Building a Mobile Startup That Makes Money

Do you plan to open a mobile startup soon? We've prepared a basic plan for you to get acquainted with. There are 6 steps that will help you to create an effective mobile service.

Today when the market is full of various mobile apps (and let’s admit that a lot of them are not so bad), it may seem practically unreal to achieve success with your idea. But stop panicking. With a right approach, a unique idea, a well-developed advertising strategy and a strong team of mobile app developers (but okay, the latest component is a technical pre-condition, nevertheless, do not forget about it), you will be able to take your position on the mobile app arena. Moreover, the more serious attitude to the business you have, the higher your chances of success are.

If you are considering an option to create a mobile startup or if you have already initiated your project, it’s high time to get familiarized with our recommendations that we have prepared for you. Below you will find a detailed step-by-step guide that has been developed based on the experience of thriving appreneurs. If you want to join their rows and get impressive revenue from apps, just continue to scroll this page, attentively reading our instructions.

Before we proceed to the main part of our article let’s put it clearly: we are not going just to tell you how to develop a mobile app (it’s a purely technical issue), our task is to help you realize how to build a profitable mobile startup (it’s a comprehensive process that requires some continuous efforts from your side, but it’s really worth all of them).

Step 1. Conduct market research

Each successful mobile app business starts just with an idea. Before initiating your work, you should have a very clear understanding of what you want to get as a result. The answer “money” is not sufficient in this very case. If your aim is to build a sustainable product, a well-formulated idea is a must.                 

But how to be absolutely sure that your target audience will like your idea as much as you do? What or who will be able to guarantee your success? In this very case, a market study will be of great use to you. You need to analyze the currently existing supply and demand.

You need to understand what your target audience wants to have and what you can provide users with. Already got this information and understood how it could be used for developing a mobile app? Then you are ready to proceed to the next step.

Step 2. Create an MVP

Minimum Valuable Product is an irreplaceable stage of the development of any app. Of course, if you have an unlimited budget, you may present a fully developed product from the very beginning. But if you are interested in keeping your expenses low, you shouldn’t ignore this step.     

Developing an MVP, you have a possibility to evaluate the efficiency of your product and its chances to survive and succeed. In other words, an MVP version of your app will help you to get users’ feedback without investing too much money at once. Based on the received results you will be able to understand whether you should invest more money in further development, what improvements you should introduce (if any) or maybe if you see that your MVP has failed, you should leave this idea until better days come.

It doesn’t matter with what kind of application you are going to rock the mobile app development landscape and to melt the hearts of your audience. In case your aim is to achieve success and to make money, you definitely have to work on your MVP first. Nevertheless, do not forget that this first version should have a minimally sufficient number of functions which will allow you to make a realistic evaluation and analysis.

For example, when you need to create an MVP for a marketplace, you should include such functions and features as a basic personal profile, a history of activity, a messaging service, a search form, and a payment system. Such features as a rating system and a wish list as well as many-many others can be left aside at this very stage. 

An initial launch is a real milestone for everyone who has taken a decision to develop a mobile app startup. But after you’ve launched the first version of your product, it’s not an appropriate time to have a rest. Your product valuation is already waiting for you. Having a clear understanding of whether your app fulfills all the functions that you want it to fulfill and whether it satisfies all the customers’ demands and needs you want it to satisfy, you will have the possibility to move further. Saying “to move further,” we mean “to expand the functionality of your application, to add more features, to introduce updates, etc.”

By the way, already at the stage of the launch of your MVP, don’t forget about the development of your monetization strategies. You need to see how you want to make money with your app. Maybe after considering this issue, you will have several ideas of monetization. Yes, at this stage you can try out various approaches. But we want you to bear in mind that sometimes different models of monetization may require different functionality which may lead to a necessity to introduce significant changes or even complete redesign of your app (and as you know it could be a very expensive game). That’s why you should think carefully about this aspect as it is a vital one. Nevertheless, we recommend you to return to this question once again later.

