Creating your first app can seem near impossible, especially if you’re not a developer. But, if you understand the process and the important elements, anyone with a great idea and some capital can figure it out.
When it comes to creating an app, there are a few important things you need to figure out from the very beginning if you want to create a successful foundation for your product and business idea.
First, you need to make a decision on your concept and goals. You want to get crystal clear on the purpose behind your product, and what goals you hope to achieve from it. Next, you need to outline the design and structure of your app, and lastly, you’ll need to create a development path for your project.
These things can seem pretty major, but it becomes much more manageable when you break these steps down into digestible pieces.
Here are the first 5 steps you’ll want to follow if you’re creating an app from scratch:
Decide on your goals
No business is going to become successful without clearly defined goals, and your app is no different. You probably have lots of ideas around your app - who it will help, what it can do for people, and how it could earn revenue.
You’ll want to create 3 separate categories, and outline goals for each one. The categories you need are:
- Finance: how will the business be funded and what are the potential revenue streams?
- Product: what are the benefits of your app, and how do you envision people interacting with it?
- Growth: how will you get your target audience to adopt your app and how will you continue to engage your users?
Understanding these core elements of your business will help you to create a solid foundation and set a clear path on how to move forward.
Research your target market
Once you’ve outlined your goals, it’s time to create a target market and start doing your research. You’re going to want to look into demographics, as well as consumer behavior.
Additionally, if you’re going to enter a market, it’s important to take the time to perform a proper analysis. You’ll want to uncover things like how consumers interact with brands, what the competition is doing, and stay on top of any relevant trends.
Once you’ve created a detailed buyer persona or customer avatar, you will be able to dig deep into the desires and needs of your ideal customers, and find out what’s important to them. When you align that with your industry research, you’ll be fully equipped to master delivering what people want from you.
Commit to a concept
With your goals and customer research completed, it’s time to commit to your concept. You know what your goals are - so what business model is going to help you achieve them?
Is your goal to monetize, or gain visibility? Maybe it’s to compliment an existing business. This is the stage where you need to figure out how you will create a system to meet your goals. What benefits and features will do this? You want to get as specific as possible in this stage.
Build your framework
Before you jump into creating your MVP, you’ll want to get everything down on paper and map out how you envision this all coming together. This is going to be your prototype where you plan the layout of your app as well as the basic navigation of it.
At this stage, you’re not thinking about design or style - you’re focusing on the basic framework that will be the skeleton of your product. It’s the storyboard of your app.
Decide who is going to build it
Like I said in the beginning, you don’t need to be a developer to design a successful app. Now that you’ve got the framework created, it’s time to explore your options and decide who is going to build this app.
You’ve got a few options:
- Hire an agency
- Hire a freelancer or developer
- Build it in-house with your own team
- Develop it yourself
- Use an app builder
Only you can decide which is the best route, just make sure you do your homework and explore each option carefully.
Now, this post turned into a complete behemoth, so we’ve had to break it into two separate blogs. Part Two with the last five steps is coming shortly!