It’s a cliché that has the air of Del Boy: you have to speculate to accumulate. Business people are rightly wary of the wisdom of that supposed verity, but of course, like most commonplaces it has the core of truth: businesses invest because they believe it will bring returns.
Let’s assume you’re already sold on the importance of a particular app to your business. Of course, you’ll get nowhere with a good idea without the financial backing to develop it – but how can particularly small businesses secure the funds necessary to break into this key digital market?
The first answer is “pick a developer who wants to work with you”. We’d say this, of course, but at Apps Plus we love working with small businesses – and have a variety of techniques to keep the entry cost of our apps low so that anyone can get marketing to mobile users quickly and cost-effectively. Don’t go with a developer that tells you an app costs the earth.
Nevertheless, one cliché that is worth remembering is that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Developing an app is going to cost something. Many of our clients, though, have found solutions to this problem, and they can be roughly categorised into three potential routes.
1. Crowdfunding. This, of course, is the method du jour, but don’t dismiss it just because it’s trendy. Platforms like Kickstarter have become popular for a reason: they’re a fantastic way to explain your idea to people and see whether it has traction. If it does, people will invest – and crowdfunding means you are limited only by your ability to get the word out there. You’re not looking for one big benefactor: if your idea is good, and you can get enough people to read your pitch, then you may well get the funds you need.
2. Loans. This solution may feel a little “old world” for the exciting new technology of mobile apps, but in fact, banks are increasingly open to offering businesses loans to fund digital developments. Banks know as well as anyone that apps are potentially huge revenue generators – so if your business plan is strong enough you are likely not to be seen as a high risk. Digital is attractive.
3. Investors. This option hides a multitude of choices: an “investor” could be a new business partner, perhaps already operating in digital or an allied area; they could be an “angel” – an affluent individual or an organisation looking to encourage app development and willing to provide the funds to achieve that aim; or it could be someone already within your network, with whom you’ve long wanted to work. The key is to wow them with an idea – and then develop a clear set of agreements.
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Of course, there’s also self-funding or boot-strapping – finding “room” in your current revenue to divert to app design. We’ll happily consult with you, not just about your idea but also the best ways to fund it – just drop us a line or give us a call. Most great apps, like most great ideas, start with a conversation.