I’ve got an idea for an app….

I’ve got an idea for an app….

When I tell people I develop apps,  almost everybody is keen to tell you their latest idea for an app. The ideas range from brilliant to not so brilliant.

It’s easy to fall in love with an app idea, but there are 5 things you can easily do to make sure you really understand if an app (or website) has a market.

  1. Make a list of 5 people you know that you think would use your app.
  2. Make a list of 5 potential customers – people that are actually going to pay you. Sometimes these are the same people as step #1, but not always.
  3. Write down 3-5 assumptions you have about people’s problem that your app will solve. How are they solving it now? How often do they have this problem? What are the consequences if they don’t solve it?
  4.  Get together with the 5 people from step #1 and explain your idea. Then ask them about your assumptions from #3 and see what they think. Listen and take notes without trying to ‘sell’ your app to them.
  5. Get informal meetings with your 5 potential customers. Explain your idea and ask them what it would take for them to purchase.

If you do these 5 steps, you will quickly start to validate your product / market fit before spending a dime on design or development. By listening to your potential users and customers, it will also give you language you need for your marketing efforts.

If you have any trouble with any of these steps, it should be a red flag that more market research is needed.

Most of the time, just getting a meeting with a potential customer will take much longer than you expect.  Almost always, the product the market really wants will be different than you originally thought.

I’ve lost count of the number of businesses I have seen that don’t take these steps until after their app or website is released. I guarantee you will learn more from taking the 5 steps above that you would from building your app and releasing it. And it will cost you a lot less.

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