There are no bones about it. App development is an expensive endeavor with many facets and lots of opportunities for things to go wrong. Even when you go about doing it the right way, by finding your MVP and planning accordingly, you will still have to fund the project. Most of the time when an app is being considered it is as a whole business model and rarely as an add-on to a current business. You must approach your idea like it is a business that makes money and will have a return on investment. Investment is the key word here. How exactly do you get your app funded?
Bootstrap it and pay for it yourself
The most tried and true method to get your app up and running is to pay for the app yourself. By doing it this way, you will only have to be accountable to yourself, and all of the returns on investment will be yours. This might seem like a bit of common sense advice, but there is no better way to run a business than debt free. When pricing out a project, often companies will be willing to work out payment schedules that you can work within. Though, be prepared for this to slow down the development quite a bit.
App contests are a long shot, but some have used them to get an app off the ground. Essentially you, the contestant, submit your app idea with graphics and a synopsis to the contest. Then money is awarded based on placement by the contest judges. Some quick tips on getting noticed in these contests involve:
- Having a brand already
- Having a plan.
- Having attractive graphics for the app already made.
- Having a nice video about the problem you are trying to solve with your app.
Get an MVP working with friends and family
Remember the song “With A Little Help from my Friends?”
Well how about friends and relatives? If you have a great idea and all the research looks like you might profit from the investment why not work with your friends and family to get the app off the ground?
Crowdfunding can be an effective way to fund your app. With three major platforms, you can surely find a service that is best for you. Keep in mind that fees do apply when using these services.
Kickstarter – Kickstarter is the popular crowdfunding platform that kicked the whole thing off. It has focused traditionally on business ideas that centered around art, creativity and new inventions. With 12 million plus backers using the site it is a good choice. You need to keep in mind that the funding is all or nothing funding, meaning that if you do not make your goal, you do not get funded.
Gofundme – Gofundme is a little less strict than Kickstarter. With all-or-nothing funding or partial funding available, it is a bit more flexible. Gofundme has both individuals and business on the site and boasts 25 million donors.
Indiegogo – Indiegogo might be the least strict of all of the platforms allowing just about anybody to fund and promote their venture. With over 2.5 million contributors in 2015, the platform is excellent for anyone, with options for full funding or partial funding. It is also worth noting that Indigogo, though less popular than the others, is the first one to provide this kind of service.
Find more details and what their differences are here.
Debt / Investment / Angel investors
Sometimes you have to spend money to make money, and sometimes that money is someone else’s. Investors and debt are always an option, and if your idea is excellent, you can give away part of your ownership in exchange for capital. This can be a magnificent idea, and it is really up to you to decide if this is the best course of action. It’s worth noting that if the company fails or you do not profit, you may have to give the money back. That can be complicated, because you may have already spent it on development.
Hopefully these tips can help you decide how you might go about getting your app development idea funded. If you need help or want to ask a few questions, please feel free to contact us.
Also published on Medium.