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Top Tips for creating a successful app business

Ahead of his session at Apps World, John Henderson, principal at White Star Capital, shares some tips on making your app stand out from the crowd

Creating a successful app business is hard work. Finding a real-world problem to solve, building a solid team, fine-tuning the product and being ready to pivot when necessary will get you off to a good start. For any aspiring entrepreneur, it’s important to bear in mind the following principles

Make sure your solution actually does something useful!

It may sound pretty basic, but developing an app is no different from creating any other business or product in that it must actually do something useful. “Like any business, the app must meet a need, solve a problem, or perform a service better than what’s already out there,” says Henderson. However he admits discovery can be tough. “The app store model feels somewhat broken to me. Google search revolutionised the way we found webpages and I believe we’re still waiting for something equally disruptive on mobile,” he says.

Get the basics right

Henderson says success and the ability to gain investment isn’t as hard as some think. “Have a great team, go after a big market and build a product that your customers need and love,” he says. He says relationships with investors should be established early in the process. “Build a killer product and show them just how engaging and sticky it is. If you develop something that your customers love to use, finding investors to support you won’t be a problem,” he says.

Soft launch at first – then shout from the rooftops

Visibility of an app is key. In a crowded market it’s easy to get lost and important to get the concept right in the early stages. If it is picked up and endorsed by a small group of influencers, it can fly even if it’s been launched by a one person start-up. Because of this unpredictability Henderson advises caution. “I often advise companies to soft launch to a smaller group to begin with,” he says. “It will help you iron out bugs and improve your product before you shout to the masses.”

Build for the future

“Smartphones are disrupting many industries,” says Henderson. “As they penetrate into more markets globally and internet access becomes ubiquitous, their impact will continue to grow. I don’t see investment in mobile slowing down any time soon,” he says. This means there are plenty of opportunities out there yet!

John will be speaking in the free-to-attend Developer World workshops at Apps World on 12th November at 10am - view the agenda here 

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