With 20% of startup businesses failing in the first year, I am frequently asked how would I know if my mobile app development idea will make money. There is no easy answer to guarantee success, but there are steps that will help. In the bricks and mortar world of business, a three word phrase often repeated is location, location, location. In mobile app development, it would be research, test, market.
This is the best place to start. Often people will approach Polymorph with an idea for an app. That is cart before the horse thinking. Start with the problem and work from there. The solution should be grounded in a deep understanding of the problem. The following is how you get to that understanding and provide a solution.
If possible work with a UX company to really get to grips with who your user is and to test what problem you are solving. If that is not possible, ask everyone you know. While feedback on your idea is great, don’t ask only about your idea. Ask about the challenge the user faces and really understand as much as you can about that challenge. I have known an app to change for the better based on this research.
What does the market look like? Is there a market? Or have you uncovered a problem that no one is investing in. Don’t look at only mobile app development. Look into all the solutions used. This can be anything from paper based solutions to none! Market research is easier than ever to get hold of. Read up.
If there is a market, what solutions are out there? How are people coping with the problem. What’s working and what’s missing?
To assist with creating a great plan. we have launched an e-book of manuals covering all the essential questions you should ask.
This could be three words like location. As soon as possible have an app ready to test. Release to a small group and test. Listen with an open mind to the feedback, integrate that in and test again. Ask what people would be willing to pay. Keep testing. Always be testing.
Very often, the budget that a founder or corporate has is related to the product development and does not take the launch or continued marketing into consideration. At a recent wearables talk, a founder spoke about how her budget is 50/50 to hardware and software product development and marketing.
One additional word…
Not part of the three, but essential. Often a startup or even seasoned veteran of the startup scene thinks they are motivated enough. Although we are, I have found this support invaluable. Find people who can hold you accountable to your plans. People to discuss where you are and keep you motivated. Most often, these are not in one person, but actually in two or three individuals who can assist you to grow, both as an entrepreneur and your business.
To summarise. Research, find out as much as you can and take frequent walks in your user’s shoes. Test, test, test. Market, don’t forget that as much as you have invested in the creation of this product, you must keep marketing in mind. There are several interesting ways to do this, but the most successful ones start with a early, executable plan. And finally, gather inspiring people who can hold you accountable.
As an entrepreneur myself, mobile app development is one of the most challenging and rewarding paths you can choose to walk. I wish you the best.