It’s clear that the mobile application business is profitable. In 2015, the industry made over 41 billion in gross annual revenue. It’s expected this revenue amount will more than double by 2020. And yet…only around 46% of the world currently owns a smartphone. This means there’s only more and more potential to reach new customers as the smartphone becomes more accessible.
But this also means the market is FULL of choices. More and more companies release apps daily. So just releasing a mobile application into the market is not going to be enough to gain new customers. You have to understand how to correctly utilize this new platform. Here are 6 steps to start a successful app business:
- Find A Problem to Solve
Look at the successful applications in the store and you’ll find something in common- they solve a problem. A flashlight application solves the problem of finding something in a dark room. A social media app solves the problem of not being able to connect with your network while on the go. What problem will YOUR application solve? Answering this question is the first step in app development. You also need to ensure that you solve this problem differently than your competition.
- Make A Monetization Plan
You have to approach selling your app differently than you would a psychical item in a store. Selling at a fixed price IS an option, and it might even be the best option depending on what your product is. However, a lot of companies opt for a free version. They instead make money through advertisements or paid upgrades. “Upgrades” might be in-app purchases that add a specific thing to the user’s experience, or even a full “premium version”. It is easier to convince a user to download an app for free, so that they can “buy in” once they understand the value.
- Carefully Choose Your Platform
There are three different mobile application stores – Google Play (Android), App Store (Apple) and the Windows Store. To reach the biggest number of people, you’d want to create an app compatible for all three. But is that practical on a small budget? One thing to keep in mind is that Apple prefers developers who sell for a fixed price, while Android leans towards free apps with advertising. So thinking back to you monetization plan can lead you to the right platform.
- Create A Solid Pre-Marketing Plan
If you wait to talk about your application until it’s released, you’re missing out on a prerelease buzz. We know this works by looking at the journeys of Instagram and Evernote. Instagram went the route of reaching out to current influencers such as Jack Dorsey of Twitter. Evernote chose a more “traditional” approach of getting the press to get the word out. Whatever you choose, you want an audience that’s excited to download on day one.
- Test Extensively
Don’t be tempted to rush your app out once it’s completed. You and the development team have spent a lot of time with it. This means there might be bugs you didn’t catch, or things about the user interface that are confusing to an outsider. Instead, consider a beta release where you can get constructive feedback. Having a crash reporting system in place will make this easy.
- Put Long-Term Systems In Place
Even if your mobile application makes a decent splash upon release, you won’t attract loyal customers without something enticing to come back. This means BEFORE you even release, you should have an idea of how to create new content make exciting updates. You can also draw in users through contests or giveaways of your paid content.
The world of mobile applications is growing exponentially – which makes it an exciting time to jump on board. If you’ve already created a profitable business – a mobile app is the next logical step! Narrow in on the problem you could solve, research the best home for your creation, make a quality product, and figure out how to market it. Plan for success- and unlock your potential for a successful app business.