What is the first thing you do in the morning?
If you’re like most people, your day begins with you checking some kind of an app. Perhaps it’s a calendar app that helps you track your schedule or a social media app that lets you know what your friends are up to, or a news app you can use to check the day’s headlines.
As the morning goes on, you might check a weather app to see how you should dress or a transit app before catching the bus or train. At work, you might use a banking app to stay on top of your accounts, or a workflow app to track the progress of a big project.
Given how fundamental apps are to modern life, it’s no surprise that they have also become one of the fastest-growing sectors of the economy. But creating the next big app isn’t easy, and if you’re trying to get ahead in the startup app world, here are four things you should keep in mind.
1. Create an App that Solves a New Problem
One of the most common mistakes digital entrepreneurs make is trying to recreate the success of already successful businesses.
Though it is always possible to improve upon existing product ideas, in a world where people can choose between WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, SMS, Signal, and Skype, the market for communications and messaging apps is pretty saturated already.
Designing an app that offers a new kind of service by solving an existing problem is the best way to attract interest — and investment dollars — for your startup.
2. Bring in Professional Designers Early
Many startups with a hot idea try to refine the business model and design their app first, only bringing on professional design help when it is time to start coding.
Good software design, however, is a complex process — and app designers with experience creating mobile apps for startups that will be both user-friendly and lucrative have a lot of wisdom to share with new businesses.
For example, app designers can help you troubleshoot the weaker parts of your idea, and workshop solutions that will ensure that when your app reaches the market, it is optimized for your ideal customer or user and hosted on the right platform.
3. Get Serious About Monetization
Monetization is one of the most difficult aspects of app design, and it’s something you should start thinking about right away. After all, a popular app isn’t necessarily a lucrative one, and figuring out how to structure your actual revenue stream is one of the most important decisions you will make about your app.
Five of the most common ways of monetizing an app are:
- E-Commerce: The app is connected to an online shop
- Freemium: The app is free to download, but there are in-app expenses
- Paid Advertising: The app hosts ads
- Paid Downloading: Users are charged for downloading the app
- Paymium: Users are charged to download the app, and there are in-app expenses
Consulting with your app developer about which of these models is best for you is a great way to ensure that the app provides the most reliable revenue stream possible.
4. Focus on Fundamentals
It’s easy to spot the next big thing when it’s already happening. Becoming the next big thing is a lot harder.
One good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that app trends that are already being written up in the tech press are probably not worth jumping on — it takes a significant amount of time to design and roll out an app, so instead of chasing trends you should focus on fundamentals.
What need could a new app create or fill? Who isn’t currently being served by the app market? Where can apps help create value in people’s everyday lives? Keeping these questions foremost in your mind will help you make something that people get excited about.
Given how much of our work and life revolves around apps, it’s no surprise that young entrepreneurs view app-based ventures as their ticket to success.
But if you really want to create an app that makes a difference and creates a sustainable business model, making sure your app will serve a real need — and getting expert designers to help you hone your ideas —is essential.