Certainly there are many more apps today than there were even just a few years ago. This is why it’s so important to know the steps to building a successful mobile app so you can stay ahead of the competition. Check out these nine steps to building a successful mobile app.
#1- Start with Market Research
The first step to building a successful mobile app is to do your market research. This involves examining any apps already developed that may be similar to yours. Check out the competition to see what they are doing and how successful their app is. Also note what you don’t like about similar apps, how much they are charging, how they are monetizing their app, what they offer, if they have freemium or premium plans, etc. Then figure out how to make your app better than the rest.
#2 – Who is Your End User?
If you have no audience, your mobile app won’t go far. You must define your end user and then research them to see if what you are going to offer is something they’ll want. Get input from family, friends, and coworkers. Some people even post their idea on social media or to a group of “testers” to get objective feedback. Find out if your app idea is something people would pay for, if they’re already using a similar app and what they like or don’t like about it, if they would be likely to make in-app purchases, and what it would take for them to consider your app over another they already use.
#3 – Figure Out the Business Model
The third step to building a successful mobile app is to define your business model. This means figuring out how your app would make money and if that’s plausible. Do you plan to build a following first and then monetize later? Will you offer freemiums or premiums, charge an initial download fee or offer in-app purchases? Will the app have a free version with ads and an upgraded ad-free version for a fee? Work out the details as best as you can.
#4 – Define Your Unique Value Proposition
Defining your unique value proposition means figuring out what you have to offer that’s unique from the competition and what really stands out to address a user need. Will it be simple, yet innovative? Will it have a unique user interface that really attracts users? Knowing your value proposition will go a long way towards creating a unique app with something special to offer.
#5 – Figure Out How to Fund Your Mobile App Project
To build your mobile app, you’re going to need capital. One of first steps in building your mobile app is to develop a product specification document and then maybe get some visual wire-frame mock-ups created of the app. These 2 critical steps help to get the idea fully out of your head and into a detailed plan. This step also helps to clarify the potential size and scope of your project. Product specifications with some mock-ups can easily cost $1,000 – $3,000 and this is a vital first step to make sure you’re not taken advantage of. This takes all the guesswork and risk out of the project and puts you on firm ground in being able to hold the app developer accountable for the expected final result. Without it, it’s a lot of “he said”, she “said that” often leads to conflict.
Next you will have the actual product build you’ll have to fund. Most apps start at around $15,000 and go up from there, depending on complexity. It’s pretty common for apps to be in the $25,000 – $50,000 range. So, if you don’t have access to at least $15,000 – $20,000 to get started, you will likely need to focus your efforts on raising capital or finding a business partner with capital. Getting those first 2 planning steps done, however, will give you some sales assets you’ll need to raise capital for your mobile app project. Of course, the capital you have access to, will dictate whether you start out with a stripped down version and add to it as you go or if you can start out with a more decked out version. You will also want to plan on having financial resources for future app upgrades, new features and support.
#6 – Hire a Great Mobile App Development Team
When you look for a team to build your mobile app you want to locate one with lots of experience and one that is well rounded. Look for references and, completed projects, and find out how they approach a project and what their planning process is like. Ask what tools they will use to create your app and try to find a team with at least 10 years of solid experience and plenty of completed, successful projects.
#7 – Create a Product Specification Document
As the saying goes if you fail to plan you plan to fail. Creating a product specification is a key step in building a successful mobile app. This is also where the importance of wireframing your mobile app idea comes in.
Planning and documenting out your mobile app, is critical because it:
- takes the guesswork out of what you want and what the team can deliver.
- eliminates unnecessary costs later on due to changes or initial misunderstandings.
- clearly defines what your app will look and feel like.
- clearly defines the timeline.
- clearly defines the cost.
- helps you sort out what is most important and what can be added later.
We always recommend a detailed Planning Session when creating a mobile app.
#8 – Get Sketches Done of Your Mobile App Idea
As a part of planning out the build of your app, we recommend developing wireframes of your mobile app / system. Wireframes are sketches of your mobile app that define what will go on each screen, how many screens you’ll need, where you want pictures and other elements, how pages will interact, and how the user interface looks. It saves money and prevents headaches by identifying most of the screens ahead of time and captures the most important screen functions. By planning ahead with wireframes, you save money by avoiding a lot of trial and error and wasted time during actual product development. Wireframes also make it possible to produce a solid estimate.
#9 – Build the Product Incrementally
When you start building your product, start small and build only the core features first. This is the method we
#9 – Keep Improving Your Product
Once your app has been developed and launched, continue working with your team to update and improve it. Users like to know fixes are being made, new features are being launched, and that you care about their user experience. This will go a long way towards developing user loyalty and keeping customers using your app and sharing it with others.
Do You Need Help Building a Successful Mobile App?
At Cleartech Interactive we have an experienced team of web and mobile app developers ready to help you build your digital product. Since 2003 we have been building web apps, mobile apps, websites, and other digital products.
We know the exact steps to take, from market research to budgeting, initial planning, wireframing and development to help you through the entire process.
Request a call or contact us at 727-562-5161 to find out more about our web and mobile app development services and what we can do for you!