Posts Tagged ‘Part-time iphone app business’

Hello, I’m Your Personal iPhone App Mentor

When you start a business, you’re going to need a lot of advice.  You’ll have ideas floating around your head that you need to bounce off another person, or you might have questions about the best way to approach a contract negotiation.  Most aspiring entrepreneurs deal with these issues by talking to the people they know and trust the most – their close family and friends.  Unfortunately, asking your brother or college roommate about important business decisions is like going to a car mechanic about your toothache.  They’re just can’t help you!


When I’m beginning a new venture, one of the first things I do is to seek out experts in the field.  I want to learn from their personal experiences and get any advice they might be able to give me.  It’s no surprise that the people who can help you most with any given issue are the ones who have been through it before.  Of course, approaching an expert can be intimidating for a first-time entrepreneur.  You may not want to bother a busy business owner or developer with your questions, and once you’ve secured a meeting, you might not want to ask what’s really on your mind.  Just remember – they’ve been there before!  Every entrepreneur has gone through the struggles of starting up, and they often are willing and eager to help others become successful.  Don’t be afraid to reach out to local business owners or app idea developers online to ask questions about the industry or their personal experiences.


DesignSponge has a great article on how to approach a small business owner for advice.  Regardless of the industry you’re in or the kind of app you’re developing, the most important thing to remember is common respect and appreciation for the person you’re seeking advice from.  This means understanding how busy an entrepreneur is, trying not to take up too much of their time, asking only a few questions to keep the conversation simple, and most importantly, knowing everything you can about the entrepreneur you’re hoping to talk to.  Think of it as a job interview: to get the best results, you want to show the interviewer that you’ve taken the time to learn about their company so that you can ask astute, meaningful questions.  After the meeting, follow up with a thank you card and anything you can give the business in return.  Think free publicity through your Twitter account or blog!  The entrepreneur will appreciate your support and be open to helping you again in the future.


If there’s no one in your local community that you can meet with face-to-face, you might be able to reach out to entrepreneurs or experts online.  A number of sites offer free advice – some more legitimate than others.  For a variety of opinions from entrepreneurs just like you, visit forums or communities like and EnMast. If you’d like to talk to someone qualified as an adviser, try the Ask the Experts page on one of your favorite small business magazines or websites.  SmartCompany’s advice form page is a great example.  Many of these sites also offer free advice in the form of articles or downloadable e-books.  Just remember to take all your advice with a grain of salt!  Even when talking to a great and successful business owner, try to remember that every word they say is not a golden rule for your particular situation.  Use your best judgment and talk to many different advisers before determining a path for your business.


And, if you ever want iPhone app development advice, you already know an expert who is happy to talk to you – me!  I truly enjoy helping aspiring entrepreneurs, and I have a wealth of personal experience in iPhone app development, contract drafting, partnership and contractor arrangements, and negotiations.  I can’t think of anything that makes me personally happier than sharing that information with you.  So, if you ever have a question or just want my advice, use the contact form on my page.  It’s 100% free, no strings attached, and the responses always come directly from me.  No entrepreneur should have to face starting up alone, and that’s why I’m offering my free and candid advice to anyone who wants it.  I can’t wait to hear your stories!


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Discover 5 Secrets to a Productive Workday At Your Home Office

Staying productive at home office can be difficult when you’re used to an office environment.  Here are a few secrets to keep you on track and focused throughout your work day.


  1. Set actual working hours.  Saying that you’ll work from 8:00 to 3:00 every day is much more effective then saying you’ll put in seven hours of work at some point before you go to bed.
  2. Set aside a space just for work.  It doesn’t matter whether this is desk in a converted guest bedroom or just a coffee table in a secluded corner – having an area that you recognize as your work space (and that your family also respects as your personal area) will be infinitely helpful.
  3. Get started early in the morning.  If you start your day with work, you will be done much faster that you expected and your free time at the end of the day will feel even more enjoyable.  Letting yourself watch TV, play games, or run errands before sitting down to work will actually keep you from focusing on your tasks, while de-motivating you because you’ll be starting and finishing work so late.
  4. Get dressed.  This may sound silly, but even when you’re sitting at your kitchen table you’ll find that you’re more productive once you’ve put on a pair of slacks and a button down shirt.  Doing work in your pajamas will effect your productivity and your confidence – surprisingly, potential licensees may be able to tell over the phone that you’re not 100% on the ball, the same way that people can tell over the phone when you’re smiling.
  5. Minimize distractions.  Keep your office area away from the TV and ban yourself from website that you know will distract you.  There are a number of programs you can use to forcibly keep yourself from sites like Facebook, YouTube, and more if you don’t quite have enough self-discipline yet.  Try something like StayFocused, a Google Chrome add-on that blocks user-specified websites for a certain amount of time while you get your work done.


