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Struth. 10 things you need to know starting an app business.

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A few weeks ago I polled the app developer community at large. I was curious to get stats about the indie developer community as I figured a lot of us were going through the same experiences and challenges. I made a lot of mistakes at the beginning. If I had the experience I have now, I could definitely have grown faster, with less drama and have achieved more. Here are the 10 things that people WISHED THEY HAD KNOWN when they started making their first apps.

1. Start with games, ideally reskinning games.



2. At the beginning, make multiple small apps and grow a sustainable business.



3. Learn from people who have already had proven success in your business area.


4. Keep your costs low.


5. Have some knowledge and understanding of all aspects of your business.


6. Know a fair price to pay for outsourced work.


7. How to spend your time wisely and outsource successfully.


8. Have a successful model for marketing and earning revenue.


9. Figure out great app keywords


10. Implement effective team management.


I’ve been lucky enough to spend this weekend with a group of appreneurs in California. They have have all faced these challenges and overcome them, and grown their businesses successfully. The rewards – and not just monetary – can be mind boggling. So have you come across these issues in your business? Did you solve them? Are there any big challenges that we missed? Let me know. Need more help?

If you find this content useful I ask for one thing in return – please share it with 3 of your friends who are starting app businesses.

PS: Big announcement coming soon to all Chocaholics on the Express – Sign up today and make sure you don’t miss out on the BIG NEWS!!

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Elaine Heney is an online entrepreneur, triple #1 best selling author and international keynote speaker. Elaine is an Amazon FBA ecommerce advisor, investor, Hollywood movie producer, online business consultant and CEO of Chocolate Lab Cashflow. Elaine has also published over 300 mobile apps across Amazon, Apple & Google, and enjoyed over 20 million app downloads and over 50 #1 apps worldwide.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Fran May 27, 2013, 11:16 pm

    Interesting article…. When you want reskin a game, you give ideas to the designer?

  • Ted May 27, 2013, 11:46 pm

    Hi Elaine- great blog and SOOOOOO true. These are 10 great keys to get anyone set in the right direction. Thanks!

  • zaid May 28, 2013, 12:48 am

    Hi Elaine,

    Thank you for sharing. Im just get started, your blog has inspired me to get started

    All the best

  • Stacey Roberts May 28, 2013, 2:12 am

    Hi Elaine, I am a part of the App Elite but unfortunately missed the weekend. I am sure it was awesome. I am interested in taking your courses and recommending them but when I talk to potential ppl to take the courses the first thing they ask is what apps has she done. So now I am asking you :) do you have a list of apps that you have done so I can show my future team why we want to follow your lead.

  • john May 28, 2013, 2:16 am

    Great post as usual here. By the way what the WP plugin you use to generate the cool looking Duct tape images?


  • Elaine May 28, 2013, 2:31 am

    Fran – Yes I brief my designer on what theme I want to use and give him/her a list of graphics to create.

    Ted – Thanks very much!

    Zaid – No time like the present. Hustle & get moving!

    Stacey – Type my name into iTunes and you’ll see a ton of them :)

    John – No plugin just 15 mins in photoshop with some stock images. Glad you like them!

  • Brian May 28, 2013, 10:33 am

    Nice post.

    How to market your app? I find even with keyword optimisation it’s still very hard to get up the rankings (Android based at the moment) and get those tasty organic downloads.

    Do you use display marketing or app promotion platform like Fiksu and Inmobi? We’re using Googles Display with a fairly crap ROI :o(

    Thanks and keep up the great posts!

  • Judy Wong Dobberpuhl May 28, 2013, 1:05 pm

    Elaine love love love your terrific blogs! Such wonderful words of wisdom! You are rocking the Universe! Thank you! <3

  • Jorge Suarez May 28, 2013, 7:15 pm


    Wonderful meeting you!!! Loving all your work btw.

    Keep it up.

    Will be reading you constantly and in touch uh!

    Best. Y.

  • Linda Allan May 28, 2013, 7:35 pm

    Hi, I’m taking 2 of your courses and learning a lot! My question goes back to Fran’s on May 27 – say I have source code (reskinned game) that has someone driving a bmw up hills, etc. I give my designer just an idea (like a dune buggy) and they design the app? or do I need to have more input of the idea? Do I need to come up with each app idea myself? thx.

  • Elaine May 28, 2013, 7:41 pm

    Brian – I’m moving into Android so working on figuring it all out right now.

    Judy – Rockstar!

    Jorge – Remember our deal 😀 It’s not only about the apps.

    Linda – Yes, so first you need to get all of the art assets to your designer. Tell them to update the art but keep the names on the png files exactly the same. If you have a list of all art assets & sizes in a xls file some artists really like that too.

    In terms of communicating your theme to them, be really specific. Name of your new app, link to app in store that has similar game play, tell them what type of vehicles to use, links to these vehicles in google images, the location you want the game set in (war zone, city, sea side etc), and also then links to graphic with the style of art you want. Basically as the app producer YOU need to figure out everything you want. Then hopefully they will know exactly what you have in mind, and then make it even better. But if you are too vague, or don’t give them enough info, you could get back something you don’t want. Good luck!

  • Loretta May 28, 2013, 10:02 pm

    It was super meeting you in person this past weekend! Can’t thank Tina enough for letting me know you were there!! We have dealt with all 10 of your notes listed above and hope that people reading your blog take your words to heart!! Talk soon! Give your pup a hug from me!!

  • al May 29, 2013, 1:36 pm

    This was informative and perhaps will save us a time and money!
    Thanks for the great article.

  • Simon May 29, 2013, 9:42 pm

    Thanks for sharing your tips Elaine, it is always great to learn from people who have gained the experience.

  • Cy May 30, 2013, 6:17 pm

    Great post, Elaine. Seriously, so many of the “Wish I knew” confessions are questions in my mind. Ya know, wondering if I’m doing the right thing. What’s my next step? I MUST get on with your reskinning course (or whichever one I need to start). Thanks again for the post. You are INDEED an inspiration.

  • johnny June 2, 2013, 9:24 am

    i’m gonna reskin some of your games.

  • Emeka June 4, 2013, 4:42 am

    Great post!

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