So, who wants to be a millionaire?
It’s safe to assume that some part of you responded with an internal cry of glee upon reading that. Would anyone legitimately say no to an offer of easy money beyond their wildest dreams? Probably not. But the chances of rapidly scaling to such riches remain reserved for those of us who reach the untouchable shelf of stardom.
Unfortunately, that’s not always easy. But if you’re looking to launch and scale a business that generates real revenue, creating a mobile app or digital product can be a powerful way to do it.
How to Make Money from an App
We know – mobile apps are all anyone talks about these days. How many times have you personally had someone tell you that “there’s an app for that?” They’re all the rage, but that isn’t news. What isn’t being discussed, however, is how and why exactly a business can make money off of an app.
Users prefer the easiest possible route to consumption. Plenty of studies have been done to date that have found a universal result: people prefer an app to a website or mobile site. Why? This study conducted by Build Fire sums it up as a scale of preferences. When asked what they preferred between an app and a mobile site, users provided a variety of voted reasons behind their choice.
Alongside convenience, the majority of users stated that mobile apps are faster, settings are stored, benefits and rewards are offered for use. Some asserted their preference to be due to personalized content and better deals. All in all, the results showed that mobile apps “enhanced satisfaction” for those on the other end of the device, comparable to the less favored experience on a mobile-optimized website.
The payment/checkout process on a mobile app is much simpler and more pleasing for a customer. Say you’re an e-commerce company, where essentially ALL of your revenue comes from your online offerings. A mobile app should be an inevitable choice for your merchandise to see the most success in profit.
But why is it more comfortable to pay on a mobile app? Not only are steps to check out on a mobile app shortened and designed with a seamless UX in mind, but the actual stage of paying is made as easy as can be. In-app purchases can be linked directly to the debit or credit card linked to the customer’s Google Play or Apple Store account. Nothing says “buy me!” like a few clicks of a button made on a customer’s way to happiness.
Yes, this model would absolutely work for physical products as well. Don’t just take our word for it. With a strong checkout flow, any business blueprint should work swimmingly with a mobile app. What it does is allow you as a business owner or critical performance driver to refocus your resources on customer acquisition and customer retention. If you remember reading in one of our other blog posts, keeping the customer happy should always be your number one goal.
An easy-to-use mobile app should do precisely that.
How to Make an Android, iPhone or iPad App
Here are a few steps to send you on your way to making bank with your mobile app:
1. Set a Goal
Ask yourself these kinds of questions:
- What do you want your app to do?
- What will the appeal be to users, new and old?
- What problem will your app solve?
- In what ways will it make people’s lives easier?
2. Draw Away
People are visual learners. This stage of making an app for all of your devices involves brainstorming through graphics. Take that pen to paper and draw it all out – every last detail. From marketing strategies to front-end design, get all of those ideas out and in front of you as the ideal development process and outcome begins to take shape.
3. Research, Research, Research
Do some digging on what’s out there in your space, then move on to the next stage by answering this question: is your idea original and realistic? Review all of your prior answers, sketches, and initial plans, and challenge yourself as much as possible until you can confidently venture into development with certainty that what you’re about to build hasn’t already been done.
4. Blueprint It
Make a storyboard for your app, and get real about it. Spend some time on this portion in order to ensure the foundation of your app is secure. Here you’ll need to incorporate what type of app you’re making as well, and how this will affect design and usability.
5. Built It, Define It, Design It
While we’re condensing the actual app development process into one stage for this summary, making an app from scratch isn’t a one-step process. We recommend you spend some time reading this guide of ours to help with this in all the detail your heart desires.
6. Test It
Testing is critical. Don’t forget it or underestimate the importance of excessive testing in order to ensure you have a functioning app ready for the market. For more on this, check out our guide: Mobile App Testing: A Guide to Performance, Security, and AB Testing.
