White label goods and services have been around for decades. In every industry imaginable, businesses create products and partners rebrand them to sell as their own. The tech sector is certainly no exception.

The sharp rise in consumer mobile usage and “m-commerce” has made business mobilization an arms race—if you don’t have a mobile presence, you’re already losing out to competitors who do. But most businesses lack the resources to build and launch an app on their own, opening up plenty of opportunity for digital agencies and entrepreneurs to answer their demand with affordable solutions.

Here are 7 questions to consider if you plan to enter the mobile app industry.

1. What is your strategic focus?

Are you considering a white label app program because it’s the market you want to serve? For example, app development makes sense for digital agencies looking to broaden their services. And independent app developers might turn to a white label solution to serve clients who don’t require custom development.

On the other hand, maybe you’re searching for a new entrepreneurial venture to supplement your income or switch career paths. If so, how will you carve out the time to be successful? Do you have a clear sales and marketing strategy, including businesses you’ll target and how you’ll sell to them?

2. What is your competitive advantage?

The mobile app industry is maturing quickly and newcomers are flooding in, but there’s still plenty of opportunity to bank on unsaturated local markets. Do your research. If there are no app developers in your area, any small business without a mobile presence is yours for the taking. If someone’s already selling apps locally, ask yourself the following:

  • Are they targeting the same industries I’d like to serve?
  • What features and benefits can I offer that they don’t?
  • How price-sensitive is the market?
  • How can I exercise my personal and professional connections to get an edge?

If you’re capable of delivering superior functionality and the market is still fairly undeveloped, then you may have a profitable business opportunity.

3. What is your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?

How would you describe the unique value of what you’re offering? If you’re simply following the success of an already-established competitor, gaining traction could be tough. Markets are not kind to followers—you need to be genuinely disruptive to differentiate yourself enough to build market share, and that means identifying a void that has yet to be filled, then filling it.

4. What needs will you address?

The white label app industry is a business-to-business (B2B) market and, as such, your apps must serve the needs of businesses and their customers. As the solution-provider, it’s your job to answer the needs of:

  • The business: If they’re going to pay to launch an app under their name, what will it do for them? Generate new business? Simplify processes? Improve customer service? There’s endless potential, but you need to speak to each business’ unique problems and show them how mobile can help them tackle those.
  • The customer: Why would the end customer want to download this business’ app? Storage space is hard to come by these days, so what’s the draw? Loyalty and savings features? On-the-go shopping and ordering? Apps can serve as excellent customer retention tools, so make sure to leverage that potential.
  • The lead: How would an app drive new business to your client? Even if you’re selling mobile apps as customer-centric tools, businesses want to see opportunity for new profits. Are their competitors already mobilized? If so, they’re likely losing business to them already—they just don’t know it. Show them how a mobile app will help draw new business.

5. What is your service proposition?

The app industry isn’t just about building a product and delivering it. For small businesses especially, user training must be done to ensure they get the most of it. Otherwise you’re handing them an easel and no paintbrush. Consider the nuts and bolts of your agreement—an innocuous clause offering unlimited support may seem like a no-brainer, but that will quickly drain your resources and your energy. Think about what you’re going to offer, what rights your customers have, what constitutes “custom” versus “standard,” and, finally, how all this compares to your competition.

6. How long is your sales cycle?

B2B sales often require more work, longer timelines, and better strategies to overcome buyer hesitation. The fact is, you’ll be doing a lot of work to achieve a sale with no guarantee of a return. Your potential buyer has no obligation to commit to an app, even if you jump through pricey hoops to demonstrate how great it is. You’ll need to invest considerable resources into converting leads to customers, and be prepared for the costs to build up before you even achieve a sale. Factor in the cost of crafting a professional sales pitch that demonstrates the value of your app, developing sales materials, and potentially bringing on skilled salespeople.

7. How will you collect feedback?

Like any product, an app’s success rests on the end user’s opinion. As a white label reseller, there’s some disconnect between you and that end user, which means product feedback is filtered and skewed by the intermediary: your customer. Of course, the business’ feedback is hugely important, but their valuation of the app will be based largely on the end user’s experience too.

That’s why it’s critical to collect feedback diligently. Include feedback forms in all the apps you produce for customers and work through each customer concern with them rather than leaving them to their own devices. You’ll benefit from the end user’s voice and up your customer retention by approaching issues proactively.

Whether you’re exploring app development as an entrepreneur or an agency looking to diversify, it’s a highly strategic decision. Make sure you thoroughly understand the market and choose the right provider before you step into the arena. Happy selling!