Turning a simple idea into a profitable business app is a lot easier when you’re adequately prepared. Follow these 7 steps to help streamline your development process, from ideation and research to testing and launch.
You will never know whether or not your app idea will work until you actually try it out. Had the makers of Netflix, Instagram, or any other popular app given up when they had a solid business concept ready, you wouldn’t be enjoying their work today.
That’s precisely why you shouldn’t let your business concept go waste.
Having a good idea and knowing that you need to convert it into a mobile app are not enough. You need to actually think through every aspect of development to realize it.
But before we take you through the app development process, let’s go over some reasons why you should develop a mobile app for your business.
Smartphones are no longer a luxury thanks to an uptick in affordable smartphones and the rise of open-source technologies on the Android marketplace.
Still not convinced of the market potential? The graph below shows the growing trend of app downloads worldwide.
You’ll see that there were about 205.4 billion app downloads globally in 2018, and it’s projected to grow to 258.2 billion by 2022.
In terms of revenue, this chart from SensorTower shows how app profits have grown in the first half of 2019 year over year.
Since last year, Google Play apps have grossed about 19.6% more than this time last year, and the App Store reports similar growth at around 13.2%.
It’s clear that the mobile app market is on the rise, so why not use an app to increase revenue for your business? The best way to capitalize on your app concept is to refine your idea and come up with an actionable plan. In this article, we’re going to explore the key steps to building out your app.
7 Steps to Making Your Business App a Reality
- Define your app’s purpose
- Identify your target audience
- Research the market and competition
- Document your concept and any necessary technical specs
- Design the app
- Follow a detailed development plan
- Test the app before launch
1. Define Your App’s Purpose
Let’s begin with this question. If you don’t know your app’s purpose or can’t identify the problem that your app would solve, you can’t create an app in the first place.
Sit with your team and go over your business concept to understand what they think or make of it. Brainstorm with them over how you can define the objective of the application. Keep it actionable! What are the goals you’re trying to achieve with the application.
Your business concept could aim to solve a particular problem or could simply fill up a gap in existing apps. The idea is to understand and define your app’s purpose.
2. Identify Your App's Target Audience
After defining your app’s purpose, you need figure out your target audience. This will help you understand who will use the app and how they will use it.
It’s important to understand which group of people are actually facing the issue you’re solving. Get a sense of how they are struggling with these issues and develop the app based on that.
3. Research the Market and Competition
With the audience and app objective defined, your next step is to research how to solidify your app’s functionalities so that it best achieves you goals.
Here are some major questions to help you get started:
- What kind of apps do people use, and how do they use them?
- What does it take for the user to engage with the app?
- Is there another app that’s similar to yours? What are some issues that users face while using that app?
- How is your competition doing in the market? How are they staying on top of things?
When you have covered all these points in your research, you are ready for the next step.
4. Write Out the Core Concept and Technical Specs
Now it’s time to think about the logistics around building you app.
- The app features that you want to introduce
- Your app’s platform, which is based on your target audience research
- The workflow for your app’s development process
- Any technical specifications that you’ll need to incorporate
- Your app’s value add
At the end of this phase, don’t forget to include the creative brief, the app’s goal, and the user and admin work flow for the app. You need to specify each detail before beginning develoment
5. Design the App
Once the app concept has been developed and a solid plan for the app is ready, you need to move forward with the design for the app.
Prepare the wireframes that suggest how your app should look and feel like. These are almost akin to the app’s blueprint.
Make sure to include all elements that are important for the app such as buttons, navigation, font, color, and more. This will give you an idea on how the end product should look like.
It is a good idea to outsource your mobile app development to an expert who can offer a seamless development environment. Incorporate the design guidelines that you have defined for your company while designing the app.
The user experience, the functionality of the app, as well as the user journey should all be mapped in the sketches so that it becomes easier for the designer to start working on the app design.
6. Develop the App
There are quite a few points to consider to streamline the development phase. A successful mobile app development firm will likely have their own guidelines in place, but you can’t always be sure. Do your due diligence to see if a firm is right for you.
We’ve written a platform-specific guideline that you can refer to if you want to maximize the output of your app development process.
Otherwise, think about these next few points as you start development.
- Look up the design and development guides for specific operating systems and follow them accordingly.
- Make sure that you’ve already planned out the architecture at this point so that all you have to do is incorporate it.
- Along with the coding, you need to take into consideration the dependency management for your application, which includes dependencies on third party tools and applications so as to make app development faster and smoother for your business
Besides the coding, think about any dependencies your app might have such as third-party tools and external apps.
Having a plan in place that accounts for all of the above points will help ensure a seamless development process.
7. Test the App
Test the app before you launch it to the market. Look through the different testing tools available, and make sure you include the ones that maximize your testing abilities.
A good test will ensure that the app will go to market with all of its capabilities intact. The app store has some specific rules about the type of apps
that can be uploaded, so make sure you meet all of those specifications.
Turn Your App Idea Into a Reality
Converting an idea for a mobile app into a profitable business takes a lot of planning, but all great things require hard work. You just need to commit to your goals and be prepared for what lies ahead.
By solidifying your initial concept, researching your market niche, and making detailed app development plans, you’ll be ready to launch in no time.