So, you have an idea for a new app that you think is going to be helpful to its owners and will, hopefully, make you a gazillion dollars. Well, there are millions of apps out there, maybe even billions, so there’s that. But no one thought Facebook would become what it became, and who could have known that iTunes would become the music center of the entire globe.
Guide Me through Development
But if you truly think your idea is good, here is a list of suggestions to help you get your app written, tested, purchased and sold:
All new ideas are just that. They have not actualized; they are simply ideas, thoughts, musings. Sharing your app idea may be something you relish, or it could be something you abhor. Maybe you are worried someone might steal your idea if you share it with them, and that’s a real bummer because, ahem, you want input, right?
- The first step is to talk with someone who has a record of successfully creating and selling an app.
- Make sure you know why you want to develop this app. Decide whether the app is intended for revenue, learning, reaching a large buyer base, obtaining leads, engaging an audience, or other reasons. You need to establish the “why” before you can know which way to go with your idea.
- Now the “what” becomes critical. What problems are you attempting to solve with this app? Is this problem already being solved successfully? Who are you targeting? Do you know how to start from nothing or very little?
- Now comes the market research which are dirty words to creatives. This means eventually you are going to have to convince people to buy your app. That’s right, you will have to communicate with many people. Research means looking at who is doing what you want to do and how they are doing? What is trending and will it still be on top of the wave tomorrow? Do you have a “secret sauce?” What are you going to bring to the table?
- Research your peers’ apps and discern their competitive advantage. How can you do it better than they are now? Remember, everything old is new again at some point.
- If possible, test your idea with a low-risk investment prototype. Get input, change the prototype, repeat. Begin to think like a potential user, not the lazy, no-good, dreamer you are. Take advice. Don’t be sensitive to critiques. Iterate!
(Note: If you’re not a programmer, you can pay someone to write it for you. You will have to negotiate proprietary rights, of course.)
Creating an App Store Listing
This part is easy-peasy. Go to this site and follow the directions.
Get Your App Featured
If your app is worthy and high-quality, and it mimics the Apple design, that helps.
Featured apps are chosen weekly by local app store editors.
Make the first iteration of your app iOS, which illustrates your Apple loyalty. Make your app universal and reeking with Apple’s latest features. Localizing your app means locals will be likely choose it.
- update for holidays
- model your listing page to the Apple standards
- use an Apple device in your promotion
- send your app to tech blogs
- make Apple your new best friend, in general
- appeal to your niche
Selling your App
As most business owners know, you calculate how much your company, in this case, your app, cost you to develop. You must consider:
• your net cash flow (all the cash your app has generated [including downloads] minus related expenses [updating and maintaining the app, licensing,app store fees, etc.])
• establish what your app is worth (find a formula here)
• sell it (get exposure, promote your listing, negotiate, sell)
Some of the old clichés are surprisingly right on target.
- For example, tell the truth. If you mislead a potential buyer your integrity is compromised and that could result in losing the deal.
- Be honest about your profits. The buyer will appreciate that and will have a heads-up for avoiding whatever it was that made you have a couple of bad months.
- Have the paperwork to back up all your data. This is a business deal, not a dumpster-dive.
Yes, from beginning to end, coming up with a good app idea is a long way from making money from your app. For those who have had a successful run, it was all worth it. For those who gave up before really trying, get back on that horse!