Want to Turn Your App Idea into a Full-Blown Business? 7 Questions to Ask First

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Turning your own digital creation into thousands of downloads and a full-blown business as a result.

Sounds like a total pipe dream, doesn’t it?

Well, it doesn’t have to be.

If you take a look at the most-used and downloaded apps, it’s crystal clear that opportunity is out there for developers.

Think about it.

Visual social networks like Instagram and Snapchat. Productivity powerhouses like Slack and virtual quiz shows like HQ.

The takeaway here is that there’s a ton of diversity in the marketplace, which signals that businesses of all shapes and sizes have a shot of making their apps stand out.

How do you make it happen, though?

The problem for developers isn’t necessarily that their ideas aren’t great, but rather that they aren’t looking at the “big picture.”

If you’re seriously interested in selling your app with the attention of widespread users and income, you need to have the right expectations and execution once you take your product live. The following seven questions can help you ensure you’re realistically on the right track.

How Will You Make Your First $1,000?

If you’re eyeballing millions or billions ala Mark Zuckerberg, it’s time to take things back to reality.

Let’s start with a smaller goal: how about $1,000 bucks.

Starting with a smaller revenue goal helps you better understand the realities of what it takes to make any amount of money in the marketplace.

Four figures are nothing to scoff at, by the way. As noted by Buildfire: “Generating your first $1,000 for your mobile app is a milestone that can help you build confidence for continued success.”

Once you have that initial foundation set, then you can worry about the big bucks.

Is There Appeal for Advertisers?

A good chunk of apps make money through ads, plain and simple.

Take note of some of the most common advertisers out there in the digital space. For example, how could you integrate financial or legal sponsors into your app? What about less conventional, off-the-wall businesses that don’t have as many places to advertise (think: cryptocurrencies).

Whether it’s big advertisers or niche markets, ad space is ad space.

What Are Your Upsell Opportunities?

Apps operating under the freemium model are all the rage right now. Games and apps such as Candy Crush and Fortnite are evidence that you don’t necessarily need a paid app to crush it financially. Offering a free option serves as a gateway for an upsell, a strategy that’s about as old as marketing itself.

Strategies to push app upsells including unlocked features or limited timing (either trial periods or delayed access) both work brilliantly depending on what sort of app you’re developing.

Simply put, upselling is crucial for those who want to avoid traditional advertising but can also be used as a way to supplement it.

What Does Your Competition Look Like?

If there are a million other apps that look like yours, you’re naturally going to have a problem standing out yourself.

Resources such as this competitive analysis template can help you better understand what already has a foothold in your industry. Analysis can help you determine your unique selling proposition USP (unique selling proposition) and likewise that you aren’t copycatting anyone before spending too much on marketing.

What Void is Your App Filling?

Ideally, your app should be able to solve some sort of problem.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel here, by the way.

Perhaps your app is faster than the others on the market. Maybe it’s simpler and more intuitive.

Remember: Your USP doesn’t have to be a function of the app itself, but rather how what you’re doing solves a problem of your target market.

Have You Thoroughly Tested for UX?

The importance of UX in mobile apps is well-documented as users have higher expectations for what they see on the marketplace.

After all, going to market with a bunch of bugs is going to kill your product before it even has a chance to get off the ground.

Frequent UX testing during the development phase can help nip these sorts of problems before they become staples of your app. Furthermore, having neutral third parties and testers examine your app before it goes live can result in invaluable feedback to help fine-tune your product.

How Are You Protecting User Data?

Finally, Facebook’s recent privacy snafu points to just how important protecting user data is. Beyond emphasizing security in your app, make sure to read up on your legalize to avoid a lawsuit or any other potential loopholes in your security structure. Doing so now can save you some major headaches down the road.

There’s no doubt that an app can translate into serious income. That said, making it happen requires some particular planning and the right expectations. The ability to answer the questions above can help you do just that in your quest to create an app that truly sells.

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