So, you want to build an app. That’s good, right? All the blogs are constantly repeating as one “you need to have an edge over competitors” or “you have to be where the customers are”. Hundreds of them can`t be wrong, can’t they?
But should you really do it? In fact, it’s not an easy task. Building a good app is an ultimately challenging endeavor. When your rivals are fighting for customers, stepping down might save your money, time, and effort. Don’t forget that just building an app is not enough, you must maintain it in order for it to function well. And the worst part is that no one guarantees your success.
On the other hand, making a great app is like winning a lottery. It is profitable and you can be proud of it! So, is it worth it or not? As always, it’s up to you to decide. But we will try to elaborate on all the aspects of this decision to make your choice easier.
Benefits of Your Own Mobile App
2020’th is an extremely digitized time. There are three times as many devices as people are. And the most popular platform for web usage has long ago shifted from personal computers to smartphones.
It’s no wonder. They are simply more flexible. Life itself becomes more rapid year after year. It’s not just a quirk of perception. That`s how it works, you need to be better, faster, stronger than your opponents in order to succeed or even simply survive. Mobile devices have become a necessity, rather than a luxury. And so, the top 1 reason to build an app is: there is simply a bigger audience on that platform.
Reason number two. Apps are a new generation of marketing tools. Simply put, ads are everywhere, and for most people, it’s an incredibly annoying experience. Some people just ignore them, some people will resent your very existence if your ad turns out to be a failure. Of course, targeting deals with that problem by speaking directly to your audience. Sometimes marketers can produce a masterpiece that everyone likes, but it’s not a panacea. What apps do is they slap your brand onto the user’s smartphone, and you get visibility every time they turn on their device. For free. And they can’t hate you for that, it was their choice after all. However, the tricky part is in how to make them do so.
Let’s talk about the juiciest part. The income. Mobile apps can generate money by themselves and they are extremely successful in that regard. During 2020 only, the total app market grossed 111 billion dollars (111 000 000 000, this way the number looks more impressive). And it is 25% growth compared to 2019. This market is growing at a booming speed. And everyone wants a slice of that pie.
Risks and Challenges
So far everything looks very promising, isn’t it? However, like everything in our life, you must take the good with the bad. And some of those warnings are written with the sweat and tears of the ones who tried and failed.
The first question you must ask yourself is if you are ready for failure. Statistically, only 1 of 100 apps can be considered successful. They either generate lots of money, have more than a million installs, or have become famous. And even fewer apps achieved all three of those goals.
The second warning is building your app can be both costly and time-consuming. Only 33% of software companies take less than $ 5,000 for just one stage of app development. In 10% of cases, it can cost you more than $ 50,000 for just one stage. Of course, you can opt to write it with your own hands. But again, it consumes time and effort. And you must be a very talented person to make an app all by yourself. Usually, you need a team. Programmers, designers, marketers. And it must be a team you can trust. Few people are eager to work for just an idea and even fewer of them are reliable specialists.
And in most cases, building your app is not enough. Even if you make quality and successful product at the start, it can lose its glory over time. It needs a regular fresh blood transfusion to keep up with the time. Statistically, the most successful apps usually make noticeable updates once every 6 weeks to once every 2 months.
Ask yourself if your app has a purpose and has a clear way to solve a problem. Apps are built for just that, to solve a problem your target audience might have. If your app is useless no one would want to install it. For example, games or entertainment apps resolve the problem of boredom. Help people to kill free time. Some taxi apps allow you to watch in real-time as an ordered car approaches your location. It is both useful, makes customers less stressed, and keeps them from changing their minds.
Back to the juicy numbers. I`ve already mentioned that this market grosses $ 111,000,000,000 a year. But here is the tricky part. That profit is not divided equally among all types of apps. $ 78,000,000,000 are making the games alone. That is the golden vein of an app building. More than 70%. What about the others? Around 7% of the market is taken by entertainment apps. 4% to 5% are going to social media. Music apps take another 4% for themselves. Educational apps, sports apps, news apps, health and fitness apps categories enjoy a 3% share of the market each. Every other category combined effort gives them 8% of the market.
Everything becomes even more fun if you look at how top-rated apps handle against their less successful competitors. The top 200 apps generate around $ 85,000 for their owners a day each. Top 8000 apps give their owners $ 3,500 a day each. Everything beyond the top 60 000 is as good as dead.
With a Newfound Resolve…
Okay, the things mentioned above do not scare you, and the benefits look promising. Way to go!
In that case, all that’s left to do is to prepare for the process of creation.
The first step would be your planning phase. You have to conduct thorough research of your niche and your competitors. Find out who your rivals are, their strategy, their weaknesses, find out what mistakes they made before achieving success. Defining your target audience is an important move to perform, otherwise, you might end up with an app no one wants to use.
Budget planning is a must in all projects. Determine how much you are willing to spend for app development and in which way that money will come back to you.
Find out what you can do to have at least some advantage against your competitors. The usual “triangle” of the directions you can take is functionality, price, and simplicity. If you are the best in your niche in at least one of these categories, you can start building your app, otherwise don`t.
After that, comes the designing phase. Choose your app name, color scheme, and looks. Determine the features you want for your app and the overall usage scheme you expect from your customers. It allows you to take the next step, the coding, and testing.
If your app development stage is finished, the next step would be publishing your app at App Store and Google Play, two of the largest app platforms in the world.
The promotion phase comes after this. However, in some cases, it would be wise to start it beforehand, to increase the acceptance of the audience and gain recognition before it even comes to life.
The hardest part is done and the final step would be feedback gathering and maintenance.
As you can see, app development is a double-edged sword. It is by no means an easy task, with lots of risks involved and a long history of failures.
But the profit you can make out of it might be worth any of it. It is a booming market that is yet to stop growing, with the largest audience one can have.
Don’t be fooled by just anyone who says that you must have your own app for business, as there are many aspects involved.
But if you are willing to go on this journey, I wish you the best of luck.