Gone are the days when all you needed to launch a successful startup was an outstanding idea. If you had a great idea, good luck would follow in the form of angel investors and business funds willing to take a chance on you.
Now, in this innovation-hungry era, just a good idea is simply not enough. You need execution and custom business apps make a tremendous difference to that end. They not only improve organizational efficiency, but apps actually make it that much easier for startups to keep track of their company vision and execute it, successfully.
With 66% of the population now accessing the web through their smartphones rather than their laptops, not investing in app development for your business means you’re not reaching a great part of your potential market.
Depending on the niche the startup is in, it may need a custom app, geared towards improving internal operations and increasing employee productivity, long before investing in a consumer facing app becomes a viable business strategy.
But, how do you know you’re in a niche that needs to invest in app development? Well, that’s where getting in touch with experienced app development companies, comes in handy. Not only do you need an app development company that will develop awesome apps for you, but one that has experience stabilizing and growing startups from incubation to maturity.
Types of Startup that Grow Substantially
There are 6 main types of startups that entrepreneurs tend to jump into. Throw an intuitive business app into the mix, and you will have multiplied the potential for growth substantially. Here are the 6 kinds of startups that can benefit exponentially from a business app, from the get go:
1) Lifestyle Startups
If you’re a person generating a profit by living the life you love, then yours is a lifestyle startup.
Say like, a surfer who opens up shop and earns a living by giving surfing lessons. Take Mathew Jones, a former Australian Surfer on the WQS Circuit, turned full-time school teacher for instance. Mr. Jones aspired to be more than a teacher and turned his passion for surfing, fitness and wellness into, not just one, but several mobile apps.
One of his most popular iPhone apps iSurfer, which offers surfing lessons, has garnered quite a following. Or let’s assume that you’re a designing student who loves to make logos. And you’re contemplating to begin your logo makerstartup
Or perhaps you’ve discovered a way to make life easier for others and build a product.
Say like, Bond Thaiyanurak, the proud entrepreneurial father of Washbox24, which is changing the way laundry is done in Bangkok. The premise is, you sign up for their service, buy a package, drop your clothes off at one of their “wash boxes” and you’re done!
Washbox24 will pick up your dirty laundry from the box, launder it at a central facility and drop it off back into the box. Once, delivered they will send you an SMS notifying you, after which you can simply pick your laundered clothes from the same box.
Right now, it’s an SMS based service, with the company uploading pictures of the laundry for your review on their website. However, once they expand, as Bond says, “Asia first, then we would love to be Singapore and Hong Kong.” A mobile business app will inevitably be a requirement for sustained growth.
In recent years, more than 80% of the time being spent on smartphones is just to use apps. This surge in mobile app usage has created unprecedented avenues for customer interaction for companies, which ultimately translates into revenue growth.
According to Flurry Analytics last year’s research, “Mobile app usage grew an impressive 76% in the year 2014, and the biggest mobile app use growth was in the categories of Lifestyle / Shopping (174%), Utilities / Productivity (121%) or Messaging / Social Media (103%).”
The data clearly shows the huge growth potential for Lifestyle startups investing in app development can be.
2) Small Business Startups
Small business startups are small businesses started by regular people you might meet on the street. They’re not aiming to be big, but want to create a comfortable living for their family and friends. That being said, technology plays an integral role in every business, no matter how big or small.
If you’re a small business, you probably won’t need a business or consumer facing app (unless you decide to expand). You will need, however, a responsive specialized website that has the ability to navigate, order and track the products/services a customer may want to buy. In such circumstances, a shopping cart with several options for online payments helps increase sales, tremendously.
The latest global research conducted by The Boston Consulting Group and Qualcomm, only compounds the above point. The research shows that 25% of the top Small and Medium Enterprises are witnessing 2 times the revenue growth and create jobs up to 8 times faster than their counterparts, by adopting mobile technologies. These SME’s shared that 50% of all their web traffic originates from mobile devices.
82% of the SME’s studied in the research said mobile technologies are giving them a tremendous edge against their competitors i.e. greater agility and flexibility in their operations as well as interaction with customers.
