A Roadmap to Mobile App Development for Startups

Some startups think that mobile app development is worth investing.

Build an app and launch it.

Make lots of money. Wow!

Hey, it is not that easy as you think.

mobile app development strategy

Today, it has become very important for every business to become multi-channel. Establishing a powerful presence and connecting with potential customers is a vital business challenge.

The mobile app ecosystem is in no mood of shutting down. Having revenues from app store has an estimate of reaching upto $80.6 by 2020 where it was $44.6 billion in 2016.  

Mobile app development is one of the most reliable tools to bridge the gap between your business and customers. Well, most of the smart entrepreneurs have either build a mobile app or are planning to upgrade the existing one. Till December 2018, Google Play Store had 2.1 million apps whereas Apple’s App Store had 2 million apps for the users.

You must be wondering how to make your app to be the first choice for the user? But, before we start, let’s have a look at the major challenges faced by startup companies:

  • Idea
  • Market Research
  • Resources
  • Restricted Budget

Let us discuss the challenges in detail


In the immensely overcrowded app market, what will make your app idea stand out from the rest? Planning to build an app after being inspired by another popular app having the same features won’t do any good.

Right from the very beginning, you have to be very sure about your idea, only then your app will be noticed. How do you validate your idea so that it becomes attention seeker?

How to incorporate the features during mobile application development services with everything that matches the expectations of the user and how to build strategies? We will be explaining later in the post.

Market Research

Hire mobile app developers to take-up the challenge and keep the innovation quotient high so that users get engaged.

Market search is important before moving ahead but it is not at all an easy task. This is the only thing that separates smart marketers from pros.

  • Do you have an idea that who is most likely to download your app?
  • Is there a market for your app?
  • Will the app be easily accessible?
  • What strategy will drive the target audience?
  • Have you analyzed your product or service?
  • Where will it be sold?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • Who are your biggest competitors?

You will get the answers to all these solutions later in the post.


Another major challenge faced by the business owners is looking for reliable resources i.e. mobile app developers. You would need someone having the best skills.

Of course, every software engineer doesn’t specialize in app development because it requires technical knowledge regarding coding in a particular niche.

Finding the best app developer is not easy in reality. You should know the following:

  • How to check their basics?
  • Know how experienced they are?
  • Do they have good communication skills?
  • Are they creative enough?
  • Which platform do they excel in?
  • Can they recommend more features for the app?

If you have no idea about how to go about this, we are going to explain it in detail later.

Try building an app that makes life simple, productive and pleasant.

Restricted Budget

Start-ups usually have a limited budget but they want to build an app that the customers will love. They have to plan accordingly because there is a lot to be invested in the research, design, development, launch or app marketing.

Restricted budget is an obstacle in the way to develop a successful app. All of the below-mentioned points effects the budget:

  • Whether to pay hourly or fixed rates to the developer?
  • Are you building a hybrid app?
  • What will be the maintenance cost?
  • Do you want to partner with another brand?

Don’t worry, we will be discussing the pricing model of the app in the post.

Steps to Follow during Mobile App Development for Startups

As a business owner, you have to be a decision maker who is busy in striving for success no matter what comes in the way. Dedication, passion, crystal clear vision and winning strategies are all that matters.

As a startup, you only need that initial acceleration to get started. Unless the above-mentioned challenges are not addressed, the application won’t be a success.

Here is the roadmap for a successful mobile app for a startup that will also solve the challenges faced during the app development phase:

1. Validating your idea making all the difference

So you have an app idea that will have the users flocking to the app store to download it. After the release of your app, you will be surrounded by people asking you how you did it? But wait, there is already a similar app that was not too successful.

Now what? This would not have taken place if you would have done some market research. Make sure your idea has a direct marketing connection with your potential end users.

Understand why a problem exists and why nobody has made an app to solve this problem previously. Immerse in the problem space and grasp it. Once done, start evaluating how the app will solve the problem.

It is very important to challenge your validity and viability.

You have to focus on what problem/issue your app will solve that will be beneficial for your audience. When you don’t know the problem, how will you consider designing a product or service that will have the appropriate solution?

  • Compare your ideas with Google Trends
  • Have in-depth knowledge with Google keyword planner
  • Look for problems and their solutions
Compare your ideas with Google Trends

Here you get to know the relative popularity of searches in the Google search engine. Google Trends is a great market research tool worth considering.

Google keyword planner

Based on the inputs that you give, the keyword planner comes up with ideas. When you are done, you will have a list of search phrases and the average search volume.

Problems and solutions

Build it with a clear purpose and standard. The path to a perfect mobile app may be a little rocky but once you overcome hurdles, victory is yours.  

2. Thorough Market Research is the Key

When you have validated the idea, it is time for a thorough market research. This roadmap step will clearly define the solution of the above challenge as for how to do market research before the development of the app.

