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8 Critical Questions Startups Need to Have Answered Before Making an App

By Aron Allen

After years of building mobile apps for startups we came to a realization: they always seem to ask us the same questions, no matter their size.

These questions result from the modern issues these entrepreneurs face, so wedo our best to guide them to an answer. Here’s our top 8 list, and our answer for each.

How Can I Maximize my App’s Chances of Success?

Building an app isn’t easy, and succeeding with one is even harder. Going through fundraising to build the app, finding the right app building team, there’s a lot to keep track of. What we find is that founders all too often forget – apps need to be treated like a complete business. They require marketing, a good customer experience, reporting on KPI’s, and so on.

While considering these factors, our number one recommendation for founders looking to build an app is to stay side-by-side with your users. Never take a step back to prioritize fancy features rather than their experience – because that’s the one thing that will make or break your app. The real challenge is to remember this tip 2, 3, 5 years down to road.

How Will I Raise Money to build My App?

Startups looking to build an app mostly rely on investors to push their idea into reality. But getting investors to actually invest requires a perfected pitch. Several sentences with your app purpose and its value are good enough, but you’re also going to need basic marketing assets ready to go like a logo and email address. Investors often want to learn more, so setting up a landing page for you brand should be considered.

If you are also willing to contribute your own pocket change to the app, you can mention that in your pitch to showcase your commitment. It’s also not uncommon for the first round of fund raising to be through personal network sources like family or close friends.

What Are Other People in My Niche/Industry Doing with Their Apps?

A quick look at the app store to see if there’s anything identical to your app idea isn’t market research. Investors find this important too. You can get valuable insights about your competitors when you do thorough market research, like:

  1. Avoiding mistakes competitors made
  2. Finding the strengths and weaknesses of their app
  3. Gleaning useful feedback from reviews for similar apps

Should I Build for iOS or Android First?

It can be hard to know if you should build for iOS first or for Android, so we wrote a piece on it. Typically, going iOS first is the best choice for companies that want to directly face the consumer. And iOS users overwhelmingly spend more on average per app than those on Android. Additionally, the demographics for iOS users matches what most startups aim for in their users to get that early growth.

If your app targets the demographics of Android users or you can’t justify in-app purchases, building for Android first could be for you. There are also certain features only available on Android that may be relevant to your desired app.

How Do I Make Sure No One Steals My Ideas?

Great ideas have been stolen before, but there are ways to make sure it doesn’t happen to you while also being able to work closely with a developer. We completely understand if you’re worried about your about your idea being stolen, even from a developer. So we recommend signing a Non-Disclosure Agreement with any and all you work with, just do it after you’ve communicated the pivotal, non-proprietary details about your app’s design.

Signing a NDA keeps you safe, but can inhibit communication so this tends to work best. It works so well because we can make sure you can guide the production of your app accurately from square one while still being able to keep your idea safe.

How Can I Tell How Much My App is Going to Cost?

The cost of your app is influenced most by (a) your app’s features, (b) the platforms you publish your app and (c) the quality of developer you choose. Some of the biggest app development companies charge all the way up to a million dollars to build an app, and their pricing reflects the perceived value of their brand.

Companies that do development like Digital Success Agency are able to offer high quality and budget feasible solutions because we keep and retain top talent for long periods. Offshoring may appear cheaper from the get-go, but with the quality risks and other sacrifices it may end up costing more in the long run.

How Long do I Need to Wait for My App to be Built?

Using efficient development processes, apps around here usually take 3-6 months to completely roll out. This time estimation includes ideation to bug testing to completion.

But that time estimation completely depends on the team you’re using to build your app. If they use the most recent agile development practices, it will be on the shorter end of the spectrum. But it can also be on the shorter end of the spectrum if the team you’re using doesn’t sweat the details and produces a low quality app – so you need to be careful when choosing your partner.

Should I Consistently Update My App?

Many founders forget their work has only begun after their app has been produced. Finding the flaws and sending out updates is critical to growing your user base. Also, a huge benefit of sending out updates is that it generates excitement! Who doesn’t love seeing their favorite app getting better?

Generally, top of the line apps roll out, at the very least, one update a month. How much time and money to funnel into updating your app should of course be decided by your budget, user reviews, and business plan. You might also want to stay on top of updating your app when big iOS or Android updates are released, so you can ride that hype wave.

What Else?

How well you answer these questions and the time you spend thinking about them will directly influence your app’s success with users. Even after the initial hype dies down, your app will continue to be influenced by the answers you gave to these questions. If you think we missed a major question, let us know here.

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