There is no doubt that the mobile industry is huge. Billions of dollars are spent by consumers every year on smartphones, which subsequently results in even more money being paid in apps and mobile services.
However, while there are some who make considerable profit from mobile app development, it is a struggle for the majority. Though there are certainly ways to survive in the industry, small app developers are faced with several issues.
1.Creating relevant apps
One of the biggest challenges that small app developers face is creating apps that people actually want. Even if you have created the greatest app in the world, it will not matter if there are no users for it.
This has to be addressed in the earliest stages of development. There are certain topics that need clearly detailed outlines, such as discovering your target group, analyzing the potential demand for your app, and more.
2.Competing against industry titans
Though some small app developers may choose to create an app that serves an entirely new purpose, others will wish to enter an already established space. Then, they are effectively making the choice of competing directly against others, some of which might be giants of the industry.
For example, entering into the social networking space is virtually impossible for most. A small subset of apps might be able to accomplish that, but there are huge costs and risks involved in such a process.
In other cases, a developer might create a wonderful new app which generates some traction only for a huge company to create a similar one afterwards. Remaining competitive in such a case is extremely challenging and it is often the smaller developers that get the short end of the stick.
3.Getting the app discovered
There is little doubt that there are countless fantastic apps that no one uses. The respective app stores of iOS and Android have millions of apps. There are thousands of apps which could be the next big thing but they might never get discovered.
App developers do not have the necessary capital to advertise their apps effectively. Getting users to discover the app is extremely challenging and things like search optimization are sometimes more important than the actual development.
4.Establishing the correct monetization model
Choosing the correct monetization model can make or break an app. Users on iOS have different shopping habits than users on Android, for example, and choosing the correct model for each platform is vital.
Since small app developers will only have a small budget to work with, they need to divide it effectively. For instance, they might need to acquire a costly license or choose to advertise with a company like Facebook. Managing such decisions is very difficult, particularly for those with little experience in areas outside app development.
6.Keeping up with changes
Timing is crucial in the world of app development. Releasing a great app in the wrong time is like issuing a death sentence. The targeted audience has to be receptive of the intended app or service at a specific timeframe. Getting this right is extremely challenging and it’s often outside the developer’s control.
In addition to that, small app developers also have to keep up with changes introduced by other companies. For example, a simple change by Google in terms of service or functionality can strongly affect independent developers who can practically do nothing about it.
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.
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