Making an app for you business may seem like a daunting task when you don’t know anything about apps beyond how to download one off the App Store and open it on your phone. I’d assume you’re aware that app development tends to require certain software, typically development kits, and knowledge about coding, but did you know there are a number of different ways you can develop a mobile business app for your small business?
Doing It Yourself
Let’s say you’re one of the ones with a bit of technical know-how and you think you have what it takes to make the app yourself if only you don’t have to know programming code. Well luckily for you, there are a plethora of do-it-yourself tools available for the budding app creator that doesn’t know programming code.
AppInventor is an open-source tool that was created by Google and is now run by MIT. The application makes the creation of Android-based apps easy for a novice to pick up and slowly learn from. If you’re building an Android app, this is probably the DIY tool you want to go with.
AppMakr will let you build iPhone, Windows Phone, and soon Android apps for free while giving you the tools to do everything from building the basic structure of the app to monetizing it with ads. It’s been around for a while and proven to be effective.
Hiring a Freelancer
Maybe you don’t want to do the leg work yourself. One of the more cost effective means of getting an app created is to hire a freelancer for the job. They tend to work for a lot less than the industry standard, but you also run the risk of getting someone who doesn’t fully know what they’re doing or may be trying to scam you for some easy money. Then again, you could find a talented budding programmer who hasn’t gotten his shot in the industry yet and is looking to prove himself.
The best places to find and hire freelancers are oDesk, Elance and Guru. Sure there’s a lot of ramble in the giant pot of cheap labor, but there’s a few gems too. Just don’t try to get services for too much cheaper than industry standard – freelancers have to eat too and if you pinch your pennies too much you’ll end up getting what you paid for.
Contracting a Development Agency
This option is really only for companies that already have a bit of backing. Developing premier apps isn’t cheap by any means, and if you’re choosing this option you’re going for the most expensive option in an effort to avoid the risk we talked about in the freelancer section.
The best way to find a development agency is to do your research and shop around – like if you were looking for a car or a house. Don’t just hire the first one you find. (Unless that’s us!) You’re going to end up having to pay a lot of money, so you better be sure you like the development agency you get in bed with.
Hiring an In-House Developer
This is essentially the same thing as hiring a freelancer, only on a long term basis. You can do all the interviews you want to make it look more official, but in the end you’re stuck with pot luck.
My advice is to ignore experience (to a reasonable extent) and hire ambition. If you’re going this route then you’re looking for someone to grow alongside your company, so you better make sure they’re a hard worker who likes what they do and is interested in making a name for themselves. Hire that person and if they succeed in their goals, they’ll further your own.
Don’t forget to talk to one of our App Geniuses to see what we can do for you!