Launching A Successful Mobile Startup – 4 Quick Tips
- By Rahul Varshneya
- November 19th, 2012
You’ve come here because an app ‘idea’ is all you have at the moment. You have a long journey waiting ahead of you and somewhere along the way, you will see the launch of your idea as a product. A product in the hands of your customers.
If that should bring you joy, then I’ve got 4 quick tips for you that will make sure that the experience you offer to your customers is superior. So superior and so fantastic that they become your brand ambassadors.
So let’s get started. Remember these important pointers that will help you launch a successful mobile startup.
Tip #1 – Finding The Right Development Partner
When you are bootstrapping to launch your venture, pool in all your funds, keep the costs low and go with an outsourced provider that understands your requirements best. The most important thing for you at this moment is to get your product in the hands of the customer.
Some of the most famous products today were outsourced in their initial days – Alibaba, Fab.com, Digg, Skype.
So how do you choose an outsourcing partner that will not rob you off your sleep?
Look for one that will get into the skin of the entrepreneur and understand the product from their perspective. They should be able to provide business and customer insights through their knowledge of working in the market with other entrepreneurs, help mold your product to carve a niche for itself in the market.
And of course, at the end of the day, they should have a proven track record of design and development with a good selection of apps as portfolio, excellent customer reviews and ratings.
Arkenea Technologies, a service partner to entrepreneurs from across the globe, is one such example that does this best (Disclosure: I’m a co-founder of the company).
Tip #2 – Build A Minimum Viable Product
You want to build an application that catches the fancy of your customers so much so that you are able to build a great business out of it. But, how do you know the market response until you’ve built the app and put it out in the market?
Invest in building a minimum viable product or a prototype. The idea is to put out something that offers the core value or your app or that solves the core problem of your customers.
The MVP could be a PowerPoint slide, a dialogue box or just a landing page. This is something that you can often build it in a day or a week.
A prototype can be an actual functioning app with the core features offered.
Share this with your network and see the response. Are people excited to use it? Do they actually feel their needs or problems are resolved by using your product? Is it easy to use?
The answers to these questions will get you far more ahead in the game than most mobile startups that do not invest in building a minimum viable product or a prototype.
Tip #3 – Marketing Before Development
One thing is to build a great product. But what good is a product that is not visible to your target audience?
Don’t make the mistake of starting to work on your marketing plan once your app is developed. Successful apps are promoted way before they even hit the app store.
So what do you do?
Divide your marketing plans into pre-launch campaign, launch campaign and post-launch campaign. Create banner images that will go up on the app store app profile page. Create a microsite for your app. Use absolutely stunning screenshots of your app in the app store description. Write a fantastic app description and use the right keywords.
There’s a lot more that you need to do in terms of getting visibility for your application. And justice to that can only be done in a separate article with step by step plan for pre-launch, launch and post-launch marketing.
Here’s the Ultimate Guide On Marketing Your Mobile Startup.
Tip #4 – Plan For Monetization From Day One
The trickiest part of it all is to get a fix on the pricing of your application. Nevertheless, it is also one of the most crucial bits in the success of the app.
Here are a few monetization strategies that are popularly adopted across app categories:
- Paid application: an application is available on the app store for a price and you don’t pay anything anymore for the lifetime of the application.
- Free with ads: an application that is free to download and use but displays advertising in the app so that the developer can make money while users get a free experience.
- Free with ads and upgrade for ad-free version: similar to the above one but with an additional option for users to remove the ads by purchasing the upgrade.
- Free with in-app purchase: the app is available for free with basic functionalities and premium content is available as a purchase from within the application. This is best used in Games.
While there are many options, the way to achieve any kind of revenue growth, you require repeated transactions. Think about how you can constantly get your users to pay while they use your application. I will write a more detailed post on Monetization from the application soon, so do subscribe to stay updated.
Importantly, think about monetization right at the beginning so that the entire offering can be structured accordingly so that you get feedback on pricing as well at the prototype stage.
All of these above tips will define whether your app is successful or not. If you’ve gone through this process, I would love to hear your experience in the comments below.
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PPS: need advice on starting up, growing your business, marketing or launching a mobile app and Internet venture? Schedule a call with me today!