Photo: Shira Levine
Apple vs. Google. AT&T vs. Verizon. The competition for mobile dominance is not only hot, it is heating up further with every phone release. Why has this sector become such a consumer staple? Two words: mobile applications.Based on the rapid advancement in mobile technology, applications and mobile tools offer everything that a consumer or business person could possibly dream of. Consumers didn’t pay $500-$600 for the first iPhone because it could dial a phone number, they did so because they could do amazing things with it. Now for the million dollar question: Why doesn’t your company have a mobile application?
The two most common objections to this question is that an individual knows nothing about developing a mobile application, or doesn’t have the capital to make it happen. Here is a guide to get past these hurdles and getting on your way to getting your application in the Apple App Store or the Android Market, without spending your last dollar.
Step 1: Create an Idea
What does your business do? How can customers better interact with your product/service? When you can clearly define one specific area in which you are under-serving your customers, consider how mobile technology can help you solve this dilemma.
Step 2: Find a Developer
Now that you have an idea you must find someone that can help you build it. If you have the technical expertise yourself, then you may not need help. For the rest of us who may not know how to write code, it is time find a developer who understands exactly what you want and how to best implement and execute your idea.
Turn to websites like GetAppsDone, Elance or VWorker to post your project idea and to receive bids on your project. However, for the purposes of intellectual property, don’t list all the details of your mobile application idea. List a general idea of what you are looking for and what functions are critical to its success.
Consider suggesting that your developer utilise online tools like PhoneGap, which provide pre-made modules that drastically cut down on developmental time. This exemplifies the first of two strategies that can help save you tremendous amounts of money. By taking advantage of available tools like PhoneGap, you will save your developer time because they will have less coding and programming to do, which will require less time and effort on their part resulting in cost savings for you.
To further offset the expenses that most developers will charge, consider proposing a revenue-sharing model. This is the second key point to saving money on the development of the application. Therefore, if the application makes money, the developer will earn revenue on their work without having a ceiling cap on the amount of money that they can earn.
Step 3: Test It and Fix It
Once your developer begins building your mobile application and produces a product, test every aspect of it. Users of mobile applications aren’t always forgiving of errors and flawed functions. When you have a working product, get your family and friends involved with the testing. Invite alpha and subsequent beta users to find and expose all of the kinks. After you have done all that and the application is done, test it some more. Finding any and all flaws with your mobile is application is critical before you launch it as a final product.
Step 4: Build Buzz
Now that you have a great working product, don’t launch it just yet. You must build excitement and buzz about your application so that people know what it is, how to find it, and why they need it. Create a demand for it so that you take full advantage of the “new application” status. Contact writers and reporters at popular websites and blogs, like Business Insider and TechCrunch, to check out the concept of your application. Consider offering exclusivity to a reporter so that their story has additional value, which will increase the likelihood that they cover your application. After that story has broke, launch an all-out press blitz. Furthermore, utilise all your current channels of communication such as email lists, social media platforms and storefront or website displays to inform people of your new application
Step 5: Submit Your Application to The App Store or Android Market
By this point your application is developed and is working well, people know what it is and hopefully some people want it. Now, you only have one more thing to do. Upload your mobile application to the necessary app platform, such as the App Store or Android Market. Once your application is properly placed on the marketplace for users to download, continue your press and marketing blitz. Continue getting the word out of your application.
Once you have developed and launched your product, your business will have another tool that it can use to reach and provide value to your customers. If you have already launched a mobile application on the market, what process did you use? Did it cost you more than you expected? Share your experiences in the comment section below.
This article was originally posted at My Two And a Half Cents and was republished with permission.
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