Start-ups are usually a team of 2-15 people so they don’t have a team that specializes in market research in detail. This absence of research team makes it challenging for them to have in-depth knowledge about the market requirements and the target audience.

Also, they feel they are not part of the established market competition so end up finding white label solutions maybe because it is easy to build that customizing their app. This may sometimes result in a low-quality product.

Your market research should cover:

  • App objective
  • Target customers
  • Unique features of the app
  • Competitors analysis
  • Investment in the app
  • App marketing
  • Maintenance of the app

Ryan Paugh (Co-founder of the Young Entrepreneur Council) mention in his article and he says “The best thing you can do is share your ideas with people. A lot of entrepreneurs avoid this because they are worried that others will steal their ideas. … Most people could never execute correctly on a good idea that you had.

Ask: Would you buy this? If you get good feedback and truly believe in your heart that your idea has legs, start now.”

A thorough understanding of the customer’s pain should be your initial step. Understanding customer requirement is what will take you miles ahead of your competitors.

As a business owner, you should be capable of understanding what your target audience is struggling with, the pain of your customer and assuring that you are ready to help is half the battle won.

In case you don’t have a team that will handles the market research, hire a remote mobile app development developer that understands the nerves of the market.

3. Focus on the Wireframe of your mobile app

Now when you know that your app will be evoking the interest of the audience, it is recommended to wireframe the mobile app. If you are someone who doesn’t understand what the term wireframe means, we are here to explain it to you.

A wireframe is a structural blueprint of your app that contains diagrams depicting the objects on the screen and the features. This is the most important step that you can’t afford to miss out, no matter what.

In simple words, it is like a sketch drawn by an architect before constructing a house or a building.

If you are still thinking, why is it so important to wireframe your mobile app, we will clarify it to you:

  • You get a clear idea of how your app will look and work
  • You will know how different features will look on the screen
  • How the user will navigate through the app
  • Bugs can be removed beforehand
  • More features can be added before the final release

Creating wireframe further involves mobile app design and development process.

  • Mobile App Design

If you are planning to create an amazing product, the design should never be an afterthought.

When the wireframe is ready, now is the time to start designing the app. Here, all the market research will come into use. You know your customer’s expectations and requirements so now you know how you want your app.

Steve Jobs has rightly said,” Design is not just what it looks like, it is what it feels like.”

The audience always get attracted towards beautiful things so make sure the app is beautifully designed. The user interface and experience design are the crucial factors that make a mobile app a huge success.

As a start-up, if you wish to cut short your budget, you can consider hiring Indian app developers.

The design stage should include:

a.) Workflow

Here the data, interface, functionality, platform and technology architecture of the app should be specified in detail.

b.) Style Guide

This should be all about consistency, standard, and usability. The guide should have details of the app inclusive of the uniqueness.

c.) Mockups

They define the flow of the app. Adobe Photoshop and Sketch are common tools that help create high-fidelity mockups.

d.) Prototype

While mockups demonstrate the mobile app display, prototype gives you the glimpse into the working of the app. While mockups are dummies, prototypes are the demo versions.

  • Mobile App Development

After design comes the coding part of the app. While developing the mobile app, it is important to know about the playground of the application.

As a startup owner, you may be confused about whether you should outsource the project or not. When making in-house investment becomes challenging, outsourcing is a great alternative.

Offshore mobile app developers India offer best services at genuine prices. So hiring a dedicated mobile app developer won’t cost you much. Moreover, you can choose from the pool of the most talented developers that are residing in different geographical locations.

The experienced professionals will understand your business objectives, implement strategies and give a piece of advice or their inputs whenever required. Isn’t it a great idea?

The Process: The development process involves code development, the configuration for the back-end, API and front end.

a.) Back end

The server-side objects are configured and tested to support the desired mobile app functionality.

b.) Application Programming Interface

API connects the app, backend server/database and app with the OS components.

c.) Front End

This is what is visible to the users so it has to be interactive. When the app works without data connectivity, it requires APIs to download and store data locally.

A lot of programming languages are used to develop a mobile app. It is as per your convenience, which one to choose.

Here is the process that is followed during the development phase:

  • In the alpha phase, the core functionality isn’t tested.
  • In the beta phase, the app goes through testing and bug fixing.
  • After fixing the bugs, it moves to the release phase.

As the mobile app programmers complete the development stage, the app is passed into the quality analyst for quality checks, finding bugs and fixing errors.

4. Resolving Bugs via Application Testing

Application testing is followed by development so make sure you hire dedicated mobile app professionals that cover the necessary facets of it. Check for usability, compatibility, security, and performance.

