You have a great idea for a mobile app, now what? It’s difficult build and sell a successful app. Even if you do, don’t expect millions of people to come download it. You should be building something that can sell itself. It has to be so remarkable and useful that your target users will download it and still keep it on their phones. Most new apps are downloaded and quickly uninstalled.

Making an app takes time. It’s a difficult process but once you know what you want, you can better plan for it. You may be thinking you are getting the downloads but the retention could be poor. You don’t want that. No developer or entrepreneur wants that. There is a way around it.

These ideas can help you build a great app worth keeping.

What is your end goal?

What exactly do you want to achieve? What problem do you hope to solve with your unique app? Your vision and what you expect from your app should be obvious to you and everyone else involved in its development. Knowing what you want and the overall end goal can help you develop or create measurable and achievable timelines. Get your ideas on paper. You should be creating your app with a blueprint that clearly shows what needs to be done and at what time.

Get the conceptualization right!

Once you begin to put your thoughts on paper, it begins to get clearer for you and your team. Start drawing out everything you expect your app to do. Don’t leave any detail out. The more you put together, the better and vivid the vision becomes. Don’t hold back. What do you want the app to do? That should inform your concept.

You could use any of the many drawing tools out there or even get a wireframing app that can help you shape your concept. It’s better to start on a piece of paper or sketch board. It makes it faster and easier to get things out of your mind faster. The layout and structure of the app will be better presented with a tool if you know the details first.

Include the flow of how the user will navigate the app as well as all the features you are thinking about. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it should be able to convey enough information about what you want to your team of designers. Your sketches will be used as reference for the next phase of the project. If you prefer an app building tool to get most of the work done for you, get on to create your app in easy steps.

Focus on “must-have” not “nice-to-have” features.

Do not try to build a feature packed app right away. Your first version should focus on the most important thing you want the app to do. You will be able to build faster and ship to market quicker whilst you iterate. You will also keep the costs of development low. Whilst you build your first version, keep an eye on its design and how users will interact with your app. Design has always been about how it works. So look for a great developer who puts the design of the app (user experience and graphics) first.

Has it been done before?

There is possibly nothing new under the sun when it comes to apps. Of course there are a few innovative ideas that stand out but normally almost everything has been tried or done before. Building an app that hasn’t been done before is nearly impossible. There are millions of Android, iOS or Windows apps out there. Find out what works and what doesn’t. What are you up against? Who has done it better than you? What should you be doing differently?

You don’t want to be another Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram. People expect something different or remarkable to actually give it a try. Research can help you know what to avoid and how best to deliver your app. Find the best practices that work in terms of development, marketing or monetization. You don’t want to get your hopes crushed after spending all your time and resources on something that may go nowhere.

Set up your developer accounts.

Your app will end up on either the Google Play Store or the App Store. Get a developer account once you have settled on the basics. You should register for a developer account with the respective app stores to enable you to sell your app on their platforms. You will be paying annual fees on these platforms, find out how much it cost to be on those platforms. You can register as an individual or as a company.

Analytics is a must.

Analytics will help you track the app’s downloads, user engagement and retention. It’s important to set up analytics accounts to know how your app is doing. Tools like Flurry, which is available for free, and Localytics, are great options.

Feedback is crucial going forward.

Once your app is live, focus on how users engage with it and what can be improved. Enhancements and changes never stops. Keep improving and introduce new features at the right time as you build.

For app marketing and monetization, check out these posts: How to Effectively Market Your Mobile App and 6 Mobile App monetization Strategies That Actually Work.