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The 4 Top Custom Mobile App Development Services for Startups

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Milo Mobile helps mid-size companies and mobile developers of all skill levels navigate the tech “Sea of Knowledge” through mentorship, education, and custom mobile-focused solutions.

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Here's an obvious statement: in today's digital environment, chances are your startup needs a mobile app. After all, mobile apps are expected to surpass a global revenue of $500 billion, thanks in part to more than 6 billion smartphone users around the world--more than 75% of the global population.

At the same time, you have to go beyond the obvious. Simply building a mobile app is not good enough to drive your smartphone strategy to success in what has quickly become one of the most competitive environments in the digital space. You need the right mobile app, and the right mobile app is not necessarily easy to build.

It's about more than just throwing some code at the wall and hoping it sticks. It's about creating an app that's right for your audience and competitive environment. That means focusing on developing services that begin long before the build and reach far beyond the launch date. 

Understanding these development services is vital for long-term, sustainable success. Your audience, environment, and business structure dictates which type or types of mobile app development you need. It's the only way to make sure that the finished product helps you grow your business and revenue.

Why the Right Mobile App Matters in Today's Digital Environment

Yes, you need a mobile app. But the more important question is what do you want your mobile app to achieve? The ugly truth is that the average smartphone user downloads 0 apps in a given month. Moreover, a full quarter of downloaded apps are only opened once before they're ignored or deleted.

Building an app with the sole goal of downloads won’t lead to a tangible business impact. You must engage your users and address their pain points while prompting them to come back to the app over and over again. 

That's especially true for startups, who have to compete against more well-established brands in a crowded space. Your app can only succeed if it has a clear value proposition that aligns with audience needs and if everything about it follows through on that value proposition. 

What Type of App Development is Right for You?

The value proposition defines what type of mobile app you need to succeed. But it only begins to address the types of development services you'll need to build that app.

Some businesses have the luxury of a full-stack tech team that can build and maintain a great mobile app in-house. Most startups, of course, are not that lucky. They're more likely to fall into one of two categories:

  • A small internal tech team can take on some of the development but needs external help to fill the holes--like outsourcing the execution to a development partner dedicated to Android development.
  • No tech team at all, requiring an external partner who can walk them through the entire process of designing, developing, releasing, and maintaining a mobile app.

Most startups fall into the second category. They need help in every phase of the development process, requiring the right partner with comprehensive expertise. That, in turn, requires finding a partner that covers all of the four top development service types in a way that's optimized for long-term audience satisfaction and business success.

What to Look for When Browsing Mobile App Development Services as a Startup

Before even diving into the expertise you need in each type of development service, you need to know what kind of partner to look for. That process is nuanced, covering a wide range of areas:

  • Extensive experience in mobile app development, specifically the service areas in which you need help.
  • Patience and strategic expertise to develop an app that's best for the customers and the business instead of simply checking off tasks that the business has asked for.
  • A customized approach that matches core audience and business needs, rather than a templated approach that's applied to every project.
  • Complete transparency throughout the process.

Related: The Complete Guide for How to Choose a Mobile App Development Company

Think about it as a strategic partnership full of give and take. You might have an idea of what your business needs, but you also have to be able to trust your development partner to follow audience preferences and trends. It's the only way to build an app that can reliably help your startup grow and succeed. 

4 Custom Mobile App Development Services for Startups: What You Will Need

With the preamble out of the way, it's time to dive into the details. Consider these the four most important custom mobile app development services your startup needs as it grows its online presence.

1. Pre-Development Services

It all starts with strategy. As with any core business project, you have to make sure that you have the theoretical aspects of the project right before anyone even thinks about starting to code.

That begins with the discovery process. Here, the developer learns about your budget and business needs along with anything you know about your audience. They'll add their own audience and industry expertise to the equation, as well. A thorough discovery process leads to a strategic approach and definition of what the app will be that everyone can get on board with and understand.

