If you have an entrepreneurial mindset (and you likely do if you are reading this blog) then you have undoubtedly thought of a brilliant software application idea at some point. It usually starts with, “Someone should develop an app that…” or “I should create software that…” But, what happens after that? Many people simply do not know where to start when it comes to developing their app idea.

The ProblemSolutionHQ team is fortunate to have Peter Sperry, one of the founders, guide us through the process of zero to launch. Peter is also the creator of Redpoint Rack, a software development solution that caters to small businesses. Redpoint Rack has two primary goals:

  1. Develop exciting software products that solve small business problems.
  2. Helps others to bring their software application ideas to life and to market.

His extensive experience as a programmer and his proven entrepreneurial savvy makes him an authority on app development.

Where To Begin with My Software Application Idea?

Great ideas fly around great minds all day long. But, sometimes, an idea sticks and you just can’t get it out of your head. It keeps resurfacing and you have an intuitive feeling that this may be the idea of all ideas. But, then what?

Peter suggests the following when it comes to earth shattering software application ideas:

  • What is the problem? Consider the problem that you are trying to solve with your app. Is it a big problem that affects a large demographic? Does it solve the problem completely? Ideally, apps should solve big business issues with simple, convenient solutions.
  • Vet the solution. How real is the problem to the target market? Speak to people within your target market. Find out if your solution solves the problem in a practical way. Be open to input from those within the industry. Talking to 6-10 people within the target market should give you a good feel for whether to continue with your idea. The best business solutions either save time or save money, or both.

But, I Don’t Write Code

Code may seem like an elusive foreign language, but it does not have to be. If you have vetted your software application idea and are ready for development, but you don’t write code, you have a couple of options:

  • Learn to write code. Programming can be learned online for free with the right level of determination. If you are the type of person that wants to retain complete creative control over your app, learning code will open many doors for you. Codecademy is a great place to start learning the basics. The hardest part will be overcoming the fear of getting started. Code School is another great resource.
  • Rely on a freelancer. If you know where to look, there is a wealth of talent on the internet just waiting to help you develop your next great idea. Experienced developers can easily be found on freelance sites such as Upwork and Guru. The secret to hiring a freelancer that will deliver a successful outcome is to prepare and have clear expectations. And as with any freelancer, check references and past work product before hiring.

What to Provide to a Freelance Developer

The more time you take to refine your idea and the more that you clarify your concept, the more accurate your development bid will be and you will be much happier with the end product. Be ready to communicate the following:

  • Have a fairly extensive set of requirements for the product. Provide a list of what the software application should and should not do and how it should behave.
  • Walk through the application step by step in the form of a document. This is called a use case.
  • Include drawings of how the app should appear and how it should work. There are many wire frame tools on the market that will help.
  • Be clear about whether your software application is web based or mobile. Mobile apps will have to be approved by Apple or Google.
  • Be ready to communicate how you want to get paid. PayPal is a common form of payment that is trusted by the masses. Payment gateways such as Stripe and Authorize.net are also well known. Either form can be integrated by your developer.

Reducing the development cycle will speed up the process and cut costs. The best way to make this happen is to have a clear and documented vision to present to your developer up front.

An important part of your developer contract should define what will happen with bugs and updates. Agree on how app support will be handled after development and create a release cycle.

What Will My Software Application Cost?

Simple apps with only one layer typically cost in the $5,000 to $10,000 range. Complex apps can cost over $500,000. The cost of your software application will be contingent upon the following:

  • Features
  • Complexity
  • Platform
  • Apps with back-end servers will almost always cost more.
  • The developer
  • Number of updates

How Do I Host My Software Application?

The first step is to secure your url. For a few bucks a year, you can purchase a domain through either GoDaddy or NameCheap. Work with your developer to agree on hosting. The developer should be comfortable working within the selected hosting platform and you should be comfortable monitoring progress and collaborating with the developer. ProblemSolutionHQ relies on Heroku and Amazon Web Services for hosting.

Parting Word of Advice: Peter leaves us with some sage entrepreneurial advice. Building a business takes time and some wins are easy and some are tough. Have patience, work really hard, and stay committed to solving real problems.

If you still have a question or are interested in launching a software app, contact Peter at Peter@www.problemsolutionhq.com.php56-4.dfw3-2.websitetestlink.com.
Listen to the complete podcast to hear Peter share his experience.
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