Yogibo LLC is the perfect example of a small business startup that’s become very successful, just on the back of a well oiled, specialized responsive website. Not just Yogibo, but other small startups like the Chocolate Pizza Company Inc. and Cabinetparts.com, also benefited immensely from investing in web app.
3) Scalable Startups
Twitter, Google, Facebook, Skype – are all perfect examples of scalable startups. Scalable startups, more often than not, are always in the tech niche. That’s because, as the name suggests, they are scalable i.e. they have the potential to keep increasing their revenue while keeping their incremental costs at a minimum.
For example, a startup launches a new intuitive software program. They have to invest their initial investment on creating the first software only; the rest can be mass produced without many alterations to the source code. In short, their incremental costs for mass producing the product will barely increase.
This is exactly why Venture Capitalists and investors only invest in technological startups and never in services startups.
According to VC Fred Destin, “Scaling refers to the period in a startup’s life when management and board feels like they can systematically accelerate growth with confidence that the resources they put in will yield great and measurable results. It normally happens after product-market fit has been found and the search for a repeatable sales or customer acquisition model has yielded enough positive data”.
Considering scalable startups bring technological solutions to the market, they already invest heavily in mobility technologies.
Uber, AirBnB and Basecamp are present day examples of successful scalable businesses.
4) Buyable Startups
Buyable startups are companies that were born to be sold i.e. flip to other larger companies in the niche. In the last decade, there have been numerous web and mobile app startups that were bought off, often by internet conglomerates such as Facebook and Google.
Naturally, being in the web niche, these buyable startups have products that are already dependent on app or web development. They develop their own products from scratch, launch it and successfully create a following for it. Their success is what attracts other companies to acquire them.
Most recently, Google acquired the web based startup Divshot. Divshot developed a program that let app developers use the company’s cloud based platform to create vibrant user interfaces, simply by a drag-and-drop function. Divshot started in 2013 after raising $1.1 million in seed funding and since then had attracted more than 40,000 users. Now, Divshot has been merged with Google’s Firebase, which offers a suite of products for developers.
Another web based startup, Wit.ai was picked up by Facebook.
5) Large Company Startups
Companies that start small with a product that’s revolutionary, but go on to be globally recognized are considered large company startups. These companies reach the end of their life cycle fairly quickly. Therefore, in order to keep growing as a company they need continuous sustaining innovation (variants of the core product) and/or disruptive innovation (new products for new markets).
These startups become self reliant in all kinds of software, web and mobility development. It’s one of their core competencies and thus continues to adapt and grow as the demand and trends of technology change.
Consider the tech giant Apple Inc. In 1976, Steve Wozniak created the first Apple computer. Later, he joined forces with Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne to start a company out of Job’s adoptive parents’ garage. Their first customer was a local retailer who ordered 50 computers priced at $500 each. You can read about 5 other large companies that started out small, but have since become global leaders in tech.
With their own dedicated development teams, Apple has always been able to keep abreast of the technology trends. In fact, Apple has been the one creating those trends.
6) Social Startups
Companies started by socially ambitious and passionate entrepreneurs driven to make a difference in the world around them, are termed social startups. These startups can be organized as a for-profit, non-profit or hybrid.
Social startups, more often than not, need donations to fund their projects. Other than donations, charities thrive on a community of likeminded people interacting to make difference i.e. online forums. Considering how more than 60% of the population now uses their smartphones to access the internet, a central mobile app can often be a necessity for these charities.
Scott Harrison was a high-end promoter for top nightclubs and luxury events of New York. He was living a seemingly charmed life, but deep down he was unhappy and needed a change. His decision to volunteer with a floating hospital turned his world upside down.
Realizing how desperately some parts of the world needed clean water, he decided to start a social charity called ‘Charity: water’. Since then his charity has funded 3,962 clean water projects in 19 countries.
Acknowledging the advantage a mobile app can give in raising awareness for his charity, Harrison is already thinking of developing a central app through which people can donate to a particular water project, connect with other donors and help start their own clean water project.
The real life examples in this blog were meant to highlight the avenues of revenue growth a dedicated mobile app can create no matter the size of the startup. It’s an undisputed fact that launching a mobile app for a startup, regardless of the niche they are in, is a great advantage. In some cases, it’s even become a necessity to stay competitive.