how to start an app for business

“How can I scale my business digitally?” “What can I do to expand my presence online to reach more customers?” “How to start an app for business?”

If these questions regularly cross your mind, you’ve landed on the right page. In today’s world, online businesses are moving way ahead of companies relying solely on traditional working modes. Today, getting an app for your business is more crucial than ever. Not only does it help you expand your market reach, but it also retains your customers and establishes brand loyalty.

Mobile apps are predicted to generate more than $935 billion in revenue by 2023.


But how to start an app for business to actually take advantage of these benefits? We’ll discuss the detailed process in this blog. So, without further ado, let’s get straight to the point.

Draft a business strategy

The foremost thing you must do is prepare a blueprint for your app. Without a clearly laid out strategy, your app development will not have a proper direction. A business plan and an app development strategy should define your needs, goals, and methodology.

In this stage, you need to perform three things:

1. Identify your business needs

You need to identify what you wish to offer through your app. According to Statista, there are more than 2 million apps on the Google Play Store and more than 4 million on the Apple App Store. In this large pool of mobile apps, your app would lose relevance unless it solves a unique problem of the users. Apps with original concepts that offer exceptional value to the customers are more likely to succeed than ones duplicating the existing ones.

You must ask yourself these questions:

  • What problem will my app solve? How will it help the users?
  • Who are my potential customers? What is their gender, age, location, etc.? What devices do they use?
  • Does my app fulfill my target market’s demands?
  • What’s unique about my app?

2. Competitor analysis and market research

You must conduct thorough market research and analyze your competitors to refine your app idea. While researching, you might discover a few apps attempting to solve the same problem. Don’t get disheartened; consider what additional value you can provide through your app. You will succeed if your app solves the users’ problems better than the existing successful players.

An in-depth competitive analysis will also help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors, their monetization and growth strategies, pricing and team culture, etc. This information will help draft your business strategy.

You must ask yourself these questions:

  • Which similar apps exist in the market?
  • What do the users love in these apps?
  • What are the users complaining about?
  • Where does my app idea stand in comparison to the existing apps?
  • How can I improve my app to get ahead of the competition?
  • What are the monetization, pricing, and marketing strategies of my competitors?
  • Will I grow using the same strategy or different ones?

3. Pre-production marketing

Although it is the beginning of the app creation process, you must perform some marketing activities at this stage.

  • Register a domain name for your app. You will use this name to promote your app later.
  • Ensure that no other apps on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store share your name.
  • If your business is new, get your business registered before launching an app because the app stores require you to register the app using a business name.

Budgeting and planning

Funding is a critical part of developing an app for your business. Many apps fail because of insufficient funding. So how do you plan and budget your app project appropriately? Well, your app costs will depend mainly on your app development team and the tools that you use for development.

You can ask the freelance developers/in-house developers/app development companies to provide you with an estimate of the app development costs.

To make technology decisions for budgeting, you must consider the following:

  • Do you wish to build a native app or a cross-platform app?
  • If you’re building a native app, are you making it for Android, iOS, or both?
  • Are you building the app solely for smartphones or tablets as well?
  • What tools will you require to build the app?

While budgeting, you must remember that you will also require funds to invest in marketing, support, and administrative functions.

After budgeting, you must create a product roadmap to guide your process. It will help you:

  • Break the deliverables into milestones.
  • Determine dependencies.
  • Make a schedule.
  • Make a communication strategy.
  • Create success criteria.

Hire app developers

After drafting the business strategy, the budget, and the product roadmap, you must hire developers for your app. You require designers, programmers, testers, and other professionals to build a quality app. You should pay close attention to the team you hire because it can be a make-or-break decision.

There are three options for hiring app developers:

Hire in-house developersYou can hire the required personnel and keep everything internal. However, the process is time-consuming and will add fixed costs to your payroll. The initial investment may also increase if you have a small business.
Hire freelancersIt will provide flexibility. However, you will require multiple freelancers, and locating them might be challenging. Freelancers are preferred for short-term assignments.
Hire an app development companyIt is a reliable option as it eliminates the fixed costs of hiring in-house developers. It also discards the project management overheads and challenges faced while hiring freelancers. Most app development companies provide end-to-end services with diverse skills, which might benefit a growing startup.

App development

The app development stage consists of five main steps:

1. Define

By now, you must clearly understand what you wish to offer through your app. Now, you must define how your app will look and function. You can create functional specs or rough sketches to help the design and development team get started.

An app with low complexity can be created without gathering a lot of data upfront. You can build it in iterations following the agile development process. However, more complex apps will require user stories to capture detailed functional requirements.

2. Design

Design is a crucial element of the app development process, as users prefer apps that offer an intuitive user experience, an enriching UI design, and seamless performance. When you collaborate with an experienced development team, you get their expertise in designing scalable and user-friendly apps.

The design phase includes two aspects: visual design and solutions design.

