How to Make an App for Your Business: Choosing the Right Niche and Features

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17 Jul 2020
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15 min
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Oleksandr Sh.
Technical writer

How to create an app for my business? That’s an exciting question that most entrepreneurs ask themselves when searching for new opportunities. Mobile apps can increase your business' potential, engage customers, and boost sales. After all, they may become an independent source of income. According to Statista, the global mobile app revenue will reach $940 billion in 2023.

However, app development is a tricky process with its nuances and pitfalls. It requires in-depth niche research, tech-savviness, and wise budget planning. In this post, we’ll discuss different software development approaches, requirements for various niches, and main features for popular app categories.

Table of contents

Figuring Out General Requirements

The main thing to remember is that software development isn’t only about programming. It’s a multicomponent process that includes the labor of various specialists. Business analysts, Quality Assurance engineers, UI/UX designers, project managers, and programmers work together to plan and create the app for your business. After the initial contact, analysts make a rough estimate of your project and negotiate on the development process.

Let’s take a closer look at each stage of the development.

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Mind that the development process varies in different companies. We’re describing the process based on our experience.

Planning phase

During the planning phase, you cooperate with business analysts to figure out the requirements for your project.

When all questions are settled, you proceed to the actual planning stage. Here, you have to provide the software development company with an inner vision of the product and detailed instructions on how everything should work and look like. Business analysts write specifications for engineers based on the information you gave, while designers create wireframes that display UI elements on each screen of the app. After your approval, engineers are starting to build the app for your business.

Learn more about the discovery phase and its price with this article.

Design

UI/UX designers put in the hours to deliver an attractive and user-friendly app design. Wireframes, mockups, prototypes, fonts, and the design of every element is their field of concern. The time designers spend on the project depends on its overall complexity. The more features your app has, the more time designers need to build layouts and draw every small component.

Every app niche has some design peculiarities. For example, interactive elements like buttons should visually stand out among non-interactive elements. On top of that, the text should be easily readable. That’s why white text shouldn’t be placed on the light background. To find a company that offers UI/UX design services, you can use Dribbble. This service lets you browse through design projects of different companies and independent designers.

Food delivery app example

UI/UX design of a food delivery app by Cleveroad

Software development

Software engineers create business logic for your app. To create an app for your business, they have to be proficient with the tech stack required for a certain niche and platform. Thus, for an Android food delivery app, programmers should know how to use Kotlin or Java and implement geolocation.

Quality Assurance

QA engineers cooperate with software developers throughout the project. Their task is to test the project, document bugs, and return the software for fixing. Testing is a critical phase in creating an app for your business. Failures and vulnerabilities lead to inconveniences and severe problems with data safety. That’s why you have to get rid of them as early as possible.

How to build an app for your business: Team Members

Main members of the software development process

These were the main stages of software development. However, before contacting the team, you have to figure out the requirements for your software. There are many things to consider, like the number of platforms, development approach, and so on. Let’s take a glance at the most common software development approaches.

Native Development

How to build an app for your business with a native approach? In simple words, native project is the same software built for both platforms individually. Native projects are written with programming languages designed for specific platforms. Java and Kotlin are native Android languages. As for iOS developers, they use Objective-C and Swift.

But what’s the point of building two separate projects for both platforms? In fact, there are several reasons. The major of them is performance. With native development, engineers can use devices at full capacity. Power-intensive tasks like photo/video processing, GPS navigation, and others require a lot of CPU, GPU, and RAM resources. Native development lets engineers distribute resources correctly and achieve a smooth performance even on outdated devices.

How to build a native app for your business

Three main benefits of native app development

However, this approach is much more time-consuming. To create an app for your business with a native approach, you have to find at least two developers who’ll work with iOS and Android codebases and pay both of them.

Cross-Platform and Hybrid Apps

These two approaches shorten the time-to-market compared to native development. Want to know how to make an app for your business in the shortest terms? Let’s see what cross-platform apps can offer.

Cross-platform apps stand side by side with native development. These apps require native code to manipulate the app’s UI. The main part can be written with various frameworks like Xamarin, React Native, PhoneGap, and more. When both parts are assembled, they need a bridge to communicate. And here’s the point where cross-platform loses performance. Because of the code transition from one language to another, the app loses FPS, and the overall image may be chopped.

Still, Flutter is the only cross-platform framework that allows you to create an app for your business with a smooth 60 FPS on all devices. It uses Dart programming language and doesn’t require a communication bridge in most cases. Besides, Flutter doesn’t have issues with the design. Its main concept is “everything is a widget”. In simple words, developers can customize each element on the layout per requirements.

Benefits of Flutter framework

Three main benefits of Flutter framework

Want to know how much it costs to make an app for your business with Flutter? Here’s our guide with detailed estimates and project examples.

In their turn, hybrid apps display the app content in a web-view and have to be installed like native apps. They can operate on both platforms reducing the development time in half.