That strategy, in turn, moves into the early design process. Still part of pre-development, it's the process of designing low-fidelity wireframes and outlining the tech stack needed to build the app. You might even get a click-through prototype to start exploring what the app might look like.

Of course, audience research is part of that equation as well. Early prototypes are run through rigorous user testing to make sure the app-to-be solves core user needs and pain points. This allows you to eliminate as many question marks as possible before the actual development process begins. 

2. App Development Services

This phase encompasses the pieces most startups will directly associate with mobile app development. It focuses on building the infrastructure of the app in a way that meets business needs and exceeds audience expectations.

Consider, for example, the importance of building a design that's focused on optimal user experience (UX). More than half of all consumers say that a bad mobile experience makes them lose faith in a company, while nearly 40% will stop interacting with it altogether. As a startup without established brand equity, you do not have the luxury of failing that first impression.

App development services in this sector, then, focus specifically on UX and UI (user interface) design. Experience connects with ongoing testing to ensure that the app being built matches and exceeds what your audience is looking for in an app.

Your audience will also dictate the environment in which the app is built. Creating native mobile apps requires in-depth expertise in the platform for which the app is optimized, whether that be Android or Apple. Comprehensive backend development ensures that the final product holds up to its initial promise, for both the business and its future users. 

3. App Release Services

What happens when your mobile app is complete? The truth is that it might not actually be final yet. As you prepare for its release, every app can benefit from a final round of quality assurance (QA) testing.

According to one study, the single biggest reason why users deleted an app after first installing it was a crash or installation error. QA testing minimizes that potential issue by finding errors and fixing potential bugs that could ruin the experience for your audience. Even the best app in theory will not be used if it doesn't work right in practice.

The best app release services don't end there, though. You might need additional visual assets that represent your mobile app in the app store and align with any promotional tactics you're using at launch. The launch date itself will be important to coordinate with other internal plans to ensure it goes as smoothly as possible. 

This is where the importance of partnership once again enters the equation.

Good app release services will establish a QA routine designed to get the technical pieces of your app right. Great app release partners go a step beyond that, adding close coordination with your startup in every aspect of the release. This maximizes the attention your app gets at launch and gets its usage off to a great start with your audience.

4. App Maintenance Services

The best mobile apps aren't launched once and then forgotten. Even if that initial experience is great, it will only lead to short-term engagement. Over time, your audience will expect their experience to improve in both a technical and UX sense. Here, app maintenance services in the form of ongoing support become absolutely vital.

On a technical level, the right service partner continues to run QA tests to fix bugs and ensure that the experience runs smoothly, from first download to continuous use. But it also extends to developing new features that could expand the use case of the app for your audience. 

Related: 10 Reasons While Mobile App Maintenance is Important

After your app launches, you'll continue to gain insights into your audience based on how they use your app. The right app maintenance ensures that these insights lead to action, fixing potential issues they’re reporting and turning the app into an even more fulfilling experience over time.

Of course, your startup may grow to a point where your own developers can take over the maintenance process. In that case, an external partner should work closely with your in-house tech team to coordinate a smooth handoff and ensure ongoing support from the moment it happens.

Creating a Custom Mobile App that Matches Your Business and Audience Needs

As a startup, you might need any or all of the above development services as you plan, build, launch, and maintain your app. Regardless of which services you need, the key is always finding a partner that can customize each service specifically for your business and audience needs.

They should be "all in" for your best interests, even if you don't always realize what those best interests are. That means not just saying yes to your every request, but providing guidance and pushing back where the data and experience suggests an alternative path, helping you evaluate to find the right one.

Regardless of the development services you need to create a mobile app for your startup, Milo Mobile can help. Our approach to mobile app development is specifically designed to help in the unique situation many startups find themselves in. Ready to learn more? Book a free 30-minute session with Milo Mobile today.

Related Contents

The 4 Top Custom Mobile App Development Services for Startups

The 4 Top Custom Mobile App Development Services for Startups

The 4 Top Custom Mobile App Development Services for Startups

The 4 Top Custom Mobile App Development Services for Startups

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