All too often we assume we have the answer to solve all of our problems. In the app world, this happens more often than not. An idea comes to you, you build a product or app, and think we have made it. Only to launch and watch on as no one downloads or uses it. In these scenarios, the last thing you want to do is to try and understand where it went wrong and instead blame the customer. It’s them, not the app. Instead of blaming your customer, ask yourself whether what you’ve built is an app that was ever designed to make money. To avoid this destination, implement these tips to build an app that will make you money.
Have a plan and test it
Building an app is all about solving a customer’s problem. Yes, solving that problem should result in an income for your business, but you should always have a plan to listen to the customer. Built into your app monetisation strategy needs to be a step to talk to your customer. Once you think you’ve found the problem to solve, validate it with the customer you believe has this problem. Solving a problem that no customer really wants to be solved, is a sure-fire way to losing money, not making it. Once you’ve validated your solving the right problem with your customer you can start building a prototype.
Most of the time when apps fail to make money, it’s not because the customers don’t like an idea, it’s that they don’t see it as solving a problem for them. Involve your customer in the design of your solution at the very beginning and you’ll go a long way to ensuring you build an app that will resonate with them.
Don’t wait to the end for feedback
Spending months and months building your app and then asking the target customer what they think is a very old way of working. If you had the opportunity along your journey to check the map and make sure you were still going in the right direction, you would. Building an app is no different. At all of the significant stages during your build, take the prototype to the target customer. Let them interact with it, critique it and give you the feedback you need to pivot.
Customers will often tell you what they want and then when they get it, won’t use it. That’s because oftentimes customers don’t know what they really want. Taking the time to understand their thoughts on your app as you build it, is an invaluable way to help ensure you build an app that will make you money. Prototypes don’t need to be polished either. They can be as simple as drawing a log-in screen or a navigation menu on a piece of paper and asking your customers how they feel about it. This allows you to make the tweaks along the road, ending with a product your customers actually want to use.
Identify your niche
Even in a market where your competitors seem to have nailed their brief, there is still an opportunity to make money. Completing a competitor analysis and gaining a deep understanding of your competitor’s products is a great way to find your niche. You aren’t looking for the things their app does poorly, you’re looking for the things their app doesn’t do. It can be as simple as an easy way to interact with your company, or an option to create a profile that is custom to their needs. Search far and wide to get a sense of what’s missing from your competitors. Having this key feature, no matter how big or small, could be the competitive advantage that takes your app from a potential moneymaker, to making it extremely profitable.
Build it up
One thing that is often missed in building an app is awareness. You can’t launch an app one day and hope the masses stumble across it. Investing in marketing your app is critical to making money. As the old adage goes, you have to spend money to make money. Thankfully, in today’s day and age, marketing can be done on a shoestring budget and still go quite far. Think back to your target customer and look for ways to target them digitally in the lead up to launching your app. Building a level of hype will help ensure launch day doesn’t fizzle and you’re left scrambling for eyeballs on your app.
Making money when building an app isn’t as simple as build, launch and bank. It takes time to make sure you follow a strategy, listen to your customers and find your competitive edge. Taking the time to do these steps will help make sure you build an app that will make you money now and in the future.