Do you have an idea for a killer app that solves a problem or entertains in a unique way? When you first consider creating your own app, you may be intimidated by how daunting the task seems. Learning code is a serious endeavor, but according to an article published on, you can learn sufficient code to create basic programs in about three months if you have enough drive and passion for it. Courses, boot camps, and online tutorials can teach you the fundamentals of languages like Python, Java, PHP, and Swift, the most commonly used in app development. There are open-source sites with robust online communities that can test your code, offer suggestions for edits, and share templates to help you get off the ground.

What if you just want to see your app come to life without going through the effort of becoming a developer? Fortunately, there are solutions for that. Companies like Boost Labs focus entirely on creating applied data solutions for their clients. That means you can find a developer willing to help you create your app from start to finish. However, unless you have mega-dollars to throw at development with no consideration about return on your investment, then you still have work to do. Here are five steps you need to take to get your dream app up and running:

1. Define the Problem

This seems like a no-brainer but sitting down and outlining the basics of the problem you want to solve and goals you want to achieve with the creation of your app, will help you nail down important details about the features you want to highlight. Write down your problem and everything that goes into solving it. If you have a game in mind, you may think there is no problem to solve. But your game solves the problem of wanting to be entertained. Document all the ways your game will entertain its users.

2. Research the Market and Identify Your Audience

Developing an app can become expensive. Even if you do not invest money in a developer, it is almost impossible to avoid spending money throughout the creation process. Plus, on average, creating a quality app takes four to six months—if you already know code. You do not want to invest such a significant amount of time, effort, and possibly money, if there is no market for your product. Do not be discouraged if something has already been done or if it seems there is no market for your idea. The trick is to identify who you want to reach with your product and find the spin that resonates.

3. Create a Rough Outline of How Your App Will Work

We all have the ability to create grand fantasies in our heads, but using a pen and paper will help you see where you can make improvements in your process. Visualizing your idea can bring to light issues you may have missed when the app concept was merely frolicking through your mind. Write down exactly what a user will experience, step-by-step, from start to finish. If you are any good at design, give the User Interface (layout, look, and feel of the app) a try. Play around with where buttons go and how they look. Will you include graphics? If so, sketch it into your plan.

4. Choose a Developer

This may be the most nerve-wracking part of your process. You started with a dream, researched everything about it including steps to take, cost, and market. You sketched it out and have goosebumps over how awesome it will be when your idea becomes a reality. Now it is time to hand your well-developed project over and pay someone to take it to the next level. There are plenty of resources online that will give you key points to consider when deciding who to go with. Take time to do your research and think it through.

5. Market, Market, Market

You can monetize your app by charging for the basic download or add-on options, selling ad space, or selling some of the data you collect from your users. If you want to turn a profit, you need to get people to download your app. The challenge in this is getting your app seen among the overwhelming number of competing apps on the market. The Android app store currently offers about 2.5 million apps for download. Apple is not far behind, with the iOS app store carrying 2.2 million apps. Social media like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter is a place to start. You can also create a well-designed website so that people searching online for a solution to their problem will find it in your app. App advertising specialists can help you target your audience and reach a greater volume if you are not particularly savvy in the marketing arena, and some developers offer this service in their package. If your app becomes popular and you keep it relevant with updates and new features, you can enjoy residual income for years into the future.