If you decided to build your own application, you will need to spend some time researching the market and shaping your idea. Whether you are at the stage of attracting investment to your project or you are ready to start requesting the estimations from the dev team, you should be ready to provide the most relevant information about your app idea. This will allow you to get adequate finance from investors and accurate estimates from the developers. In one of our articles we have described how companies estimate app development cost, but what we have left out was the To-Dos you have to perform, since this is the topic that requires a separate article.
Before contacting any software development agency and requesting estimation, you should think carefully about your app and its purpose. Ask yourself the following questions first:
- What is the value of my app?
- What are my potential competitors?
- What problems is my app going to solve?
- How should it work exactly?
- How will it interact with the end users?
- What should my app look like?
Once you have the answers to these questions, you can proceed with other preparations. So, without further ado, let’s talk about them.
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Perform in-depth market research
If you want to successfully enter the digital market with your app, you should search for as much information about your competitors as possible. Let’s say your app offers a new solution to users’ problems. However, there are many other softwares that resolve those problems in a good old way. To poach their users, attract new ones and encourage them to use your solution, you need to know all advantages and disadvantages your competitors’ approaches have. This knowledge allows to find the strength of your particular business, create a different approach, select the right monetization option and develop a solution able to stand out.
Speaking about the competitors, you should know that they are divided into two main groups:
- Direct competitors (they offer a similar approach to solving the users’ problems). Their applications may already have the functionality you intend to develop but differ from each other due to unique UI/UX or some custom features.
- Indirect competitors (they have different, new approaches to solving the users’ problems). Their app realization will differ greatly from your vision and yet they target the same users.
Some software development companies offer clients to perform market research for them, e.g. here at GBKSOFT we have a free discovery stage for each project and do a holistic research taking into account clients’ business niches, main requirements and needs. Market research can be delegated, but you need to remember that you are the one who knows your business better than anyone else. So you need to stay involved and cooperate with the company managers before and during the research, provide all requested information. This will allow you to get the best and most relevant research results.
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Define your value proposition
Now that you know all your main competitors and have detailed information about their solutions, you need to define a value proposition. It is a concept that outlines all benefits of your particular app and summarizes why users need to choose it. Value proposition shows the key productivity pains of your customers. At the same time it demonstrates how the application is able to resolve core user’s problems and which user’s tasks can be automated partially or in whole.
To define value proposition you need to understand the perspective of your end users. Trying to do this, just think about the following:
- Main issues your users face;
- Ways your app can eliminate those issues;
- The value your app creates for users.
Your application should be able to positively affect the whole digital experience of your users and you should be able to make them realize your solution’s value. Have your users understood that your app is a much-needed tool, can you convert them into customers.
So before contacting any developers company and asking for an app estimation, you should be able to provide the next information to them:
- The customers profile (detailed information about your potential customers, f.e. their age, location, purchasing habits, goals, challenges and pin points, etc.);
- Your value proposition;
- The main pains your app is going to eliminate.
Think about specific requirements
Before discussing your future solution with any software development company you should be able to provide the following information:
- What problems should your solution resolve?
- How do your potential customers manage to resolve those problems now, without any software at all?
- In what way will your software resolve those problems and what benefits will it bring (e.g. it can save time, reduce costs or optimize the working processes)?
Your end product will definitely offer users a set of numerous features. But before the developers can get started with their implementation, they should understand the complexity of each feature and estimate the time spent on its development.
You will pay the money per every working hour of a developer. So it is in your best interest to provide a company with the precise information so that they can estimate the scope of work correctly. So you should think about your app features beforehand and point out as many important details as possible. If it is going to be a specific custom feature, make sure you describe it clearly.
F.e. you may wish to implement a messenger into your application. It may be a simple quite basic messenger, the development of which will take up to 100 hours. Or you may want a more advanced solution (like Facebook’s Messenger) that will allow your users to perform money operations. The development of such solutions will take way more than 100 working hours. Therefore the workload will be doubled and so will the price. Always keep this in mind and provide as many details about the app features as you can to the company you’ve chosen to develop your solution.
Sometimes the clients of development companies can get confused when they hear the final cost of their application after the estimation is finished. The sum may exceed all client’s expectations. However, there is no need to give up your idea or to search for freelancers or some other companies offering low-quality but affordable solutions. You can discuss your project further with the managers, see what features can be slightly changed or added in further releases and in such a way preserve your app idea and functionality and yet reduce your expenses a bit.
Don't know what specific features your app needs?
Don't know what specific features your app needs?
Accumulate knowledge about monetization
The end goal of any application is to attract numerous users and bring profit to its owner. So the last but not the least thing you should do before contacting a company of developers is to discover what monetization option can be applied to your particular solution.
There are numerous ways of monetization that can perfectly work for you. Among them you can consider the following and develop either a fully paid app (which is quite risky) or an app with:
- In-app purchases option;
- Subscription plan;
- Premium features;
- Advertising option;
To identify the best monetization option that will suit your app, you need to research the market and gather the statistics. In such a way you can discover which monetization option works efficiently with your targeted users and what actually makes them want to buy an app. The behavior or Android and iOS users differ from WEB users, so without knowing some proven facts the chance of your application to success get lower and we don’t want that.
To sum it up
If you are going to ask a development company to make estimations for your project, you’d better come prepared. So first of all define your business goals, your target audience and value proposition of your future app. Should you follow our recommendations from this article, you will definitely end up with the most accurate estimates in your hands.
The development of your application can be cost and time effective if you provide the company with the most relevant information about your future project. It is possible to assign the best tech takes with the experience in the development of similar projects only if you describe in detail your vision and most importantly your end goal.
Feel that you're ready for the app estimation process?