People have often said that if you move towards what you enjoy, you will automatically distance yourself from that which you dislike.
When you focus on what excites you, what makes you feel alive, and what you love it will always become a greater part of your life.
Well thats what I did. 5 years ago this January to be exact.
By saying goodbye to my web hosting and web design clients, I set out on the path of becoming the new owner of a mobile app development company.
Based in the middle of rural Ireland where a lot of businesses don’t even have websites let alone mobile apps, from the outside it may have appeared like a bit of a crazy manoeuvre.
But thats the joy of operating a software development company over the internet. With a decent enough broadband internet connection you can work from anywhere, and work for anyone.
That includes working with some of Ireland’s biggest brand names, and some of the worlds leading companies.
The experience I’ve gained has been invaluable and if anyone else was going to get into the mobile app business these are the 5 most important lessons I would like to impart.
Marketing and promotion are critical for your apps’ success.
If you neglect to plan for the marketing and promotion of your new app, you may as well give up before you even start.
With the hundreds of apps being released to the app stores everyday, it’s critical that a significant chunk of your planning and budget goes towards marketing and promoting that app.
As soon as people hear about the app, it’ll turn viral fairly quickly and their downloads (and bank balance) will sky rocket.
Unfortunately, it just doesn’t happen like that.
With the amount of apps being released to the app stores increasing exponentially there is just so much competition that to ignore your marketing plan is a death sentence for your app.
Plan your marketing at the same time as you start planning your app development. No matter how simple.
Budget for your marketing at the same time as you budget for your app. No matter how small.
Not all app ideas are worth pursuing.
This one may be a little harsh because nobody likes to hear that the idea they’ve come up with is actually very unlikely to succeed.
That the money they invest will more than likely be lost, and that they’ll end up spending a very stressful and un-productive 3-6 months of their life.
Even it is a very good idea for an app, if enough effort isn’t put into telling other people about it, or it doesn’t generate enough revenue to be sustainable there’s absolutely no point pursuing it.
According to VisionMobile Developers Economics report of Q3 2015 over 51% of app developers make less than €500 per month.
This means that most people who develop their own app are worse off after the process than when they begin. Most of them don’t even break even.
So when embarking on a mobile project, you need to be pretty sure that your idea is going to work. That people will use it, either out of necessity or fun.
And most importantly that you can happily cover the costs of development and marketing, either through an existing business, or a revenue generated from your app.
The best approach is always to keep things simple and release an MVP of your app before getting in too deep.
Funding is readily available for mobile projects.
Even in this current economic climate, there is a surprising amount of money being distributed for mobile apps, from both government agencies and private investors.
With the correct presentation, some form filling and a small amount of personal investment up front, there are Local Enterprise Office grants available which can kick start a very nicely developed app.
Depending on the location and the project, High Potential Startup funding from Enterprise Ireland may also be available which opens all kinds of doors, financial and otherwise.
It’s definitely worth taking the time to talk to a local LEO office and see what options they have. At the very least they can give advice on mentorship, or give advice on how to secure funding from other external sources.
You need to be fully committed to your project to have any chance of success.
If you’re hoping to shoot an iOS developer a loose idea for an app on a piece of paper, pay some cash up front and expect to be sent an exact replica of what’s in your head, you’d be sorely mistaken.
There are many stages to the overall development and launch process, not least of which is an initial requirements gathering and analysis.
This helps the client and the developer agree on what actually has to be done to ensure a succesfull delivery of the app.
The clients’ participcation doesn’t end there though, and throughout the project they must be an integral part of the overall development and review process.
Looking over early builds of the app, testing code, asking questions and providing feedback.
It’s an organic process.
The result of which is an app which merges the best of the clients ideas and imagination with the talent and technical ability of the developers.
There are still massive opportunities to be had in mobile apps.
For those with the right amount of focus, drive, determination and resources there are still many, many opportunities available in mobile apps.
From mobile payments, e-commerce, iBeacons, geo targeting, Apple Watches and Apple TV there are always new opportunties in mobile tech to avail of.
All it takes is the right idea, a small amount of funding and and a good app development company to help you reach your goals.
And that’s where we’ll be in another 5 years time. Keeping up with the latest changes in mobile and wearable technology.
Providing advice and services to those companies who need just a little bit of help along the way.