App development is a hot topic these days, and not just amongst web designers and IT professionals. Business owners and executives are seeing lots of opportunities in the growing use of smartphones and tablets and many want to develop custom or branded apps to take advantage.
However, launching an app is like releasing any other product or service – it can just as easily end with lost sales and missed opportunities as it can in a best-selling piece of software. With that in mind, you need to have the right plan in place and to brainstorm your idea enough to tilt the odds in your favor.
To help you do just that, here are four things we think you absolutely have to know about an app before you pay someone to develop it for you:
1. What will the app do? Another way to ask this question would be "what will your app do differently than others?" Far too many business people want to imitate already successful apps or to invest in projects that don't promise very much in the way of customer demand. Your app doesn't just need to be clever, it also has to be both useful enough and different enough that people will be willing to use it.
2. How will people find out about your app? Because we've reached the point where there are literally tens of thousands of apps available through the App Store, Google Play, the Windows Store and other online stores, it isn't enough to simply list yours for sale and hope that people will start downloading copies immediately. Think of your app as any other product. No sound business would release a product onto store shelves without some combination of commercials, signage, print ads, social media posts, etc. Instead, successful apps have in-depth marketing and promotion plans, just as any other new product would. If you don't know how people will learn about your app, then you don't have the formula for a successful launch.
3. How will you profit from your app development project? Believe it or not, lots of companies make money off of their custom apps without ever selling a single copy. That's because your app can build brand awareness, generate revenue from in-app sales, lead to future orders from your website or even point people to other apps and products that your company offers. Before you launch your app, it's important not only to know whether you can sell it, but whether you could be more profitable distributing it in another way.
4. Are you sure you have the right team in place to program, test and market your app? Because apps are complex projects that require a mixture of analysis, design, programming, testing, marketing and maintenance, you should insist upon having the right technical and creative team working on your behalf. That might take a little extra time and money, but it's one of the most important things you can do to put the odds of a successful app development and launch firmly in your favor.
While app development is evolving with technological and procedural improvements and the marketplace is becoming more saturated, it’s still largely a new frontier. There are significant risks and having a team of experts behind you is important. If you need a partner that can help you maximize your odds of success in the app market, call us today and ask for a free consultation.