I have a great app idea, but I have zero experience in this field. I need an expert to guide me through the steps of raising funds, developing the app, etc., and possibly provide extra services such as creating a business plan. Please message me if you think you could help. Thank you
I'm not sure if this is how you imagine this world to work, but at least according to the order you wrote it "raising funds" was first. In reality it should actually be one of your final steps of the stage you are at right now. It may even come after a year or two!
So you have this great app idea, and you're looking for a place to start... Don't! Don't start yet before you decide whether you have what it takes to get into a roller coaster that can ruin your life and make you miserable! Not trying to scare you but I think most people only hear about these great success stories. They have this dream of maybe, possibly, becoming the next big thing... Because they have the best idea for an app... You don't hear about the failures so often. And even if you do, you don't hear about what the founders of these failing startups had to go through.
Truth is you are most likely gonna fail. And I'm saying that without even knowing what your idea is. There are so many barriers on your way that even a great product with a great team is likely to fail. Some people would say "I'm not afraid of failing", "It's good to fail cause you learn", "Failing will make me stronger for the next startup". That's somewhat true but it doesn't mean that failing is easy. As oppose to what people sometimes say - you do not want to fail! It's very painful!!!
You have to understand what failing in a startup means. You can work your a$s for 2-3 years, have little to no salary, waste other people's money (most likely your friends and family first), lose friends, fight with your partners, your family, your spouse, devote 20 hours a day for your startup all this time, forget about the little and big things you used to enjoy in life, and only then, after debating 100 times whether you should quit or not, you finally decide that it's not gonna work and you've failed. Disappointing your family, your investors, yourself. Trust me it is painful.
Are you sure you wanna do this to yourself?
If yes, give me a call. I have the experience you need! From idea stage, to proof of concept, to running beta tests, getting millions of millions of users in ways you can't even imagine, creating features and experience that will make these millions of users completely addicted and viral, raise money in a smart way, hire the right people, find a great co-founder, succeed, fail, be persistent, and enjoy the ride!
I've been down that road with my recent app build. Even with a good test, there is no guarantee that the final version will be successful. There are over 1.5 MILLION apps in the App Store. That is a lot of noise to cut through.
The idea of outsourcing the original build is good and there are several freelance sites you can use to get started. We went that route and hired a freelancer out of Vietnam. While the prototype worked, it was a painful process. Be prepared for language barriers, translation issues and other problems.
I can help you get started and guide you through development. Let me know if you'd like to find a time to talk.
If you have a great idea you should first check if someone else have already done it. If you are sure that it's unique or you can do better then start validating idea amongs your circle and get feedback. Honestly raising fund shouldn't be on your list at this point. First get something quick and dirty out their and see how you target audience react to it. For starters you should read little about Lean Startup methodology. Now a days you can get your app concept to reality with $500 - $1000 if you executive it smartly by outsourcing.
Go ahead reach out to me and you can schedule a free 30 min call and I can give you some advice you can get your first prototype from start to finish.
I agree with the previous suggestions. You need to be sure your idea is profitable. There are myriad of applications nowadays and many of them don't generate a good business. Once you move to the execution time, get a good team to build a quality app, your testers are your friends.
Be sure to get your IT security strategy in place since the beginning, at least a basic one, when it's easier (and cheaper) to establish. Remember that in the rush to go live many startups lack security mechanisms and a single data breach in early stages can trash all your good work in a minute.
Call me if you need further assistance with the last topic.
I hear this a lot and always say the same thing: if you can test your idea manually, without having to build any software, do it. There are so many great free software services out there nowadays and for most app ideas, you can string a couple services together or do part of it by hand to get everything going initially. Having real sales and usage will help you discover the things you couldn't have foreseen and understand your target user much better. Real sales/traction is also the best way to attract investors and technical co-founders.
Lots of good responses already, and to re-iterate and add my $0.02:
* Before raising funds you have to be able to easily communicate your idea, and in most cases, show some kind of traction - this can be some wireframes, click through-prototype, or even scanned napkins of that the screens look like
* At this point I'd recommend getting the idea out of your head, and into something that's an input for the next stages of development. If you're comfortable with creating wireframes, you might want to check out https://www.sketchapp.com/ in order to create all the screens that make up your idea. I've worked with founders for this stage, and it's critical to be able to export what's in your brain into something shareable/tangible
* Validate, validate, validate - once you have screens, share them. Once you have a click through prototype (i.e. Invision), share that, etc.
* Having all the screens is going to be imperative to being able to design the supporting architecture and make technology choices. i.e. is this a standalone app, or does it require a backend (DB in some server, cloud). Should this be iOS only, Android only, all of the above?
So, my prescriptive statement: export the idea from your brain into something shareable if you haven't already, get someone technical to help ask the hard questions and help with technical strategy. Get lots of validation. If it makes sense, build MVP in the most economical way possible (even this has a lot of "it depends" though).
This is a great question and one that I get asked at least once a week from entrepreneurs who want to build an app. I have a few quick words of advice:
1. You don't need a buisness plan, but a well though pitch deck is key. Guy Kawasaki has a great pitch deck plan: http://guykawasaki.com/the-only-10-slides-you-need-in-your-pitch/
2. Whether you are an novice or an expert, put your idea to paper. This can be in the form of user stories, bullet point features, hand drawn mock ups, screen shots from other apps - basically something to communicate to a developer what your idea is all about.
3. You need to spend some money to raise money. It doesnt have to be $100,000, but if you are serious about your idea and working with an app firm, be prepared to spend at least $5K to hire a team to flush out your concept and work with a UI/UX designer so that you can then present your idea to an investor. It is well worth it. My company has done this successfully for many start ups who then go on to secure a seed round of funding.
4. Your idea is not great. Everyone has "great" ideas. Its the execution of the idea, how thought through your idea is, who you end up choosing to work with to bring your idea to fruition.
5. Build an MVP to prove your assumptions and that your "great" idea has market value and you can gain users or customers. Dont focus on being everywhere at launch, focus on 1 platform (iPhone) and build it native. Pivot when you need to, be ready to abandon everything if you can't prove it. Read the "Lean Startup" before you do anything else.