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Biz Ladies: 5 Signs Your Biz is Ready for an App

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Today’s Biz Ladies post comes to us from Kate Hash, a  blogger, web designer and creator of Grow Baby Grow! a new app that lets parents easily add cute weekly and monthly badges to photos of their wee ones. Kate has previously contributed to the series on the topic of working across cultures and this week she’s sharing her insight on how to know when your business is ready for an app. Thank you, Kate, for sharing your insight with us today! –Stephanie

Read the full post after the jump…

Do you dream of creating an app for your business, product or fresh new idea? You’re not alone. With over 19,000 new apps created for the Apple marketplace alone each month, apps aren’t going anywhere. What’s more, a catchy app idea can not only make you money, but increase your brand’s recognition in the marketplace and bring in new fans.

The burning question that business owners wrestle with, of course, is knowing when your business is ready — really ready — for an app. That’s because being ready doesn’t just mean being positioned to sell and market the final product. Being ready also entails having the time, energy and cash flow to strategize, design and develop the app.

So, how do you know you’re ready? Here are five signs it might be time to dive into the app development process:

1 – Your app idea directly supports your current business model.

Some biz owners are lucky in that their app idea is a direct interpretation of their current business model. Do you own a cooking school and your app will allow students to easily book space in your classes? Fantastic! Apps that directly support your current business model are an amazing way to generate passive income for your business. Because, whether you’re making money from the app sale itself or have a free app generating income is another way, it’s money you’re essentially making while you sleep doing what you already do a little bit better.

2 – Your app idea supports strategic growth.

Apps can also be a great way to organically branch out your business. Lets say, for example, that you’re a wedding photographer with an idea for a photo app to decorate wedding day photos. As a photographer you’re (obviously) not an app developer, but your subject matter expertise — and your frequent interaction with the target market — tells you this is a great idea. It’s an expansion of your current business that makes sense.

3 – You’ve done extensive research into the app development process.

Knowledge is power folks! You need to read success stories, horror stories and everything in between. There is no question too big or too small to ask yourself during the research phase. This is so important to do even before you interview developers. Instead of asking developers basic questions about app development, you should be asking them their opinions on best practices and other things you’ve read about. It sets a tone that you are a prepared, educated and strategic-thinking client. If you’ve done lots of research into app development and haven’t broken out in a cold sweat you just might be ready to take the plunge!

4 – You and your biz are financially ready to invest in creating the highest quality app possible.

There will always be a big difference between version 1.0 and 5.0 of any product, but you aren’t ready to create an app if you start out bargain basement hunting for a designer and developer. Good apps (and app developers) cost money. If you interview developers and decide that the app you really want to create isn’t in your price range yet, I strongly suggest rethinking your preparedness. Sometimes it’s possible to make a few concessions to get the app on budget, but if you know it will compromise quality I suggest holding off.

5 – There is no app in the marketplace currently fulfilling this need.

Because, if there is, your app better perform the core functions better and provide additional features. The truth is that, yes, you need to be ready to create the app, but the marketplace also needs to be amenable to it. Sometimes, your idea will be truly original and in that situation you can pat yourself on the back. Having a fresh, new app idea is a great sign that your interest in apps is mirrored by the need for such a service.

When all is said and done, however, don’t discount that “gut” feeling that the timing may be right. Having recently created an app — Grow Baby Grow! — that was a total departure from my current business services I can tell you that sometimes an idea sprouts for an app that just makes sense, is timely and fills a niche. In situations like mine, however, the latter items on the list above become more important to the success of developing an app for your business!

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