Consumers have become increasingly reliant on their smartphones. From ordering a coffee to booking a hotel room, there's an app that can make any task easier.

7.26 billion - that's the number of mobile phone users worldwide. And with such a large and growing market, many businesses are opting to develop their own mobile app.

And if you're considering doing the same, there are several things you need to take into account. There are almost 5 million apps in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. How will you make yours stand out? What features will you include?

Here are ten things to consider before developing your mobile app:

1. Purpose

Before you start developing your app, it's important to have a clear understanding of its purpose. What need does it address? What problem does it solve?

Your app should offer value to users and be something they'll want to use. Spend time researching your competition and seeing what they're doing right (and wrong).

2. Target market

Who is your app for? After identifying your target market, you can tailor the app's features and design to appeal to that particular group.

Think about what demographics you're targeting and what would appeal to them. For example, if your app is for a younger audience, you might want to include social media sharing features. You might want to focus on productivity-boosting features if it's for business professionals.

3. Platform

One of the initial decisions you'll need to make is which platform to develop your app for - Android or iOS?

Compared to iOS, Android has a much larger global market share, so if you want to reach the widest possible audience, Android app development is the way to go. However, iOS users are generally more affluent than Android users, so if your target market is people with high disposable incomes, iOS might be a better choice.

4. Cost

When deciding whether to proceed with the project or not, you must take the development costs into account. Developing a high-quality app can be costly.

You must also consider how you will generate revenue from your app. Will you charge for downloads? Include in-app purchases? Advertisements?

5. Timeline

Developing a successful app takes time, so you'll need patience and manage your expectations accordingly.

It's essential to set realistic timelines for each stage of the development process and factor in potential delays. It's better to launch an app that's complete and polished, even if it's a little later than you originally planned than to rush the development and end up with a buggy, unfinished product.

6. Features

What features will your app include? When determining which features to include, it's important to strike a balance between too many and too few.

Your app should have enough features to be useful and offer value to users, but not so many that it's overwhelming or difficult to use. Think about which features are necessary and which can be cut.

7. Design

Your app's design is one of the most important factors in its success. Users should be able to swiftly browse your app and quickly find the information they need.

The design should also be visually appealing and consistent with your brand identity. Creating a beautiful, user-friendly design is essential for a successful app.

8. User experience

A positive user experience is essential for a successful app. Your app should be easy to use and offer value to users.

To ensure a positive user experience, you'll need to test your app thoroughly during the development process and ensure all the bugs are ironed out before launch. Pay close attention to feedback from testers and make changes accordingly.

9. Marketing

You can't simply launch your app and expect people to find it. You must market your app effectively to reach your target audience.

There are several ways to market your app, including paid advertising, social media marketing, and PR. Be certain you have a solid marketing plan before launching your app.

10. Maintenance

Are you prepared to commit the time and resources necessary to properly maintain your app?

Once your app is launched, regularly update it to ensure it remains compatible with the latest operating system versions and devices. You'll also need to monitor user feedback and address any issues that arise.

Developing a mobile app can be a great way to reach new customers and generate additional revenue for your business. But it's crucial to do your research and plan carefully before you get started.

By taking the time to consider each of the factors listed above, you'll be in a much better position to develop a successful mobile app.