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21% of millennials open any type of mobile app more than fifty times every day. A smartphone owner uses 30 apps every month. People have a lot of apps on their phones, and at the same time, they are always looking for better ones. Google Play Store and Apple App Store respectively have 2.8 million and 2.2 million applications available for download.
Reports like these indicate that apps run the internet world. Humans are very much accustomed to the internet, and the internet needs applications to be of any use. Play Store itself is an app. Your phone’s camera is controlled by an app. With global smartphone users skyrocketing, every primary service on the worldwide network, including Google, Facebook and Twitter, needs applications to stay relevant to its users.
The app business is expected to become a $189 billion industry by the end of 2020. The good thing about this business is that there is always room for innovation – voids in the form of people’s problems that developers can fill in with their codes. App creators can still be imaginative, answering to the user’s unique requirements. And the time to start an app business is now.
How Do I Start An App Business?
Since we are talking about a well-managed professional business, we will be discussing both app creation and registering your business entity.
Step 1: Develop a Business Plan
In the app business, there are typically two business models for app developers:
- Create a General-Purpose Application and Become a Seller
- Build Applications for Clients
Coding Applications Directly for Users
It is tough to figure out what new apps users need but creating apps for users will reap plenty of rewards if your apps are wildly successful. For it to work, you need to have a unique application plan and work on problems that have never been solved before. Every world-class application, such as Facebook and Whatsapp, took this approach and now they are top-rated apps.
It is not only about building applications, but you can also create games that are fun to play. Here is an article on how to be a game developer.
Once you have built an app, you will need to make money with it. We have everything about making money with apps in another article on our site: How To Make Money from an App?
Making Applications for Clients
It is simpler to make this idea work if you have the necessary connections, and excellent pitching and negotiating skills. In this approach, you open an app development company that helps others with creating their apps.
You accept projects. Your service seekers can be both individuals and corporations. You complete the application and charge the amount depending on the app and the time it took you to develop it.
If projects are not coming your way, you will need to start pitching to prospective clients. It means looking for companies in your niche that don’t have an app and telling them that you can build it for them. You could also analyze someone’s apps and approach them with ideas to make it better. All you need to do is keep the work and money flowing so your company (and you) can stay afloat.
In many cases, companies do both – helping other firms or individuals build their app, and at the same time, upload their own applications in popular application stores.
Step 2: Assemble the Skills
Build the App Yourself
If you are planning to run a one-person business, you can create your own mobile applications. Here are the steps to building an app:
Choose the Platform
You can either create a native or a cross-platform app. You need to specialize in at least one platform (operating system), which can be iOS, Android, or others.
Learn a Programming Language
Design an App Framework and Build the App
Designing an app framework takes into consideration the above two steps (selecting your preferred platform and applying your coding skills).
Your application should give its users value. It should solve a problem to be download-worthy. You should spend some time researching the market and looking for opportunities. Don’t just learn coding skills and jump right into making something that already exists in Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.
To know more about starting an app development career, you can read this: How to Be a Mobile App Developer.
You don’t necessarily need to be adept in coding to start an app business. If you have a sustainable idea but don’t have the skills, you can hire coders to do the work for you. Hiring app developers will obviously cost you money. Tip: if you are starting an app business, it will be better for you to hire app developers who can work long-term instead of freelancers because you will need to update your apps regularly.
Step 3: Register a Company
After designing a viable plan and hiring your workforce, the next step is to register a company. Regardless of your location, these are the basic types of companies:
A sole proprietorship is a single-person company. This person owns the business and has the rights to all its profits and assets. He or she will be liable for all debts and losses incurred.
If you are planning to run a freelance app development business alone, you may not necessarily need a company. But if you want to operate your business professionally, you should register a business. It increases your authority and will make it easier for you to find new business opportunities.
A partnership is similar to a sole proprietorship, only that multiple partners are running the company. In most jurisdictions, the number of partners can be between 0 to 20. Like a sole proprietorship, a partnership doesn’t stand as a separate legal entity.
There are two types of partnership:
- General Partnership: Every partner makes an equal contribution (investment) and has the rights to key decisions of the business
- Limited Partnership: In a limited partnership, some partners don’t invest as much as the others. Thus, their roles in decision-making will be limited. Their share of the profits depends on the agreement set out by all the partners.
A limited company is a proper office and it stands as a separate legal entity. There are two types of limited companies.
Companies Limited by Shares
Shares run the company. No one has ownership of the company, and the shareholders will only be liable through their shareholding. The board of directors and/or the senior leadership team of the company make the business decisions.
In jurisdictions around the world, there may be rules for a minimum share capital in order to register a company limited by shares. It is the amount of money a company raises through issued shares.
There are two types of companies limited by shares:
Private Limited Company
In a private limited company, there are “private” shareholders, and the company’s shares are not open to the public. Only the shareholders can buy and sell shares among themselves.
Public Listed Company
These are established companies where the public can buy and trade its available shares on a stock exchange.
Companies Limited By Guarantee
A company Limited by Guarantee isn’t really a favorable type of entity for a business wanting to make money. It is best suited for non-profit organizations because isn’t a share capital or shareholders. Rather, these companies have guarantors, who pledge and contribute money to keep them running.
Step 4: Get the Necessary Licenses
This depends on the nature of your app business and how you are trying to close transactions. Some of the common business licenses that your app business may require include Home Occupation Permits (for Sole Proprietorship), Building Permits, Sales Tax Permits, Withholding Tax registration and Zoning Permits.
Step 5: Promote Your App Business
After you have figured out what and how to sell, and all the legal processes are complete, the next step is promoting your company. This is where many businesses struggle. However, with the Internet, it is not as difficult to market your company and brand as compared to the pre-Internet days.
You can do various things like creating a website, investing in SEO and internet marketing, partnering with other applications, taking advantage of Social Media Marketing, and many more. There are also some very concrete steps like creating a value proposition and working on reviews.
Mobile app marketing is a whole new specialization area, and we have another piece on our website, The Developer’s Guide To Mobile App Marketing In 2020, to guide you.
In a world run by technology, the mobile app business is one of the most promising ventures with the potential to change the world. To start one, you should have a viable business plan, gather skillful individuals who can code, and then register your business. After that, you can start looking for clients, eventually elevating your popularity to the point that others look for your service.
It may take some time for you to master mobile app development, running and promoting a business, but the field has many surprises waiting for those who are willing to put in the necessary hard work.