How to successfully run a startup in the mobile app industry?

How to successfully run a startup in the mobile app industry?

By Prateek Saxena
October 14, 2019 5 min read
Last update on: October 14, 2019

Are you a startup geek? 

Do you often look up to other successful startups and wonder how they made it? 

Are you constantly pondering over an idea at the back of your mind, waiting for that defining moment to turn it into a reality?

So, if you have stumbled across your eureka moment, and are now faced with multiple challenges as to how to put into action what you have envisioned, you are on the right page. 

We will break down the steps that can help you make the cut and are crucial to successfully run a startup in the mobile app industry. 

Since the world is going digital, and the most amount of time we spend is hooked to a screen, any successful startup involves mobile app development. 

We netizens are well aware that Playstore and App Store are flooded with innumerable mobile applications – Business, Lifestyle, Educational, On-demand apps, etc. But it is equally essential to realize early on that very few apps get trending. 

Studies show that few startups are successful and most appreneurs tend to commit some common mistakes. So the first step in your startup journey should be to look before you leap.

1. Ideate, Pause, Rethink

Ideate-Pause-Rethink: Steps to successfully run a startup

If you are overwhelmed because your idea is visionary and you think it stands out, don’t jump right in. Take a moment, pause and reflect. 

We understand that is ideal to let your creative juices flowing but it is equally essential to reflect on other possibilities and not dive right in without testing the waters.

Make a list of all your potential ideas. It not only gives you an insight but provides due clarity regarding which idea to pursue. 

In case you are confused whether the idea is worth giving a shot, get it validated from leading experts and see if it sparks their interest.  

Another tip is to never overlook other ideas. Understand that there is always a scope for improvement, and sometimes the whole process of ideation leads to new outcomes.

After finalizing on which idea to pursue, make sure that you have a comprehensive understanding of the pain point and the solution you are offering.

After all, your unique idea is solving a problem. This leads us to the next step.

2. Detail-oriented Market research

Detail-oriented Market Research

No matter how revolutionary your idea is, if you do not conduct a thorough market research and are not able to establish a target audience, you are bound to fail. 

Understanding the market and finding a product-market fit is a prerequisite to run a successful startup. The key is to ensure you are solving real user problems and even though what you may be doing is not overtly unique, you have to find a place for yourself in the market. 

Study the competitive landscape and conduct a competitor audit. Download some apps that work on similar pain points, use them personally and determine the scope for improvement.

Research on apps that failed and explore the reasons for the same. 

Why? Because it eliminates the chances of failure and learning from others’ mistakes is a usual practice in the startup ecosystem.

Conducting an in-depth market research can help you find your unique value proposition and ensure that you are way ahead of your competition. 

Also, during the preliminary research,  one should conduct surveys to understand the user demographic and engagement. Knowing what the target audience likes helps in building a product that they truly want.

Remember, user engagement is the key and at every step of the way keep your niche audience in mind.

3. Ideal platform

Selection of an Ideal Platform

Choosing an ideal platform for your app is the next step in your mobile app development journey. 

In order to decide whether your app will cater to Android, iOS, or both, you should take into account a couple of factors. The key is to research which platform is ideal for mobile startups and understand what aligns with your business idea. 

According to Statista, as per the third quarter of 2019, Android users were able to choose between 2.47 million apps while Apple’s App Store offered almost 1.8 million available apps for iOS. This makes Google Play, the app store with the biggest number of available applications. 

To choose a viable platform you should study factors like market share and revenue for both Android and iOS. Arriving at a conclusion would not be possible if you do not have an in-depth understanding of the respective play stores. So, carefully assess the number of downloads and revenue models for both the app stores.

App Store and Google Play Download Statistics

Image Source: Sensor Tower 

The choice between native and hybrid apps is another factor to consider. Both come with their set of pros and cons, and factors like technicality, functionality, cost and time play a defining role.

4. Product Development

Product Development : To Jumpstart the development Process

The next step is to jumpstart the development process and for that, you would require an app development team.

There are effective ways to choose an app development company and see months of planning and strategizing come into action. 

To ensure that your idea materializes into a successful product, you need to give a lot of thought to the people you will partner with.

Reflect on the challenges you are currently facing.

Do you want an In-house team or do you plan to Outsource? 

Take a decision based on what aligns with your business needs.

While the former ensures a faster level of communication and a deep understanding of your product idea, outsourcing provides you the opportunity to hire highly skilled designers and developers.

The next question you need to ask yourself is whether you will be able to monitor the development process yourself? Accordingly, choose an app development company. 

Before hiring an app development company, make a list of potential partners, ask the right set of questions and go through their portfolios and case studies. Not only it documents their work, it gives you due clarity if the company is the right fit for you. 

Get feasible options by analyzing the app development cost worldwide.

Hire the best developer but make sure you sign a Non- Disclosure Agreement. 

Besides building a scalable app, your focus should lie in delivering a delightful experience to your end-users. Any user first perceives an app through the User experience. To retain your users in the long run, the

User experience should be immersive and the UI should be modern, innovative and intuitive.

Being ambitious is great but we suggest, you do not get lost in a maze of features. First, concentrate on building an MVP for your app, address the core pain points and then gradually shift to improved features after garnering feedback from your users. The emphasis should be on the ‘must-have’ features, the ‘nice to have’ features can always be added later. 

Making a wireframe solves a lot of problems. It outlines the layout of an app and plays a fundamental role in structuring the product early on.  

It also provides necessary insights on how the users will engage with your app and helps you identify the problem areas.

5. Investment

Investment: Raise Money for your Mobile App Startup

After spending a considerable amount of time on building your app,  you need to consider the problem at hand- How to raise money for your mobile app startup? 

Generating a large amount of funds implies greater resource availability and higher chances of success. 

There are various ways to generate funds. Decide on ways for fundraising that align with your business model – Seed funding, Bootstrapping, Crowdfunding, ICO, etc. 

Craft an Elevator Pitch and be on the lookout for potential Investors. Now is the time to be ambitious. Make sure you have a product that investors chase. 

6. Robust Business plan along with Strategic Marketing

App Marketing Strategies

How do you make sure your app gets traction quickly and reaches far and wide?

Through strategic marketing. 

Marketing is an equally important tool that defines the success of an app.

Through compelling marketing strategies, you can create the buzz around your app and ensure people go gaga over it. 

Use Social media and PR to gain market visibility and facilitate rapid user acquisition. Use effective mobile app marketing strategies and leverage the power of App store optimization to make your app go viral.  

Promote your apps across all social media platforms. 

You also need to finalize a robust business plan. List out the pros and cons of various monetization models and decide the best monetization strategy for your mobile app. Advertising, Sponsorship, In-app purchases, subscriptions, and pay-per-download are few options to choose from.

7. Update and Improve

If you think your digital journey ends by launching your app and diving into the market, you are wrong. 

Mobile app development lifecycle does not end by launching the application. Regular updates improve app visibility and ensures you are providing value to the user at every iteration. 

So, for a lasting success, keep improving your app by taking user feedback into consideration. Maintenance, updates, new functionality, is an ongoing process. Ensure maximum user retention along with a steady revenue model in place.

Prateek Saxena
Prateek Saxena
Co-founder of Appinventiv
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