As a business owner you are always looking for the next step – how you will grow your business, improve your product, sustain competition, and with the increasing popularity of mobile technology, you may feel that your business would benefit from building an app. It should be simple enough, right? After all, school age kids are doing it in their parent’s basement on the family computer. How hard can it be?
Well, while you may be an expert in your industry, the software business can be pretty tricky. There are three common pitfalls that can cause your app to take a nosedive and it very well could take your company with it.
- Mishandling your funds: Statistics tell us that 9 out of 10 tech startups fail (1). Most of these are not because of features or usability, but instead are problems related to cash flow, undercapitalization, and lack of revenue. Keep your eye on creating the shortest possible (responsible) path to revenue. Don’t spend everything you’ve got on your first build. We often advise taking your total Phase 1 budget and dividing it in half. Invest the first half getting your first iteration built. You’ll need the rest for polish, further iterations, fixes, maintenance, marketing, and the issues you cannot see yet.
- Lack of clarity is another common problem. You may be hard at work building a great app, yet have no idea what specific problem you are solving or who you are solving it for. When you are fully immersed in building software, it is very easy to lose sight of your ideal customer. Without clearly defining who the primary user of your product will be, your team may lose its common vision – sending product owners, UX/UI designers, developers, QA staff, marketers, and salespeople each in a different direction. Few companies take the time to create a specific, detailed profile of their ideal customer before beginning to build their software, and while it is no easy task, those who accomplish it fare far better than those who don’t.
- Trusting technologists to make business decisions. While a talented developer is invaluable to your team as you build the software, developers typically are not inclined to think of the business implications of technology decisions. A poor platform decision out of the gate could cost you down the road. You need an experienced, diverse team who fully understands all aspects of the digital market.
Although developing an app can be a difficult process, being cognizant of these three major pitfalls can help you avoid detrimental mistakes and develop a successful app that will benefit your business.