What to consider when starting to build an app for your business
Developing your app-based business in Bubble is a great way to build your MVP and grow your business idea quickly. Bubble makes it easy for non-developers to build apps using a visual programming language that provides an interactive environment. Though Bubble is relatively easy to use, making sure your app can meet your customers' needs and grow with your business means that most entrepreneurs will need help at some stage. Support can come in several forms, including using templates and plug-ins, working with freelancers, and engaging with a no-code collective or agency.
Growing your new app-based dream business is an exciting time, though it can be challenging to know where to start. Most people developing a new idea start with an MVP, Minimal Viable Product, which is the most basic form of an app designed to test customer interactions.
To find out more about developing an MVP, check out our blog How to plan your Minimum Viable Product.
At Erised, we like to work with Bubble to develop MVPs. Bubble offers a visual programming language environment that allows users to work with pre-built code blocks, like building with Lego. Bubble also have pre-built templates and plug-ins that can be customised quickly. Bubble is quick, cost-effective, and allows for changes without the need of changing code, meaning that MVP can be built, tested, and iterated in a few weeks.
To find out more about the benefits of working with Bubble, check out our blog What is Bubble, and what are the benefits of using it?
Building your MVP, testing it, and taking on feedback is a necessary process to make sure you develop an app that your customers will love. And Bubble offers an environment that is reasonably easy to work with if you have experience working in Microsoft Excel, though there still is a learning curve. However, it can be challenging for many entrepreneurs to get a working app that can handle a growing business.
There are three main ways to get help:
1. Use template and plug-ins where possible
Make sure to check out available templates and plug-ins available online through Bubble Marketplaces and from online Bubble communities. This can cut down development time while still allowing for customisation.
Since Bubble works on a freemium model, it is possible to build an MVP for free or the cost of a basic subscription. There are also free and low-cost templates and plug-ins that help simplify the building process.
Like developing websites and other online applications, building a good looking, well functioning, and scalable app can be complicated. If you are just starting with Bubble and building apps, getting a quality MVP developed can be challenging.
For those struggling or not interested in developing their app, help is available. The two most common types of help you can get are hiring a freelancer to create parts of your app or working with a collective or agency.
2. Working with a freelancer
Hiring a freelancer to complete specific development aspects of your app can be a handy and cost-effective way to get ad hoc help as you need it. Freelancers can be found easily with communities like UpWork and hire directly through the platform.
If you are hiring a freelancer, make sure you are clear on your requirements. Since they are only involved in a small aspect of your project, it can be difficult to articulate your requirements unless you are very clear on your needs.
Some entrepreneurs will want more support as they are not interested in developing their apps. For them, the choice is between hiring help that works with either No-Code or with traditional coding.
3. Working with a collective or agency
Working with a collective or agency is a great way to get digital support all the way through your product development process. Collectives and agencies typically offer project management, strategy, and other support.
Working with a collective or agency is the most expensive way to work with No-Code, though it could have cost savings in the long run as time isn't wasted on struggling or developing the wrong strategy.
From experience working in this space, here are a handful of lessons learned from working with MVP and No-Code.
- If you can, get help early. Development takes time, and if you don't have experience with No-Code, there is a learning curve. Being a busy entrepreneur means that you don't have a lot of time, and it's essential to get help where you can. By getting help from either freelancers or a collaborative, you can save yourself the time to take care of the details. By getting help, you can tap into expertise that you may not have, such as development and strategy, technical problem-solving, and project management.
- Make sure your MVP is just enough to get your first customers. You don't need to spend a lot of time and effort on design and extras at this stage.
- Keep in mind your user journey from day one. Even if you are building the most basic product for your MVP, you should focus on your customers. Getting feedback through user testing is important, don't wait to have a finished product before you start asking your network to test and use early versions of your app.
- Don't fall for positive feedback from friends and family, you need critical feedback from would-be customers to help you hone your offering.
- Even though you need to think about your first few customers, it's also essential to consider future scalability as you develop your MVP.
Developing your MVP using No-Code tools like Bubble can be simplified using templates and plug-ins. However, it's good to know what alternative help is available. Getting help early will save time, frustration, and money in the long run, especially with expert help that can provide strategy and project management.