The mobile device may be one of the most influential inventions ever created. You would be hard-pressed to find someone who does not own a mobile device of some sort. Out of the 7.5 billion or-so humans on earth, an estimated 4.3 billion own a mobile smart device. Creating a web app can help you reach out to these users. Here we look at a simple strategic approach to create a mobile & web app for your business.
With more smartphone users than ever before, marketing to mobile device users has become increasingly important if your brand wants to remain relevant amongst the competition.
To effectively reach smartphone users online, your business will need to diversify the channels in which you market your brand. One marketing channel that your organization should explore further is the app store. As mobile devices become more integrated into everyday life, utilizing the technology will help push your business to the next level.
Creating a mobile application is a complex process that will be time-consuming and difficult. If you do not know where to start, don’t fret; here are the steps you need to take to create a mobile business application.
1. Identify the Need for an Application
One of the biggest business mistakes you can make is investing in something that is not conducive to your
organization’s success. Just because the mobile device market is expanding, does not mean that your business needs to try and capitalize on it.
Before just deciding to build a business application, take the time to see if your business would truly benefit from having an application.
Some questions to consider when thinking about creating an application are:
● Does your existing consumer-base use mobile devices?
● Do your competitors have mobile applications already?
● Will your app actually provide value?
● Do you have the resources to create a useful application?
If you can reasonably answer yes to each of these questions, your business likely would benefit from creating a mobile application, and so too would your customers.
2. Create an Application Blueprint
You cannot expect to create an effective application without having a plan. Before you can start to actually create the
application, you need to layout the framework of the prospective application.
When sketching your application idea, you will need to think about the core goal of the application. Will this application be an online shopping portal? Is the application simply an educational resource? You will need to think about what the main function of this application will be before going any further.
Once you identify a core function of the app, look to the App Store for similar applications. Take the time to learn these similar apps in and out. The more you know about the prospective product you are going to be making, the better.
If you aren’t familiar with the app development process, don’t worry, you can complete this step without having any technical skills. The planning process can be done through extensive observation and critical thinking.
3. Decide Between In-House vs. Outsourced Development
One of the most important decisions to make when creating a mobile app is picking between developing the
application by yourself, or hiring an outsourced developer to do it. Each choice will come with a list of pros and cons, so take the time to actually think about what route to take.
The top advantages of developing an app on your own are:
● Your own team will have a better idea of your business goals over an outsourced team.
● Communication will be more open and easier with your own coworkers.
● Using your own team allows you to be more flexible with deadlines.
Some of the main disadvantages of attempting to create the app on your own are:
● The application will be less complex than one created by a dedicated team.
● An in-house team will be much slower than an outsourced team.
● The costs of employing an in-house development team will be much higher than that of hiring an outsourced development team.
Ultimately, the complexity and cost of your application will be directly impacted by your choice of going either with an in-house team or an outsourced development team.
While using an in-house team will come with better communication and transparency, the flexibility and expertise an outsourced team can provide, at the fraction of the cost, will be worth it.
4. Look into Funding Options
Before deciding to create an app, make sure that you have access to the capital necessary to create a useful application. Putting out a buggy, barebones, unresponsive application can greatly tarnish your brand reputation.
There are a variety of funding options available to help your business create a mobile application. The type of funding your organization uses will depend on the amount of money you need and what you are using the funds for.
If you are seeking guaranteed money and don’t want to wait a long time for funding, applying for a business loan through an online lender may be the best option for you. Online-based business lending companies provide the same loan options that national banks offer, but you can apply, and receive funds in less than a day, all without leaving your home.
One of the most popular alternatives to using a business loan is Crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is when a business presents a business idea to the general public in hopes that the public helps provide funding to make this initiative a reality. Crowdfunding is a great way to raise money without having to pay it back, but do keep in mind that running a successful crowdfunding campaign will come with its own challenges.
While investing more money into your application will not guarantee its success, it certainly will help improve the chances of it being useful to customers.
5. Perform Alpha and Beta Testing
As mentioned before, putting out a broken or buggy mobile application is an easy way to anger your already existing customers, while also alienating prospective customers. Make sure that you put your application through an extensive testing process that will help you identify any issues before listing it on the app store. Every application should go through alpha and beta testing before being made available to the public.
When the development of your application is initially finished, the development process should enter the Alpha Testing stage. Alpha testing is the first end-to-end testing process any product enters and it is always handled by an internal team. Alpha testing simulates real user experiences to try and identify bugs and logistical issues within the application.
Once an application goes through the initial Alpha Testing process, it is ready to enter Beta Testing.
Beta testing is when a development team allows an almost finished application to be tested by real users for an extended period of time. During Beta Testing, users are asked to use the application as they would if it was complete. Beta testing is a great way to find even more bugs but in a controlled environment.
Testing your application is an extremely important step in the app development process. Releasing an application that is riddled with issues can cause your prospective customers to turn to your competitors.
Developing and maintaining an application is a tall-task, but as the world becomes more reliant on mobile devices, keeping up with the times is a must. Make sure to follow the guide above to guarantee that your application is a hit with your customers.
Kreyon Systems is helping businesses build innovative mobile & web apps for their business. If you need any assistance or have any queries, please reach out to us.