6 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Building an App

June 16, 2016

11:45 am

Do you have a great idea for a new app? Do you imagine building, launching, and then making a good profit on this idea? That’s wonderful! However, before you get started, here are 6 questions to ask yourself.

Can I Validate the Need for an App?

If you are going to build an app, you will be doing one of two things. The first option is that you will be writing an app that meets a need that already exists. For example, there are dozens of calendar apps available. The need for those have been validated. If you were to write a new calendar app, you have the confidence of knowing that. The second option is to chart completely new territory and create something completely new. If that is path you are going to take, you’ll have to find ways to validate the need for your app.

Can I Dedicate the Resources Needed for Marketing?

You don’t necessarily need money in order to successfully market your app. However, if you go that route, you will need to have time to dedicate to creating a social media presence, reaching out to people who might be interested in purchasing your app, and taking on other marketing tasks. If you don’t have the time to do that, then you will need to tap into your financial resources to hire an outside agency.

What Can I Do to Make the App Profitable?

When most people enter the world of app development, they offer their first apps up for free. That’s wonderful, but assuming that you are not a hobbyist, you’ll want to find a way to monetize. You might allow for in app advertising, for example, or create a premium version of your app with extra features.

Do I Have the Energy and Resources for Continued Maintenance and Support?

Remember that this is not a one and done venture. In order to keep people interested in your product, you will have to provide support and continue to add features and upgrades. Is that something that you are able to do?

Is My Developer Someone I Can Work With?

If you are developing your own app, this is a non issue. However, if this is not the case, you need to be sure that your developer is someone with whom you can work. They might have the technical chops that you need, but do they understand your vision? Can they take what you tell them and then translate that into code in a way that reflects what you want?

Who is my Customer?

Before you create a marketing plan for your app, and before you get into the development phase, you have to have a clear picture of who is going to be interested in your app. What is their demographic information? What are their needs? How does this app solve their problems?

App development is exciting and has the potential to be profitable. However, it is not something to jump into without planning and forethought. Asking yourself these 6 questions will help to ensure that your efforts are successful.

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Dianna is a former ESL teacher and World Teach volunteer, currently living in France. She’s slightly addicted to apps and viral media trends and helps different companies with product localization and content strategies. You can tweet her at @dilabrien

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