In this tech-driven, innovation-rich age, the number of apps out in the world is increasing exponentially. In fact, it is predicted that the Google App store will have five million apps by 2020. There are many coding courses available online, making it easier than ever to create an app. But with the increasing number of apps, it’s also harder than ever to get yours noticed. Successful apps are not just apps. They’re managed like a business with a distinct target market, marketing strategy and revenue model. In this article, we set out guidelines that will help you turn your app into a successful business.

Determine Your Target Market

To turn your app idea into a successful business, it is essential to understand your customers and the market in which you are operating. Consider what problem your app is solving for the customer and how it is adding value to the existing market. To do so, you must investigate:

  • the pain points your customer faces;
  • solutions are out in the market; and
  • why those solutions fall short of fulfilling the market need.

For example, Uber addresses the need to get from A to B. The existing solutions include taxis, public transport, walking and driving your own car. Those solutions fall short because they are inconvenient or costly. So Uber adds value to the transport market by providing convenient and affordable transport, therefore meeting a customer need.

For your app to be a successful business, you must also have communication channels that allow your target market to notice your app. It is essential that you have a way to reach your customers that is scalable and cheap. For example, this could be achieved through an online advertisement or email campaign. Reaching your customers may involve collecting personal information such as emails or phone numbers. If you collect personal information, it is a good idea to have a clearly expressed privacy policy in place.

Focus on Quality

It is important that you focus on providing a good quality user experience. Consider:

  • how a consumer navigates through your app;
  • what features you want to emphasise; and
  • how they interact with various aspects of your app.

Design the visuals and layout of your app accordingly. Test this by seeing how new users actually use your app, as well as getting their feedback. Your brand is inherently linked to the user experience and visual design of your app.

Protect Your Intellectual Property

To ensure others do not copy your app, you need to protect your intellectual property (IP). You may be able to patent some aspects of your app if they are novel and inventive. You can also register trade marks for aspects of your brand that allow consumers to recognise your products.

Copyright laws also apply to app developers and will protect the app’s source code. You should contact an IP lawyer early on in the process to ensure that your app’s IP is protected and you can retain your competitive advantage.

Implement a Monetisation Strategy

The number of paid apps in the app store is decreasing. Yet global app revenue is expected to increase by 18% between 2017 and 2020. Most apps in the app store are free to download. These rely on other sources of revenue. It is a good idea to have various revenue streams in your app. For example, you could monetise your app through:

  • in-app purchases: Purchases of additional features within the app;
  • sponsorships: Featuring the products of another business for an agreed upon price;
  • subscription revenue: Regular payments to access the content of your app;  
  • advertising revenue: Featuring the advertisement of other businesses on your app for an agreed upon price; or
  • freemium model: apps that have a basic ‘free’ version and can be upgraded to the full version for a cost.

For example, Facebook makes money through advertisement, Spotify offers a freemium model and Netflix offers a subscription-based model.

Consider various ways to monetise your app and choose the one that is best for your value proposition and target market.

Ensure You Have Terms and Conditions

Finally, it is important to have the required terms and conditions in place to protect yourself and your customers. If you collect user information, you also need a privacy policy and security clause that outlines how you will use and protect that personal information.

To protect your business, you should consider including disclaimer clauses that limit your liability in relation to the app. In order to establish how users are expected to behave when using your app, it’s crucial to have terms of acceptable use that:

  • outline how your app is to be used;
  • clarify prohibited content and user age;
  • state if you have an option for in-app purchases;
  • address the rights and obligations surrounding warranties and payments.
  • address the rights in relation to copyright and IP of content that is created and distributed on your app.

Key Takeaways

If you want your app to be successful, you should manage it like a business. They target a gap in a given market and deliver a unique value proposition.

They also have marketing plans and revenue models in place. To ensure the success of your app, it is therefore essential to view it as a product that delivers value. If you’re an app founder, get in touch with LegalVision’s IT lawyers today on 1300 544 755 or fill out the form on this page.

Eugenia Munoz
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