In recent years, we’ve witnessed huge
successes in the realm of mobile app development. Pokemon GO, Angry Birds, and
even the ridiculously successful Instagram app have earned millions of dollars
for their owners and developers. But did you know, statistics show that only
about 25% of app developers earn more than $5,000 per month from their apps?
As in other businesses, there are big fish and
there are small fish. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that the app
market is saturated. You can still start a strong revenue stream with mobile app development.
In this article, we’ll teach you how you can
start making a living by building a profitable app business.
Let’s take a look.
1- Have an Idea
Just like any other business venture you
undertake, app development starts with an idea. Many app developers say that
having the right idea is only 5% of your success. While there may be some truth
to that, you can’t get started building partnerships and building your app
without an initial idea or even an estimate of how much time and effort you
need to put into that idea.
You may have one overwhelmingly solid idea and
work on just that one, or you may have several ideas for apps that you work to
develop from the beginning. Either way, your desire to get into the app
business is what will drive you through the many challenges and potential
pitfalls you’ll face.
With the right ideas, energy, and will, you’ll give yourself a great opportunity to break into the app business, so make sure to assess the feasibility of your business idea before actually working on it.
2- Perform Market Research
If you can’t come up with an idea that you
think will be profitable, it’s time to start exploring the market.
Start by gaining a thorough understanding of
the market you intend on working in. To begin, get acquainted with success
stories and failures within the app business. Download the apps that have
succeeded and failed, then use them for what they were intended to do.
Not only will doing this give you ideas for
your own app, but it’ll help you understand what works and what doesn’t.
While doing your market research, you’ll
notice that there are five main features that comprise a successful app. They
- Give added
- Know how to
work with partners
When building a profitable app business, you
don’t need to re-invent the wheel. Building off ideas that have already
succeeded while learning why others have failed will send you in the right
3- Choose Your Platform
In today’s app business, there are really only
two major players: Android and iOS. There are several key differences between
Based on the statistics, Android’s Google Play
is the leader in overall downloads, with over 75 billion in 2018. Third-party
Android stores had over 44 billion, while the iOS App Store had around 40
However, the statistics change when we take a
look at annual revenue. Here, iOS leads the way with over $40 billion. Google
Play comes in at over $20 billion, while third-party Android stores had about
Apple’s App Store tends to have higher prices
for app purchases than its Android counterpart. Consider this factor when
choosing your monetization strategy. If you intend on selling your apps, iOS is
the better option. However, if you’re looking to earn revenue through
advertising while offering your apps for free, Android is a better way to go.
The best-case scenario, when possible, is to
offer your apps on both platforms for maximum reach.
4- App Design and Development
Starting this process is all about building a
team. You’ll want to most reliable and proven partners to work with during custom mobile app development. This will help
drastically decrease your cost of app development, while also turning out the
best possible product.
For this project, you’re going to require various coders, copywriters, designers, and even photographers. The key to success is finding the right people for long-term relationships.
You have several options for finding the right
people. You can:
experienced offshore freelancers
- Search out
partners and established dev teams
Remember that your app will require additional
work even after it’s launched. There will be continued development, redesigns
and bug fixes. Make sure you have reliable business partners that will stick
with you even after the product is live.
5- Creating a Business Plan
Once you’ve done your research on the market
and sought out viable partners, it’s time to build out your business plan. This
will help you avoid unneeded expenses and save you money down the road.
Start your business plan by understanding the high level of what you’re trying to build while focusing on short-term goals that will get you where you want to go.
Keep your eye on what your overall strategy is
while remembering that this is a very dynamic and competitive business. Your
long-term plan will help you maintain the course when bumps pop up.
Make sure you’re able to compress your
business plan into a few short sentences that you can explain to a layperson
with ease. The best business plans state an obvious problem and how you intend
to solve it without using a lot of words or complicated terminology.
6- Finding Investments
After your idea is developed and you’re ready
to get started, you’ll quickly realize that you’re going to need some money to
make it happen. Some detailed app development projects can cost $100,000 or
If you don’t have the money to invest in your
app on your own, consider:
- Applying for
small business loans
- Starting a
- Finding a
partner that believes in your ideas
These are methods that many successful app
developers have used to cover the cost of app development. Of course, if your
project is expensive, you can always combine approached to raise the needed
7- Marketing the App
Once your app is built and available on your
chosen app markets, it’s time to start marketing. As mentioned earlier, the app
market is a competitive world. To break into it, you’ll need to do a lot of PR
Your first step is social media. Get
app-official pages on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat and every
other relevant social media platform. Then use them to promote your app. Be
entertaining. Create videos and other content that people want to see.
You also need to create a website that
showcases your app. Blog every day on things that relate to your chosen
industry. Use SEO best practices to drive your web content to the top of Google
If you don’t have the time or knowledge to do
this on your own, hire someone that can do it for you.
8- Continued Improvement
Just because your app is live and you’re
getting downloads doesn’t mean the job is done. Users will demand continued
updates and improvements in order to keep using your app and suggesting it to
As you grow and add features, prepare to buy
your own servers. This will give you more control over the long-term direction
of your app business.
Mobile App Development as a Business
App design and development is a highly
profitable business for thousands of people who understand how to do it right.
With the information contained in this article, you can be well on your way to
finding your own success in the app business.