building own mobile app

First Steps: How to Get Started Building Your Own Mobile App

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There are plenty of resources out there explicating the app development process, building own mobile app – backend development, API development, validation, etc. But these tend to be geared toward professionals (or skilled amateurs, at the very least).

Precious few resources exist to guide the novice app creator. Entrepreneurs and business owners looking to build a custom app need a way to transform their big ideas into tangible products. As with many creative endeavors, it pays to start at the beginning.

In this article, let’s look at the first steps entrepreneurs and business owners can take on their journey toward a successful, profitable mobile app.

Ideation

Well before you begin creating intelligent and transformative app experiences with an expert developer, you need an idea.

Ideation looks different for everyone, but you can steer the process with a couple of universal questions. What problems exist, and what are creative solutions to that problem? What are some underdeveloped niches on app stores? And might two or more existing ideas be merged to create a unique concept?

Research: Target Audience, Monetization Strategies, Competition

This can be broadly described as the “idea validation process,” wherein you vet your big idea according to its compatibility with potential adopters, the nature and resonance of its monetization model, and its market fit relative to competing apps.

Take your time throughout this step. Conduct your own market research through informal means (personal contacts, Twitter polls, etc.), online resources (the Census Bureau, Statista, etc.) or a professional market research firm. Research your monetization options (paid app, in-app purchases, advertisements, etc.). And do a deep dive into the competition.

Create a Compelling Value Prop

Your value proposition is a succinct statement of purpose that explains your idea and demonstrates what sets it apart from competitors.

For instance, let’s say you’re developing a food delivery app focused on seasonality and locality – a kind of mobile farmer’s market. You’ll want to highlight the unique value of your idea (its seasonal and local angle) as you create your value proposition.

Decide: iOS, Android or Hybrid

Truthfully, you can hash out this question as you start working with an app development company. They will be able to suggest the right approach for your particular idea and business goals.

Even still, it doesn’t hurt to have a preference. Do you want to build an entirely native application (on either the iOS or Android platform) or a potentially feature-limiting hybrid application? Do you want a powerful app right out of the gate or a minimum viable product (MVP)? Mull these questions over before you consult with an app development company.

Back-of-Napkin Wireframing

The wireframing process is highly technical and best undertaken by an expert app development team. However, nothing is stopping you from dreaming. If you have a basic idea of what you want your app to look like, make some napkin scribbles to show your app developer.

Partnering with Expert App Developers

Finally, the last of the first steps: finding the right app developers. Look for an experienced app development company with a robust portfolio of happy clients and successful mobile applications. If possible, find a company that will treat you like an equal partner – not just a job to be satisfied. For your first app, it’s recommended you find a smaller app development company that will give your project the attention it deserves.

If all goes according to plan in these first few steps, you will be well on your way toward creating a successful, profitable mobile app.

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