If startup is something you are interested in building from scratch, then you have come to the right place. For the ones who have no option but to build one, and to the ones who are interested in making their services available to the general public, this article caters to all factions of people investing in startups.
No matter how lucrative the future might seem, building a startup app idea from scratch cannot be accomplished overnight. There are a lot of equations that might not sit right with your product which you would have loved to implement otherwise and a plethora of strategies you could not resist applying. However, the upshot of your strategy is to first make your brand visible to the world around you and then scale it to help it reach a wider audience.
Before we begin to dissect the intricacies and steps it takes to build a successful startup, let’s look at some of the fascinating statistics about startups that happened this year.
Statistics on Mobile App Startup Success
- There are a staggering 150 million startups in the world. Every year at least 50 million are released.
- However, only 10% of these survive while the rest 90% fail.
- The reason for these startups not thriving in the market is the limited funding and market demand for the products they sell.
- It takes more than 2-3 years to make a profit in a budding startup.
- In the year 2023, the United States saw the most number of startups being founded.
- 15.4% of the US population is involved in building a startup from scratch.
Satisfied? If not then there is still a lot more where that came from. Now that you understand the data about startups around the world, it is time we dig deep into the process of building a mobile app startup from scratch.
Steps to build a mobile app startup
Identify your idea: Rethink, Ideate, Pause
We know how important it is to let creativity run rampant, however, it is equally important to throw some light on other possibilities and not haphazardly pick the first option on the board. Writing down a list of your ideas does not just offer you insight but also provides clarity on picking one of those.
If your ideas depict ambiguity in their essence, make sure to get them confirmed and validated by the leading experts and observe the spike in their interests. A product discovery workshop is one of the best ways in which experts figure out the validity of your product. Multiple successful startups were brought to life through this 5-day product workshop.
Another great advice for startup owners is to never consider other ideas out of the equation. Keep in mind that there is always much scope for improvement, and at times the entire ideation process can generate better outcomes.
Once you finalize the app idea, make sure to have a thorough understanding of the different pain points and the solution to them, your app provides. This is because the idea besides serving its main purpose of providing you with a successful startup is also to provide a solution to the target audience.
Read the full blog on Mobile App Ideas for 2024
Solution-driven Market Research
Regardless of having a trailblazing idea for your startup in the mobile app industry, failing to commit to detail-oriented market research will lead to the eventual downfall of your startup. Hence, deciding on what the target audience requires is significant for the startup’s success.
To run a successful startup, it is important to understand the app market and develop a product that is suitable for it. While developing a product, it is important to ensure that you target real user problems to make your place in the market.
One of the best ways to pull this off is by understanding the competitive landscape and establishing a competitor audit. Install a few apps that capitalize on similar pain points as your competitor’s products and use them to realize the gaps in their strategy and room for improvement. This offers you great insights into what your competitors are unable to provide which you can endorse in your product.
The owner of the app must also conduct thorough user research by offering surveys to recognize user engagement and demographics. Understanding the likes and dislikes of the target audience helps in developing a product they truly desire. The keyword here is ‘user engagement’ and make sure to keep it in mind every step of the way.
Cost Estimation of Mobile App Development
Cost estimation becomes all the more important when it comes to developing a successful mobile app startup. Sometimes an app can be developed under a limited budget yet quite an operational one and sometimes it takes an exorbitant amount of funding to develop a mobile app.
Multiple pricing models pertain to the cost estimation of mobile app development. These models are categorized based on different factors that work together in the development of the mobile app. Some of these factors include visual design complexity, platform choice, features and functionality, backend infrastructure, etc. The culmination of these factors and picking one option from each of them determines the outstanding pricing model for your mobile app.
Choosing the App Development Approach: In-House Development or Outsourcing?
Both in-house and outsourced mobile app development have their advantages and disadvantages. In the case of the former, it provides you more control over the project but charges a relatively higher cost. When it comes to the latter, it might be cost-efficient but it does not provide you the same control over your project as the former.
As a result, it highly depends on the choice you make for your project since that is the only parameter that will define the success of your project. To facilitate your decision, the advantages of in-house and outsourced development are mentioned below.
Some of the reasons why you should pick in-house app development are:
- Direct Interaction
- Better levels of control on the project
- Face-to-face meetings
- Deep Involvement
The darker side of in-house app development with its disadvantages are mentioned below:
- Requires exorbitant initial investments
- Lack of talent in the local market
- Bureaucracy and recruitment issues
Some of the reasons to pick outsourcing app development services over in-house app development are:
- Infinite talent pool
- Affordable rates
- No requirement for high initial investments
- Deals with high expertise
- Flexible solutions
Just like in-house app development, this one also deals with certain issues that the owners do not find attractive. Some of these reasons are given below
- Lack of control over the project
- Time zone differences
Choose the Optimal Development Platform
The next step towards your mobile app’s startup journey is to pick an ideal platform for your app to function on. You need to account for certain factors if you want your app to operate on either Android or iOS or even both. The secret lies in researching the platform that is suitable for mobile startups and realizing the platform that aligns with your business.
