Have An App Idea? What’s Next?
The Times, They Are A Changing….
Mobile applications are not just impacting the way you carry out day to day activities, but created a demand in the business and startup world unimaginable yet expected. Most service providers have made their presence felt through an online platform be it an app or website.
Many app startups started off as an idea before growing into something big that would eventually impact millions. This, not surprisingly motivated not just startups and entrepreneurs, but the average Jack to create something. Something, that changes the way people use a service and making money at the same time.
So, if are an entrepreneur, businessman, or startup owner (maybe even an average guy) with a brilliant idea, let me stop you before you start investing fortunes on it. Don’t worry, I am not discouraging you; there are a few boxes you must check to avoid making a wrong decision.
On the surface, validating is a simple 3 step process – find out a real world solution, come up with a solution to that problem, and try to monetize that solution. And if you got theses 3 things right, you have a business idea
Some basic steps you must take keep in mind….
1. Your Customers Tell You A Lot
At this stage, all you need to do is look for a set of sample customers. Once you do that successfully, you have a survey sample set ready. This is where the testing begins, and this is where you make the most of your free resources.
Start by asking questions. Use the online social media rigorously.
Find our what people like, what they dislike and why they like or don’t like something.
Create a space for comments, if possible, so that they can share their feedback.
Once you get a general idea on their preferences, you can go ahead and decide what features you want for your app. Remember, this would not be your final list. With more feedback and user input, trial and error is your only friend!
It is only after testing over and over again, that you will get an idea whether your problem or your business idea is actually a viable one. But how, you ask?
All you need to do is ask a set of questions; like –
- What are the most difficult aspects of your problem?
- Is there an existing solution to that problem?
- Are you happy with that solution?
- What do you think of my solution?
- Why do you like some other solution better?
- Is there any feedback for my solution?
The aim is to see if there is an existing solution for your app. If not, great. You have a business idea. If yes, you need to validate if your idea is better than the current one and how you can improve it.
2. Research To Your Rescue
So you have come up with a remarkable idea and want it developed. But do you know if people really want it? Is there an existing app in the app store?
Many a time people have contacted us to get their idea developed, only to be told that a solution already exists for it. Why does this happen though? There is no simpler way to put it – lack of research.
Create surveys, send emails to people, put them into facebook or linkedin groups, ask questions on quora and look for related questions – do whatever it takes to find out every relevant information. Aslo, talk to real people – take them out for coffee and get real time feedback.
Don’t forget to research on your competitors; find out what they are doing right and where they went wrong. After gathering all the information, you find a little opportunity to build your own application.
Just remember – ultimately, everything boils down to research after you have an app idea!
3. Don’t Forget The Co-Founder!
There many many existing companies, big and small, which are founded, owned, and run by a single person. So, why does having a co – founder help you wonder? Well, if you come from a non technical background, having someone to work with who will fill out this void for you really helps.
At the same time, if you have technical knowledge, yo need someone to focus on non technical issues like marketing and design. This way, it becomes easier for both the partners to focus or address specific ideas.
What you must for in a co-founder is essentially a set of skills that you don’t have, and someone who has more experience than you in case you don’t have much.
Having a co-founder is like having a spouse so be very careful. Take your time and be very picky and choosy.
4. Planning Your MVP Comes Next
This is the next stage, and a very important one; planning your minimum viable product. At this stage, you must decide the minimal set of features you want to release in the market in order to validate your idea. It is after you get the feedback from your customers, the next step will be initiated.
Remember, when you have an app idea, you must plan your development in stages in order to release your product in the most cost effective way. For that, you must ensure a few things.
Related read: What Happens Next After the MVP Gets Ready?
First, it should provide some value to you target customers. Second, it must provide sufficient future benefits for them. And thirdly, you must ensure that you are getting enough feedback in order to continue with the next step.
As Eric Rise from Lean Startup says, MVP is nothing but a version of a new product which allows you to connect a maximum number of validated learning about your customers with the least amount of effort.
5. Metrics, Marketing, And Finances
Finally in this last stage, many startups go wrong. After you have an app idea, it is very important for you to set aside a budget for marketing and business development. You need to get this done right at the planning stage in the beginning.
If you take the following three suggestions seriously, you will get it right –
i) Firstly, set aside a definite budget and try not to cross it.
ii) Then you need to find the right channel to acquire your customers.
iii) Finally, find a good marketing partner (in case marketing is not your cuppa tea)
Are you ready?
So, to sum it up, if you follow these steps rigorously, the chances of your application becoming just another failed one in the app market will reduce.
Speaking from personal experience, there was a time when I would get very excited to get a call from a customer asking to get a new application developed. I thought it meant a new business opportunity. A new product.
But now that i have seen a lot of failure, and do not wish the same for you, make sure to go through these five stages before clicking on the resignation button!
Do you have an app idea?
Not to make silly assumptions, but you have probably landed on this page because you have a brilliant app idea! We understand the pain of getting one developed as we have worked with startups for years, so as a mobile development company with specialisation in startups, we urge you to go through our solutions and portfolios get an idea.