How to Start Your Own App Business – Andoird Edition

October 7, 2020

The official Android mascot standing on a table.
For an app maker, a drap and drop app builder helps to make mobile apps

Starting your own Android app development company is more than just about having the right business concept or idea.

It’s more than just about having enough financial resources and the drive to turn visions into reality. Starting an app development company is not just about registering and thinking of a good name for it. More factors are involved.

Apart from the technical aspects that it takes to build an app, remember that this is still a business. You will need to make sure you have the right tools to make your business a success, from marketing to building a website with a landing page. Building your app may be the easy part. Getting out to the world is something you need to consider as well.

With that in mind, before we get started, we decided to write this article from a business perspective rather than a technical aspect.

To create an app, it’s necessary to figure out whether there is a market for your idea. Understand where your early adopters and ideal audience are, how you intend to gather feedback and use that data to make your product better.

Are you going to run ads to increase downloads? Or lean on your network to find customers? Are you going to write a blog to improve your SEO and SERP performance and use the power of video to show people the unique features of your product?

More thought must go into branding and marketing your app, rather than worrying too much about the coding aspect. Without a solid marketing plan or foundation behind it, an app is likely to struggle to attract customers, regardless of how great it is.

To help you follow the right path, here are some tips and tricks to consider as you work on creating your own Android app.

1. What’s Your Idea?

Every project begins with an idea. If you already have one, find time to improve on that idea by doing some research.

Ask yourself, “Has anybody come up with a similar idea?” or “Is there an app like this in the market?”

Then go through another brainstorming session – by yourself or with your core development team – and try to think of ways to innovate your idea.

Also, don’t forget to align your app concept with your target market (and vice versa).

Focus on building a company that offers one app first instead of releasing a slew of products all at once. 

Most important of all, have an expert Android app developer analyze and validate your business and product.

Now that you’ve had your business and product ideas validated and you’ve studied the current Android market, it’s time to create your team.

2. Do a Thorough Research of the Android App Market

What are consumers looking for nowadays? Is your product’s concept a viable one based on Android market trends? Your research findings will help determine if aspects of your business should be improved or if an entirely new concept is better.

Likewise, this process will also verify how the Android platform can help you build your app development company.

3. Assemble Your Team

Now that you’ve had your business and product ideas validated and you’ve studied the current Android market, it’s time to create your team of android mobile developers.

The first thing you need to look for in a partner – or partners – someone who’ll help you put the company together. If you already have a team, then the next step would be to look for developers, designers, coders, and all the other important individuals who’ll help realize your plans.

Be sure to take the hiring process slowly, one at a time. It is vital to choose highly skilled and experienced people and share your visions for the company and its product. 

If you do not yet have the resources for full-time technical staff or a complete office, you can always consider outsourcing services.

Build the minimum viable product of your app, including only the essential features, so you can give launch your startup idea in a short turnaround and with a shoestring budget.

4. Create an Illustration or Wireframe For Your App

Now that your Android app development company has a team, it’s time to start creating the product. Since you came up with the initial app idea, you should illustrate or wireframe the application to show it to your development team. This will give developers and designers, and everyone else, a visual idea of what you expect from them. Be sure to ask for feedback from your group.

After presenting the wireframe, the team can then start working on the app.

5. Launch The Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Only.

When creating your initial app, your goal is to develop a high-quality product that can blow off the competition. If you focus on launching a full-featured app, you’ll be racing against time and will be forced to sacrifice quality. Build the minimum viable product of your app, including only the essential features so that you can give launch your startup idea in a short turnaround and with a shoestring budget.

Launching your Android app development company is just the start of the road for you.

Prepare for the many hurdles.

Managing an app company requires a lot of work – including additional financing, market updates and research, competitor studies, technology advancements, and of course, continuing app development. If you’re determined to make your company succeed, you’ll have to give it your full attention so that the cost of your project will be as little as possible.

6. Design Your App Store Graphics

When launching your app onto app stores, you’ll need to make sure it looks good. To make an app’s app store landing page eye-catching, you’ll need to create a good-looking logo, screenshots, and images to go along with the content copy.

Since your app is new, it’s not likely to have many reviews, if any at all.

To give yourself that all-important advantage amongst a store inundated with millions of other mobile apps, creating fresh and unique graphics that entice customers to download the app from the app store is arguably more important for a startup than for a startup an established company.

Good-looking graphics and modern logo design can often make the difference between someone downloading or not downloading your app.

Good graphics can be used across your marketing and branding platform as well. From your social media pages to your app landing pages, it’s crucial to keep your branding consistent, and using good quality graphics is a big part of that.

Worried about the cost of bringing in a Graphic designer? Don’t be.

There are plenty of free graphic design software options available on the internet to help you create graphics that pop.

Platforms like Canva are a godsend for entrepreneurs and can assist you in creating graphics that make Android apps look more legitimate to potential users. Apps without good-looking graphics, look cheap and if they look cheap, you can bet users think that they perform cheaply.

Don’t settle for poor graphics; your app deserves better.

