App Development Checklist: 7 Rules for Building a Fantastic App

By Bobby Gill on March 13, 2020

Creating the best possible software for your business requires substantial thought and input – those with the drive to launch or augment their business with a mobile app need an app development checklist. It’s like a new construction: without proper planning and measuring, you’ll either overspend by investing in more than you need or fall short of your goal.

A mobile app development checklist has multiple sides as there are business and development aspects to consider prior to single line of code being written. Blue Label Labs covers the mechanical side during the Design Sprint but certain business aspects should be fleshed out before we begin officially planning. So, let’s explore some of the key elements of a mobile app development checklist.

Building an ideal mobile app development best practice checklist

Prior to beginning a Design Sprint with any app development agency, there are some questions that should at least be defined. The following are some questions to understand prior to engaging in an app development endeavor.

Do you even need an app? There is a common consensus that an “app” is a necessary part of running a digital business but this isn’t always the case. In reality, you may just need a website – if your app is just an extension of a site that offers nothing more than a separate interface, an app is a waste of money. Discuss this with your developers prior to delving into a Design Sprint as a well-optimized site for mobile might be the better solution than investing in an app.

Do your homework. Have you looked around at what else is out there? One huge mistake some make is thinking that they’ve come up with some novel idea but it’s already being done. In other cases, some assume their spin on an idea will better than existing solutions.

Especially when building B2B apps, you might not have seen or used software you think you’re delivering to the world or you might fail to understand “how” your intended app will top the market. Do as much research as possible, identify your competitors, then consider how your app will “do it better.” The main focus of any development endeavor is to \make sure whatever it is you contrive will be the best for your audience.

Finally, if you do have an idea for something that you haven’t seen on the market, ask yourself why that might be. There are likely external factors: legal, regulatory or competitive which makes a particular idea not feasible to build a successful business around. If that’s not the case, well, you may have struck gold!

Build your team. While your developers will help you design, prototype, and test, you’ll likely need some support. There’s a modern axiom that you need a business partner who shares your vision. Sure, it’s subject to debate but a person at your side inherently offers a second set of eyes and naturally expands your access to other individuals who can assist you in your journey. If you don’t want an actual partner, make sure you at least cultivate a support network of people you can trust.

Get the money right. Funds for your project can come from anywhere but ultimately, the money has to be there before it comes time to dive in. Sometimes, inexperienced entrepreneurs might plan on an investment offered in passing but never truly secure funding. Others might explore loan options from banks or friends and family or crowdfunding but fall short for various reasons usually because a single resource doesn’t (or won’t) commit to footing the bill.?

To help ensure your funds are secure, put together a business plan and show, in detail, how you plan to maximize your ROI. This also makes investors more comfortable when they know how you plan to pay back debts to not only them but other entities as well.

Understand the budget and timeline. Like any lengthy endeavor, there’s more to the equation than just funding the development team. You need to ensure that you have enough money to market your product, pay for hosting and maintenance and in some cases, cash just to exist if you’re not working or haven’t saved enough until your app begins to pay off. Keep in mind, it takes about six months to launch the first incarnation of a project and it can take months after launch before the app begins to cover expenses that keep it on the market.

For consumer-facing apps, a major cost that shouldn’t go overlooked is marketing. Expect to pay around twice the amount you’re paying for development costs.

Start your marketing efforts early. This shouldn’t come as surprise but the sooner your marketing efforts begin, the more equipped your business will be to hit the ground running. Begin by putting up a preliminary website – don’t worry about going overboard, just get a landing page up that follows SEO best practices. Too, start blogging as good content helps Google start to rank your page.

You’ll also need to do some targeted marketing efforts with SEM to make people aware, get users registered and ideally, make preliminary sales. Use email campaigns to your advantage, especially if you have a demo product ready that early adopters can sink their teeth into. Assemble your team as early as possible to get the ball rolling so when your service is ready, your users are prepared.

Establishing your headquarters. A fancy suite somewhere on Manhattan Island grants the appearance that you’ve “made it.” Invest capital in what matters” – having a glitzy office space doesn’t matter, there is no reason to spend money on things like that which might take away from the effort in developing and marketing your product

This is why the Blue Label Lab’s team works remotely around the world – we’ve done just this for the past 10 years. We feel our work should speak for itself and not some overpriced furniture in an expensive office space. It’s one of the many ways we’ve been able to maximize the value we provide to our clients by not hanging around our necks needless expenses like an office lease.

Generate your checklist with the help of Blue Label Labs

With a breadth of successfully completed projects, we know what it takes to turn your investment into a fruitful app for new and existing businesses. Planning is everything so make sure your ducks are in a row – if you need help answering some of the preliminary questions, feel free to reach out to us at Blue Label Labs so we can go into more depth for your specific app idea.

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