Once you begin getting into the routine of self-employment, you’ll discover what works best for you.  Don’t be afraid to change up your day-to-day schedule now that you’re on your own!  Take advantage of all the benefits of app licensing by developing a routine that keeps you focused, productive, and happy.

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Use iPhone App Licensing to Supplement Your Income

App development and licensing can be a great way to supplement your income or provide an extra stream of revenue to family.  This is a project that you can start on your own time, working at your own pace around another job or a busy family life.  If you’ve been looking for a way to pursue your entrepreneurial ambitions without putting everything at risk, starting a project like this one part time is a great choice.


One of the great things about app licensing is the flexibility it offers you.  If you work a full-time job, you can develop your pitch documents at night, work on graphics over the weekend, and contact potential licensees during your lunch break.  If you take care of children at home, you can follow the steps in between mealtimes and play dates. Any extra five minutes can be put toward developing your idea – or not, depending on how committed you are and what your ideal timeline is.


There is also almost no risk involved in starting a venture like this.  Your only costs will be your personal working time and anything that you outsource to other firms or consultants.  Even if you outsource everything having to do with the pitch document and patent registration, your total costs should not exceed $500.


Once the initial few months of work is over and you’ve partnered with a licensee company, you’ll hopefully be enjoying the benefits of a passive, steady income stream without any further work on your part.  Depending on your contract agreement, you may have a small role in future updates and changes, but in general, once the company has licensed your idea, your part of the work is done.


Since there is so little time and money involved and the process itself is so flexible, app licensing makes an excellent part-time project or ‘second job.’  Who knows?  You might just hit it big enough to actually quit your day job!

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Things to Know about the iPhone App Market

When you’re looking to develop or license an iPhone app idea, you need to know as much as possible about the app environment and the niche you want to enter.  This article will give you a great start to the first one, telling you 5 important things to know about the app market.  I focus on Apple’s App Store, as this is the most popular app marketplace and the one I’m most familiar with.


  1. Even though the App Store has over 550,000 apps, there is still fantastic opportunity to develop new ideas or improve on existing ones.  In the long term, this is still a nascent market (started just four years ago in 2008)!  There is a lot of room for newcomers.
  2. The use of apps is just now starting to trickle down to medium-sized businesses.  It may be difficult to get your idea into the hands of a massive corporation like Target or Amazon, but target a slightly smaller company that’s looking to go mobile, and you’re golden.
  3. The iPad is on track to control 80% of the tablet market, and it’s even newer than the iPhone!  You might want to focus your energy on this popular and lucrative platform, where there is a bit less competition and a bit more opportunity.
  4. Developing an app is expensive!  As mentioned in earlier articles, it can cost between $50,000 and $200,000 to develop an app, plus 75% of this again for the additional iPhone/iPad version (whatever was not developed first).  When you’re working on your idea, consider whether what you’ve come up with will be worth that much to a partner company through marketing, customer outreach, or direct profit.
  5. If your app doesn’t work with Apple, don’t be afraid to play with other platforms!  Though Apple is the most popular platform and my personal favorite, that doesn’t make it right for every idea.  If you have a great app idea that targets Android or Blackberry users, go for it!

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Build Your Network to Support Your Weaknesses

I’m a great vision person.  I think of ideas, and I can see them grow and develop in my head.  But like many entrepreneurs, I have weaknesses that can get in the way of turning those ideas into reality.  In my case, I’m weak in graphic design, programming and several other key areas in the iPhone app business – but I’m great at finding people to fill that weakness!


Building a business requires every skill in the book, and you’re bound to be missing a couple of them.  To be successful, you’ll need to learn how to build a network of people around you who can support your ideas and fill in the missing gaps in your abilities.  Contractors, editors, graphic designers, lawyers, and programmers can all provide skills that are invaluable to your team, and you’ll want to find talent that works seamlessly with your own personality and goals.  Being able to seek out these people and motivate them to feel connected to your projects is a skill in itself – and it’s one you really need!


Let’s go back to my example.  I’m pretty open about the fact that I’m not super smart in a lot of required areas to run a successful iPhone app business but this does not need to hold you back.  I also used to be terrified of public speaking – so much so that I avoided it whenever possible.  But when I started working with Monavie, I had to make a choice between staying trapped in that fear and reaching my personal goals with the company.  I chose to overcome it, and I worked hard at filling that gap in my skills so that I could become successful with Monavie and achieve my goals.


I’m not active with Monavie currently, but that experience became more valuable to me than a Harvard education.  I overcame my fear and went on to be one of the top paid distributors in the industry for several years.  Stepping outside my comfort zone helped me grow as a person, and it led me to opportunities I wouldn’t have thought possible before.


So what’s holding you back?  You know what skills and abilities you’re missing.  Reach out now to people who can fill those gaps and help you build a great team.  And don’t be afraid to take the first step – remember, a conversation is free, but a relationship is invaluable!

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