Save your money: 7 Reasons to NOT build your app idea

You know how they say, “No such thing as a bad idea?” Yeah, that doesn’t apply here.
Austin Betzer
Posted on
November 20, 2020
Minute Read

If you’ve been toying with the idea of launching an app for your business let me tell you why you SHOULDN’T. 

I mean… I get the appeal. It seems like everyone who is anyone who is doing well has an app. You may be wondering if it's really necessary for your business or if you’re the right candidate.

I run a mobile and web development firm and I’m telling you not to build a mobile app. Apps aren’t just something you throw a few bucks and a couple of weeks at — they are a major commitment. 

I meet with prospective clients regularly who either, a) have a business model or product that isn’t suited for an app or b) do not have the resources or stability required to begin the app development process.

It is super important to understand when and why you should not go mobile. Here are the 7 reasons your business should not go mobile.

ONE: Your products aren’t being used as much as you think they are. 

For example, I have the costco app. I go there all the time but I don’t see a point in using it. It brings me zero value. I downloaded it once, took a look, and never opened it again. 

Costco has the resources to launch a massively expensive app that only a small percentage of their customers actually use. 

If you are a one-off retail store or a small business, you don’t have that same luxury.

TWO: Your app is not valuable enough to warrant a download. 

Most people don’t want to download your app unless they’re getting something free or its instantly solving a major pain point.

There is a lot of friction behind downloading an app. You’ve got to go to the app store, do a quick search, click download now, wait for it to install, and then sign up. 

A lot of the time apps have rigorous onboarding with multiple exchanges of personal information and verification.

It can be exhausting and a lot of work for the user. Due to that expected friction in most cases, people avoid downloading an app unless its giving them a major value. 

According to Think with Google, the average person has 35 apps installed on their phone and HALF of smartphone users find a new app through a recommendation from friends and family. 

Is your app useful enough to be one of those 35 apps and is it sticky enough that your users will tell their friends about it?

THREE: The percentage of mobile traffic on your website is low. 

Many businesses base their decision to go mobile on irrelevant statistics like, “70% of our customer demographic has a smartphone.” That’s not the kind of data that you should be evaluating. 

A strong data indicator that you should go mobile is how often are those users going to your website on a mobile device.

As a metric, you should be keeping track of how many times a customer is traveling to your site on a daily/weekly basis, and how often your customer is using a mobile device to do so. 

If you don’t have a site that gets a LOT of mobile traffic, and you have a big percentage of your customers as repeat viewers, an app isn’t for you. 

Instead, focus your energy boosting your site traffic and mobile conversion rates.

FOUR: Your app doesn’t serve a specific purpose.

Mobile apps are built to solve a specific problem or task. If your app doesn’t have a niche, it won’t be helpful let alone discoverable to users.

Right now as I write this, the Apple App Store has 2.2 million apps available for download. There are 2.8 million apps available for download on the Google Play Store.

Let that sink in. I don’t share this with you to discourage you but to give you an idea of the marketplace you’re entering. Does this app have a standalone purpose and an edge? Can your product compete with the other apps that pop up alongside yours? 

Your product must solve a real world problem in order to be valuable enough to not only warrant a download, but be opened up at least once a day.

FIVE: You don’t have an active list or subscriber group already.

Need some thoughts here….

SIX: You don’t have the time. 

Building an app is time consuming. If you don’t have the capability to invest a good chunk of your time, energy, and resources to the app development process, don’t do it. 

The average app takes at least YEARS to develop and YEARS to see a ROI that onsets initial development costs. 

Most people figure this out mid way and lose tons of money and time they could allocated and used somewhere else for their business.

SEVEN: You don’t have the budget. 

This is  the #1 reason you should not go mobile! Apps are expensive and they demand a flexible budget.

Most quality apps cost between $100,000 to $1,000,000. Some apps will be less and some more. If you're looking for an app built with great design, superior development, and clever marketing though, it will be somewhere in that range.

Building an app requires technical training and app developers are highly sought over in our ever digital landscape.

2.6 billion people are using smartphones and 87% of them always have their devices by their side — app developers are in high demand so they charge accordingly. 

Are you still here? If after hearing all the reasons I think you SHOULD NOT build an app, you still want to build one, then I want to talk with you. 

Click this link to get on my calendar and let’s hash it out. 

~ Austin

Austin Betzer
My only passion is helping others solve meaningful real-world problems. I will continue to do just that!

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