If you have a great idea for an app, you’re probably excited and ready to start building it. Not to kill the vibe, but keep in mind that there are over 2.1 million apps in the Apple App Store and 3.5 million in the Google Play Store. Even if your idea is amazing, it won’t be easy to stand out from the crowd. You should ask yourself these questions before building an app to make sure your idea has the best possible chance of success.
1. Will this app solve a problem that enough people have?
For an app to be successful, it needs to be downloaded and used by a lot of people. The exact number you need will vary depending on your revenue model, but you should do some research to find out how widespread the need is for an app like yours. Check Google to see how many searches are being entered on terms related to the problem your app will solve. Look in social media groups and online forums to see how many people are discussing the problem.
2. Will the app’s design encourage regular use?
Successful apps are used on a regular basis. If your customers download your app only to delete it a few weeks later to free up storage space, you’ll be continually scrambling to attract new users. Consider incorporating techniques from behavioral psychology to keep users engaged. The more techniques you use strategically, the easier it will be to hook users into habitual usage.
3. Is the idea truly unique?
With the almost-unfathomable number of apps already in existence, you’ll want search for apps similar to the one you’re imagining and do a little reconnaissance to see what they do well and what they lack. If you can offer a solution that isn’t already being provided or do it in a significantly better way, you’ll find success more quickly.
4. How will you monetize it?
Although advertising is a popular monetization strategy, it certainly isn’t the only way to earn money. And depending on the nature of your app, ads may actually discourage people from downloading it. Here are a few other ways to earn revenue:
Charge for downloads.
Offer the app for free, but sell upgrades at a range of prices.
Sell in-app purchases (such as game credits).
Offer a subscription.
Create sponsorships for brands who share your target market.
Use your app to generate an opt-in email list for marketing a related product or service.
5. Have you thought through your business process?
Processes that work while you only have a hundred users won’t work so well when you reach ten thousand. You’ll want to automate as many processes as you can and streamline those that you can’t. Plan ahead so you’re not caught by surprise — and end up with negative reviews from users who ran into problems. Consider policies and procedures, what tools you’ll use, and at what points you’ll need to hire additional team members.
6. How will you market it?
“If you build it, they will come” couldn’t be further from the truth. What’s your plan to get the word out about your app? How will the people in your target market find the app? Your marketing tactics will change over time, but it’s important to have a strategy to start with. Entire curriculums have been written about marketing, so we can’t cover the essentials here. But it’s important to give this question attention. Start by researching your target audience to get a full understanding of them. You may consider optimizing your website to appear in Google’s search results, using influencer marketing, creating partnerships with other products that serve the same market, pitching the media, and running ads on social media.
Planning and building a new app is an exciting adventure. By creating a roadmap to guide you on the journey, you’ll make the ride smoother and more enjoyable.
Have an app idea you’d like to discuss? We’ll help you think through your business strategy as well as the technical considerations. Get in touch!