The checklist includes:

  • Usability testing
  • Compatibility testing
  • Interface testing
  • Service testing
  • Low-level resource testing
  • Performance testing
  • Operational testing
  • Security testing

Also, consider the following detailed mobile app testing guide:

Thoroughly understand the issues in the app and let the team resolve them. A single bug is capable of ruining your app. Apart from manual testing, Testflight, Appium, and Bugsy are the most useful testing tools.

5. Keeping the Monetisation strategy in place

Establish businesses focusses on great user experience than monetization but as a startup, you don’t have the same perk. Make sure you clear your monetization objective with the mobile app development team.  

a.) Choose the freemium app model

As a startup, it is better to go for the freemium app model as this is an easy invite for the users to download the app. Their experience will decide whether to move to the premium version or not.

b.) In-app purchases

This amazing strategy has the ability to turn your app into another sales channel. You must have seen the ads in the app to get paid for clicks. This is great especially if you have an e-commerce store.

c.) Subscription

This one is similar to the freemium model but the subscription model offers paid content. The subscription will be the best choice when the app is content driven or the app implies many downloads or higher retention rate.  

What about the app development budget?

The experts say that there is no one-size fit all template for an app development budget. Every app has its own features, utilities, solutions, and revenue-generating capabilities. However, here are the tips to ensure that your budget is well-knit:

Articulating the purpose

As the app market has grown leaps and bounds and the last year’s revenue reaches $110 billion approximately. The apps ability to captivate the users makes a huge impact on the budget. So, it is important to define the scope of app development in a better manner. 

Selecting the functionality and integration

The features and integration constitute the material of the app. Make sure your mobile app developers carefully craft the list of features and functionalities that help to make your app idea to life so that there is a cost-effective budget.

Deciding the platform

The proportion of the user base directly affects the platform. There are cost implications on the type of platform so you have to pay close attention to this.

As a starter, it is advisable to stick to a single platform. Although, it is never a bad idea to design an app for both the platform but this will certainly have an impact on your budget.

6. Deployment and App Launch

You are almost there!

Now, your app is ready for submission. You have to ship like a boss. Choose a specific day for the launch. The experienced mobile application programmer knows that the release is important to the success of your app.

Your main motive should be that your app reaches in the hands of as many users as possible. 

As soon as the app goes into the hands of the customer, feedback starts to pour in. Your next step is to upgrade our app as per the feedbacks. You should have the resource to maintain the product. 

7. Focus on App marketing

The success of the app depends on 20% on development and 80% on the marketing strategies. Yes, that’s true.

Once you are done with the app launch, put on the thinking hats and create a perfect marketing strategy. Build up a strategy to drive app discovery, boost organic install and user engagement. Make the plan to-the-point and realistic. No need to invest extravagantly in the marketing budget.

You will surely have a tough time drawing the attention of the customers regardless of the responsive design, rich features and incredible user interface in the app. If you seriously want to create a buzz in the marketplace, make it a free app.

Once it becomes popular, you can experiment with in-app purchases while rewarding vouchers, discounts and other offers that will promote your brand in a better way.

Klicktock’s Matt Hall, the developer behind Crossy Road, suggests that you study not just the successful apps, but the horrible ones, too. Ask yourself what the app did wrong and make sure you don’t duplicate that same mistake. 

These ways will help you give skyrocket results:

  • Social media marketing
  • Paid Ads
  • Email marketing
  • SMS marketing
  • App Store Optimization

Note: Besides developing a mobile app, if you want to convert your business into a brand you maybe thinking to digitalize your small business. Read the reasons why IT outsourcing can work? 

Do’s & Don’ts

Make sure your mobile app has the basic qualities to prevail in the global marketplace. Here are few Do’s and Don’t you should follow and avoid pitfalls.


  • Ease of access

The app your mobile application developers create should be easy to navigate and download. Bad user experience is likely to cost you a lot.

  • Remember the flow map

You should have a well-drafted flow map to make sure there is a logical and reasonable navigational structure. To avoid bugs, it is better to focus on one platform at a time.

  • One platform at a time

Many startup companies fall victim, that they can build the app across multiple platforms. As a startup, go for one platform at a time.


  • Avoid too many features

If there are too many features, the users get confused. Also, the app may become buggy thereby degrading user experience.

  • Never build a clone app

You may feel copying a successful app is a good idea but you are making a huge mistake. Introducing something unique will always attract customers so it is better to follow a genuine approach not copy paste something that exist in the market.  

  • Don’t release the app too quickly

The launch time of your app may break or make the success of your app. Bug free app with less features is better than a full-fledged app with erratic functionality. There is never a good reason to rush for the release.

Key Takeaways

Mobile app development is not a one-time event as there is always room for improvement. Get connected to reliable and dedicated app development company for any type of help.

Word for the wise:

As a startup, don’t cling to the misconception that you will get the perfect version of the app in the first go. The successful apps that we see today have gone through a number of improvisations and have evolved as per customer’s feedback.

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