10 Questions Startups Need to Answer before Building an App
The usage of smartphones is on a continuous rise and is expected to grow more in the coming years. As an estimate, there are currently more than 3 billion smartphone users worldwide. This huge number is stuck in the eyes of almost all businesses. 3 billion smartphone users, means a way to organically reach out to 3 billion people with fewer investment amounts.
Today, when every business wants to grow more and become the best in their industry, smartphones play a crucial role. If you own a website, you ought to make it a responsive one, as almost 40% to 50% of internet traffic comes from mobile devices, and if your website isn’t going to look nice, no one is going to trust you easily.
Responsive websites are a good start towards a company’s shift on mobile devices, but nothing beats the superiority of applications when it comes to interaction and retaining customers. More and more companies are today moving towards providing better services to their customers using targeted applications.
Designing and developing an application is never easy, there are swarms of ideas and designs that need to be evaluated. Designs will never look completely acceptable, there will always be newer ideas, and those ideas will continuously drive changes in your app-building process.
When you begin to think of developing an application for your startup, there are tons of things that need to be taken care of. You also ought to ask yourself and the management too many questions, the more questions you can ask, the better will be your clarity regarding the need of application or your business.
Today we are going to look at ten such questions that you should not miss out on asking when building an application for your business.
1. Why build an application?
When you are a startup, the very first question that you need to ask is the “why”. Why do you need to build an application? Most companies in the market today are just building applications for the sake of building them. These companies have no special need for building an application for their business, they just build it because some of their competitors are also building applications for their business.
Being a startup, this shall become the biggest mistake you can ever make. Don’t build an application just for the sake of it. Even though you have an awesome design at your hands and you are desperate to turn it into reality, don’t make this mistake.
Unless you have a solid reason regarding why your business needs to develop an application, you should not jump into making one. Some ideal businesses that will need applications are restaurants providing delivery facilities, grocery marts, businesses providing online shopping, and so forth.
2. What platform do you want to publish your app on?
There are two best platforms for publishing mobile applications, android, and iOS. While both the platforms are great, both come with their own set of upsides and downsides. Where to publish your application is a major decision you’ll have to take while developing an app.
Once you have a clear decision on which platform you want to publish your application, only then you can proceed further with the development process.
Developing an android app is relatively easier and you can do great customizations, thanks to the vast community of dedicated android app developers, coming up with great resources. While iOS applications are somewhat harder to develop. They are great when you want to develop secure brand applications.
When you develop an android application, you can reach a broader spectrum of audiences, because it is clear that android smartphones constitute up to 65% to 70% of the smartphone industry. While the iOS users are less in number, they often tend to be more active.
If your business needs an active and loyal audience, you should opt to develop an iOS application, else if you want to reach out to a large audience you should choose android applications.
3. What will be the initial costs?
The most important thing for a startup to look at when developing an application is to look and evaluate the initial costs which will be incurred during the development of the application.
There is always a tight budget in startups. You surely need to master the finances and look after managing them in the correct way. If you do not have enough finances to meet your business’ core requirements, you should not leap into developing an application for your business.
Developing an application is a costly process because there are so many subprocesses involved in this. Application development is an investment, so keep in mind the more you invest, the better will be your application. This does not mean that you have to heavily invest in application development, but it hints that you should have enough spare finance to develop a good application.
4. Where to get funds for the application?
Funding is a very important aspect of application development. Not every application idea will be covered by your finances, there may arise scenarios where you’ll have to rely on external resources.
In such situations, you’ll have to look out for ways from where you can get funds. There are many ways to raise money for applications, but the best is the same age-old method of finding an investor.
An investor is someone who takes a look at your application idea, reviews it, analysis it according to his interests, and then invests money into your application development with a condition to get a good return on investment. Most investors are ready to invest in applications that are aimed at solving problems for people, as such types of apps rarely fail.
There are many ways of funding and you’ll have to decide between which way is the best according to your business’s long-term goal.
5. How much time will go into development?
Considering the time spent in the development process is equally important. If you have a great application idea but you spend too much time behind its development, then you’ll incur great expenses, and also there will arise conflicts between your investors and you.
While planning for developing an application for your business, you should try to plan as many things as possible. You should try to develop a timeline representing different tasks and processes that should be completed by a specific time.
The time taken for the development of an application relies heavily on the number of features you want to include, the platform for which you are developing your application, whether you are working with a freelancer or outsourcing your work, or are you developing your application with the help of inhouse developers.
6. How will this app stand out in the market?
Making applications that stand out in the market from the competition is an important part of making and delivering successful applications. If you are going to create an application that already is available, then your chances for success can be reduced greatly.
Before beginning development, asking this question is crucial as the answer can uncover the decision regarding whether to proceed with the development or not. If you have a unique business or idea for which there are currently no great applications or they are very less in number, then only you should leap into the application development for your business.
7. How frequent will be the application updates?
Updating your application is a great way to retain customers as well as increase their excitement for using your application. Frequent updates also build a good reputation for your business in the market.
Updating applications when changes and updates in OS occur is a great way to start out when you don’t know how to plan the update cycle. The more constructive changes you make in your application the more it shall grow.
When looking for ideas about what changes should be made in the application, the best is to look into the customer feedback, see what problems they’ve been facing and what are some things that they want to get changed. These are the most important changes that you’ll have to do, in order to keep your application growing.
8. How can I protect the application?
Protecting your application’s idea before it gets delivered to the market is extremely crucial. You have to take care that no other person outside the company or stakeholders has access to crucial information regarding the application development.
One such way to protect your application is by using an NDA(Non-Disclosure Agreement) which is an agreement between you and all the other people who already know your app idea. By signing this agreement other people justify that they will not disclose any crucial information regarding your application to outsiders.
9. How to stop application failure?
Around 80% to 90% of developed applications fail or are not considered a hit by their developers. This shows that there is a great chance of your application failing in the open world.
One great way to reduce the chances of failure for your application is to do rigorous testing of your application. Testing your application will uncover any overseen problems in the code which can make your application fail in the market.
10. Who are the main stakeholders?
Simply explained, stakeholders are people who have some sort of interest in your application or are related to its development and progress in some way.
There are different types of stakeholders and identifying the main stakeholders among them is a crucial process. You have to ask yourself some important questions regarding how each stakeholder’s presence or absence can affect your application.
Rounding up, application development isn’t something that you can start in just one day. There are so many decisions that need to be taken before any actual development work begins. As for a startup, all these decisions are crucial and any one taken wrongly can make a huge impact on the growth of the company. For example, if you are a startup and you do not correctly identify your key stakeholders, and you keep satisfying the wrong group, then there are high chances that some conflicts will arise.
So keep in mind that application development for your business is a good idea only if you have done proper planning and research. The chances for success increase marginally with great planning.