However, hybrid apps have the poorest design among all the listed above. On top of that, these apps may have performance issues and a lack of custom features.

What Should You Choose?

It’s impossible to say what development approach to use without knowing project requirements. If you’re on a budget and need a fast product launch, a cross-platform or hybrid app may be your choice. However, if you’re planning to develop complicated custom features and sophisticated design, you should go for native development.

So, how to create an app for your business that fulfills your expectations? For a better understanding, we’ve created a comparative table.

Comparison of development approaches
Attributes / Approach Native Cross-platform Hybrid

Development cost

The highest cost to develop an app for both platforms

Cross-platform and hybrid apps are almost twice as cheap as native development

Performance

With well-built logic, native projects have the best performance

Conversion from one API to another reduces performance

Web-view has terrible performance with complex features

Device’s features

Native apps have access to each feature of the device

Because of the indirect communication with the device’s hardware, these apps can’t get access to some native features

User interface

UI and navigation are limited only by the designer’s ideas

Flutter allows customizing the app in many ways

Web-view has poor navigation and suits for displaying content

Code reusability

Native code can be used only for a single platform

Apart from native, all the code can be used for both platforms

Updates

Update price is calculated for every platform separately

Due to a single codebase, the update price includes upgrades for both platforms

Diving Into Industry-Specific App Requirements

Well-built business logic and attractive design aren’t enough to make an app for your business successful. Feature list, market analysis, user research, and risk assessment are integral parts of the project. Moreover, these steps fall entirely upon the product owner’s shoulders. Even though business analysts can help to clear out the tech stack and MVP features, the global requirements should be prepared on your own.

We’ve made a list of popular niches with possible app features and approximate tech stack.

Food Delivery

In case you’re a restaurant owner, a food delivery service can expand the customer network and boost sales. So, let’s discover the key features for this kind of app and technologies that can be used for creating an app for your business.

Map integration is an essential feature in this case. With its help, clients will see the restaurant’s location and determine the coverage area of your delivery service. In case you’re building an app for your business on a budget, you can create a simple text field for transmitting the destination to couriers. They’ll get the text message with an address in the app. However, if you’re ready to spend the extra money, you can use geolocation. It’ll transmit the user's position to a courier and vice versa in real-time.

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A comprehensive guide on a food delivery app development with features, tech stack, and marketing tips

Don’t forget about the menu, shopping cart, and checkout. Plus, users should be able to specify the details in their order like removing onion from a burger. Its integration takes time and money, but it relieves you from dealing with cash.

Feature list for a food delivery app:

  • Registration/Authorization
  • Menu
  • Meal details
  • Text chat
  • Geolocation
  • Shopping cart
  • Checkout

Approximate tech stack for a food delivery app:

Common technologies used to develop a food delivery app

Main technologies for a food delivery app

E-Commerce

Online retail is a highly customizable niche in terms of design and features. To create an MVP app for your business and conduct user testing, you have to develop the following features:

  • Registration/Authorization
  • Homepage
  • Catalog
  • Product page
  • Shopping cart
  • Payment gateway
  • Technical support
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How to hire developers and estimate the cost of e-Commerce website? This article makes everything clear.

And here's the tech stack for an e-Commerce software:

Common technologies for an e-Commerce app

Main technologies for an e-Commerce app development

Healthcare

Telemedicine apps gain popularity due to the time-efficiency and convenience they bring to patients. Healthcare providers offer a range of health plans for clients. Thus, physicians can observe patients remotely, manage prescriptions, monitor their health condition, and supervise the treatment process.

Telemedicine apps are similar in structure, so here’s a feature list for creating a telehealth app for your business:

  • Registration
  • Keeping and viewing EHRs
  • Search for a physician
  • Video conferencing
  • Text chat
  • Managing appointments
  • Payment system
  • Review system
  • Notifications

Don’t forget that telemedicine apps deal with electronic health records that are protected by HIPAA regulations. Violating these regulations may lead to large fines and even criminal liability. That’s why you have to treat HIPAA regulations seriously and eliminate all possible vulnerabilities.

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Here’s our recent guide on telemedicine app development. Learn how to create an app for your business compliant with HIPAA requirements.

Let’s run through a tech stack for telemedicine app development:

Common technologies for a healthcare app

Technologies for a telehealth app development

Streaming

Streaming is a vast entertainment niche popular among generation Z and millennials. According to Statista, around 80% of US people between 18 and 34 have subscribed to a video streaming service. Live streaming is another form of entertainment that bridges celebrities and influencers with their audiences. Entrepreneurs earn profit on streaming platforms by integrating ads and adding paid subscriptions that bring specific benefits to users.

So, how to build a business app for streaming? For an MVP version you’ll be good to go with this feature list:

  • User registration
  • Creating a personal user profile
  • Online streaming
  • Comments to broadcasts
  • Search
  • Server-side (ability to convert stream)
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This article explains how to develop a live streaming app, like Twitch, Periscope, and YouTube Live.