Step 3. Promote your app to attract users

If you are dreaming about making money with your app (and even if not), you are creating an app for users, that’s why you need to win their attention. Unfortunately, today’s market is not a fantastic kingdom from your favorite fairytale. For an app, to become popular, it won’t be enough just to be launched. Being aimed at creating a successful mobile startup, you need to use all the marketing knowledge you have and all the marketing tools that exist nowadays.

Of course, to publish an ad in a newspaper won’t be the best idea, but there are a lot of other options that are much more appropriate when it comes to mobile apps. You shouldn’t ignore such up-to-date tools and approaches as:

  • search engine optimization,
  • capacities of content marketing,
  • and social media networks.

And it’s not a full list of all the ideas that you can try to implement into practice if you want to make your app visible.

For example, you can also establish direct contact with tech journalists and media to publish press-releases and cover important updates. Many startupers begin their work with media just with paying them for mentions and then proceed to other formats.

We kindly ask you not to forget what a powerful promotional tool your social media account could be. You can organize various contests and giveaways. They always attract a lot of attention and are rather affordable ways of promotion. But of course, you need to make sure that the chosen format is suitable for the specificity of your app.

Yes, today, there are so many various approaches to promotion, but there is one more thing that should never be forgotten regardless of the chosen strategy. Pay attention to the page of your application in the stores. The description should be engaging and short enough, but from it, it should be absolutely clear what your app represents itself and what benefits it has for your users. It’s also a good idea to add informative screenshots as for people, it is easier to perceive images than text. If you add appropriate keywords, your app will be shown in many search results, that’s why we recommend you to work on this issue as well.

Step 4. Create your monetization plan

After you see that your MVP fully meets your and your target audience’s expectations, you can proceed to further development. Though we recommend you to think about monetization from the very beginning, a final decision on the ways of making money should be taken after you have completed successful testing of your MVP.

At this stage, you may even see that your first monetization plan is not the best option for your final product, so, you will need to develop another strategy. There are a lot of ways to get a profit. Among the most popular ones we can mention:

  • in-app ads,
  • in-app purchases,
  • subscriptions,
  • premium accounts,
  • an upgraded paid version with no ads (some users will be happy to pay you with a view not to see any ads, and you can use this chance to get money), etc.

Moreover, you can always combine several strategies and create your own one.

Step 5. Track your analytics data

Please, remember: without good analytics, there is no growth at all.

As soon as your app becomes available for users on Google Play or App Store, you need to start monitoring its performance. There are a lot of tracking tools that will help you to optimize your work. Google Analytics pack is probably the most widely-known of them. Having a serious approach to tracking your analytics data, you will be able to see whether you are on the right way, and if not, you will have an opportunity to react timely.

Moreover, we advise you to elaborate on a measurement plan that should include such points as your business objectives, techniques, and strategies to achieve them, metrics goals that you will use to measure your progress.

Step 6. Find investors for your project

If you want to pitch your app to investors, it won’t be enough just to show them your app itself. You need to have real data and analytics to demonstrate that your project has high chances to grow stably.

Moreover, you should also provide them with:

  • a clear budget plan,
  • strong sides of your project (as well as weak ones, but it this very case you will need to show what ideas you have on how to eliminate these points),
  • a marketing strategy,
  • a business plan,
  • testimonials and user reviews.

Of course, when you are just entering the market, it may seem to you that the only way to succeed will be to find investors. But do not worry. It’s not so. Today there are a lot of investment-free startups that have achieved success. If you wish you may not entirely focus your attention on looking for investors, instead of that you can concentrate more on attracting users who will be able to bring you real money.

In any case, each mobile app startup is unique, and there can’t be the only possible strategy. So, do not hesitate to try out your own unique ideas. Maybe one day, you will discover an absolutely innovative way to make money in the mobile app industry, and it would be great. Nevertheless, our recommendation for you is not to forget about the most popular and effective approaches that we have mentioned in this article. You won’t be disappointed. They really work. 


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