By Jacquie Pirnie - July 31, 2015
Tags: app development, build an app, create an app
So you’ve got an app that is pretty darn awesome. After weeks of development and even more time testing it, it is off the launch pad and gaining momentum. You have developed it to perform certain tasks that your client needed done but could other businesses benefit from your hard work and expertise?
If the answer is yes, consider this: there is a burgeoning market for ready-made apps. Businesses that may have the same problems that your app solved are willing to pay for a white label version of your app. How about that?
So what do you need to do to convert your app into one that you can market to other businesses?
Follow these 4 steps and you will have a ready-made app that others will pay to have customized for their enterprises:
ONE: Start with what is already great about your app
This is a common starting point for a lot of developers: You’ve developed an app for a specific client and you’re wondering how well and easily it will translate into a ready-made app.
The commissioned app is like a unique food store or café.
What you want from a ready-made app is the equivalent of a fast food chain.
This is not about compromising on quality. It’s about two things:
- Increasing the SCALE of the market place the app will work for
- Ensuring a SIMPLICITY of concept so it has broad appeal
The specific thing you developed this app for may have global appeal but it may need to be adjusted – so test the idea first, ideally on your target market.
Remember the issue of ownership – you have to own the code. Check your contract with the client you made the app for. If they own the code (intellectual property or IP) then it’s not yours to use!
If this is the case you may be able to come to a deal with client you made it for. Or – preferably – develop a new one that is similar but distinct enough not to infringe IP.
What is blue ocean? This is a term used to describe an area of little or no competition.
The app world is growing at such a rapid rate and it’s getting rarer to crack the blue ocean concept.
But don’t let this put you off. The fact that it is a dynamic, growing and therefore still unstable environment means that trends come and go, apps rise and fall and there is always room for improvement on existing apps.
As fast as technology improves and people shift their lives onto mobile devices – this means there are always gaps opening up.
It does mean that you have to be very clear about:
- The single and compelling purpose of your app
- Its singular and compelling point of difference from other apps
To simplify the process, be sure you have the answers to these questions:
- What does my app do for a business or client that makes life easier?
- How is different, in one clear way, from similar apps on the market?
- Who is the existing audience for this app and how will I access them?
- Who is the audience that doesn’t yet know they need this app and how will I reach them?
THREE: Be prepared to customise your app for business needs
Now you’re clear about the purpose of your app and where it will fit in the market place, it’s to give some consideration to the customisation process:
A business purchasing or licensing a ready-made app will want to customise it to their brand. So you need to be able to adjust the look and feel accordingly. Do some thinking about how flexible you’ll be and what parameters you might set.
Customizing the appearance may include:
- Other stylistic or graphical details
Will every business that uses your app require the same functionality or do you need to provide variations?
For example, an app for a take away restaurant may be purchased by an independent pizza shop as well as a small chain restaurant. One may require store location functionality, another may want people to be able to place orders for delivery.
This requires some thinking on your part. How flexible do you want the app to be? How big a pool of businesses do you want to reach?
It’s a good idea to develop a ‘Custom Chart’ that you give to prospective businesses so they know exactly what can and cannot be customised to their precise requests.
FOUR: Choose a business model to help you make a profit from your app
It’s the same as any product development. The more planning, research and preparation you’ve done, the better placed you are for success.
Once your research and market testing is completed and you have the app ready to do, knowing every feature, terms and conditions and payment plans, then it’s time to put all of this in writing.
Documents you’ll need to create may include:
- Custom Chart
- Quotation form
- Order form
- Terms and conditions
- Payment structure
Automate your process so it gets easier each time!
Once you have created a couple of additional versions of your app, you might find you can automate some of the processes.
This is the real secret to passive income – minimising any hands on work that you have to do. It’s the best way to get more competitive with your price and increase your profit.
Finally, you need a plan for how you’re going to attract customers and get your ready-made app into their hands.
One of the main reasons apphappening was created was to make this step easier – for you and for businesses seeking ready-made apps. The website acts as a marketing tool, giving your read- made app exposure to businesses.
The key to success in the ready-made app space is remembering why businesses are looking there:
- Lower price point
- Speed to market
- Keeping up with competitors
- Filling a need for their customers
When developing an app, your focus is always on the user and what kind of experience they will have.
When marketing and selling your ready-made app, your focus needs to be on the business you’re selling to and what will make it a compelling choice for them.
So, be sure to:
1. Choose the elements that are clean, simple and have broad appeal
2. Prepare and present strong information to businesses that answer their needs
3. Select the revenue and licensing model that is right for your app market sector