Pros and Cons of building an app for an income

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by FinanceBizWiz, Jan 3, 2019.

  1. FinanceBizWiz

    FinanceBizWiz UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    23 0
    Hi guys,

    I have an idea for an app. I have experience with building and running a busy website so can get an app built relatively cheaply etc, etc.

    I'm just wondering if anyone one here has any experience with building and running an app and has actually made an income from doing so?

    If so, I'd be more than appreciative to hear your views...

    Unfortunately, I cannot discuss the fundamentals of the idea.

    Thanks.
     
    Posted: Jan 3, 2019 By: FinanceBizWiz Member since: Aug 9, 2018
    #1
  2. Scalloway

    Scalloway UKBF Legend Free Member

    14,235 3,035
    Are you sure there is a gap in the market for it?

    If there is have done research to find out why?
     
    Posted: Jan 3, 2019 By: Scalloway Member since: Jun 6, 2010
    #2
  3. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    11,277 1,188
    First I'd find out if there was a demand for the app. Then whether money could be made on it.
    Sometimes no app currently exists to do that whatever because there isn't worthwhile demand or its not cost effective.
     
    Posted: Jan 3, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #3
  4. Lee Oakley

    Lee Oakley UKBF Contributor Full Member

    79 20
    Many businesses have made money with apps but like any other idea/business/app, the quality and execution of that idea/business/app and the benefit it gives, is key to the success of it.

    If you cannot discuss it, there isnt anything tangible to offer advice on really, so consider the following;

    1. If the idea genuinely solves a problem that people would pay money for, and the solution doesn't yet exist but your idea will answer this, then you possibly have something.

    2. If the idea genuinely solves a problem that people would pay money for, and although a solution exists, it can be improved upon (via your idea) and people would pay for your idea rather than use the current solution, then you possibly have something.
     
    Posted: Jan 3, 2019 By: Lee Oakley Member since: May 21, 2018
    #4
  5. FinanceBizWiz

    FinanceBizWiz UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    23 0
    Thanks.

    Yes, I am sure there is a gap in the market for it and why because I have the problem myself and know many people share the same problem.
     
    Posted: Jan 3, 2019 By: FinanceBizWiz Member since: Aug 9, 2018
    #5
  6. FinanceBizWiz

    FinanceBizWiz UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    23 0
    Thanks.

    I would say your number 1 would fit. The only question is how to charge. I think charging for downloading an app can be offputting as you're paying for something that you unsure if it works well or not.
     
    Posted: Jan 3, 2019 By: FinanceBizWiz Member since: Aug 9, 2018
    #6
  7. Mike Hayes

    Mike Hayes UKBF Enthusiast Full Member

    852 210
    Agreed. Often if something doesn't exist it's because the idea isn't so great.

    Well the usual monetisation options are:
    • Charge per download
    • Free app, in-app advertising
    • Free app, in-app purchases
    • Subscription payment
    The first couple of options can work well for more mainstream apps with lots of downloads.

    A subscription payment can work very well for a niche app which solves an issue for a relatively small target audience.

    Advantages of subscription payments for the customer:
    • Greater assurance the app will be kept up to date as the developer is being paid reasonably.
    • The opportunity to trial the app for a period of time before paying anything.
    Advantage of subscription payments for the developer:
    • A steady income which ensures you can continue to update the app, provide good customer service, etc.
    The in-app purchases option is an interesting one, a bit of a crossover. It gives you the opportunity to offer a limited version of the app for free but charge for additional features.

    Nobody can really advise without knowing more about the app, who the target audience is, how many downloads you're expecting, etc.
     
    Posted: Jan 3, 2019 By: Mike Hayes Member since: Jan 7, 2016
    #7
  8. FinanceBizWiz

    FinanceBizWiz UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    23 0

    Thanks for your knowledgeable and detailed answer.

    I do think subscriptions are a great way to know (approximately) what is coming in each month and then from that be able to plan ahead etc.

    I'm not sure in-app purchases would work and I am unsure about charge per download when people don't know how it might work. The app would involve moving small amounts of money around/ paying for something. Do you think to charge a fee as a percentage could work? I know hard to grasp as you don't know the full idea.
     
