The whole world relies on technology in the modern age, and the use of apps on computers and smartphones has sky-rocketed in the last few decades. Everyone has used at least one app to make their life easier at some point, whether it’s sharing messages and media with friends and followers or ordering takes out on a Friday night. With there being such a huge demand for apps, it’s not a bad idea to use your knowledge as a developer to start a company dedicated to producing new apps for businesses and consumers. If this is something that has crossed your mind, below is a brief guide highlighting a few important steps you will need to take to make your app development company a success.
Huge demand for app development naturally means a lot of competition, so the first step you will need to take is carrying out some thorough market research. Any kind of business needs to do this before they develop business plans. This will help determine where your company will fit into the market and how you can make yourself stand apart from other businesses doing the same thing as you. It will also help you to better understand consumer patterns and past, current, and upcoming trends, all of which is valuable information that you can utilize to develop your business.
When you’re satisfied with your market research, you can move on to thinking more in-depth about your business as a whole. The information you gathered during your research should be used to help you decide exactly what clients your company is going to cater to. For example, are you going to develop apps for other businesses? Are you going to develop apps to release directly to consumers, like games, for example? If the latter, how much are you going to charge users, and will there be a free or limited use version where they can upgrade to the full package?
In addition to deciding exactly what kind of development company you will be, you should also think about your short-term and long-term goals and find realistic estimates or definitive overhead costs to include in your plan. You should also make estimations of what your profits are going to look like in your first year of trading and how you intend to market your apps and business brand to your target audience.
You might have some money saved up to invest in your new start-up, which is great, but more often than not, new businesses need financial backing either in the form of a business loan from a bank or a private investor. You will likely be subjected to credit checks before anyone signs off on giving you a loan, so make sure your credit score is a healthy one before you start making applications. You will also need to present your completed business plan to a bank or investor to determine whether they believe your company is viable. In some cases, you may be an ideal candidate for a grant scheme, so think about researching these alternative options for financial support either in addition to your loan or instead of one.
You must have something to present to potential clients, so make sure you have a quality portfolio you can present to them. Whether it’s development projects you have worked on in previous employment (always check with your previous employer if they are OK with this), things you worked on in college, or other projects you have done in your spare time, they can all help to form an impressive portfolio to show your clients. If you’re going to hire employees to become part of the team, perhaps even use some of their best work to showcase as a collective portfolio, too.
Every business needs a website, and this is where you should be showing at least a few samples from your portfolio. In addition to this, your website should include information about your company, yourself, and have relevant contact details or direct messaging service in place. Add a blog page where you can keep clients or site visitors updated with company news or share relevant articles to app development, tech, and whatever industry you’re focusing on (e.g., gaming). You can use website builders online to create your company website, but if you want something more bespoke or simply want to outsource this task to give yourself more time to focus on other things, look at hiring website developers like this WordPress design agency instead.
Marketing strategies are essential to every business, and you should never cut corners when developing your campaigns. Use social media as a basic market tool for your new app development company, and link your accounts to your website to increase traffic and visibility. SEO tactics and PPC advertising is another affordable marketing route you can follow, which is ideal for new businesses running on a smaller budget than larger corporations. You should also look at hiring a professional marketing agency to help you with your strategies if you can afford it, as they will have more time to dedicate to your campaigns, better resources, and expertise. They can also help you to develop and strengthen your business brand to help it stand out.
Data protection is a hot topic right now, and so it should be. If the apps your developing are going to use user data in any way, you need to familiarize yourself with data protection laws and what your responsibilities are. You should also look into your rights over intellectual property, how to trademark your company, and any other legal obligations you will face as a business owner and app developer.
Hire the Right Team
As a small business, you might not be able to hire a big team of developers in the beginning, but you will still need help to get things off the ground. You might be better off hiring freelance developers in the early stages of your business to help your complete projects or outsource certain tasks. At the same time, you manage everything else, but it will depend on your budget and how much that freelancer charges for their time. If you do have the budget to hire a small in-house team, make sure you’re finding the right people for the job. They need to be passionate about what your business does, but they should also have good work experience on their resume. You should consider setting up tests as part of the recruitment process to determine how skilled they are for the role, as this will help you narrow down your search.
Finally, app development and tech are constantly evolving, so make sure you’re keeping yourself up to date with the latest news in this industry, and continue to fine-tune your skillset as a developer. Seek further training opportunities for yourself and your employees to make sure the whole team is working at their best.
Starting an app development company could be an exciting venture for an entrepreneur with the right skill set, but there is a lot of competition. While a lot more goes into building a company, use this basic guide as a starting point to help you progress your plans for a successful app development business.