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6 Things To Consider Before Starting A Mobile App Business

24/10/2016 4:15 PM IST | Updated 31/10/2016 8:49 AM IST
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The mobile industry has literally taken the world by storm, and entrepreneurs today are working day and night to develop apps and mobile-friendly versions of their websites that add a competitive edge to their business.

Mobile apps have continued to gather momentum in the world of digital technology. They offer entrepreneurs a much-needed avenue to promote their services and products to the right audience, at the right time. They make users more informed and services more flexible. Others like gaming and entertainment apps add a whole lot of fun to smartphone user experience.

Building a mobile app startup is more about solving problems than chasing ideas.

However, building a successful mobile application can get tricky, especially for app startups. It requires forward-thinking, an eye to detail and a different level of creativity. It also requires a solid foundation of planning and research. You might have a brilliant, out-of-the-box idea and all the possible resources you need in the world, but the manner in which you execute your final product can break or make you. Keeping this in mind, here are some key professional insights and considerations that will help you take your mobile app startup business a notch above your rivals.

1. What kind of mobile app should you make?

Market research is the most important preliminary aspect to consider before you develop any app, especially if making money from it is your primary goal. Go to the Google play store, Apple app store and Windows app store daily to look at the top grossing, top paid and top free apps in your category of interest. Download them and play around with them to learn their features and functionality. Are people downloading the type of application your want to develop? If not, you may want to put that idea aside and proceed to your next one.

Never fall in love with just an idea. If you do, only develop it from the profits you make from your other apps. From my personal experience, and from interacting with other app developers, the app category with the most income generating potential, both from in-app purchases and ads, is games. If you are looking to start your own mobile app business, then that is probably the most valuable tip I can give you.

2. Who are your target users?

Understanding your target users and their behaviour in many ways determines the failure or success of your product. Do you know your audience? What kind of platforms or devices are they using? How does your app fit in their lifestyle? Before you even think of development or marketing requirements, first share your idea with your family and friends and find out what they think, and then move on to start researching about your target users. With millions of mobile apps on the market, unless your app offers real value to your target users, it may not be worth the cost.

3. Marketing strategy and advertisement budget

Do you have a marketing strategy for your app business? Just like any other business, you need to get your products in front of people. You need to have a clear budget provision for promoting your apps to make sure they get to the top-of-mind level of your target consumers. This includes identifying the most suitable app store for your offerings and optimizing your apps for the same.

If you want to earn some good money, I'd personally recommend that you start with an in-app purchase model.

You may also want to utilize third party endorsements, which is a very powerful mode of publicity. Start with a test market to identify which marketing strategy works for your business and which one doesn't. Every time you launch a new app, use tracking tools to help you identify your market and know your best users. Pay close attention to reviews of your apps from press coverage and tech bloggers—and work twice as hard to reverse any negative ratings.

4. Pick the right operating system(s)

Should you develop for Android, iOS or both? Both Android and iOS offer similar approaches in design and functionality. Cross-platform apps will require more work since they need to offer consistent experience across all platforms. Before settling on one option, consider factors such as the kind of platform your target users are using, the market, your competition and so on.

5. Know your competitors

By identifying and your competitors and researching on them, you will discover what other mobile apps are doing wrong or right. Moreover, you will be able to determine specific features to include in your apps. Ask yourself about core features of your app—which ones can be dropped and which ones are in your project plan.

6. Pricing

When it comes to pricing, always remember that mobile apps are priced way cheaper than computer apps. Pretty much everything is priced under ten bucks. One more hint: nearly all the biggest money earning apps are free to download, but come with in-app purchases. Frankly speaking, if you want to earn some good money, I'd personally recommend that you start with an in-app purchase model. After all, users can download, try it, and get sucked in. If your users find value, they are very likely to buy your in-app upgrades.

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In conclusion, building a mobile app startup is more about solving problems than chasing ideas. Carry out proper preliminary market research on the category of mobile app startup business you wish to set up, and as earlier said, find out what your potential users really want.

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