And now, let’s glance at the tech stack required to create an app for your business:

Technologies for a streaming app development

Tech stack for a streaming app development

E-Learning

E-learning giants like Coursera and Udemy have been proving the efficiency of remote education for years. They collaborate with top-tier universities and experienced private tutors to bring maximum opportunities to each student. Efforts have paid off, and Coursera became a billion-dollar-worth company with 64 million learners.

What’s the secret of a successful e-Learning app? We’ve disclosed main features for creating an app for your business:

  • Authentication and user profile
  • Filtering system
  • Dashboard
  • Course page
  • Payment systems
  • Course adding page (for tutors)
  • Notifications and reminders
  • Admin panel
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We’ve prepared a detailed estimate of the e-Learning app and explained each possible business model.

And here’s the tech stack required for the development:

Technologies used for an e-learning app development

Common technologies for an e-learning app development

How to Build an App for Your Business?

We’ve figured out software development approaches, main project requirements, and highly demanded niches. But the main question remains. How to make an app for your business?

Basically, every entrepreneur has three options:

  • Outsourcing software development
  • In-house development
  • Freelance developers

We don’t consider various app builders as an acceptable solution to create an app for your business. Such services deliver inflexible software with poor customization. It may be the cheapest and fastest option to build a primitive app with raw design. But when it comes to customizable features, this option completely loses its ground.

Now, we’ll learn about all the software development options.

Software Development Company

Outsourcing software development is a well-established option. When entrepreneurs need to create an app for their businesses in certain timeframes for a reasonable cost, they contact software development companies. Usually, these companies have much lower rates compared to in-house teams that may cost you a fortune with all side expenses like office rent, hardware and software purchase.

However, to find a reliable partner, you have to conduct research. The highest price doesn't guarantee the best quality. Also, don’t fall for the most attractive price. Services, like Clutch and GoodFirms, allow entrepreneurs to browse clients’ reviews about companies. We consider these websites the most valuable sources of information while looking for a tech partner. Clients’ feedback can’t be falsified because of the verification measures.

Looking for a tech partner?
We can help you with a feature list and project estimate free of charge!

Now, what about the price to build an app for your business? Developers from different regions have different rates. Here are the prices in the most well-known outsourcing tech hubs.

Outsourcing price in different regions
Region Developers’ rates ($/hour)

North America

$150-$200/hour

Western Europe

$50-$149/hour

Eastern Europe

$25-$49/hour

Oceania

$100-$150/hour

Asia

$20-$40/hour

South America

$25-$49/hour

In-House Team

An in-house team is a group of developers that work a full-time job in your company’s office. Successful companies with large budgets always have in-house development teams at hand. The main benefit of this option is improved control over the workflow of your employees. You’re always aware of the project condition, stumbling blocks, and difficulties that appear while creating an app for your business. Also, a stable team is excellent for maintenance of existing projects. No one knows the codebase of the app better than its original developers.

However, the in-house team is an expensive idea for startups. According to Glassdoor, American mobile app developers earn $80,000/year. The team of three developers, one designer, and one QA engineer, will cost you around $400,000/year. Don’t forget about the office rent, purchase of the hardware and software, compensations, and many more. Additional expenses may increase the price almost twice.

Freelance Developers

Finally, we’ve reached the last option on our list. Without a doubt, freelance developers are the cheapest option for software development. Unfortunately, that’s the only freelancers’ advantage.

But what’s so bad about freelancers? When you hire a software development team to make an app for your business, you’re paying for a project manager who will coordinate the development process and keep you posted. With an in-house team, you stay in charge of the development team. But when it comes to freelance developers, it’s a cat in a bag. Communication issues are a common thing with freelancers. They may take the advance payment and contact you again in several weeks.

Also, freelancers usually don’t bother with quality assessment. So, after months of development, you can get a product full of bugs and vulnerabilities. What’s most disappointing is that you’ll have to find another person to fix them or pay the same developer even more.

Cleveroad Expertise

Here, at Cleveroad, we know how to create an app for your business. We have deep expertise in every demanded niche. For example, we’ve recently developed a brand new version of RetailOps, a SaaS platform for retail. It helps warehouse owners to manage the inventory and automates a range of goods tracking tasks.

RetailOps - SaaS platform for retail

Cleveroad expertise: RetailOps

Blockbuster is another interesting project we were working on. A former movie-rental company sold its brand rights to the Danish movie streaming company. We’ve upgraded Blockbuster’s mobile apps for a variety of platforms including iOS, Android, Web, and Smart TVs. Now Blockbuster has collections of users’ favorite movies and series, downloading of content, and subtitles in multiple languages.

Blockbuster video streaming platform

Cleveroad expertise: Blockbuster

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Comments
J
jessicasmith26081990@gmail.com
26.07.2020 at 13:30
I just want to thank you for posting this content I really find it useful. Please keep me posted for more updates.
Oleksandr Sh.
27.07.2020 at 05:19

Thanks! It's a pleasure for us to share our expertise with you

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