7. Tweak It
We mentioned in a recent blog our company viewpoint about which platform to launch first with, Android or iOS. If you recall, we stand by the decision that every v1.0 of a mobile app should be pushed on the Google Play Store, vs. the Apple Store. This recommendation stems from factors like release cycles, testing, and ease/speed of updates. Android takes the cake in that race, which is why we recommend everyone launch on Android, to begin with. After you receive initial user feedback and incorporate all necessary changes, then you can launch your app on iOS.
Tweak it, beta test it, test it again, update it – the cycle continues until the day you can see user engagement is up to the level you aimed for, and you can tell from the UX and user feedback that the rest of the world is ready for your app.
8. Release It and Advertise
Let it go, let it go! Sing that Disney-inspired song about casting your fears and burdens to the wind. Or don’t. This is a judgment-free zone.
Once you’re ready to distribute the finished app, it is time to submit the correct documentation to the platform you’re launching with and await their approval process. Android will be far speedier than iOS, so ready yourself either way. Remember – marketing is going to be a sizeable factor in how well your app performs, and that, in and of itself, is a whole other sphere of worthwhile investment.
How Hard Is It to Make an App?
With all this in mind, you may be wondering: how hard is it to make a successful app?
We won’t lie to you. It’s not easy. There are many things to consider, oftentimes all at once, in the world of app-building. But the good news is that all the hurdles you will jump through are projected to lead to the end of an app-making rainbow.
It always depends on how you go about making a successful app – will you do it yourself, pay for a third-party platform, or hire a team of specialists to do it all for you?
How Much Does it Cost to Make an App?
Which method will it be? The most important component to consider is your existing budget for the scope of work. We’re all about the $$ in this piece!
An easy enough answer lies ahead – the cost of app development depends on the size and the intended feature functionality. What kind of features does your product need in the app store to stand apart? Complex, multi-function or simple, single-function? The more features you have, the more it will cost you.
Say you’re a small business, looking to go as basic as possible. Single-functionality is the focus of your blueprint. Working with a smaller development company could warrant anywhere from $50,000 to $110,000.
Now, if the functions you need are in the multi’s, and, say, this app is intended for an enterprise business, you could be looking at anywhere from $300k to $1,050,000.
Keep in mind that these are broad estimates of the development process based on averages. For a more detailed understanding mobile app development costs, check out our comprehensive guide on how much it costs to make a mobile app.
Benefits of Hiring a Developer Over Making an App Yourself
Making an app yourself is a bit like skating across a lake of thin ice in the dead of winter. Expectations are that you should be fine, but you never really know if you’ll make it to the other side with no problem or if you’ll have the misfortune of hitting a thin patch of ice and risking your livelihood by falling in.
Cost-wise, this same type of thinking applies to the decision of making an app yourself or bringing in a specialist or team. Right off the bat, the cost of producing an app on your own sounds far more appealing than dropping a good $50k. Especially if your app needs to be feature-heavy and you’re wary of pricing for all of those extra functions.
Still, the initial costs can be very deceiving. Even if you’re a skilled developer on your own, the time you will spend coding will end up being hundreds or thousands of hours. That could work if all you needed to do were to develop the app, but the cycle from ideation to generating revenue is a long one, with many marketing, sales, customer, business intelligence, operations, and investment decisions to be made along the way.
So, it’s a much better call for your business in the long run (and for your blossoming new app) to hire externally and bring in people who can devote all of their time and energy into ensuring the app is created just the way you envisioned it in your head.
At Rootstrap, that’s our specialty. We cover every stage of the app development process, starting with our secret ingredient Roadmapping workshop, which lets you solidify and hash out the particulars of your app before building, all the way through the final release cycle is approved and you’re grinning from ear to ear as profit starts coming in.
We pride ourselves on helping others see their dream business concepts come to light. We firmly believe in cultivating tech that that will elevate your brand. And if you want to generate a new diversified revenue stream with a mobile app, we can help you do it.
Interested in learning more? We’re keen to get to know you, too! Give us a call at (+212) 234 0814. We can’t necessarily promise you millions, but we can get you properly geared up on the right path to success with a brand new mobile app.