What Kind of Lead Time Do You Need for Your App?

In an earlier email, I talked about the process for getting apps approved for sale in each of the two main app stores. It only takes about 24 hours to get approved by GooglePlay but for iTunes it can take anywhere from 10 days to several weeks.

That, of course, is on top of the time it takes for us to develop the app, which can vary from 4-8 weeks depending on the time of year (spring is our busiest season).

All of which begs the question: How much lead time do you need to develop an app for your club or tournament?

Well, it does depend on the kind of app. We do a lot of soccer club apps during the winter months so that clients can have them in time for the spring season, which typically starts in March. I prefer to have them in the app stores well before that, though, so that clubs can use player registration night as a big promotion for the app.

This also allows plenty of time for attracting sponsors, getting familiar with the editing tools, and getting it downloaded onto as many phones as possible before the season starts.

That said, we’ve also done apps during the summer so that they could be ready in time for the fall season. And of course, for winter sports, like Hockey and Basketball, all of those timelines get adjusted accordingly.

If your club runs its own tournament, we suggest your tournament app should be live in the app stores a minimum of two months before the event kicks off, and ideally 4-5 months.

Bottom line, get your app published as far in advance of when you’ll need it as you can. Don’t call up a developer a month or two before the start of the season or your tournament and expect to have it ready in time. Even if it’s possible to do it, you won’t enjoy the process and you may not be happy with the end results either.

An app is a critical part of your branding. It shouldn’t be rushed and, even when it’s finished, you’ll need to allow a lot of time to market it to your audience.