it only takes 10,000 hours of intensive practice to master any skill. In other words, practice does make perfect, even for an appreneur.

Before anyone masters anything, however, the fundamentals need to be conquered; and this is true regardless of industry, practice, or trade. In the context of appreneurs, though, it means reaching a deep understanding of the tools and resources available that will guide your application development process. From data to the complexity of the app stores, pitching investors, and much more, let’s start filling your appreneur toolbox so you’re prepared for your first day on the job site, so to speak.

The Importance of Learning The Appreneur Tools

It might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s worth mentioning that there is real value in developing a deep and meaningful understanding of the tools used by appreneurs. By taking the time to learn and understand these various tools you’ll have the wherewithal to set out on meaningful app-development projects. Learning these tools will also help prevent you from making the same mistakes as others before you. The app market is a relatively tricky one, and starting with a comprehensive knowledge base gives you an immediate advantage.

One of the most valuable aspects of having this knowledge is the mistakes it helps developers avoid. For instance, creating a relationship with and utilizing these tools helps developers and programmers from creating clunky apps; it provides insight into red flags for which to watch out on the development journey; and it will help you tune into the needs of your consumers and users more easily.

The MVP: Minimum Viable Product

Most app-journeys begin with the ‘aha’ moment. The moment that the great idea was born. However, this is far from the point at which investors are taking a stake, or there’s any sort of buzz about your app. No, at this stage; it’s almost always just you and your good idea.

Enter: the MVP. While this may sound like a deus ex machina, in fact, it is not a most valuable player to save the day – but rather, the minimum viable product. The minimum viable product is an early form of an application that displays its basic functionality, core concept, and some design elements.

Much like a prototype in more traditional markets, the MVP is absolutely vital. One of the main reasons it’s such an important aspect of an application’s journey and development is that it often generates funding. MVPs are commonly the first introduction that investors and other potential partners are going to have to your application. Therefore, developing strong MVPs that garner and accelerate interest is vital to success in app development. The MVP sort of acts as both a teaser and a proof of concept; and it’s no secret that first impressions last.

App Store Data

The next tool to add to the box is data. Specifically, app store data. The app stores are important for appreneurs for a variety of reasons. Obviously, they represent the main marketplaces in which users can actually purchase, download, and discover applications. However, there’s much more to its value for an appreneur than that. For appreneurs, the app stores are rich mines full of data that covers a whole spectrum of categories.

Following the app store from week to week, for instance, sheds light on multiple factors. Firstly, it gives insight into the app store’s algorithm that rolls through and ranks apps. Secondly, and arguably, more importantly, it paints a portrait of user behavior and consumer trends. No matter which market you find yourself in, consumer behavior is one of the most telling elements that helps identify the next big success.

There are plenty of places to look within the app stores to find pertinent and valuable data. One of those places being direct competition.

Learning From Competitors

No one wants to reinvent the wheel. And for good reason. The same principle is why crafty appreneurs take the time to look at their direct competition before jumping into app development, or even MVP development. Since applications are designed to basically be as accessible as possible, appreneurs can use this to their advantage. By downloading and learning the ins and outs of a competitor’s application, you’re able to take notes on what you would improve as a designer or developer in your own version. The learning doesn’t stop there though.

Going a level deeper, examining user feedback, both positive and negative, will provide an elevated level of insight into the elements for which users in your specific niche market are looking. These elements include but are not limited to, functionality, design, the look and feel, the overall usability, and much more.

Taking lessons from the competition will give you and your team insight into features to be sure to include, as well as features that certainly should not be included. This sets your application on the right path, as you’re already taking consumer demands and needs into consideration before you’ve even released your first iteration.

The App Launch

Once you’ve built your all-star MVP that’s garnered enough interest and investment to take your app idea from concept to reality, it’s time for one of the most exciting stages in any app’s life. The app launch. The app launch is exciting for a myriad of reasons, but most notably, because it’s the first time that your application will actually be live on the app stores. Users will start seeing it in their feeds, and with the right marketing plan, downloads will begin in no time.

The app launch isn’t all fun and cocktails, though, as it’s another opportunity for your team to promote the app. After all, you’ve worked this hard to bring it here, there’s nothing wrong with getting a bit hyped up. Taking the time to plan an app launch, even a virtual one in this remote economy, helps push the word out about your app, drives early downloads, and theoretically builds an initial userbase that has a slightly higher sense of loyalty.

Leveraging and Implementing User Feedback

The app launch is in the past, the initial user base is cemented; you’re starting to wonder about what to develop next. Before you jump on that train, though, remember that applications are all about the user experience. User feedback, therefore, is one of the most valuable tools that any appreneur can access once their app is launched. By listening to the reviews that users leave, and giving strong consideration to the feedback provided by users, your team will have the knowledge they need to create valuable updates that don’t nuisance the users and continue to improve the user experience.

A Quick Wrap Up On Appreneur Tools

Learning any trade takes time, commitment, and practice. It’s no different with appreneurship. After reading this article though, you should at least have an understanding of which tools are important to learn, and why they offer so much value. For more information on mobile app development, appreneurship, or anything else app development-related; keep browsing the NS804 content library.

Wearable App Development – What You Need To Know

Things to Know About Wearable App Development and Technology

In today’s technical marketplace there are constantly new developments. That’s because there are so many players and competitors. One of the latest developments in recent years, for example, is wearable technology. Wearable technology is tech like an Apple smartwatch or a Fitbit wristband. The list doesn’t stop there, though, those are just a few cases. For app developers, however, this opens up a whole new marketplace: Wearable app development.

Developing wearable applications is swiftly becoming mainstream. This is partially because of the popularity of wearable technology in general. Wearable technology brings many features to the user that phone-applications and other smart-devices simply can’t. From fitness-oriented applications, to on-the-go messaging, and much more. Wearable applications are here to stay. Therefore, so is wearable application development.

Breaking Down Wearable App Development

As with any application development, wearable app development comes with its own series of obstacles. However, wherever there are obstacles, there is also a path forward. Understanding what you can and can’t do with wearable applications will greatly inform you and your programming team on where to start with wearable app development. We’ll also get into the costs and take a look at the overall value of wearable applications.

The Limitations of Wearable Technology

First of all, with wearable technology, there are way more limitations than there are with other smart-devices like phones and computers. This is partially because of the simple matter of space. With many wearable smart-devices, there simply isn’t as much room for the physical aspects of the device. This limits the circuit board, the amount of ram, the memory, and many other aspects of technology that rely on having the space to exist.

As a result of less room for hardware, wearable technology simply isn’t going to be quite as sophisticated as its smart-device counterparts. However, that doesn’t strip wearable technology of all of its value. There is still intrinsic value to the convenience and many health and wellness applications that wearable technology has made possible.

The Cost of Wearable App Development

Cost is always going to be a factor. No matter the industry or the market, and no matter the product or the company – cost is always going to be a consideration. With wearable app development, the cost is going to be significant. While it may seem like it should be the opposite since there isn’t as much room, and the applications are probably simpler in function; however this isn’t the case.

The reduced space and limited operating systems of the wearable devices makes it almost a specialty app development. However, it still won’t be as expensive as developing something like an AR or VR application that relies on much more robust and sophisticated technology.

The User Experience

The final aspect to consider when working on wearable app development is the same element that needs focus in every other app development context. The user experience. The user experience is the ultimate priority for app developers and programmers, no matter the operating system, app genre, or device it’s built for.

For more information on app development, or anything related to app development, visit NS804. NS804 is the mobile app developer of the everyday person.