    Posted: Jan 3, 2019 By: FinanceBizWiz Member since: Aug 9, 2018
    #8
  9. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    11,277 1,188
    Fee as a percentage can work for the user. Fee as a percentage can in some instances be a very bad idea for you.
     
    Posted: Jan 3, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #9
  10. FinanceBizWiz

    FinanceBizWiz UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Thanks. How come?
     
    Posted: Jan 3, 2019 By: FinanceBizWiz Member since: Aug 9, 2018
    #10
  11. Lee Oakley

    Lee Oakley UKBF Contributor Full Member

    79 20
    Charging for a download (particularly for new Apps) is always a risk and a common (consumer/downloader) objection to overcome. Many SAAS or Apps I have been involved with, used or purchased have a Demo version that either offers no end functionality but allows users to download the Free Demo app and see what it does and how the interface works.

    Or, (again not knowing the idea) is it feasible to offer a limited Free version that doesn't undermine the Full version and limits the functionality to setting up the service, allows the user to roam around the App and maybe perform a few free functions?
     
    Posted: Jan 3, 2019 By: Lee Oakley Member since: May 21, 2018
    #11
  12. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    11,277 1,188
    Cost of transactions.

    Keep the costs down - as in any business - and you have a chance.
     
    Posted: Jan 3, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #12
  13. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    29,488 8,682
    Why has it got to be an app right now?

    I will be far easier to build a website that does the same thing and do some marketing. If it proves popular you can then get the app built. Or just leave it as SAAS and makes loads of money.
     
    Posted: Jan 3, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #13
  14. FinanceBizWiz

    FinanceBizWiz UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    23 0
    Thanks.

    It’s a kind of all or nothing app. Not really one of where you could have parts that are unusable. I think maybe a free trial to start with so that the use can decide if it’s good or not and then a low cost subscription.
     
    Posted: Jan 3, 2019 By: FinanceBizWiz Member since: Aug 9, 2018
    #14
  15. FinanceBizWiz

    FinanceBizWiz UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    23 0
    Thanks.

    It would be far easier to build a website as I know about building and marketing websites but unfortunately not much about building and marketing apps. Unfortunately this is something that will be used more ‘out of the house’ or ‘in the field’ so a website just would not work.

    How come an app is much harder than a website?
     
    Posted: Jan 3, 2019 By: FinanceBizWiz Member since: Aug 9, 2018
    #15
  16. billybob99

    billybob99 UKBF Regular Free Member

    573 99
    Convincing users to actually download your app for a start is going to be an issue. I would imagine people only keep apps they use on a regular basis, and you have to convince users its worth downloading and then worth keeping.

    You should consider a progressive web app, users can add your app to their home screen in a click - you can still use good content and SEO to get users straight onto your app without any friction.
     
    Posted: Jan 3, 2019 By: billybob99 Member since: Apr 23, 2013
    #16
  17. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    29,488 8,682
    And that's why those who do can charge so much. I agree you can get it done on the cheap but there are thousands of apps which means without some aggressive and probably expensive marketing nobody will ever know the app exists. A fraction of those people will download the freebie and even less actually pay for the full version.

    And you always build your app into a website. It might not be exactly the same but it's the best place to do your testing.
     
    Posted: Jan 3, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #17
  18. FinanceBizWiz

    FinanceBizWiz UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    23 0
    Every business has its difficulties to overcome though right?
     
    Posted: Jan 4, 2019 By: FinanceBizWiz Member since: Aug 9, 2018
    #18
  19. Scalloway

    Scalloway UKBF Legend Free Member

    14,235 3,035
    Have you identified your potential customers?
     
    Posted: Jan 4, 2019 By: Scalloway Member since: Jun 6, 2010
    #19
  20. FinanceBizWiz

    FinanceBizWiz UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    23 0
    Yes I know exactly who the potential customers are, just not 100% on how to target them. Maybe Facebook and Instagram ads. Not sure Google is the best option.
     
    Posted: Jan 4, 2019 By: FinanceBizWiz Member since: Aug 9, 2018
    #20