Have a Mobile App Idea? 7 Steps to Take First
Apps represent a big business to most sectors and industries – from healthcare and manufacturing to retail and hospitality. Most apps are continuing to grow by leaps and bounds.
In May 2022, there were approximately 5.6 million apps across Google Play and App store. In addition, consumer spending on mobile apps grew by 19% in 2022 to $170 billion, highlighting the impact and potential of mobile apps in global consumer spending.
Although mobile apps represent a huge potential to enterprises seeking new digital solutions, today, going from app concept to actual implementation is a multi-stage process that requires careful planning.
This post will discuss some of the first steps to take if you have a mobile app idea:
Before we delve deeper, it’s important to note that the app development process is different for each app. This process changes from one app to another. However, although different app verticals present discrete concerns and unique issues, some factors cut across all apps.
This article investigates the critical first-step factors every mobile app developer must consider.
1. Market competition
The first step to conceptualizing and building your mobile app is to do due market research. Not only do you need to understand the app market in general, but you need to understand your niche or target market – also called the app vertical.
For instance, you’ll realize that launching a gaming app is quite a different process than creating a tour and travel app. In addition, developing a hospitality app is different from developing a manufacturing app.
The difference comes because the audiences, preferences, and priorities of the target market are discrete. While healthcare consumers want suggestions on the best healthcare insurance policies, travel and tour users want suggestions to the best destinations – sunny beaches, wildebeest migration, historic sites, and jaw-dropping altitudes.
So, it’s important to examine two factors:
- Competition. Studying and understanding your competitors helps you know if there’s any room in the market. It helps you know how you can stand out from the competition. Competitive research will highlight what works, what doesn’t, what needs to be done, and where your app can have a meaningful impact.
- Target market. Which target audience will your app serve? This is the most basic, yet the most foundational factor you need to consider when building your app. Defining your app’s persona is quite integral to your app’s success.
Ensure you have an end-to-end understanding of your market and target audience before proceeding to develop and launch the app.
2. Funding options
Of special concern is understanding your funding options. Try to map out your finances and know which sources of funds will drive your app. It’s important to remember that while financial situations and funding sources differ greatly, you need funds for your app to exist.
While there are various funding options, you must determine which option to select. Will you give part of your equity to investors? Or can you bootstrap the app idea long enough to lift it above the ground? You may also consider whether contests are too risky for your unique app idea.
Some several funding options to consider include:
- Personal network. It’s advisable to reach out to family and friends to put together money for your initial investment.
- Private investors. Scrutinize private investors with a vested interest in your app, or look for local enterprises willing to optimize your hyper-local delivery app.
- Funding contests. If your app’s idea is strong enough, participate in funding contests to win capital and evaluate your app’s feasibility.
- Venture capital. If your app is in the developmental stages, consider venture capital to give it a lift off the ground.
- Bank loans. Although banks provide loans, they have stringent funding requirements. You can optimize bank loans if you’re sure your app has a huge success potential.
- Crowdfunding. If all options fail, turn to the internet to find users or potential people interested in investing small investments in your product.
Knowing how and where to source your funding is a critical first step for your app.
3. Set budget
After weighing potential funding options, it’s time to set your budget. When setting your budget, ask whether you can bootstrap the development process long enough on a tight budget or whether to spend investor money on hiring an app development team.
It’s also important to ask yourself whether you’ll conduct a multipronged marketing campaign or a word-of-mouth campaign. Knowing your budget will help you set realistic goals regarding app development and app implementation.
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4. Monetization options
All apps must have an end goal behind them. For most, boosting sales and creating revenue streams is the main reason most people develop apps.
There are a variety of options to monetize your app. However, understanding the nuances behind every method is the only way to pick the right monetization option.
E-commerce apps have it easy here because selling merchandise is the most obvious monetization option. However, you must know whether you’ll need to run in-app ads or whether you’ll charge for every download.
Will you rely on in-app purchases or will you charge a subscription fee? Exploring all these monetization options is the best way to select an option that best compliments your app’s strategy.
5. App development options
As you consider your monetization strategy, consider the alternatives to app development. Will you hire a professional app developer or outsource a development team for your project?
There are many app development options and each has its advantages and disadvantages. In addition, there’s a budget for every option. For instance, a fully custom development can be expensive and time-consuming while a simple, no-code application can be inexpensive, but it will limit your app’s features and customization capabilities.
6. Minimum viable product (MVP)
Test your app’s feasibility using a minimum viable product (MVP). A minimum viable product helps you gauge your app’s overall capabilities and feasibility without fully developing it.
Think of a minimum viable product as a prototype or a sketch of the end product. An MVP can help you test your app with a small audience and learn what features they’re responding to. In addition, using an MVP may help you know what you need to rethink.
An MVP gives you something to show to potential investors.
7. Protect your app
Last but not least, know how to protect your app long before launching it. Whenever you have a great and unique app idea, the first question that comes to mind is, ‘how will I protect it and keep people from stealing it?’
Frankly, it’s a great question and a reason to consider the following options:
- Share selectively. It’s imperative not to overshare your app’s idea even if you’re searching for funding. Carefully vet the people you’re planning to work with long before you brief them about your idea. This selective sharing applies to everyone, from investors to programmers.
- Use NDAs. It’s imperative to deploy non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) whether you’re hiring a programming team or looking for investors. Always use NDA to guard the confidentiality of your app.
- Trademark your business. It’s advisable to register and trademark both your brand logo and your business name to ensure you legally own both in case of any compromises or intellectual property theft.
- Copyright. Your trademark is directly related to how your business and brand name are registered; a trademark will protect the intellectual property rights of your business.
As you’re now armed with the right roadmap to follow while creating your app, you can forge your idea into a reality.
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