Are you a beginning entrepreneur with a great business idea, but you lack the technological knowledge to develop the product? We know from experience that the beginnings are always the most difficult. However, please read some of our tips to help you choose the right path and finally work with a developer. Get Ready!
1. The first product testing
Certainly you assume that your product has great features and that it solves current problem of users in one fell swoop, for example, garbage collection, ordering a taxi or making an appointment with a doctor? Are you sure?
Before you go a step further in developing your application, make sure that your clients think the same.
A good startup can solve the current problem in a completely new way and surprise users. The idea for such a business flows directly from the needs of customers, never the other way around. To solve the problem of passing the key to the guests and 24h reception, a client used the knowledge collected while managing rental apartments in various locations. It was he, who first pointed out to us the inconvenience which owners and managers of apartment hotels must face every day. This is how SmartPorter was created – an electronic lock, remotely controlled from any place on earth – says Adam Mateja.
Try to contact potential customers and ask about:
- Does the application really solve their problem, help them out?
- When and in what situation would they use it?
- Is it simple and intuitive to use?
- Would they be willing to buy this product, if it was available? If so, how much would they be willing to pay for this solution?
2. Create a mockup
If you still think that you are not quite prepared and technologically advanced to draw the layout of your application, show the user’s path, plan all the buttons and functionalities, you are wrong. The mockup does not have to be a coded version of your product and it really should not be. There are many free online tools on the market that will help you plan your structure.
What is the mockup? The mockup is simply a visual reflection of what the product is- explaining to potential investors, programmers what the application actually does for the user, what it concerns, how it can be navigated. You can do it by hand, sketching on individual pages and UX, but we encourage you to use free tools that will help you do it perfectly!
Below are a few online tools available that will allow you to create a ready-made mock-up of the product:
- Moqups – https://moqups.com/
- Mockingbird – https://gomockingbird.com
- Gliffy – https://www.gliffy.com/
- Invision – https://www.invisionapp.com/
3. Start pre-sales and get first users
When you have already gathered feedback on your application, previously tested by the first users, it is time for the activities related to launching the first sale. Do not wait until the product comes out of the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) phase, start selling it, and in the meantime finish the product. This is the nature of startups.
Presale is another chance to confirm whether your product will work on the market. Thanks to good sales, it will be easier to convince investors to invest in a startup, find a technological business partner and next clients.
How can you help presell your application?
- Bet on content marketing and start writing about your application, solution and actively promote social media entries. In this way, you will start to gather a group of recipients, to whom you pass the most needed knowledge, dispel their doubts, and build awareness of the brand on the market. Remember that at the beginning, without a strong brand, no one will know about you and your solution.
- Talk. Especially on forums and social media channels that you manage. Talk about your vision, share your experiences and build emotions around the product. Users go for brands with passion, brands that are committed to communicate with them.
- You can run a discount program for a while, for the first downloads or purchases in your store, but do not create your sales strategy this way. One-time promotion is everything. After all, you are building a market product with a specific pricing strategy. It is better to prepare a simple and low-cost promotional campaign. Take advantage of this easy-to-use generator of landing pages – (use tools such as: https://unbounce.com/landing-page-templates/) with a simple form that will collect data from the users and provide a demo version of the product for testing.
4. Look around for technological support
Are you getting good reviews because the basic version of your product has been well received and reviewed with approval? Excellent. It’s time to continue developing your product technically and in a more advanced way. Searching for a technological business partner is not easy, but we will help you make the right choice. A few comments from us about this business stage.
- Statistically speaking, startups that include both a founder and a programmer have much better chance of development and success. Building and developing software for your application is something that you can not do on your own. It is good to have a person in the team to entrust these duties to, and you, for example, will take care of sales and marketing.
- Who can be your CTO? It could be your friend, who wants to develop this product after hours with you. Take a look around and choose wisely only among the best ones.
- When MVP starts to sell really well in advance, in most cases you will need the support of a specialized programming team (front-end and back-end developers, testers, graphic designers, PMs).
- At this stage, you should consider hiring an external programming company that, thanks to its experience and specialization in specific technologies, will help you in further work related to the development of the application.
- Try to get involved with an experienced development company specializing in startup services in the field of web application development. Cooperation with software house will provide you with comprehensive services in the following areas: from business analysis, consulting, design and creation of architecture, prototypes, UX / UI, front-end, back-end, testing, to post-implementation support, monitoring and profitable development startup. It is a really comfortable solution.
5. Develop and increase your skills
There is nothing worse than being an entrepreneur but standing still and not developing your own competences. If you want to increase the market value of your application, be a living example for people you will employ and manage, you should learn every day about the things related to business management, technology, sales, HR and marketing.
Take part in conferences and trade fairs related to new technologies and startups. Follow the industry, read, subscribe to industry magazines. Improve your sales techniques, public speaking and offer presentation. Compare with companies that are similar to yours and have been successful. Inspire your colleagues, be an example to them. Do not forget that as a person who does not have deep and extensive technological knowledge, you still need to develop your other skills needed for product development, sales and organization.
Certainly running a startup is quite a challenge, especially when you are only at the beginning of the road and you do not have rich technological or organizational knowledge. However, if you think about your business seriously, you will definitely approach our guidelines with openness. Good luck!