This article originally appeared on www.businesscollective.com.
In the movie Baby Mama, Dax Shepard plays Carl, a quirky man who calls himself an “inventor-slash-entrepreneur.” When Carl meets Tina Fey’s character, he laments that he hasn’t yet hit a business home run: “I mean, when I saw the iPod the first time … I could have kicked myself.”
The world is full of Carls. They think that billion-dollar ideas come from strokes of genius. But true entrepreneurs understand that the real value of an idea comes from its execution.
When a great idea strikes, your first impulse is to leap into action. But if you’re thinking of building an app, you need to make sure your concept is sound and that you have the necessary resources to outsource its development or hire an in-house developer. Here are six questions you must ask before giving a project the green light:
What Is Your Vision?
Before hiring developers, make sure you have a specific vision for your business and concrete goals for the app. According to Richard Branson, experts advised the Virgin Group against expanding into other industries. The behemoth did it anyway, and has since started more than 400 companies. Branson himself is now worth $4.9 billion. How did he succeed? By developing a clear vision that enhanced people’s lives.
I’ve met founders who want to make the next big something, but they don’t know what or why. That’s a huge red flag. Remember: a development team can bring your idea to life, but the vision must come from you.
Do You Have the Funding?
Whether you keep the work internal or outsource, app development is expensive. Developers’ salaries can range from $107,500 to $161,500, and hiring a development firm can be even more costly.
TechCrunch found that the average iOS app costs $6,453 to build, but more complex or noteworthy apps can cost thousands more. Make sure you have the necessary capital upfront so you don’t run out of funds mid-project. Your funding must match your ambition. If you’re targeting a significant market, you need significant funds. If you don’t have them, focus your ambition on something achievable. Showcase an MVP that solves a real need for a small group. Then, use that to raise the funds for the next level of ambition.
Who Is Your User Base, and Will They Be Interested?
It’s critical to know everything about your target demographic before bringing in a development team. You need to understand the user’s journey and where and when he will engage with your app. Most of all, your app needs to enrich lives by solving a problem.
What Does the Competition Look Like?
Does your app fill a void, or are you diving into a saturated market? Will you be competing with a host of mediocre apps or dethroning a successful incumbent? Either way, you need to spend time with your competitors’ apps to determine how to differentiate your offering.
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