Is 2018 the year your business finally takes the plunge and develops a mobile app? Is your organization ready to turn an app idea into a reality?
If so, it’s exciting to think about the new and engaging ways you can reach your current customers and new customers, but at the same time, it’s an overwhelming proposition, particularly if you’re a small or medium-sized business.
So what should you know about the app development process for your business?
Understand Your Audience
If you’re a well-established business you may already have a strong concept of who your audience is and how they think, but does this translate to mobile usage and marketing as well?
Even if you do think you know your audience, it’s a good idea to spend some upfront time narrowing your audience into specific groups and thinking about how they’re most likely to use their smartphone or tablet in relation to your business.
Once you’re to that point, you can approach the development of your app as a way to solve a problem or a set of problems for your audience.
You’ll also have to think about specifics such as how tech-savvy your ideal audience is, and what devices and platforms they’re most likely to use.
What’s the Objective?
If someone who doesn’t have an existing business sets out to create an app their objective is likely to find ways to monetize it, usually through charging per download, in-app purchases or advertisement revenue.
If you’re an existing business, this may not be your objective, but you’ll need to define what it is.
For example, do you want to have a way to market to local customers when they’re nearby, or maybe you want to build brand loyalty? Maybe you do want to generate revenue from the app itself.
Whatever it is, have a clear idea of your business objectives before you start the development process.
If you’re just starting from scratch to develop an app and that is in and of itself your business, branding can be a big undertaking because you have to compete against so many other apps.
If you already have a business, branding isn’t likely to be as difficult, but you just need to keep cohesiveness in mind with your existing branding.
Who Will Develop the App?
Business will have to decide who’s going to develop their mobile app. Large companies may have the resources to do it in-house, but most businesses don’t have this option so they’ll outsource the work to a third-party developer.
When a business begins working with developers, they need to bring as much to the table as they can up front, but the work doesn’t end once the app is finished.
Finally, a business needs to be prepared to do regular and ongoing maintenance, and also to handle bugs or other issues as they arise. A business also needs to be prepared to make changes to the app as the users require it, based on pre-defined metrics for success.