If you’re looking for an easy path in life, give up on your dreams of being an app entrepreneur right now. The potential for app entrepreneurs is endless, but the roadway to get there is certainly full of obstacles and roadblocks. Even with a great app business plan and pitch deck in tow, sometimes it’s difficult to navigate the world of app startups. While the successes like Uber and Tinder make us believe that anyone can achieve the “Great App Success Story” dream, the truth is, the vast majority of apps that begin development – never reach the App Store.
Let’s face it, not everyone has what it takes. Bringing an app idea to reality, and then to success, is much different than working a normal job or being a non-tech business owner. It takes a special type of innovativeness and dedication that, frankly, most people don’t possess. The good news is, for those who do possess certain qualities, the potential for success as an app entrepreneur may be very high. So, what does it take? In the following post, we will explore 10 questions to ask yourself and identify whether or not you have what it takes to win at being an app entrepreneur!
1) Can You See Problems That Other People Don’t See?
The key to successful app entrepreneurship is simple innovation. Sometimes, an app like Uber will change an entire industry, while an app like Toggl simply streamlines time-logging. However, the one similar factor among every successful app entrepreneur is that they introduced innovation to their niche market, in some particular way.
Successful entrepreneurs are able to identify problems and develop the solutions that eliminate these problems. The only difference with app entrepreneurs is that they figure out how to approach these challenges using smartphone/tablet/computer devices that are accessible to everyone. There are a million apps on the market; an entrepreneur’s app will only survive if it is unique, different, and able to solve a problem better than existing competitors – and competitors who will launch in the future.
Solution: If you’re not someone who can identify problems and solutions easily, it’s not the end of the world. Expand your mind by reading books by successful entrepreneurs to start developing a problem-solving mindset. The better that you are able to identify the problems that other successful app entrepreneurs are solving, the easier it will be to start identifying real problems on your own.
2) Are You Developing An App or An App Business?
While the opposite seems true, apps don’t just become successful on their own. Just because you know how to launch an app into the App Store doesn’t mean you know how to launch a successful app business. Successful apps have teams behind them that understand startups, know how to build interest in their product, and know how to manage the growth of their business as new users begin downloading their app.
Developing an app is only one small portion of building a successful app startup. Once it’s built and launched, now what? It’s a mistake to believe that people will use your app just because it exists – true app entrepreneurs know that once their app is launched, the battle only just begins.
Solution: If you know nothing about building, running and growing a business, you will find it extremely difficult to succeed in app entrepreneurship. In this case, find mentorship – someone who has launched an app before; a group of other new entrepreneurs who can share new things they learn; or a startup accelerator that can introduce you to people that can help you progress your app dreams.
3) Do You Have An Actionable Plan?
Many people are excited about having a great app idea, but really, an app idea on its own means very little. Ideas come a dime a dozen. The element that separates successful apps from those that slowly fade away is great execution of an actionable plan. Successful app entrepreneurs have researched their markets well and understand exactly how they will launch their app, how they will get it out there, and ultimately, how they will profit from their idea.
When an app entrepreneur approaches an investor, they have a plan in place. The plan is so solid, that it is easy to understand how the investor’s money will immediately allow the business to meet its objectives – as detailed in the plan that they are presenting.
Solution: There are a lot of angles to cover when planning out the execution of the launch, establishment and growth of your app idea. Consider working with a team of business plan developers to create a professionally written business plan for your mobile app concept. By hiring the right team, you can learn about your market, your industry and your competitors; and can uncover new opportunities that you may not have initially realized.
4) Do You Have Perseverance?
Overnight success is a thing of app entrepreneurs’ dreams, but in real life, reaching app success is a day by day fight — not one giant win, but a ton of small achievements that eventually compound to reach massive success. In this business, only the unstoppable have a chance. No matter your situation, you WILL run into obstacles while building, launching and growing your app. How you handle and respond to those obstacles will be a major determining factor in your success as an app entrepreneur.
