Thinking of creating an app for your yoga studio, your nail parlor, or your cafe? Mobile app usage has seen an increase year on year, and it has been emerging as a necessity for both consumers and businesses alike.

Here is a guide to help you get started on your app development journey.

Identify the goal and objectives of your app

What do you want your app to do, and what do you want to accomplish with your app? These are the first vital questions to ask yourself.

Once you’ve defined your app’s goal, then you’d need to identify its objective. The purpose is to ensure that the objectives you set are built into the overarching goal.

For example, if your goal is to increase sales through your app, your objective may be to increase the number of daily active users and transactions. Or if your goal is for your app to serve as an internal tool, the objective may be increasing the users’ session length on the app, and the number of requests or tasks completed on the app.

As you can see from the above, success metrics can differ between different types of apps, so it’s important to think about it thoroughly from the get-go!

Assess the competition

Research and research some more. It is essential to dig deep and examine your competition to better understand the current market situation in your industry. When researching the competition, take note of the following:

  • What have the competitor apps done successfully?
  • What can you do better compared to your competitors?
  • Why do people want these apps? What are the apps missing? (app reviews, blog posts, etc.)
  • How are they marketing to their customers?
  • Is there a gap in the market?
  • Is your app unique to the market?
  • Is the competitor app doing well? (usage numbers, engagement rates, etc.)

You should also download the app and scope out all its features, sections, and capabilities.

Doing a competitive analysis can be tedious, but it can help you gain a competitive advantage and uncover strategies that your competitors may not be using yet.

Here are some tools to make the competitive analysis process easier.

  • Crunchbase for more information on rounds of funding
  • App Annie to attain the app’s publishing date
  • Sensor Tower to understand app store rankings and competitor keywords
  • Apptopia for monthly installs per geography and growth trends
  • SurveyMonkey app intelligence for app usage trends
  • Similarweb to gain insights on top apps ranked by usage, by geographies
  • Appbot for reviews analysis

Recognize the resources needed for your app development


Assess what expertise is already available to you. There are different development paths to take, and each of them requires a different set of skills and expertise.

Audit your existing teams and access to:

  • UX specialists and mobile designers
  • Backend and front-end developers
  • Quality assurance specialists
  • Marketers, copywriters, graphic designers
  • Sales professionals

Identify any need or ability to hire outsourced professionals or train existing staff. Bear in mind you may need to assign someone to liaise with the need to fulfill resources and staff.


What is the deadline for your app development and launch?

If there isn’t one, you’ll have more options when choosing your development options. If there is a short deadline, you may need to dedicate a higher budget as you’d probably need to bring onboard more people/resources for development.


Before picking a development path, you need to determine the budget you’re willing to dedicate to the process.

The mobile app development process will only account for one portion of the overall app cost. There will be ongoing costs to maintain your app and also costs from other activities like hiring, training, and marketing. Ensure you give yourself some leeway or wiggle room in the overall budget.

Select a development path

The factors in the previous section will enable you to choose what’s best for your situation and the resources you have at hand.

The options for app development are:

  • Native code from scratch
  • Mobile app development platforms (MADP)
  • DIY platforms
  • SaaS platforms with full customizability

You will need to work with developers (app development agencies, freelance developers etc.) directly for the first two options. Want to create your own app with minimal or no coding? The last two options would be suited for you.

Native code from scratch

If you’re developing a native app, then raw coding is the only option. This would be the most expensive path and comes with the highest risk.

Cheap offshore solutions may be attractive, but brings on the most risk for you. You may save some costs in the development phase, but it may cause some bugs or issues later on which then drives up the overall cost. It can also be more difficult to manage with an offshore provider.

It is crucial that you choose to work with highly experienced engineers if you choose this path.

Mobile app development platforms

Most development companies won’t enter into the project without a lofty budget, and the time to market is usually longer (between 9 and 12 months).
Costs for additional custom features, as well as the costs of services such as infrastructure and IT support should be factored in as an ongoing annual expense.

DIY platforms

Do-it-yourself platforms offer great SaaS based pricing, solid performance, a variety of out-of-the-box functionalities, and a single platform app building. With this option, you can create a great, simple app for a low cost, without complicated technical skills or custom code.

There are limitations to DIY platforms. These platforms limit the functionalities and features they provide, and you can’t develop on them. With a low investment and a simple app building process, this is the tradeoff that comes with it.

SaaS platforms with full customizability

SaaS platforms with customizability, like Pocketplix, offer full scalability of mobile apps and reduce dependence on the IT department. You are in control over the changes made to your app – from content changes to technical updates.

This option gives you the best of MADP and DIY options. All the required services can be found on a single platform, and you’ll have access to a massive suite of plugins and integrations. This makes it easy to customize the look and feel of your app and add additional functionality without any coding.

Nail your go-to market strategy

You will need a go-to market strategy when you launch your app (if your app is available to the public). Marketers, copywriters, and PR specialists should be brought into the fold as early as possible to help you nail down the wording, branding, and overall approach to the look and feel of your app and produce content aligned to your app’s release date.

Lack of app definition and a weak launch plan are main causes of why an app performs poorly. To ensure the success of your app, you will need to iron out the following as early as possible:

  • Core message and key unique selling points
  • App store optimization
  • Release date
  • Monetization strategy (if there is one)
  • List of industry-related press and bloggers
  • Early promotional offers
  • Press kit
  • Marketing collateral (organic content, paid content)

These five steps are a guide to helping you create an app that will achieve your business goals. With Pocketplix, you can build code-free cross-platform apps for a variety of business functions. To chat with an expert about your mobile app needs, contact us at today. We offer a two week free trial for you to get a feel of our platform and what it can do for you, so start building your app for free today!



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