Apps are everywhere. Their growth is phenomenal. The iOS App Store opened in 2008 with 500 apps. By May 2021, this figure had swelled to 1.85 million.
So, an entrepreneur with an eye on growth can’t afford to ignore apps. However, there are certain questions you can’t afford to ignore either.
1. Why Do You Want an App?
It’s easy to follow the herd. You look around and other businesses have created apps, so you should too, right? Well, possibly. There’s no doubt that apps have revolutionized commerce and have quickly implanted themselves into user expectations.
However, as a budding entrepreneur, you need to decide if your business will actually benefit from this route. What you should be prepared for is to think individually. If you want your business to be as individual as you think it is, then your app has to stand out.
And it will stand out if you tailor it to really fit your and your customer’s needs.
2. What Kind of App Do You Want?
Generally, apps can be seen as great ways to engage with people on-the-go. But what is it that your business actually needs? What do you want to offer customers? What do you want to offer your employees? How can an app transform your business’ performance?
For example, it might be that you need a way of monitoring staff performance to get the best out of them and enhance your business output. There are a host of different types of apps available, from productivity suites to CRM systems, to exciting video packages with great storyboard creator facilities. So, it’s worth taking time to decide what your priorities are.
A common failing is to disregard things like the importance of visual impact when deciding what you feel is key. Remember that it’s a primarily visual medium that you are working in, and, in this area, appearance is everything. So, don’t skimp here.
3. How Long Will It Take to Make?
The answer of course depends a great deal on how complex you want the app to be. As a rule of thumb, allow 4-6 months to build, with development time on top.
During this time, be careful who you talk to about your app idea. It’s a bit wild west out there sometimes, and it pays to keep a lid on things when a possible competitor is around. That said, don’t be paranoid—your app will benefit from input from informed sources, so you need to communicate to an extent.
A way to get around this dilemma is by using Non-Disclosure Agreements. They keep things restricted to those who need to know and they’re now fairly standard so unlikely to cause difficulties with staff or contacts.
4. Which Platform?
A key consideration is the platform you have in mind for the app. Most popular right now is Android (over 2.5 million apps are available via Google Play), mainly because it supports more features than iOS.
However, iOS apps tend to be more straightforward to construct. Another consideration is the target market location: Different platforms dominate in different countries. For example, US: iOS. India: Android.
5. How Much Will It Cost?
Nearly all startups have one thing in common: Not much cash to spare. So, you need to be aware that an app’s cost can be quite significant. Most of those at the quality end of the spectrum will set you back in the region of six figures.
But it needn’t be this expensive if you have a clear idea of your core needs. Small businesses can acquire apps that address what’s important to them for something in the region of $50,000.
Don’t forget to include things like support and server charges in your budgeting. It’s basics like these that you need to get in place before you start stretching your creative legs.
Do bear in mind that you can apply all sorts of economies when it comes to areas like marketing your app. For instance, you can use online forums like Quora and Reddit. Alternatively you can try writing a guest post or producing a podcast.
Lots of companies spend needless amounts on creating websites that look great but don’t actually meet the business’ needs. So why not look at the free website builder software that’s out there? Remember—don’t despair! It’s not all about the big bucks.
6. How Will It Maintain Its Position?
Your app’s up and running, and it’s getting a lot of attention and engagement. How do you keep it relevant?
Firstly, you need to prevent it from failing. For this, you need to ensure you have good support and great testing. A key part of this is being confident that when new software is introduced to keep your app up to date, it won’t result in bugs in your previously pristine product. The way to be sure that quality will remain high is to implement regression testing.
Secondly, pay attention to matters of security. It may be worth considering ways to monitor staff activity, The chances are, your app will involve confidential user details, and your users will not take kindly to their particulars being easily accessed by illegitimate bodies.
It’s this kind of bad business that will lead to bad publicity and customer defection, and in the GDPR era, it’s highly illegal to be cavalier here.
But suppose things do go wrong, for whatever reason? Despite your best efforts, either a problem with your app or with the market, or with the economy in general means that your app hits the buffers and your whole operation is imperiled?
It’s the Thought That Counts
When you’ve given honest answers to these questions, you’ll be in much better shape to set out on the exhilarating task of bringing your app into being.
If you’ve applied some thinking, you’ll give your app more chance to be the transformative tool it can be, and your startup will be given the opportunity to be as successful as it deserves.