Solution: There’s no solution for perseverance, dedication and commitment. Either you have it, or you don’t. The key to perseverance is confidence, and one way to build confidence is to research your market thoroughly and ensure that your app is really what the market needs. It is a lot easier to stay the course when you know without a doubt that your solution is exactly what your market is looking for. If you know that your app idea has what it takes, and that YOU have what it takes, make it up in your mind that nothing will stop you from moving forward – no matter what. App success isn’t one big jump, it’s many small steps, sometimes taking a step backwards to take two steps forward.
5) Can You Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is?
There’s a widespread myth amongst new app startup entrepreneurs that all they need to bring to the table is a great idea. From there, an investor will take all the risk by giving them $1 million so that they can launch their app next week and be rich next month. None of it is true.
The only way you will get out of paying to launch at least a minimal viable product (MVP), is if you are a developer, or you have a committed developer on your team. If you watch just 3 episodes of Shark Tank, you’ll realize that no seasoned investor is going to risk their money on an unproven idea. Only after (at least) a MVP has been launched into the market, and tested with successful results, will investors begin to see the potential in the solution you are proposing.
That being said, the first few steps are most likely going to be financed by you, or by your team. If you aren’t willing to risk your money on your own dreams, why would you expect someone else to risk their money on your dream?
Solution: Some people have funds saved that they can allocate towards launching their app, or have enough disposable income that it isn’t difficult to find the money needed to launch their idea. However, this isn’t the case for everyone, and some new app startup entrepreneurs may have to get a bit creative. Let’s be real, this is the type of industry where only the strong survive. How can you afford to launch a bare-bones app if you don’t have any funds? Sell stuff that you don’t need anymore, pick up extra shifts or get a second job, start a small service business on the side, rent your house out on AirBnB, drive Uber and Lyft — the point is, do WHATEVER it takes!
6) Do You Believe?
As mentioned, app entrepreneurs are visionaries – they see things that other people can’t see. In the real world, someone who sees something that no one else sees, is considered a crazy person. In your journey for app startup success, people around you will doubt you. Your closest friends and family will tell you that your idea won’t work. Individuals that you look up to, who you are excited to tell about your ideas, will poke holes in everything you say. Even when no one sees what you see, in the app business, your belief in yourself must stand stronger than ever. Some people will only believe it when it’s tangible, and even then, some people will have doubts.
Solution: As an entrepreneur, it is important to network with other entrepreneurs. Involve yourself in groups and events where you can meet other people who are launching businesses and apps. In other words, balance the doubt by having a strong network of likeminded individuals who are also visionaries; who can pour positivity into you and dilute the doubt that may arise from the comments of naysayers.
7) Will You Take The First Step?
There’s a huge difference between the number of people who have app ideas, and the number of people who bring an app to the market. In my opinion, probably 99% of people who have app ideas never even take the first step to building their app. You would be surprised at how many times I’ve mentioned a hugely successful new app, just to hear someone say, “I thought about that same idea 2 years ago!” Thinking about an app idea, talking about an app idea, dreaming about an app idea… these mean nothing if you never take the first step to actually bring that idea to life.
Building an app is like working out. The first few workouts hurt, and most people can’t stand the pain and quit before they ever see a result. For the dedicated however, they understand that the discomfort means growth, and as long as they are growing, they will likely be “uncomfortable”. Every day, they move closer to their goal – one step and one workout at a time.
Solution: Take a step. Register your business name, draft a business plan, draw up a wireframe, or have a logo created. There are a million first steps you can take, but the important part is that you take one… and then another… and then another… until you have reached your goal!
It’s All About You
As you can see, there are many obstacles that an app entrepreneur will face as they journey through the app startup and app development process. However, the biggest obstacle any entrepreneur will ever face? Themselves. The wall of doubt, the panic of fear, and the anxious uncertainty – these can be dream killers. Do you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur? Sure you do. As long as you can prevent yourself from getting in your own way!
Ready to take the first step towards bringing your app idea to reality, but don’t know where to start? Contact us to speak with one of our app startup experts for a FREE app startup consultation!