I have an App Idea, what should I do next?

Authored by: Tech Team
01 September 2020

Amongst the various discussions we have with potential clients, it would be safe to say that at least 1/5 will relate to an app idea.

For organisations that are already in business, an app idea is likely to offer a service or increase customer outreach and interaction. Established businesses will typically have a well-thought-out plan, the required funds and resources. But it can be a daunting task if you are a first-time founder, don’t have the backing of a larger business or plan on funding the app idea solo. Especially if you intend on turning an app idea into a viable source of income.

Just like any other business growing a technology business can be difficult. Turning your app idea into reality will require programming skills, funding and a level of risk taking. This short guide is intended to help cover some of the challenges you may face and tips to reduce the risk and cost to the overall project.

So I have an App Idea, What’s Next?

  1. Research the Market, don’t build an app yet
  2. Categorise your apps Must Have features
  3. Design your app idea yourself
  4. Get real customer feedback for your app idea
  5. Build the main features of your app idea
  6. App Marketing

1. Research the Market, don’t build an app yet

Always do your research, find as many apps that resemble similarities with your app idea. This will provide much needed confidence and reassurance that will help positively steer your decision making and your appetite for risk.

Finding an untapped gap in the market doesn't happen that often, but if you are one of the lucky few then always protect your app idea using an NDA or patent. We will cover NDA’s and patents in a future post as both warrant sufficient detail.

Just as valuable is If your app idea has been influenced by existing apps which are not doing a great job of addressing the problems of the market.

2. Categorise your App Ideas Must-Have features

I will avoid going into the MoSCoW method of prioritisation, but there are clear benefits in splitting the requirements of your app idea into Must-Have’s and Nice-to-Have’s.

How to categorise:

  • Ask yourself which features if not included, would put your app idea at a less-advantageous position to your competitors
  • Ask yourself if a feature has a workaround which may suffice for the time being
  • Ask yourself which features can be pushed back to a future version of your app
  • Consider the cost of development for a specific feature vs. how important a feature is to your app and customer

Answering these will help you identify:

  • Your apps must have features
  • Reduce your development costs by concentrating on key features
  • All features that can wait until a future version of the app
  • Help narrow your focus to increase speed to market and likelihood of success

3. Design your app idea yourself

We encourage all of our clients to attempt designing the app first, there are a range of tools available which will help you do this without any programming or technical skills. Some tools will enable you to create a clickable prototype and others will provide the ability to create simple wireframes.

Apart from the obvious cost savings, this exercise will help you determine a good balance between user experience and the functional aspects of your app idea. These screens will also aid in accurately communicating your vision to potential customers, investors, programmers or your tech partner.

4. Get real customer feedback for your app idea

At this stage all we have is the design, the app is yet to be built. Use the app designs to demonstrate the features of the app and gather as much feedback from your target audience as possible. This feedback will provide valuable information on aspects of your app that meet your customers’ expectations and aspects that either need to be removed or re-thought.

5. Build the main features of your app idea

Finally, we are now ready to build your app, at this stage you will need to decide on who or how you want to proceed with the app development phase.

  • Do it yourself - acquire the necessary skills and build the app yourself
  • Hire Freelancers - you could hire and manage your own developers
  • Find a Tech Partner - works closely with you and takes ownership of the app development process.

Whatever your preference, there will be trade-offs that you will need to consider:

  • Technical skills
  • Delayed app to market
  • Cost of development
  • Flight risk of developers
  • Trust

6. App Marketing

Promoting your app will be critical if you want to increase sales or mass adoption.These can include:

  • App Store Optimisation (ASO)
  • Social networking
  • Google Ads
  • SEO

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