What to Ask Yourself When Assessing Your Business Case
There are loads of questions to answer before beginning to develop an app, many of which we can help you answer, but some you might want to answer before speaking to us.
We have compiled a list of questions that will get you started, and some tips on how to answer them to get the maximum information:
Can I do this?
It may seem simple but it’s probably the most important. Building an app needs two things: time and money and the first step in any new venture is determining if you have enough of both to invest in this project.
Even the smallest apps can cost over £100,000 to devise, design, build, launch and maintain so spend time working out your budget and plan.
The app development process is collaborative, and even if you have the budget to hire a full team to design and build your app you will still need to be available to check the development process is progressing as you’d like. Regular check-ins are essential and fast turnaround times on feedback will make sure you avoid costly delays to the timeline.
Is there something else out there already doing this?
If there’s already a product (or products) that do what your app will do, how are you going to differentiate yourself from the pack? It’s hard enough to get users to try something new - but it’s even harder to get them to ditch something they know first. In particular, watch out for any app whose main feature might be something that could become native to Android or iOS - QR code reader apps were a big business until the feature became part of the camera app. Try searching for the feature in Apple and Google OS forums to see if they are regularly requested, as that might give you a clue as to whether they’re on the horizon.
Knowing your users is really the first crucial step to app development. Who are they? Where are they currently online? What are they currently using instead of my app? What features are they looking for?
If you determine you don’t know your users that well, then it’s worth dedicating more time and budget to early user research as it will be essential as you progress through to development.
What can you do and what do you need help with?
Developing and launching an app requires a wide set of skills, and while you may have knowledge and experience, you will probably still need some help.
The main elements & skills involved in developing and launching an app are:
Frontend & Backend Development
Conduct a self-evaluation of your own capabilities and those of your team to give yourself a clear understanding of where you might need support.
Does the app need to pay for itself right away?
It’s one thing to determine if you have enough budget to build the app, but what about the other side of the equation - how much does the app need to make to justify your investment and how soon?
Apps are a billion-dollar industry, but it can still be tricky to make a profit from them - see here a few different ways your app can make a buck. If your app doesn't start turning a profit in the first month can you sustain it? How about in the first year? And remember, Apple and Google both take between 15-30% of sales revenue from apps on their app stores, so make sure your revenue model has these potentially missed costs added in.
What happens after the app launches?
It may seem premature to start thinking about this, but we promise you it’s not. The first few months of an app's life are pivotal in determining whether it will be a success. A few bad reviews or poor performance on the app store search pages can kill an app.
We think this should be enough to get you started and may well trigger other questions you want answered too. The final thing we will say is, don’t be put off. There are tons of apps already out there being successful and you may just need to tweak your idea here and there to make it viable. We hope these questions are useful, but if you would like our expertise to help you get your app plan up and running, we’re just a call away.