Visual designThe designers will fulfill the requirements by creating wireframes using tools like Invision, Sketch, Adobe XD, Figma, etc.
Solutions designThe development team will define the app architecture, tech stack, database structure, and API design.

3. Develop

Once the app is designed, the development team will start programming your app. Usually, app development projects involve front-end development, application programming interface (API) development, and back-end development. At this stage, you must include all the necessary features for your app, such as push notifications, user authentication, analytics, etc. You can also integrate several advanced technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), etc., to make your app stand out.

Further, to ensure that your app development project stays on track, you can divide the project into smaller deliverables and plan bi-weekly sprints. You can track the progress of the project activities using various project management software such as Jira, Asana, Trello, etc.

4. Test

Quality assurance (QA) testing ensures that your app is fully functional without any issues. You must perform multiple rounds of testing to satisfy yourself with the quality of your app completely. You can either perform automated testing or manual testing, or a combination of both. The feedback received from the QA testers must be carefully analyzed, and appropriate changes must be made before deploying the app.

You need to perform the following tests:

User experience testingIt validates your app with mobile app designs.
Functional testingIt ensures the app is fully functional and each feature works perfectly.
Performance testingIt ensures that the app loads quickly, has no memory leaks, and the device battery doesn’t drain.
Security testingIt looks for vulnerabilities that could put users’ data at risk.
Device testingIt ensures that the app functions properly on all the targeted devices and platforms.

5. Deploy

Once the QA testers approve your app, it is ready to be published, and you can submit it to the respective app stores. After submission, the app goes through a review process, which can take a few days. The app store will notify you if your app doesn’t meet its guidelines. You must make changes and resubmit the app, which will be available for download once the app store approves it.

App marketing

An app deployed on the app stores is useless if no one knows about it. That’s where app marketing comes into the picture. As stated earlier, there are millions of apps on both Google Play Store and Apple App Store, and it isn’t easy to be discovered by users through search results. In such a case, app store optimization (ASO) can help (more on that later). However, promoting your app via other channels can help you acquire users.

Some of the channels or ways by which you can acquire users for your app include:

  • Promoting the app on your website
  • E-mail marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Paid campaigns
  • Influencer marketing

However, customer retention is just as necessary as customer acquisition. You can retain your customers by maintaining a two-way conversation with them. In-app messages, push notifications, e-mail outreach, and social media campaigns can help you engage with your users to promote retention.

Support and maintenance

If you thought your work was done once you deployed the app on the app stores and started getting downloads, you are wrong. You need to focus on long-term growth and keep upgrading your app with newer features and improvements. Moreover, research is a continuous process that will help you identify new competition, advanced technologies, customer feedback, and market demands, based on which you can make changes in your app.

The below image summarizes the app development procedure:

how to start an app

What is ASO?

You must have heard about SEO—search engine optimization, which helps webpages rank in search engines. Similarly, ASO (App Store Optimization) helps apps rank in the app store’s search results. It helps to gain organic downloads for your app. However, ASO is tricky and requires you to work carefully on the various aspects of your app listing.

For ASO, you must focus on the following:

  • Perform keyword research
  • Identify relevant keywords
  • Create a unique, short, and self-explanatory app name
  • Design a minimal, attractive, and relevant app icon
  • Write precise and to-the-point descriptions and subheadings
  • Prepare intuitive screenshots that convert users
  • Track the keywords over time
  • Perform A/B testing to improve your app listing

Why develop an app for your business?

Getting an app for your business can provide numerous benefits to business growth.

Some of those benefits are:

  • Brand image improvement
  • Better customer engagement
  • Improved brand visibility
  • Increased customer loyalty
  • Better business analytics
  • Direct marketing channel
  • Increased sales

However, you can get these benefits only when your app is of good quality. Your app quality will depend on your development team’s skills and expertise, the tools you use, and the features you include. You must partner with the right company to develop your app to get ahead in the league and boost your business.

Idea Usher is a leading technology company that provides end-to-end digital solutions such as mobile app development, website development, blockchain and NFT marketplace development, IoT and AI-related services, and much more. Our ever-growing team of experts has years of experience in their respective fields, and we strive to provide top-notch development services to our clients.

Contact us to get an app for your business to take it a level higher.

E-mail: [email protected]

Phone Numbers : (+91) 946 340 7140, (+91) 859 140 7140 and (+1) 732 962 4560

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Frequently asked questions

Here are a few exciting FAQs on how to start an app for business:

1. How much does it cost to start an app?

The cost of developing an app varies based on factors such as app complexity, development team strength, expertise, development time, etc.

2. What do you need to start an app?

To start an app, you require an app idea backed by proper research, a development plan, a design and development team, and a marketing strategy.

3. How do free apps make money?

Free apps use monetization strategies such as in-app ads, in-app purchases, subscriptions, sponsorships, and affiliate marketing.

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