Posted in Startup
After weeks of brainstorming with your business team, or maybe just after a split second flash of personal inspiration when faced with a customer problem or need, you've come up with an idea for a killer iOS app that could enhance your business, help your customers, or make a ton of cash. With the explosion of iOS apps available in the Apple store, some 1.5 million as of June 2015 with over 100 billion apps downloaded by summer 2015, there is no doubt that every business should have a plan to leverage the power and the reach of iOS apps to find and serve their target market 24/7. An iOS app also allows your customers to engage with your business, offering the opportunity for feedback and social sharing to help further the reach of your business in the crowded digital marketplace.
But once the initial excitement of your idea has passed, you're faced with taking that killer iOS app idea from the drawing board to reality. Navigating the development of an iOS app internally within your business is a complex process, requiring business team members or employees with the skills to code, create, market, launch, and update your app. Without careful and skillful oversight of the project, your killer app idea could end up tangled and lost in the process, or worse, could come on the market with delays, bugs, and internal failures, and could ultimately hurt, rather than help, your business.
When faced with those negative possible outcomes, you should consider investing in outsourcing the development of your iOS app to a reputable app development company that has a proven record of bringing app ideas to reality and creating iOS apps that outperform their competitors.
If you choose to outsource the development of your app, here are seven key points to keep in mind as you research potential app developers:
Where does your idea fit in the current app marketplace?
The iOS app marketplace offers over 1.5 million different apps with countless more currently in development. Before investing time, money, and valuable business resources into the development of a new app, it's important to have a clear vision of what is currently in the iOS app marketplace within the same app category as your idea. While your idea may be stellar, if there exists a number of similar apps, you may find that it difficult to gain any traction in the app marketplace once the app is launched.
Even if your app is business specific rather than a game or open ended user app, and is meant to directly meet a customer need, investigating the current apps that are other businesses similar to yours offer their customers and clients is a critical step in the beginning process of development.
Be sure to ask your app development company prospects for their professional advice on how to best conduct your market research for your app so that you can have the fullest picture of the marketplace and up and coming trends in app development.
How will your app function?
The functionality of your app idea will be an important key in the steps your app development team will take further down the line in the coding, graphics, and testing of your app.
If your app idea is primarily an entertainment app or gaming app, you will need to engage the services of an app developer that has a reputation for building image-rich apps with well-coded architecture. However, if your app idea is primarily meant to engage, supplement, and support your current customer base - for instance, a mobile app for insurance claims - the functionality needs to be aimed at ease of use for your customers and should ultimately solve a problem for your customer, client, or supplier base.
In either case, your app development company should be able to answer your questions about the future functionality of your app for your desired end users and should have experience in building, coding, graphic creation, and testing the type of app you envision for your company.
What will the design of your app be?
Design follows function and the design of your app should create an immediate expectation of the function of your app for your target end users. For example, a gaming app would have multi-layered, color-rich, image dense visuals while an app for customer service access would be simple, straightforward, and easy to navigate.
Your app development company should be able to provide several different mock up designs for your consideration and should also have the graphic designers on-site or have access to outsourced graphic designers to assist in the brainstorming and creation of the design of your app.
What type of user engagement will your app offer?
User engagement for your app is key and your target market will be an important driver in determining how to establish and also how to maintain user engagement. If your app falls within the gaming or entertainment sector, a long-term plan will be needed to keep users interested, engaged, and involved with your app. That long term plan may include in-app purchases to enhance the gaming or entertainment experience or it may include new versions of the app to be put into development that coincide with the initial app launching.
You also need to consider the amount of push notifications your app will send its users as well as the social sharing channels you would like built into your app to make it easy for your users to help your app go viral.
An app that has an overwhelming response period during launch with users downloading it in droves needs a plan for retention of those initial users. Your app development company should offer you assistance with generating a long term plan for user retention, push notifications, and social sharing.
What is the launch plan for your app?
A launch date and a launch plan for your app will be critical for its success, and both of those key points should be determined early in the development stage so that adequate time and resources can be allocated to the marketing plan for your app.
Your app development company should have resources to aid your company's marketing department with the timing of your app release, the build up marketing for your app to create excitement and anticipation, and should also have a proven track record of assisting with the marketing and launching of new apps.
What happens after your app launches?
After your app launches, there is still work to be done and data to be measured. You will need a long-term plan for measuring users, downloads, social shares, and other key metrics in order to determine future changes for your app.
You also need a means of providing excellent customer support as well as upgrades to your app as the iOS operating systems update. As well, you need the flexibility to provide fixes to errors that occur in your app or any other problems that arise once your app is live and in the marketplace.
Your app development company should offer post-launch support for your app that includes updates, assistance with metrics, and assistance with customer support for your app's end users
Finally, the overall cost for the development of your app should be documented in detail by your app development company. Each portion of the development of your app will have a unique set of costs, from the design to the market research to the launch. Another consideration will be the end user of your iOS app and how widespread you would like your app to be available across iOS products. Apps designed and coded for basic iPhones will cost less than apps designed and coded for all iOS products, including iPads. Identifying how many iOS platforms you would like your app to be available to will be a critical key in determining final costs.
Your app development company should provide a thorough and detailed breakdown of the initial forecast costs for the development of your app and should also provide a general idea of the cost of maintaining and servicing your app after it launches.
Getting your killer iOS app idea to market takes dedication, knowledge, skill, and time, and requires specific steps in order to make your app a success in the marketplace. While your business may be successful, your ability to develop, design, launch, and maintain an app for your business may face setbacks and failures if you lack the resources internally within your company to support this process. Researching and hiring an app development company to assist your business in the successful creation and launch of your killer iOS app idea is a smart investment of your time and money. In a marketplace filled with over a million apps with countless more launching daily, a proven app development company can give your company the edge in helping bring your killer iOS app idea to fruition.
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