With 75 per cent of the world’s population owning at least one mobile phone, annual app downloads are rising from 178.1 million in 2017 to a projected 258.2 million by 2022. Author of ‘App Empire’ Chad Mureta says that the app industry started with the first iOS and Android app stores in 2008. This means that the market is still extremely young and there is much left to discover and innovate. Starting a mobile app business in this ever-expanding and lucrative market where more users are willing to pay for premium apps and in-app features could be a gold mine. To succeed however requires careful planning and sensitivity to market trends. In this article we will enumerate some key steps to starting a mobile app business from the ground up.
1. Document Your Mobile App Idea
The first step to building a mobile app is putting your idea down on paper. Beyond writing, also start looking at prototyping tools on the internet that can help you to create a detailed screen-by-screen mock-up or an app wireframe. Begin with detailing the first interface that users will see once they click on your app, then branch out into the different features it will contain. This helps with clarifying the requirements of your app, making it easier for the company that will help you in designing or developing your mobile application if you choose to outsource.
2. Gather a Mobile App Business Team
Forming a good mobile app business team is another important step. Each person’s strengths should complement the group’s needs. These days, team members need not be limited by geographic boundaries. A previous article by Roshan on making virtual teams more effective says that virtual team setups are the new norm since it is both easy and cost-effective. A remote team might even work to your advantage since it allows you to be clearer and more deliberate with how you communicate with each other.
3. Determine Your Business Costs
Another crucial step is determining the costs of starting an app business and the continuing costs of operations. ZenBusiness’ guide to starting an app business cites that the minimum app development cost ranges from $5,000 to $10,000. The cost of starting a quality app however ranges from $60,000-$230,000. App co-founder Rahul Varshneya told Entrepreneur that determining the cost of app development depends on many factors such as the app complexity and features involved. Thus determining your costs comes after you have settled on the features of your app idea, who will be developing it, what platform you want to use, and where you want to release it. Knowing your costs will help you decide on your monetization strategy as well.
4. Submit Your App to the App Store
Now that you’ve built your app, you have to submit it to the Apple App Store or the Android Market. You can start by creating developer accounts with Apple and Google by registering and paying an annual app store fee. For Apple, the fee costs $99 yearly and for Google it’s $25. If you are outsourcing your app development, the process of uploading to the app stores should be done by the developers. Once you’ve settled on a monetization strategy in the previous step, you’ll know whether you want to release your app for free or have a paid app. A free app is a good way to get more downloads and reach a wider audience. You’ll have to find a way to make money down the line however through advertisements or in-app purchases.
5. Marketing Your Mobile App
The last step is making it easy for your customer to access your mobile app. App store optimization is a good way to be discovered within the app store, but you should also make sure your app gets visibility through other means. You can do this through third-party endorsements. Approach tech bloggers and journalistic news sites and ask them to review your mobile application. Word of mouth is also important so try to get the users of your application to leave reviews in the app store and work hard to ensure that any negative reviews are swiftly addressed.