I’m a computer engineer who lives in Bangkok, Thailand. I’m just an ordinary man who follows the same path as others. I was a software engineer at Reuters and I was so happy working for this company. I decided to start my own company after 6 years in Reuters. Unfortunately, I was getting bored after a year on my own business. Moreover, I knew that I’m going to have a kid. So I started to look for the change again. I believe there must be some good businesses that can give me more time with my family and my son. That was my first start in the app industry.
The 1st Change: Apps
There are many “changes” in life. Anyway, there are 2 changes in my life that takes my app business to the next level. The first one is the App Empire book by Chad Mureta. I’ve found his book during the time that I was looking for the new business opportunity. His book not only gave me the good information about the app business, but it also gave me the passion to live my life on the way I imagined.
I took only one day to finish his book and then decided to jump into this hot industry since then. I’ve started by developing the app from scratch. My hobby is photography, so I studied the market and selected this niche to start. My first app took a few months to finish and live in the store. Unfortunately, I’ve got around 10 – 20 downloads per day. That must be something wrong!! I’ve started to talk and share with friends in the App Empire group. I’ve got a lot more tips & tricks to apply with my app business. A LOT to learn! e.g. the proper launch date, the ASO, the icon, the screenshot, the ad networks, etc. I was trying to improve and apply all the information I’ve got from the community.
Finally my hard work paid off and I could develop more apps in the right way. I had some pretty good revenue. Apart from developing the app from scratch, I started to reskin and jump into the game category. It’s fun! It became another milestone that changed my app business again!,… the RESKIN!
The 2nd Change: Reskinning
This was my second change in this app business. Even I know how easy the reskin is, but I did it wrong! It was just because I can do everything by myself. I’m a developer, I can do coding.
Photoshop and Illustrator are the software I used for my hobby, so I can do the graphic stuff myself. I had no idea why I should hire developer or designer because I can do everything and also cut the cost down too.
By the way, at some point I started to realise that I couldn’t expand my business if I kept everything with me. So I started to look for developer and designer from the popular website like oDesk or Elance. Unfortunately I was failed. It’s quite hard for me to look for the right developer and good designer. I just gave up and continue to do everything by myself again.
Then I got a chance to get to know two guys, Gabriel Machuret and Charles John Kathrein Jr. They became my good friends and my partners for app360.co now. Gabriel is an ASO expert. He shared a lot of useful tips to me, not only the ASO tips but also the ninja way to look for and hire good VA. Charles is another dude who gave me a lot of useful info in the app marketing. He is absolutely brilliant in marketing. He is also one of the most successful appreneurs I knew in this app business. By talking and sharing with these two guys, my app world is completely changed again! I’m now have a good team and spend only a few hours a day on the app. The rest of the time is for my family and my son.
I was failed with oDesk and other outsourcing websites. Moreover, I have a small budget to invest in outsourcing. Gabriel gave me a really good suggestion. Instead of looking for them from the popular websites. I’ve started to look good developers and designers from the local website and forums.
For example, I need to look for the Xcode developer, then I’ll participate in the Xcode forums and Facebook group. I just walkthrough the forums, added them as friends and start talking. I’ve got really good VAs that I hired them full-time now from this method. The outsourcing is certainly the hardest part for me. It’s so hard to get the right one working for you. You have to start with small project, keep testing them. Once you’ve got the right and good VA, then they become your weapon in your app factory.
Tools & Method of working
Having good people is not good enough!! You have to create the good system for them to maximize the productivity. I’ve tried many methods of working and finally here is what I use with my factory now.
Method of working:
I use basecamp to work with my developer. It’s such a great tool to communicate with them. Follow up the work and assign the task for them. Moreover, we created the procedure and template for each source code. It helps to make thing faster when update the code. e.g. the ad networks id, rating URL or stuff like that.
Charles recommended me to try cageapp.com to work with my designer. I used it for a while and just love it! It’s the service that makes the communication between you and your designer as a piece of cake. Instead of chatting via Skype and trying to explain what you need to change in the graphic, you will have the simple way for designer to understand what you need them to adjust for you. This service also has an approval system to collaborate and approve their work. Moreover, I create the Photoshop action for my designer for every single of my code based. My designer just need to create the based images for iPad version, then just one click with the action they will get all images for iPhone both retina and non-retina display. It helps me to boost up my productivity with my designer.
I use my VA to do the routine work for me. For example, submitting the app, gathering the keywords from the keywords research tools out there, etc. I just need to create the document for them. There is a procedure to follow in the document. I also apply the Gmail filtering features to help me to handle some situation that I may need to take action. For example, when my app got rejected from Apple reviewer, the e-mail in my mailbox will be forwarding to my VA too. You can configure the filtering rules in the Gmail setting. It’s so easy and powerful.
More importantly, you have to improve the relationship between you and your VA. I mean you need to talk to them, give them some bonus sometime, meet them in personal, etc. I have a weekly meet up with them via phone call or Skype. This is the way to make they feel like they are a part of your business, not just your machine. This is a really good advice from my partners and it helps me to work perfectly with my VA. I may say that all of my VAs are my close friends now!
As I told you, outsourcing is the hardest part for me. I believe it’s hard for everybody. But you can’t expand and grow up your business without it. So if you need to success in your business, it’s a MUST! Outsourcing changes my life!
I had to work from 9 am – 5 pm before outsourcing, exactly the same when I worked for the company. After outsourcing, I work only 2 hours a day after my son goes to bed. My revenue was just around $7,000 – $8,000 USD per month before outsourcing. After I’ve built up my team and outsourced my work, my revenue is around $20,000 per month now and also it keeps increasing!
Lastly, I’d like to share something with appreneur friends. It’s something that gives me the real energy. I keep telling myself that everything I do I do it for my son and my family. Without good support from them I might give up and stop since a few years ago.
You need to find your real PASSION. You have to have the right “ATTITUDE” and have to get the right “SYSTEM” in place. Trust me, it’s the beautiful of outsourcing. You’ll be able to live your life in the way you imagine!
PS. Something you might need to know… I’m from poor country, my English is not good. If I can DO it, you can DO it too!