7. Build You App’s Landing Page

A landing page? Aren’t we building an app to be downloaded from the Google Play store?

Sure.

But a website landing page can seriously aid in the marketing and branding of your mobile app. You can also add links to the app store to download the app or add a feature where customers can download directly from the landing page.

A landing page can allow your team to show significantly more information about your app than the app store can. You can upload explainer videos, testimonials, screenshots, and unique selling points about the app’s interface, all the while using your own branding, font, and colors.

Building landing pages has never been easier. You can use a dedicated landing page builder with a drag and drop interface or ask your MVP developer to create one on WordPress, which could assist in bringing in more organic traffic rather than rely on ads.

When creating a new mobile app, you want to give you and your team as big an advantage as possible when launching an app into a highly saturated marketplace. Simply relying on organic growth through the app store is not going to cut it.

You want your mobile app to make money. The adage is true. You’ve got to spend money to make money.

Improving the user experience is more than just making your app nice to use. It’s ensuring that the whole customer experience is pleasant from start to finish as you attempt to warm the customer up.

This process can start with a robust, clean, and sleek landing page and finishes with them downloading your app.

Once you’re ready to begin, get started with your app’s website. You’ll be surprised how much of a difference it can make.

Using the right programming language helps a builder to start their own app business

8. Get It On The Google Play Store

With over 1 billion monthly active users, getting your mobile uploaded to the app store is an exciting prospect for startups and entrepreneurs.

However, Google doesn’t exactly make it easy for developers to get their apps uploaded to the store. It can seem like an intimidating process with rules, regulations, and procedures that you must follow to avoid issues in the future.

Let’s break this down, step by step.

1. Create a Developer Account

Creating a developer account is pretty straightforward. After paying a one-time registration fee of $25 and reviewing and accepting the Developer Distribution Agreement your account will be fully processed after a maximum of 48 hours.

One thing that’s important to note is that Google will ask you for a “Developer Name,” this name will be visible to all your customers on Google Play.

2. Want to Make Sales? Create a Merchant Account

If you want to create a paid app or offer in-app purchases, you’ll need to create a merchant account. To do that;

  1. Sign in to your Play Console
  2. Click on Download Reports — Financial
  3. Select ‘Set up a merchant account now.’
  4. Fill out your business information.

After you’ve done this, Google will automatically link the merchant account to your developer account.

Merchant accounts let you download reports, see sales figures and analyze the commerce arm of your mobile app, all within the play console.

3. Create/Upload Your App

Now we’re finally ready to add your beautifully designed and developed mobile app. To do this;

  1. Navigate to the ‘All applications’ tab in the menu
  2. Click on ‘Create Application’
  3. Select your app’s default language from the drop-down menu
  4. Type in a title for your app
  5. Click on “Create”

The title of your app will show on Google Play after you’ve published it. If you’re unsure about the name of your app, don’t worry too much since you can change this at a later date anyway.

After adding your app, the next step will be filling out the app details for the store listing. There is a lot here, and you need to make sure you’re getting it right to avoid future issues.

4. Prepare Store Listing

You’ve done your market research, developed your mobile app, and now you want to publish. But wait, we need to show customers what they will be downloaded on the app store.

We can do this in the store listing.

The store listing contains many important steps, something that anyone who wants to build apps and get them listed must do before launch.

Note: You don’t necessarily have to complete this step before moving on to the next one. You can always save a draft and revisit it later when you’re ready to publish.

  1. Product Details:
    1. This includes your app’s title, short & full description. The short description is what people will see when scrolling through the store and is limited to 80 characters. Your full description, however, can reach up to 4000.
  2. Graphic Assets
    1. Remember what we talked about earlier? This is where you can add screenshots, images, videos, or any other kind of promotional graphic you want to add to your store for your app’s marketing.
  3. Languages & Translations
    1. Suppose you want to offer your app in multiple languages. This is the place to do it. There’s also an option for users to view automated translations of your app’s information using Google.
  4. Categorization
    1. Here, you need to select the appropriate type and category your mobile app belongs to. Click on the dropdown menu and click the respective category.
  5. Contact Details
    1. These are the details that your customers/users can contact you regarding any issues with the app. You don’t want to be putting your personal contact information here.
  6. Privacy Policy
    1. You don’t need to write the entire privacy policy for the app here; add a URL that links to the privacy policy for your app somewhere on the web. This is a crucial step if you are operating in regions with strict data privacy controls.

5. Upload APK to an App Release

We’re so close to publishing your app and releasing it to the world; however, we need to dig out the APK file, which is vital to making an app.

The APK (Android Package Kit) file contains all the elements needed for android apps to work on a device.

Google offers you multiple ways to upload and release your APK. However, before you upload the file, you need to create an app release first.

To create a release, select the app you created in Step 3. Then, from the menu on the left side, navigate to ‘Release management’ -> ‘App releases.’

Here, you need to select the type of release you want to upload your first app version. You can choose between an internal test, a closed test, an open test, and a production release.

