6 Big Challenges Faced By Startups When Developing Mobile Apps
Join Entrepreneur’s The Goal Standard Challenge and make 2017 yours. Learn more »
Mobile app startups face a great deal of inevitable challenges. From creating an app that users can connect with to getting enough funding for their mobile app development, it is easy for a developer to get overwhelmed and lose focus of where their energies should be directed. We have compiled a list of the main challenges that you may face as a startup and the solutions that would work in your favor.
1. An overcrowded market:
It is no secret that there are more than a million mobile apps out there. Developers are coming up with new apps by the day and the biggest challenge for a startup is creating an app that stands out from the rest. Of course, you might create a really good app, but how do you penetrate the market so you can get a market for your invention?
The best way to deal with this problem would be to align yourself with the user. What do they need? What problem are you solving for them? How easy is it for them to recommend your app to other users? Once you have reached your target market in a language that they best understand, you will be able to overcome this challenge and quickly rise to the top.
This is another great challenge that startups face. Keep in mind that it may cost you an average of $2,000- $200,000 to actually develop a usable app and push it to the market. Most developers get stuck here, with a really great idea for an app but with no money to catapult their dream forward.
Have a strategy for funding your app. You may approach friends, family or the right investors then make them understand the dynamics of your app and the advantage they will get if they partner with you. There are online platforms that give you the chance to get funds, for instance, app contests and crowd funding through forums like Appbackr or Kickstarter.
3. Device compatibility
We live in a world where new mobile devices are being invented on the regular. How able are you to fit across all the devices? As a startup, you might find yourself faced with the challenge of ensuring that your app works on a smartphone as well as it works on a tablet or phablet etc. This means paying attention to the various limitations like OS requirements, screen resolutions and other factors. For instance, Apple and Android products have very different OS requirements that would keep you on your toes with bug fixing issues.
Deal with this challenge by focusing on responsive designing. This way, you will be able to adjust to the various platforms available for mobile apps. Testing is another way of ensuring that your app reaches the market in its best form possible. Through testing, you will have your own jury of app judges to correct your mistakes and help you with coming up with an outstanding app.
As an app developer, something that appears to be simple to you may not be the same for your audience. In fact, what you thought was a simple interface may be too complicated for the user, leading to negative reviews which will hurt the number of downloads you get on your app.
The trick is to be as simple and clear as you possibly can. Include helpful tutorials and instructions in your app. You may choose to use the UI patterns already incorporated in Apple, Windows and Android products because the users are already acquainted with them. Do not be shy about adding icons and thumbnails that would generally improve the user's experience and navigation ability.
5. Mobile App marketing
Apart from the fact that you are a small fish in a really huge pond, startups have a great challenge when it comes to pushing their app in the market. Competition is very high and tough, considering that there are other app developers with a bigger budget and market experience. As such, it is very easy to get lost in the app market, with a really good app at hand but without the right strategy to penetrate the market.
Consult professionals who have been involved in successful app marketing before. For your app to get downloads, your efforts need to be something like 10% on development and the majority 90% on marketing. You could also utilize online platforms that market apps. An example is Appscend, Smore and so many others.
6. App performance and battery life
Besides focusing on the usual aesthetics, most app startups are also faced with the challenge of ensuring that their developed app performs well for the benefit of the user. The challenge is in coming up with an app that runs without crashes or annoying bugs and at the same time consumes as little on the device's battery life as possible.\
In the initial app development stages, one must focus on ensuring that the design performs well on all the available mobile devices. Most startups target iOS and Samsung galaxy note users, but keep in mind that these devices are not available to a majority of your target market. An app that has lots of visual effects that flood the cache or has a lot of integrating features might have a problem performing well on older versions.
Ensure that you have set up the right strategy to run tests with startup versions so that the final version will be the in the best possible form.
There are of course other minor challenges like testing. Although we have mentioned it severally as a solution to your mobile app development, it is not always easy to find a ready audience that is willing to be your go to source for testing results. Once you have crossed this hurdle, you will have gained one of the most valuable assets in creating an excellent mobile app.
The best way to deal with startup challenges is to be informed about them, then acting to ensure that you are well-equipped to deal with them. You may not be faced with each of the mentioned problems but at the end of the day, it will not be as easy as a walk in the park.
It would be comforting to know that even big companies face a lot of startup issues before their app is accepted by the users. As such, you have no reason not to focus on developing the best app possible and putting it out in the market. With the right strategy, you will gain the experience required for your subsequent mobile app releases.