A lot can be done with an app. In fact, the absence of a mobile app in today’s smartphone era is quite suicidal. Despite this, the idea of a mobile app is often shoved under the carpet.
Most small or medium scale companies can blame the absence of an app on low marketing budgets. For many others, the reasons may differ. In my opinion, it is never too late for a business to have an app, especially when it can bring in significant value, both in terms of revenue and visibility.
Most companies may face hurdles while creating their first app, or second after an unsuccessful stint, mostly due to lack of experience. Therefore, we’ve created an essential guide that will help you with a list of tools, agencies, courses and many other tips to make the right start.
A Quick Glance At The Best Approach
I am of an opinion that one should aim at an app creation strategy in the following way
Approach App Creation As A Beginner
Small and medium scale companies (including start-ups) needn’t get perplexed at the idea of explaining their business objective to a developer to get an app, when they can do it themselves! In fact making an app has never been easier. There are numerous tools that can help you here. I’ll be listing a few of them in a while but first let’s understand the benefit of this approach.
These tools come loaded with drag and drop interfaces, pre-set templates and a whole lot of do-it-yourself tutorials, making the complete process extremely simple for users (that’s you).
For small businesses (food delivery unit etc.), this approach will aid you in creating a minimum viable product minus the frills, and can be further enhanced when the budget limitations have eased out.
The best part of this approach is that it can be executed by any able member of your team and does not necessarily require a technical background.
Here’s a list of the a few tools that can come in handy>
- Build Fire – with a basic version, this tool helps you with training videos, detailed documentation and chat support. Apart from that, users can choose various templates as per their requirement along with access to an app editor. If you need added assistance while publishing the app, you would need a premium subscription that is valued at $49/pm.
- Mobincube– Mobincube is a web-based tool that helps users to create an app for free. Apart from the many functionalities it also helps users to monetise the app by introducing app banners. Here’s how it works>
- AppyPie– This tool lets its users to create an app without any difficulty. AppyPie comes loaded with various features like push notifications, real-time monetization, social media, photo gallery integration and analytics. Apart from this AppyPie helps users to submit an app on Android store for $12 pm and at $40 pm if users wish to do it on all platforms.
- AppsBar– Unlike other tools on the list, this tool is cent percent free. After a basic set-up at your end, the app is screened by the AppsBar team, which in turn makes necessary quality checks to make it perfect before publishing it on the platform of your choice.
- Yapp- If you are looking at a fast and furious approach, Yapp is the perfect tool for you. The apps created using this platform appear inside the Yapp app, and hence users save on paying the developer fee. Apart from that, one can download the app as soon as it is published.
- Buzztouch– Apart from being an excellent tool, Buzztouch also has a great community of users that can guide you in case of any issues. Here’s how the platform works.
7.Shoutem – This tool offers a very convenient drag and drop interface to its users. Apart from that it also has a powerful analytics platform that helps them to analyze user behavior.
8.Goodbarber – This is yet another tool that helps businesses to create their own app. Apart from other services, Goodbarber also offers a 30-day free trial and one to one support.
For businesses that have dabbled with an MVP, yet lack funds to approach an agency, may find respite in an intermediate approach. The idea is to empower a few employees (with a course ) that can help the team to battle day-to-day glitches and approach app related problems with a sound knowledge background.An app development course would also keep the team updated with the newest trends and changes in the industry, and hence they will be able to adapt to the
An app development course would also keep the team updated with the newest trends and changes in the industry, and hence they will be able to adapt to the changes at a much faster pace. For a business that has no backup, this may lead to quite a show. Such situation may adversely affect in-app purchases and other forms of revenue.
Most of these courses come with a price tag, however sometimes you may also get lucky with a free/ discounted/ early bird course.
In my opinion, this is still a budget friendly option as opposed to an expensive agency. The two important things to remember here, firstly, enroll in the course as soon as you cite an opportunity or a knowledge gap since these courses may not run permanently. Secondly it is always advisable to enroll in a course from a reputed platform.Platforms like
- The Bitfountain Android immersive – This course is currently available at a price of $119 and is offered by TNW academy.
- Complete iOS 8 and Swift Developer course- The said course is available at a discounted price of $ 89 for a select period.
Contact An Agency/ High-End Developer For A Professional-Full Featured App
A lot of entrepreneurs that I know are overwhelmed by the idea of an app and spend hours trying to build one internally. But, what’s heart-wrenching is the fact that they tend to fail miserably in their quest for creating a ‘perfect’ app. In such cases, it is best to outsource this to an agency or a high-end developer of repute. Not only does it save a great deal of time, but it also assures you quick technical access at your doorstep.
For a lot of you, finding the right app developer may become a task. This accompanied with screening for the right candidate may add to existent work pressure. But what if someone has already done this due diligence in terms of qualifications, role specific quality, financials and other factors.
TopTal is one such platform that can help you with finding pre-screened developers for the job in question.
Another interesting platform that can help brands here is- HackerRank. Unlike its competitors, HackerRank works on the concept of “challenges” that are taken by the interested developer. Since the demand of quality is very high, this unique concept helps you to gauge the technical knowledge of the candidates, first hand.
They also have a specialised platforms for Android developers called DroidRank.
For brands that need an elevated service, an agency may be the best pitstop.Most agencies have been known to provide a complete suite to its clients. Not only do they create an app, they also helps with branding and other associated business requirements.
Zeroing on an app development agency may be difficult, and you may not find a perfect fit within the same geography. I’ll be sharing a detailed list with you all in a bit but before that let’s look at a few aspects that that you should explore before you sign the contract >
- Check their previous client portfolio-See if you can find an app of your niche(in the portfolio) since it will give you a better understanding of their caliber.
- Look up for references– Call, email, text (or connect via other platforms)and try to do a background check. This is crucial especially when it concerns your first app.Explore the app-monetisation aspect with the agency- It’s best that you and your agency are on the same page when it comes to app monetization. Discuss the expected functionality and your motives around revenue at length with the agency before you get started.
- Explore the app-monetisation aspect with the agency– It’s best that you and your agency are on the same page when it comes to app monetization. Discuss the expected functionality and your motives around revenue at length with the agency before you get started.
- Lay emphasis on timely communications– Projects like these take a while to complete, and it can get exhaustive without proper communication between you and the agency. Therefore, it’s the duty of the brand to lay emphasis on the same and set up clear deadlines right from the start to avoid any last minute hassles or delays.
- Define the legal framework– Get in touch with a legal expert and understand the legal aspects associated with your app such as copyrights, source codes, ownership, design, etc. and discuss the same with the agency.
- Run through the product suite offered by the agency– Most agencies would offer to develop and take care of complete product cycle (branding, publishing the app, etc.).However, one should not assume the same. It’s best to let the agency explain the complete plan at length before you hire them.
- Explore agency charges– This is the most crucial bit. Take notes of the various expenses while discussing charges with the agency since it will help you to plan a safe budget around your app.
Things are different if you are an agency dealing with a client and in that case, here’s a ready reckoner that will come in handy.As mentioned earlier, here’s the list consists of over 50 agencies (spread across the globe) and I’m sure you will find the one that suits your budget and requirements.
I know that your requirements can be diverse, but this guide will help you to take the right course of action in line with your business goals.
Did you find this guide informative? What steps did you take while creating your first app? Do share your responses in the comments below!