Becoming A Client Based App Developer

We talk often here at Kumulos about becoming an app developer in the sense of working for yourself. You have the idea, you do all the development and you are in charge of the project at every stage. This is usually the lifestyle that solo app developers want because it offers them the freedom to control what apps they make and how.

The downside to all this freedom though is that unless you get a real hit on your hands, you’re never going to make as much money from solo work as you will working creating apps for clients. It was recently found that commission based app developers earned almost 3 times as much – on average – than app developers who focused on their own projects.

So if you’re looking for a way to step up your earnings in your app development business, there are certainly worse ways to go about it than to do some commissioned work. But how do you get into the business of being a developer for hire?

Getting Started

Well, first things first, you have to make sure you and your team if you have one are competent app developers in your own right. Clients will be expecting you to deliver a high quality app on time, on budget and to specs, and whilst that’s not nearly as scary as it might sound, it’s something to consider when deciding to take on clients. Can you and your team handle the pressures and time limits of the commission based work style?

If you think so, the next step is to advertise your services. After all, you may have a crack team of developers together but you’re not going to get business unless potential clients actually know you exist. So put together a portfolio of your best work so far and start pushing your business.

Put out adverts online and in your local news outlets letting businesses know that you exist and also start approaching businesses that you know don’t have apps and ask them if they want one. After all, in retail especially, businesses that have an app offering are proven to get more business than those without. Getting your business into the mobile world is the best way to get some tangible results quickly and you can explain this to potential clients.

Talking Brass Tacks

Once you get a job, it’s time to hammer out the details.

Now remember, you may not be the ones coming up with the idea of the app, but you are the ones who are going to be building it. You also are very likely to know a fair amount more about apps than your clients, so if your clients are asking you to do things that you don’t think will work or aren’t feasible in the time or budget constraints they’re putting on you, don’t be afraid to speak up and try to show your clients why, perhaps, there’s a problem and what you would suggest instead, speaking from a developers point of view.

Also, make sure your clients are as specific as possible. Insist on specificity and keep trying to get the most complete and detailed picture of what your clients want. This will make your development life a lot easier, but also mean that your client is less likely to get back to you after seeing your progress and tell you to change your direction because they’ve had time to think more about the design.

Avoid gold plating your apps wherever possible. Clients will appreciate you going above and beyond sometimes, but more often they’ll appreciate just getting what they asked for and made well rather than a half made app with a lot of cool ideas thrown into it.

Organisation is also key as you’ll be running to someone else’s deadlines, so you and your team will definitely want to know exactly what you’re meant to be doing at all times throughout the project. Staying organised will also mean that you can more effectively stay on or under budget, and some research into the project management triangle of money/time, resources, scope never goes amiss.

Don’t Forget the Services

Once the app is finished – the job isn’t done. You’ll next want to think about selling add on services – value you can show the customer to add over the life of the app. Push notifications, reporting and analytics, app store optimization – are all monthly services that you can sell to the client to show your value AND keep them coming back to you over th life of the app.

So – ready to get started? Sign up for a FREE trial today.