“I have an idea for an app!” sounds like an exciting thing to hear, but you’re probably asking yourself what to do after you have come up with an idea for an app. You might be even wondering something like “How do I develop an app?” or how to sell your app idea.
The first thing you need to know is that you’re not alone. Many people are trying to build an app after coming up with an initial concept of a great idea, and many more have no clue what the best way to go about it will be. That’s why in this post we discuss some of the things to consider after you’ve come up with an idea for an app.
The App Market
App Annie forecasts that the mobile app market is estimated to hit 6 billion dollars by the year 2022, so there is clearly a lot of potential for innovative app ideas. That said, between the Apple app store and Google Play store, there are currently over 4 million apps for users to choose from, and that number increases every day. Your initial “good app idea” isn’t enough by itself. You need the right development and marketing strategy.
Having built hundreds of apps, we have identified a number of things to consider in order to take your mobile app idea from ideation (the idea validation stage where you review your concept with an app developer to answer the question, “Will your application work?”) to a successful reality. Let’s dive into the steps involved in creating mobile apps.
Before You Start
Before getting into creating an app, you must know that building an app is not cheap. In fact, it may cost a lot of money to develop an app if you plan on doing it with experts. To be successful with your app, you will need to partner with a top app development company, and working with them will probably require many hours of work. Only by doing so will you gain access to world-class developers and designers. Get familiar with how app pricing is determined and what to expect in terms of costs.
Where to Start
Assuming that you are in the “I have an idea for an app” stage, it’s time to get started on bringing it to life. The first step to take when building an app is to sit down with a pen and paper and thoroughly outline your app idea in detail, from the way you picture it looking, to the pain points it will resolve for your target audience, to the User Experience (UX) it will provide. This is the ideation phase.
Basically, your goal is to put a creative brief together, and here are some items that your brief should include:
- A catchy app name to differentiate your application from those of competitors.
- An elevator pitch to present the problem and how your app solves it while retaining both user and investor interest.
- The target demographic that you want to market to and why.
- The features you’d like to include in your app and what benefits they will offer users.
- A simple navigation map to explain how users will engage with your app and what the flow of information within the app will look like.
- A value proposition on what makes your app unique.
- Market research that supports how and why your app will appeal to your intended user base.
Think about the industry space that your app falls into, then thoroughly research that sector, especially if you are trying to create an app that offers products or services outside your own company’s sector. Look closely at competitors and like-minded apps to draw ideas from what they are doing right and avoid what they are doing wrong. Incorporate these new ideas into your app outline and overall vision.
Outline your buyer persona and confirm your app addresses all their needs. This is key information to obtain before you start developing your app. Why? Because if your audience finds no benefit in using your app or if the application does not provide a solution to a problem your audience is looking for, they will most likely pass on downloading it.
Don’t be intimidated if there’s an app that already exists that seems to solve the same pain points that your app does. Instead of feeling like you are too late in executing your idea, find ways that your app can be better or different from your competitors.
App Ideas to Avoid
There is no general formula that will help you decide if you should move forward with your app idea or discard it. However, here’s a list of questions that might be useful:
- Is your app idea very similar to something that already exists but slightly different?
- Do you lack a clear understanding of how your app might actually deliver value to users?
- Are you lacking adequate information or research that might help you make decisions?
- Are you looking to build something that sounds good to you but hasn’t been tried out?
- Is building your app something that you’re really passionate about?
If the answer to these questions is yes, you should probably spend some time testing and thinking about your idea. Another great way to try it out before going all-in is to build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). This is an initial version of your app that may help you test out your idea with users and potential investors. Once you try it out, you will be able to understand your app better.
Determine Your Monetization Strategy
“I have an app idea, but how can I make money from it?”
Once you’ve come up with your app idea, you may be wondering how exactly you’ll make money from it. Although a large percentage of apps are free to download, that doesn’t mean you won’t get compensated for your product. There are several ways to monetize your app (in other words, make a profit from it). The most common monetization strategies include:
- Flat fee – Charge users a set price to download your app (usually reserved for premium software like Adobe Suite products).
- Third-party ads – Include third-party banners or pop-up ads within the app and receive income when the ads are displayed (payment per impression), when a user clicks on the ad (pay per click), or when a user installs the third-party app (payment per download).
- Upcharge for add-ons and extra features – offer a “freemium” app where some features are free and others cost money to activate.
As stated above, evaluating your competitors’ strategies can provide you with valuable insight into what you should be doing to profit from your app idea. By examining what your competitors are doing and the actual value of your app, you stand to potentially make millions of dollars.
Find the Right Developer to Present Your App Idea To
Once you’ve outlined how you want your app to look and you’ve researched the industry, it’s time to find an experienced app development company to bring your vision to life. You’ll know when you’ve found the right developer to make your app because they will work with you, respecting your ideas while also helping to fine-tune them so the finished product will exceed your expectations and those of your users.
Your developer should intuitively understand your app idea and provide suggestions on how to power it. They will present various security protocols to embed within the application to prevent your customers’ data from getting hacked as well. Most importantly, they will listen to your goals and assist you in designing an app that represents your brand and offers all the features your customers are seeking.
Here at Koombea, we work hard to ensure that the apps we create are lined up precisely with our clients’ vision and immediately add value to the finished product. Do your due diligence and research other app developers. Pay attention to reviews and testimonials.
Create a Marketing Plan to Promote Your App
While your app is in the product development phase, carefully research and outline your business plan so that when your app hits the market you’re ready to go. Below are some key tips to help you execute your marketing strategy:
- Test the beta version of your app with family members, friends, and co-workers to gain an initial sense of how receptive users are to your application’s features and what functionalities might need to be either added or removed.
- Identify websites and blogs that align with the industry your app falls into and identify a contact. When your app is ready, you can easily reach out and ask them to review your app. These third-party endorsements will be one of the most important components of your business model.
- Request financial assistance via crowdfunding platforms, angel investors, or even venture capital firms to save money, especially if this is a startup app.
- Build a list of influencers in your space that can recommend your app to their own followers.
- Start creating a social media presence before your app is launched so that you can gain a loyal following on social networks and build relationships with your target audience to tap into when your app hits the market.
- When the app goes live, ask for reviews and user feedback.
Publish Your App
Once your app has been beta tested and is ready to deploy, it needs to be added to the respective Google and Apple stores (either or both, depending on whether you have a native iOS app, Android app, or cross-platform app) so your prospective users can both search for and download it.
The company that assisted you in creating your app will have a developer account and will upload the app for you. Then, provided you have your marketing initiatives all set, you can sit back and watch as your app business dreams come to fruition.
Conclusion: Taking a Great App Idea and Making it a Reality
From initially saying “I have an app idea” to exclaiming “I published an app”, this is how your concept can come full circle and improve both your company’s outreach and revenue.
Your idea for an app will quite possibly be a big hit if you’ve considered the aspects mentioned above. Lots of people have app ideas but don’t know all the steps that must be followed to make them a reality. Don’t let this happen to you!
Start right away on outlining your app, doing industry research to find an experienced development company, and create a killer marketing outline so that your target audience will want to learn about (and more importantly, want to get) your app. There is so much potential in this industry and there is room for your great app idea, too!
Do you have a startup app idea you’d like to discuss or questions about the app development process? Let’s get started! We are here to help so please don’t hesitate to reach out!