Statista during the third quarter of 2022 stated that Android users enjoyed the availability of 3.55 million apps which made Google Play the largest app library. The Apple App Store on the other hand roughly touched 1.6 million apps for iOS.
To pick a suitable platform you need to scrutinize certain factors such as market share as well as revenue for both iOS and Android. Without a decent understanding of different play stores, arriving at a certain conclusion is not possible. So make sure to peruse the number of installations as well as revenue models for both the app stores.
Choosing between native and hybrid apps is another factor to consider. Both these come with a distinct set of pros and cons, features and functionalities, as well as cost and time. Let’s identify and differentiate what each platform is famous for.
Swift Development for iOS
Some of the reasons why you should choose Swift as your iOS app development platform are:
- Quick and Rapid- Apple’s official website claims Swift to be 2.6 times quicker than Objective-C which also aids in saving additional costs. It is also much easier and simpler to code in
- Safe and Secure- Safety is another epithet of Swift that makes it one of the best in the business. With type-safeness comes the security of the code preventing it from any type errors.
- Objective-C Interoperability- Due to the interoperability with Objective-C, the projects can be written in either language. Bigger projects that incorporate newer and more features added with Swift can leverage this feature to facilitate development.
- Low Maintenance- Building an app with Swift demands almost no maintenance. It becomes too much of a hassle in any other programming language to maintain the data.
Native Android Apps
Native App Development implies that the app is completely tailored and designed to function on a specific platform such as Android or iOS. These apps are built specifically for certain OSes which is why they offer higher user engagement than hybrid apps. Some of the benefits of native app development are:
- Performance- Building an app for a certain platform instantly increases its performance level. These apps are quick and responsive since they are designed around the platform-specific APIs and programming languages.
- Interactive and Intuitive- Since native mobile apps are designed for specific operating systems, they follow stringent standards that can enhance not just the user experience but also customer engagement.
- Accessibility- Native apps offer the developer complete control of the device’s capabilities. These apps can instantly access third-party software of the device such as GPS, microphone, and camera which decreases the time to access them, making them more rapid.
Cross-platform development allows developers to build native applications that can function on multiple platforms altogether such as on Android or iOS with the help of a single codebase. Shareable and reusable code is one of the best elements that make this development better than native app development. Some of the features of cross-platform apps are provided below:
- Shareable Code- This kind of code can be reused while developing apps on other platforms.
- Single Codebase- A single codebase can enhance the development speed and curtail the costs of development of the app, especially for regurgitating tasks such as API calls and data serialization.
- Organizes Resources Effectively- With cross-platform development, project managers can effectively utilize development resources. This means they do not have to allocate specific resources for multiple platforms.
- Less coding lines- Fewer lines of code also imply that the risks of security bugs and issues are reduced which also saves time on code testing and maintenance.
Unrivaled UI/UX Design
One of the best elements in the majority of successful startups is the alluring design that they comprise. Regardless of the app you choose, Canva, Telegram, or Instagram, the intuitive design forms a major part of its success and popularity.
However, it is not just the visually eye-catching frames that make a UI/UX design enticing. The application must also be highly operational and functional. It also needs to meet standards that are implied by Human Interface Guidelines as well as Google Material Design.
Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Development
Yes, ambition is rewarded in the long run, however, make sure not to get lost in the fabric of features. First, you need to focus on developing an MVP for your app, understand the primary pain points, and then eventually shift to enhanced features after acquiring feedback from the users. The necessary features must be implemented first, the ancillary ones can be incorporated later on.
This approach involves creating an initial version of the application with essential features, allowing you to test its viability in the market. The MVP serves as a prototype that helps in gathering user feedback and validating your app concept, all while minimizing development costs. By focusing on core functionalities, the MVP enables a faster time-to-market, facilitating quick assessment of user interest and providing valuable insights for future enhancements.
Let’s consider an example to illustrate the concept of “Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Development” in the context of a mobile app startup.
Imagine you have an idea for a comprehensive fitness app that incorporates personalized workout plans, nutrition tracking, and social community features. Instead of investing extensive time and resources in developing the complete app from the outset, you decide to focus on the core functionality that sets your app apart – personalized workout plans.
