You Have An Idea For A Mobile App… What Now?

August 7, 2015

10:00 am

So you have this great idea for a mobile app. You’ve been thinking about it and dreaming about making it real for as long as you can remember. It’s practically your baby. In fact, you probably care about it more than your actual baby. You’ve got the idea but how do you know what to do next?

Look it up

First of all, you need to do some research. It’s pretty easy to do on the internet. The best part is that you don’t even have to get out of bed. Go find out what apps already exist in your niche and find out if there’s a need or desire out there for what you want to provide. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the first of its kind or be revolutionary, it just has to have a demand and it has to work. Just like Facebook wasn’t the first social media platform and Spotify wasn’t the first music streaming service, your app doesn’t have to be the first of its kind in order to succeed.

Get out of the building

You also have to actually talk to people, face to face. It sounds scary, I know, but I promise people don’t bite. If they do, run, because they’re probably zombies. Just asking someone, “Would you download this?” won’t cut it though because, chances are, your friends and family will just tell you “Yes, of course; you’re a genius!” Although your idea could be great, you’re probably not a genius and that won’t help you define your customer base. You need to talk to people and ask questions to see what they want and what they would be willing to pay for. You need to find where your app will fit into the market, who will want to use it, and why. If your idea also aligns with something you’re passionate about, you’re even better off because, face it, anyone trying to build an app for something they couldn’t give less of a shit about is going to fail and fail quickly.

Think business

The biggest mistake people make when they have a golden idea for an app is going straight from conceptualization to building it. Before you start passing out business cards with your fancy new logo on them to everyone you meet, you need to build an actual business foundation. I don’t mean a long, old school business plan, but something more like a lean canvas that can summarize your plan simply and effectively. It’s the most important aspect but so many people don’t even think about it and their app ends up one of millions that get thrown into the virtual trash. Over 50% of apps are used once and then never again. Luckily for you, your app doesn’t have to be one of them. Your app is not just a game or a solution to a problem. It’s a business and once you start thinking of it as one, you’re on the right path (the path to money, that is).

Think revenue

Before you begin actually developing your app, you need a plan. You need a real, thought out business plan and monetization strategy. This isn’t something you can just half-ass because if you do, you’re bound to fail. Your app is a business just like any restaurant or retail store so you need to approach it from a business perspective and think about how much it’s going to cost you to make and market as well as how much revenue and profit it’ll bring in. You have to know your numbers and your key performance indicators (KPI’s) and have a real monetization model, whether that’s in-app purchases, advertising, subscriptions, or selling products before you can even think about building it. You have to think business and numbers before you can get to the real fun.

Find the team

The last step before actually beginning app development is finding the funding. For most, this means taking out every last penny of their savings or getting down on hands and knees to beg family and friends for help until someone forks over some cash. Once you’ve gathered all the money from all your family member’s wallets and piggy banks, you can go searching for a team to turn your idea into a reality.

When you reach this point, it’s important to find a team who knows what they’re doing. You need to either build your own team or bring in a firm who will be able to build and design your app and still understand and help your business. Once your app has been launched and you’ve proved that there is a demand and customers who are willing to pay for what you’ve got, that’s when you can get real investors and start making room for the wheelbarrows full of money that will be rolling in. If you start with a great idea, a product place in the market, a business strategy, and a kickass team, then your app might just become the next Instagram.

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Janelle is the Director of Mobile Innovation for Las Vegas mobile app development company, Raster. She is a creative mind with a passion for writing, art, and new developments in technology.

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