So, you’ve decided that it is time to have a mobile application developed for you or your company? Great! There are endless benefits to having a mobile app for your business or brand. They are a great way to keep users engaged, keep your customers up to date, and can also be a valuable source of income. With that being said, a successful mobile app can’t just be thrown together. It takes lots of planning, consideration, and changes before your app can truly shine. In some cases, the app developer will do the heavy lifting on this. However, you are the one who knows your business best. This means you are the best person to optimize what your app is. Though your developer will do the technical work and ensure everything works seamlessly, there are some best practices that should be completed by you: the entrepreneur or company.
Mobile app development takes time. There is no way around it. If you want a high-quality app that retains and pleases users, it will take time to develop. Once you hand final plans off to your developer, it can still take months, even up to a year to fully develop your app. So, mobile app development requires careful forward planning on the behalf of the business. If you think you might want a mobile app, you should begin fleshing out ideas soon. It will take time to get those ready for a developer and even more time for them to be turned into an app. By being realistic about the timeline for app development and planning ahead, you can ensure your app reaches its highest potential and reaches your users at the right time.
Determine Your Audience
As mentioned, you the business know your business best. That includes knowing who your target audience is. Do you want to reach readers with daily science news through your app? Then you may want to target college students and young professionals. Are you trying to sell knitting gear through your app? You’ll probably want to target an older, mainly female audience. Marketing experts agree that there is a niche for everything. You just have to find it.
Before you get started with a mobile app developer, you should have identified the target audience for your app. Whoever that may be. Do some light research to find out what type of device they use (tablet, smartphone, etc.) or what operating system they tend to prefer (iOS, Android). Having this information in hand, you are much closer to getting your app into the hands of your users. You’ll also make the entire development process much easier.
Identify Your Goals
Much like identifying your target audience, determining a set of goals for your new app is key to its success. If you plan to develop and launch an app without having goals for it, you’re nearly guaranteed to have a flop. However, choosing some goals for your app before contracting a developer helps make the entire process more efficient and more focused. Furthermore, by giving your developer a set of goals for your app to accomplish, they will be able to better build an app to meet your needs.
Goals can be anything you deem important for the success of your app or how it will influence the overall success of your business. For example, you could set a goal for 10% user growth monthly. Or, you could plan a goal for your app to retain 90% of users. Regardless of what your goals for your app are, having them laid out before your app enters the development stage will make it more successful. If you aren’t sure what goals you should make for your app, be sure to talk to your developer while getting things started and they will be able to help you outline a specific and measurable set of goals for your app.
Especially in its early days, you want (and need) lots of feedback on your app. This involves all facets of it from the goals, the design, and the functionality. Ideally, you want to collect information from a group of beta-users. These individuals are closely related or a part of your target audience and give you valuable insight into what works and what doesn’t before your app gets into the hands of your actual users.
On top of beta-feedback, you should also request that your developer includes a way for users to leave feedback directly within your app. Of course, they can always leave reviews in the app store. However, negative feedback there is public and may deter others from downloading your app, even if it is just due to small bugs. By integrating a way for users to send you feedback directly on negative aspects of the app, you are able to fix them without losing potential users. This ultimately makes your app better and makes your users happier.
Making That Money
Mobile apps are a great way for companies, small businesses, and solo entrepreneurs to make money. Through the use of ads, in-app purchases, and upgrades, mobile apps can bring in hundreds or thousands of dollars each month. Depending on the size of your user base, this can be a significant source of income.
Before beginning development, you should determine how (or if) you want to monetize your app. While you can always go back and add more in-app purchases later or change your ads down the road, you need to be sure your app is built to support monetization. App developers are able to meet this need but need to know ahead of time. By planning out how you want to monetize your app, you can make the development process go much smoother.
Ultimately, what your app becomes is up to you. Though a professional developer may be writing the code that makes it come to life, following these best practices raises the chances that your app will find success in the hands of your target users.