With the average small business set to spend around $75,000 this year on digital marketing, many companies are focusing that spending on building apps. Apps are a great way to get the word out to customers that you’re doing good work while offering useful value. If you want to give something to your audience, even as you generate revenue, building an app from scratch is a good idea.
Here is everything you need to know when you’re building your first app.
Start With Some Sketches
When you’re looking to build your own app from scratch, you need to start with a list of must-have features. Every app has its own special perspective no matter what industry you’re in. Sit down with your team and start listing out the top ten things that your app absolutely has to be able to do.
Now take that top ten list and start hacking it down to just three things. This is what you’ll call your MVP or minimum viable product. Once your app can do these three things, it’s eligible to be released out into the world.
Now start sketching how you actually want your app to look. While you might think this is the last thing that you need to worry about, it’s actually what’s going to sell your app to the world. Once you have the perfect design that sticks in peoples’ minds, you’ll be able to get people on board with whatever kind of app you’re trying to build.
Make sure you keep your menus simple. One of the biggest mistakes that any app company makes on their first app is trying to cram too much in. If you keep your app fairly simple, you won’t have to scale back at the last minute or disappoint your executives who are expecting something more.
Do Some Research
You need to know what the app landscape looks like before you start building your own application. If you don’t do the opposition research, how are you going to know what other people are building.?
You need to do your research to know now only what else is out there but also what you want to contribute to the world. If other people are doing something well, perhaps you want to gather together their best ideas. Take the things they’re doing and create a sort of swiss army type of app that can do things that you love several other apps for doing.
Make sure you also know what it’ll cost you to create and maintain a database for an app like this. Even if you use a tool to help you like an app builder, you’ll still need to do some regular maintenance and updating. Make sure you’ve got staff on hand who are dedicated to helping you maintain and deal with customer support.
If you don’t have anyone to help your app thrive, it’ll be a flash in the pan at best. However, the best apps around have had time to build and grow an audience over time. If you don’t give your app the chance to do so, you won’t get the most out of it.
Know Your Limits
When you create your top ten list of features you want your app to have, you might have some dream features on there that just isn’t feasible. While it would be great to be able to create a feature that ordered from your website and sent things to your doorstep, that takes some time. You might have to rely on a third party for the kind of functionality that can process credit cards, contact drivers, and collect orders.
For now, keep things simple. Let people know inside information about your latest products. Let them know more ways to use their products or how they can access special information and features about them.
Get a handle on what your app can’t do and what you want to do. This will help you to plan for the team that you want to build in the future. While you won’t be able to complete all of those tasks now, you’ll have a direction for the future.
It takes time to build an app so if you don’t have dedicated staff on hand, don’t expect your IT person to be able to build an app. They’re as different as being able to drive a car and to build a car. Hire people who do app development for a living if you need to have people who can do that.
Find The Right Tool
When it comes time to build your app, you’re going to need all the help that you can get. You’re going to need a tool that can help you build your app unless you have the money to pay for a set of developers to help you out. App development is an expensive affair and without the right team on your site, it’s going to be a hard road to go down.
With the help of app building tools, all of the hard stuff is handled for you. You’ll just have to host the app and make a few decisions about the functionality. You’ll be given some choices when it comes to your interface and be able to make something that works for you and your team.
With the right app building tool, you’ll have something up and running in no time, ready to deploy within just a few weeks.
Building an App From Scratch Takes Focus
When you’re building an app from scratch, you need to have your ducks in a row. Before you build your app, you need to have a clear idea of what your goals are and what it means to succeed, otherwise, you’ll be building forever.
If you’re trying to figure out which computer is best for you and your team, check out our guide for tips.