In the MVP stage, you develop a version of the app that specifically caters to creating and delivering personalized workout routines. This stripped-down version allows users to access tailored workouts, track their progress, and provide feedback. By releasing this MVP to a select group of users, you can quickly gauge their response, understand what works well, and identify areas for improvement.
User feedback from the MVP phase might reveal that users particularly enjoy the personalized workout feature but desire additional functionalities like nutrition tracking. This insight guides your subsequent development phases, helping you prioritize features based on actual user needs and preferences.
In essence, the MVP approach ensures you release a functional version of your app early on, learn from real user interactions, and iteratively enhance the product based on valuable feedback. This iterative process not only minimizes the risk of investing in features that users may not find essential but also increases the likelihood of building a successful app that truly meets user expectations.
Keep an eye out for enhancing capital
Once you spend enough time developing your app, you need to address the problem of finance and how to raise money for your startup. If you can accumulate a high amount of funds, it means that there is greater resource availability at your expense alluding to a higher chance of success.
There are multiple ways to create funds. Look out for different fundraising approaches that align with your business requirements. Some of the famous methods include Bootstrapping, ICO, Seed Funding, Crowdfunding, etc. Concoct an elevator pitch and keep an eye out for potential investors. Your ambition is rewarded at this moment. Make sure that your product is interesting enough to be chased by investors.
Develop a Marketing Strategy
Signs of a successful app are if it gets traction rapidly and reaches a wider than intended audience. Strategic marketing is one of the ways this can be accomplished. Marketing is the means to convert a regional brand to reach a global audience. With multiple marketing strategies, you can develop the hype around your app and make sure that people appreciate it enough.
Utilization of social media such as Snapchat and Instagram to gain publicity, and visibility, and simplify higher user acquisition are some of the ways to approach a strategic marketing plan. Make your app go viral with efficient marketing strategies and leverage the power of App Store Optimization to make it boom.
Develop a Monetization Plan
Devising an effective monetization strategy is one of the ways to make your mobile app startup successful. There are multiple industries at your expense to pick from such as Sponsorship, subscriptions, advertising, in-app purchases, as well as pay-per-download. Understand all of their pros and cons to put your finger on the best monetization model you can come up with for your startup. Aim for the ways that can assure the success of your mobile app.
Keep updating and improving your application
You are gravely mistaken if you think that your digital journey is finished once your app is released into the market. The cycle continues to sustain as newer and better features need to be implemented to maintain high user retention and engagement. Regular updates also improve the app’s visibility and make sure that you are offering above-average services to the user at every iteration.
Hence, to make a lasting impact on your target audience, keep enhancing your app by considering user feedback. Updates, better functionality, and maintenance are a never-ending process. Make sure there is maximum user retention through a stable revenue model in place. Pivoting your startup is another decent strategy to implement into your marketing plan.
Have an app retention strategy
There are multiple reasons for app uninstallations along with the many examples of it. Making sure to keep people engaged on your app amongst your competitors can be done in the following ways:
- Make sure to plan your notifications efficiently.
- Be honest about the permissions and the approach to using their data. Transparency, to this day, remains one of the best reinforcers of a successful mobile app startup.
Now that you have arrived at the end of this article, we hope that you gained a lot of insights into how the app market works and how you can satisfy your audience’s demands. Developing a mobile app startup in this day and age is not that complex, however, creating a successful one takes much time and effort from your side.
Keeping in mind the different steps and approaches you need to consider to develop a successful mobile app, make sure to also stay creative and ambitious at the same time. Try not to lose the vision of what you initially started in the shenanigans of being pragmatic and mechanical in your development process.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are a few trends in the mobile app industry in 2024?
Some of the key trends of the mobile app industry in 2024 include Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) applications, enhanced focus on user privacy and data security, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) as well as the continued growth of on-demand as well as sharing economy apps.
2. What are a few challenges that a mobile app startup can face in 2024?
Some of the challenges include fierce competition, rapid technological changes, as well as funding restrictions. These can be overcome by staying flexible, restructuring to market trends, turning to consistent feedback, developing a robust team, and garnering an innovative culture.
3. How does community aid in building a startup?
This is equally important as any other step in the development process. Audiences and communities build a sense of belongingness through social media, user groups, and forums. Continuously listen to user feedback, consider issues properly, and include the community for your apps to evolve.
4. How can a mobile app startup remain innovative in a dynamically changing landscape?
Some of the ways your business will thrive in a constant dynamic environment is by encouraging creativity in your team, staying aware of the different market trends, seeking user feedback, and being capable of pivoting to the different market iterations all year.