If you’ve wondered about how to become a tech entrepreneur then there are many things that you need to consider. Having an idea or funding isn’t enough to actually succeed as a tech entrepreneur. To be a successful app entrepreneur, one has to keep track of the following things to ensure that their app not only gains a huge user base but also grows and creates revenue.
When starting out, there would be many ideas that may appeal to you. While they each would have relevant potential, it’s best to start where the data supports your decision. As of 2021, there are roughly 7 billion mobile users worldwide, which means whatever is your idea, there’s some substantial and relevant data available to support it. So conduct market research, SWOT analysis and other tests before locking on an idea for its viability.
In the fourth quarter of 2020, app generated revenues hit a staggering $31.9 billion despite the economic standstill brought on by the pandemic. This figure includes both direct and indirect revenue generated on the Apple App Store & Google Play Store. With these huge numbers and more generated each day, it’s very easy and essential to study and understand the respective app stores. Study the top free and paid apps by segments. What makes them unique to the audiences, is their USP, something that can serve as an inspiration for your own idea and more. Don’t restrict yourself only to the segment you might be interested in. For instance, your interest may lie in creating a finance app, but checking out how utility apps are fairing won’t be a bad idea. Some features or even the way the apps are marketed in that segment may help you figure out how you can replicate the same for your finance segment.
The short answer is no. As shown in the figure above, startups fail for a host of different reasons; founders not being from the tech background isn’t one of them. There are many ways to work on your idea without knowing how to code. You do not need to be from the tech field at all. What you do need is a vision and the understanding of what it will take to get there. You can hire an in-house team or outsource the creation of your app as you oversee the creation and the selling of the final product. The idea in this case is to learn non technical tools to be an effective manager and leader who can guide the team to create the best version of the app.
There are many types of funding that as a startup you can procure which range from venture capitalists, Angel investors to even bootstrapping and funding your own startup. Depending on the capital required and the product being offered you may also go for a small business loan or go for crowdfunding like on Kickstarter. Study each of these methods in depth and understand whichever is the most viable for your startup idea. Then create a pitch and start reaching out to the relevant people and get your funding in place.
While you may not need to know how to code and build your app there are other tools that can help you get started and to stay on track. These tools largely help you with communication, design, marketing, organisation and finances and are free to use for the basic subscriptions. Some of them include Slack (team communication), Figma (design), Mailchimp (marketing), Calendly (tracking appointments), Google Drive (organising files) and Xero (accounting).
Once you have an idea about what you want and are confident about it, you can start working on the app. Keeping it simple is the key. The MVP or the Minimum Viable Product is what you must focus on- a version of the app that has the base key features in an easy to comprehend manner. The more features you add in the beginning the more confusing it will be to isolate feature-wise feedback. So keep it clear and understand how your audience uses it- what they like and what they don’t. Using those data points, add and moderate the app as you go.
There are several ways to monetise your way which broadly fall under direct and indirect revenue. Direct would be where people directly make purchases from you like app purchases, subscriptions, in-app purchases, etc. Indirect revenue would be where you generate revenue without directly charging the user e.g. letting your app run Google Ads for which Google will pay you money in return. Depending on your product offering, create a smart monetisation strategy that doesn’t overwhelm users and at the same time helps you generate a steady stream of revenue.
Once you are testing or have launched the app, monitor your data closely and keep track of what’s working and what’s not. Especially in the initial stage, updates will have to be faster and smarter to keep your audience satisfied and make them know that they are heard. App Store or Play Store reviews shouldn't be left unattended or ignored so pay attention to the suggestions there too. A team that is quick to respond and work out the bugs is one that users appreciate which builds brand (app) loyalty over time.
Just creating the app isn’t enough to sell it. How you market and distribute it makes a huge difference in the brand perception and loyalty around it. Some super functional apps have very creative and relatable marketing personas which makes them seem larger than life, relatable and fun, thus creating a brand recall and loyalty and gives them an edge over their competitors. Having the vision for it is your job, but translating it doesn’t have to be. To be a successful tech entrepreneur, you would also need to learn how to delegate effectively. This could be to an in-house team or to an outsourced agency or freelancer who is an expert in this field and can help translate your vision to the appropriate end users.
No business venture can work without a budget strategy and app & tech are no different. It’s of prime importance that as an app entrepreneur you start with a budget that is inclusive of all stages of development, maintenance and growth for the foreseeable future. The funding available to you should be the realistic base of this budget plan; whether bootstrapped or funded. No budget can mitigate all risks, but it’s important to try and stick to it for the most part and to always keep funds aside for any bumps that may come along the way. You can check out our App Development Cost Calculator which will help with a realistic budget for app creation costs for you.
These are just a few tips that will help you start a successful app startup, however here’s a list of mistakes that you can avoid while building the app. Everyone has their own learning curve and it also helps to read and learn from the mistakes that others’ might have made along a similar path. Hiring or consulting experts along the way also makes the process smoother and an easier to understand affair. At Valere, we want to create a product that fits your vision, is scalable and can help generate revenue for you. To know more about the process behind creating an app & learn more you can also check out our other blogs.