Starting a Successful App Development Business: Is it for me?


Many entrepreneurs have decided to try and get involved with the app development business, as the use of mobile continues to grow. The industry is very appealing because it offers many opportunities in a relatively new sector and innovative ideas can make a fortune.

Lots of companies want apps developed as businesses everywhere try to adapt to the needs of customers via mobile. In addition, new options have arisen for developing businesses based solely on mobile. 

A Snapshot of the App Development Business


The apps market is large and growing. A report by Gartner in 2011 found that the "app" business brings in tens of billions of dollars in revenues each year.  Some entrepreneurs have achieved amazing successes in this business.  Angry Birds is a prime example of this. The app was built by a video games designer from Finland who was playing around in his spare time. He presented this idea to his company and the game now gets 200 million minutes of play time daily.

In another example, Chad Mureta has an app business that was making thousands of dollars in profit only two months after starting in this field. Such success stories of apps’ businesses are what draw people in.

However, in 2012, Mashable reported that getting into the apps business may not be as easy as everyone thought. The Mashable report found that 63% of app developers achieved less than 50,000 downloads and only 20% made enough to keep the business afloat. This shows that the mobile app business is clearly not suited to everyone. 

What it Takes to be Successful in the App Business


In the mobile apps business there are a number of factors that are required to be successful. First of all, mobile app development has to move along quickly for apps to be profitable. Successful apps can be built and ready for sale within as little as two weeks if the mobile developers have a good idea. Studies have found that in the app business, apps must be engaging for the user as well as useful and/or interesting if they are to succeed. The app must answer a user’s need. If the user has no need for the app he or she will not download it.

While apps can be developed on little money, the Mashable study did find that when developers spend money on marketing they are more likely to attract downloads. This leads to increased revenues and greater chances of success. It is likely to cost at least $5,000 to $15,000 or more to develop a good app, so app development entrepreneurs need to have access to funds.

Outsourcing and the App Business


One very good option to develop apps is to consider outsourcing them. You can outsource all kinds of different activities, especially if you do not have technical skills. These might include programming, coding and marketing. In fact, you could outsource all of these areas and focus on being an app reseller, selling the services of other developers to build apps. While the app business is perhaps not suited for everyone, even one person working alone can use this approach to build a successful app business, but it does need a good idea and the upfront investment to build the app to start with.

If you don’t have a good idea, you could partner with someone who does. Many mobile developers have the programming and coding skills and a great idea for an app but do not have the ability to market it successfully. This can be a way in for someone with a bit less money – partnering with a mobile apps developer.


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