The first three releases allow you to test out your app among a select group of users before making it go live for everyone to access.

Once you’ve picked an option, click on ‘Create release.’

Next, follow the on-screen instructions to add your APK files and name and describe your release.

6. Provide an Appropriate Content Rating

A mobile app without a rating will force Google to list the app as “Unrated.” Unrated apps are more likely to be removed from the play store than ones that come with a rating.

To do this, you need to fill out a content rating questionnaire. This is accessed by selecting your app in the Play Console – Store Presence – Content rating.

Don’t lie about your app’s content & features. You will be found out.

Misrepresentation of your app’s content can lead your app to be removed from the play store and your account to be suspended indefinitely.

Make sure you enter accurate information. Misrepresentation of your app’s content can lead to suspension or removal from the Play Store.

An appropriate content rating is beneficial for everyone. Not only will your app remain on the app store and avoid any penalties, but it will also help you market to the right audience.

Google gives you all the tools you need to ensure that the app you build is relevant to the user who downloads it.

Use these free features provided by Google to optimize your app’s presence on the platform.

App development is complicated enough, don’t hurt your progress more than you need to.

7. Set Up Pricing & Distribution

Have you determined if your app’s monetization policy? Before you start this step, it’s important to have a strategy in mind. Are you planning on putting up a paywall or implementing a subscription policy? Or do you want to make your app free and rely on advertising?

You can always change your app from paid to free later. However, you cannot change a free app to one that is paid!

For that, you’ll need to create an entirely new app and go through this process again. Be vigilant with this step. Make sure you know the revenue strategy in the beginning to save yourself and your developers a lot of future headaches.

Done wrong, and your app could contain users that aren’t going to give you the data you need to make important changes that will improve your mobile app later on down the line.

8. Rollout Release to Publish Your App

You’re almost done.

The final step involves reviewing and rolling out your release after making sure you’ve taken care of everything else.

Before you review and rollout your release, make sure the store listing, content rating, and pricing and distribution sections of your app each have a green checkmark next to them.

Once you’re sure you’ve filled out those details, select your app and navigate to ‘Release management’ — ‘App releases.’ Press ‘Edit release’ next to your desired release, and review it.

Next, click on ‘Review’ to be taken to the ‘Review and rollout release’ screen. Here, you can see if there are any issues or warnings you might have missed out on.

Finally, select ‘Confirm rollout.’ This will also publish your app to all users in your target countries on Google Play.

A blog can help increase the exposure of your platform, as well as an explainer video

9. Market Your Mobile App To Your Target Market

To create an app and make it successful while keeping an eye on cost, it’s necessary to spend some time considering how to market your app to the ideal audience.

Done wrong, and your app could contain users that aren’t going to give you the data you need to make important changes that will improve your mobile app later on down the line.

How to market your app requires a whole other blog post covering emails, social media, and the difference between paid and organic traffic.

However, what shouldn’t be forgotten is the importance of consistent branding and ensuring that your message and branding remain similar across all forms of your marketing efforts.

When marketing, you want to highlight the unique features that set your mobile app apart from the competition.

App stores are full of mobile apps that didn’t make it.

While this could be down to any number of issues, it’s important, as an app maker, to ensure that not only is your user interface solid enough to keep users on the platform, you need to make sure that your branding and marketing attracts the right people to collect that all-important data.

10. Make Changes To The App Based On User Feedback

This is the cornerstone of MVP development. Any blog post on the importance of MVPs will show you that the defining feature of minimum viable products is to collect data on user performance and make changes based on the test results.

Building an app this way can save your company a high cost and allow your company to build at a steady pace that uses feedback directly from users about what features they do and don’t like about your product.

In app development, when you make an app, you should always create the lean version of your mobile app first before adding it to app stores.

This allows the app-building process to be leaner and more efficient and saves your company or outsourced team from developing unnecessary features that your users may not like.

When developing an app, make sure you have a website, sometimes you don't need to know how to code either

Summary

By following this 10-step process, you’ll be ready to launch & build your app in no time. If you’re not too familiar with app or android specific code, consider outsourcing your app development to a dedicated team of developers.

When considering your project, you’ve also got to budget and find out the app development cost. When building a startup, watching your bottom line helps entrepreneurs know how much they spend on marketing, branding, and development.

Also, reach out to your network. They could be instrumental in putting your app in the hands of real users.

To summarise,

  1. Come up with a unique idea that solves problems for the user
  2. Do you market research
  3. Find an app maker and work on building your app or apps
  4. Wireframe your app to assist in its development
  5. Launch the MVP
  6. Design your app store graphics
  7. Build the app’s landing page
  8. Upload it to the Play store
  9. Market your app to your idea user
  10. Use data from the app to make changes and look to improve your software.

About the author: Ryan Wabe - Operation Manager

After spending 10 years in the ESL industry, Ryan joined Startechup team as operation manager. In charge of HR ( part of the following processes: screening, interviewing, recruitment), manages company Social Media accounts - creating content, posting. And more. View on Linkedin

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