App Startup Idea? 11 Things to Think About…

With every app comes a number of important factors to consider, some being obvious and some not. Missing some of these steps can make or break your new idea/company before it even gets off the ground. Here are 11 summarized things to consider and take note of.

1. Does your idea have potential?
Everyone gets excited once that golden opportunity comes to mind, it’s completely normal, but it is important to think and plan it through properly. Products/Apps that provide a solution to real problems or fill a gap in the market always find some form of success if done correctly.  It is normal and natural to first approach and “bounce” the idea off that honest friend who is not afraid to tell it as he/she sees it. Bare in mind someone who doesn’t understand the industry or the market you are targeting can give you irrelevant feedback so step 2 is to talk to a consultant who can challenge your idea and give you some guidance whether or not it’s worth pursuing further.

2. Does your Idea have a market?
Before you start your conversation with an App developer, make sure both parties sign a confidentiality agreement and make sure you keep the original. Having an idea is one thing, knowing that there is a market who would actually hop on and use the Product/app is a whole different ballgame. Make sure you ask the target market if they would use and/or pay for a service you intend to offer but make sure you don’t give away too much. (Protect your idea)

3. Does your app idea already exist in the marketplace?
85% of the ideas we hear day to day has already been developed to some extent and is published in the app stores. What do you do if your idea is already out on the market? Grab a pen and paper and take notes of all the things that app does well and all the things it does horribly wrong, read the reviews and make sure you take note of all the requests from users and try to add it in your app. Did you know that Uber was not the first Ride Sharing app in the app store? This gave them the ability to mold their whole service to directly compete with the existing services in the market who didn’t get the fundamentals right so they were able to enter the market with a strong product and marketing strategy.

4. Is your idea even possible to develop?
It’s important to understand the limitations of the operating systems you intend to develop for. For example, you’re not able to develop an app that can control the majority of the settings of an iPhone due to the sandbox environment apple provides to developers to work in. So be sure to get some guidance regarding the technical requirements for your app.

5. How will your idea make money?
There is a range of different ways to monetize an app so it’s important to know what your options are before settling on a particular method.

-Sponsors and Partnerships
-Upfront Purchase Fee
-In-App Purchases
-Subscription Model

Do your research and get feedback from someone who understands the industry.  Every method has their own Pro’s and Con’s, so it’s important to weigh these up and compare it to your target market and their spending behaviors.

6. How are you going to market your product/app?
Having the best app in the world would mean nothing if no one knows it exists. Before you start developing the app, know how you are going to market it. Sometimes this could change the functionality of the app to include social sharing features, so it is best to identify your strategy from an early stage. Create a budget and make sure you keep that aside for when you want to start building an audience. Never be shy to ask and make use of the App developer’s experience when it comes to these budgets.

7. Does your idea break any laws or put people at risk?
Usually it is pretty easy to identify the right from the wrong, but if you are not sure get some legal advice from someone who specializes in the market you are targeting. For example, if you intend to sell property through the app, do you need a real estate license? If you identify the risks early on you should be able to structure the app to reduce your risk and not break any laws.

8. How do you structure your company for long-term growth and reduced risk in case of a lawsuit.
Always think about the “What if”.. structure your company so it is easy to scale if you have the option to do so.  Easy to sell if a larger company wants to Acquire your startup, and easy to protect, if you have a client that had a bad experience with the app. We highly recommend talking to a lawyer before you set up your company structure. If you don’t know who to talk to, give us a call.

9. How are you going to fund the development and marketing budgets?
Do you need to find an investor or can you fund it on your own?
  This depends on your whole going to market strategy and development plan. Funding a project yourself may be risky, but we have found initial self-funded projects have a higher success rate. If you intend to look for investors we recommend you read our last blog post “How to Find an Investor for your App Startup”.

10. How do you protect your own assets for the worst possible scenarios?
If you have a good accountant, they would have already asked you this question and proposed establishing a trust. This is an extremely detailed process, but we highly recommend looking into it. This will add an extra layer of protection for the worst case scenarios.

11. Who is developing your app? Are you learning to cut code to develop the app on your own?
There are a number of options available, each with their own pros and cons again, so it is important to know what you want and need.

  • Developing the app yourself: Great idea if you are an experienced developer, but don’t quit your day job until you know you have a guaranteed source of funding or revenue. Also, keep in mind that you may have some tunnel vision.  So surround yourself with people who can bring your attention to the things you are not thinking of.
  • Outsourcing: This is can be a risky path to take, but it can be the most cost-effective, but this option does open up more risk in the form of scammers. We recommend this route only if you have the ability to read your developers code and can understand it in order for you to know they are doing the job which you are paying for.
  • Local development firm: Using a local development firm may cost you a little more but you’ll have a much better chance of success. An Established app development firm has a reputation to uphold, portfolio to build and experience in the marketplace so you know you will get a good result. Local development firms would also have resources to help you with Legal advice, accounting, seed funding and their business is to develop apps so they are up to date with all the latest trends and technology.

    So simply get the correct advice before you start taking on this new and exciting venture. The Sydney Startup community is an amazing community to be apart of, so take advantage and ask questions. If you don’t know who to talk to, pop over an email and we will be happy to point you in the right direction or sit down and chat over a cuppa coffee. We are located in Bella Vista, but service anywhere in Sydney Australia.

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