For over a year, I have been writing the “How To” Start-Up Business Blog for ProblemSolutionHQ.com, a business of which I am a partner. This article about developing your software app was originally posted on that website and I have updated it and shared it here. Visit here to read the original post–> http://www.problemsolutionhq.com/blog/dveloping-your-software-application-idea-from-zero-to-launch/
PLEASE READ MY DISCLAIMER ABOUT AFFILIATE LINKS.
If you have an entrepreneurial mindset (and you likely do if you are reading this blog) then you have undoubtedly thought of a brilliant software application idea at some point. It usually starts with, “Someone should develop an app that…” or “I should create software that…” But, what happens after that? Many people simply do not know where to start when it comes to developing their app idea.
I was fortunate to have Peter Sperry, one of the ProblemSolutionHQ.com founders, guide us through the process of software app idea zero to launch. Peter’s development company caters to small businesses and entrepreneurs who wish to transform their software application ideas into reality.
Peter has two primary goals:
- Develop exciting software products that solve small business problems.
- Help others to bring their software application ideas to life and to market.
His extensive experience as a programmer and his proven entrepreneurial savvy make him an authority on software app development.
Here are two recent examples of platforms that Peter has developed:
Where To Begin with My Software App Idea?
Great ideas fly around great minds all day long. But, sometimes, an idea sticks and you just can’t get it out of your head. It keeps resurfacing and you have an intuitive feeling that this may be the idea of all ideas. But, then what?
Peter suggests the following when it comes to earth shattering software application ideas:
- What is the problem? Consider the problem that you are trying to solve with your app. Is it a big problem that affects a large demographic? Does it solve the problem completely? Ideally, apps should solve big business issues with simple, convenient solutions.
- Vet the solution. How real is the problem to the target market? Speak to people within your target market. Find out if your solution solves the problem in a practical way. Be open to input from those within the industry. Talking to 6-10 people within the target market should give you a good feel for whether to continue with your idea. The best business solutions either save time or save money, or both.
But, I Don’t Write Code
Code may seem like an elusive foreign language, but it does not have to be. If you have vetted your software application idea and are ready for development, but you don’t write code, you have a few options:
- Learn to write code. Programming can be learned online for free with the right level of determination. If you are the type of person that wants to retain complete creative control over your app, learning code will open many doors for you. Codecademy is a great place to start learning the basics. The hardest part will be overcoming the fear of getting started. Code School is another great resource.
- Rely on a freelancer. If you know where to look, there is a wealth of talent on the internet just waiting to help you develop your next great idea. Developers can easily be found on freelance sites such as Upwork and Guru. The secret to hiring a freelancer that will deliver a successful outcome is to prepare and have clear expectations. And as with any freelancer, check references and past work product before hiring.
- Hire a reputable company. Small companies, like Peter’s, that specialize in small business platforms and applications are your best bet for software app idea development. When using a business, you can check references and see examples of past work. If the software app needs future updates or fixes, a freelance developer may not be available. Or worse, you may not be able to find the freelancer again. A development company is less likely to go ghost if you need further development.
What to Provide to a Freelance Developer
The more time you take to refine your idea and the more that you clarify your concept, the more accurate your development bid will be and you will be much happier with the end product. Be ready to communicate the following:
- Have a fairly extensive set of requirements for the product. Provide a list of what the software application should and should not do and how it should behave.
- Walk through the application step by step in the form of a document. This is called a use case.
- Include drawings of how the app should appear and how it should work. There are many wire frame tools on the market that will help.
- Be clear about whether your software application is web based or mobile. Mobile apps will have to be approved by Apple or Google.
- Be ready to communicate how you want to get paid. PayPal is a common form of payment that is trusted by the masses. Payment gateways such as Stripe and Authorize.net are also well known. Either form can be integrated by your developer.
Reducing the development cycle will speed up the process and cut costs. The best way to make this happen is to have a clear and documented vision to present to your developer up front.
An important part of your developer contract should define what will happen with bugs and updates. Agree on how app support will be handled after development and create a release cycle.
What Will My Software App Cost?
Simple apps with only one layer typically cost in the $5,000 to $10,000 range. Complex apps can cost over $500,000. The cost of your software application will be contingent upon the following:
- Apps with back-end servers will almost always cost more.
- The developer
- Number of updates
How Do I Host My Software Application?
The first step is to secure your url. For a few bucks a month, Bluehost is a great option and they provide your domain for free. If you decide to purchase a few domain names, NameCheap offers domain registration for as little as $2/year. Work with your developer to ensure that he/she is comfortable working within the selected hosting platform.
Parting Word of Advice: Peter leaves us with some sage entrepreneurial advice. Building a business takes time and some wins are easy and some are tough. Have patience, work really hard, and stay committed to solving real problems.
If you are interesting in having your software application, Chrome Extension, Shopify app or any other development project created, submit the simple form and we will be in touch with more information.