So You Want to Build a Mobile App for Your Business

A Simple Checklist

Now is the perfect time to consider having a mobile app built for your business. According to Statista, mobile apps are projected to generate more than $935 billion in revenue via paid downloads and in-app ads by 2023. Imagine the market share to be had in your industry if your consumers and clients could access your products and services with a few clicks on their mobile phone. Not to mention the competitive edge you’d gain with a convenient, mobile-friendly customer experience. 

If you’re considering a mobile app for your business and not sure where to begin, here’s a simple checklist to help walk you through the steps necessary to prepare you for a custom mobile app project journey. 

Step 1: Determine Your Objective

The first step in this development checklist is establishing what you want your mobile app to accomplish. Are you trying to solve specific pain points for users? Or maybe you’re trying to garner nationwide visibility to your product or service? Take this step to think about your short term goals, such as driving traffic to your website—or long term goals, such as doubling your revenue in twelve to eighteen months.

Step 2: Define Your Users

Next, you want to take a good, hard look at who your users will be. Will your target user be your clients, vendors, or other businesses? Or maybe it’s all of them? Either way, defining who your target user will be is instrumental in determining how your app will function, for whom it will be designed, and what the capabilities will be. You definitely don’t want to end up with an app that doesn’t give value to your primary users, so this step is vital. 

Step 3: Decide on Devices

This step is where you determine the devices on which you want your app accessible. Today, there are many device options available: Apple, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Kindle, etc. (Additionally, tablets should also be considered.) Choosing the device will also go hand-in-hand with choosing the type of app you want to build. 

There are three major types of apps from which to choose—and what you decide on will shape where your app will be available for download.  Here’s a brief breakdown of the types of apps popular today: 

  • Web Apps: Web apps are hosted by web browsers (like Firefox, Chrome, or Safari) and do not have to be downloaded from app stores. These are easier to build and maintain—and can be used on all devices that have a browser.
  • Native Apps: Native mobile apps are the most common type of app that users can download from public app markets (e.g. Apple and Google Play stores).They’re built for specific platforms in languages that the platform accepts, which makes them fast and responsive.
  • Hybrid Apps: Hybrid apps behave similarly to native apps and work across all platforms. A hybrid app is essentially a combination of a native app and a web app.  These can be more cost effective and faster to build than native apps, resulting in faster time to market.

While you’re considering these preferences for your app build and its mobile platform, you’ll also want to assess your app’s functionality. What do you want your app to do? 

Step 4: Identify the Functionality

This step gets to the core of what you want your app to do for your users—and the user experience you want to provide for every person who downloads it. If your app is an ecommerce app, you’ll want to make sure that users can easily access your store, navigate it with ease, peruse your products quickly, and make a secure purchase directly through the app with a few clicks. Those are all functionalities you’ll want to list when you consult a custom dev shop about your app build. Other questions to ask yourself about your app’s functionality are: 

  • Will your app need to connect to any databases or systems, such as Quickbooks or Salesforce? 
  • Will there need to be integration points, such as point-of-sale platforms like Square or Stripe?
  • Will users need to enter and store info on the app? 
  • Do you want your app to be accessible when there isn’t an internet connection? 
  • Will sensitive data be exchanged and stored? 

Though there are many questions to ask yourself about functionality prior to consulting with a development firm, this is a good place to start.

Step 5: Calculate Your Budget

This is the most crucial part of having a custom mobile app developed. App development costs vary depending on many factors, but know that you get what you pay for. A few years back, GoodFirms conducted a study evaluating the average costs of building apps like Tinder, Periscope, Uber, Instagram, WhatsApp, and others. Here are some of the results:

  • An app with complex features like Uber or Instagram costs between $70,000 to $100,000.
  • Medium-complexity apps like WhatsApp or QuizUp most likely cost between $61,000 to $69,000. 
  • Mobile apps with simple features like Tinder or Periscope cost between $40,000 to $60,000. 

The numbers here are approximate and depend on many factors, including complexity of the build and timeline. Knowing your budget will set expectations on what you can feasibly complete in the timeframe in which you need it. Many choose to build their app in phases, so it’s more cost effective. It also gives the app time to be tested by many users before moving into the next phase. 

Step 6: Know Your Timeline

Building a mobile app involves many moving pieces and a lot of planning. The basic, high-level components of development include:

  • Planning and Business Analysis
  • Application Design (UX/UI)
  • Application Development (backend, front end)
  • Testing and Launch
  • Support Maintenance and Updates

Keeping this in mind, any mobile app build will need adequate planning so the appropriate expectations are adjusted going into your project.

We’re App-building Pros

Want to know more about the development process or chat through an idea? Schedule a call with us via this link. We’ve helped hundreds of clients successfully deploy proven mobile app strategies to grow their businesses quickly.

This post was written by Celeste A. Barron, Content Development Manager for Bitwise Industries. When she’s not shantaying, she’s sashaying