Starting a business with an app – business plan and procedure

For many people in the world, the daily use of numerous apps is part of everyday life. Whether for your own finances, streaming services, health or education: there are apps for almost every situation in life . In 2021, $85.1 billion was spent on the Apple App Store and $47.9 billion on the Google Play Store. We will show you how starting a business with an app can work and why the creation of a business plan is important.

Planning the app creation

When starting a business with an app, the first step is to collect your own thoughts. This can be done on a whiteboard, notebook or tablet, for example. From the recordings, tasks are derived and a plan is drawn up on how to achieve the goal of developing your own app. There is a multitude of tools, which help to manage and visualize tasks. Such tools offer a variety of other options, such as the automated creation of a roadmap, transfer of responsibilities and much more. Especially at the beginning of app development, it can be difficult to give the tasks a time frame. Often there is the feeling of not knowing enough and not feeling up to a challenge. Nevertheless, a plan also includes ideas and assumptions as to how it should proceed in the future. It can be expedient to make assumptions as to when which gaps should be filled.
The team is the be-all and end-all when founding a company . It is advantageous to build up the technical know-how in the team instead of outsourcing. There are also situations in which a role is only needed for a limited time. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Assuming there is a budget and the technology only has to be set up once and all desired functions of the app are already included. Then an external developer can be advantageous due to the short commitment and plannable costs. It is important to include that every app needs updates in order to be permanently compatible on all desired platforms.
If, on the other hand, functions are gradually built in using the modular principle, changing external developers would have to familiarize themselves each time and follow the logic of the predecessor, which may severely limit the freedom of design and make changes only possible with greater effort. If there is no budget for an external developer, the involvement of a person with participation in the company can be considered. This specialist is needed for app developments from start to finish and lays the foundations for the company. When creating a business plan and thus also when planning your finances , it is important to include the recruitment of employees or the use of external partners.

Create a business plan for an app – who are the customers?

In the next step, it is important for entrepreneurs to carry out a target market analysis. This isn’t just for the business plan-Creation important, but also to develop the user profile of potential users. Initially, it is useful to search for existing and similar apps that come closest to your own idea. If you search specifically for a few keywords, it may be that apps are overlooked that offer your own idea as a part of many. Therefore, the competition analysis should not only be carried out specifically, but also competitors in the same category, such as e.g. health, sports, education, etc. It is also important to know the user behavior of the target groups, for example the usage time of the apps per day, this can vary greatly depending on the region.
Testing the most popular apps from the category that have little to do with your own project can also be useful, for example to get a feel for the design, the user-friendliness or the intuitive usability. Are there already apps in the segment similar to your own business idea? Then it is important to analyze the criticism and “suffering” of the customers. These can usually be found under the reviews, but also through experience reports in blogs, tests in trade journals or the like. Such an approach helps to understand the topic, to analyze the dynamics and trends and to take the user’s point of view. Other important insights relate to customer needs and problems.

Visualization of the business idea without programming

After the research, you leave the area of ​​problem analysis and move on to the implementation of the solution . Even if no technical development has taken place for your own app idea and the search for capital has a very high priority, it is of great importance to visualize the functions of the app. In this way, investors and development banks can be convinced with a created business plan.
So-called wireframes (external link) are a fast, simple and interactive method . For this purpose, elements of the app are presented in a simplified form in frames and placeholders are integrated for future content.

Then you connect the individual frames to map a process or navigation history.

In the next step , the wireframes are converted into a dummy, a so-called mockup (external link). Colors, images, graphics, fonts, content and more are integrated. This gives you an overview of all the components that the finished product should have. This helps to make the app idea look like the finished product when creating a business plan and to give the reader a good picture.
If a prototype of an app is needed and there is no programming experience in the team, there is the possibility to create an app without code in addition to hiring external developers. This is done simply by dragging and dropping. The applications are created like a flowchart, with the codes being created automatically in the background. No-code platforms offer the opportunity to quickly design versatile apps without any programming knowledge. Furthermore, it saves money by eliminating a developer and accelerates development cycles.

Create a business plan for an app design of the pricing strategy

When it comes to the business model , it is important, among other things, to address the clear customer benefit and profitabilityof the target market. There are different payment options for apps. Is the app available with a one-time payment? Are there seasonal discounts? If one-time payment becomes more expensive in the course of operation, e.g. B. when new functions are added? Do you follow a freemium strategy? The latter is the most popular pricing structure for apps. This means that the app is free in the limited basic function and monthly subscriptions have to be paid for, the more advanced functions you want to use. This can also apply to games that have to be paid for at certain levels or to purchase additional functions and special features. There are often corresponding subscription names such as “free”, “pro” (professional), “full”, “extended”.
It is important to consider that, depending on the platform, revenue-related service fees are incurred so that the developed app is made available to the end devices.


Developing an app can seem like a very difficult task if you don’t have any programming experience yourself. There are numerous and helpful tools that can simplify big hurdles and make a big difference with little effort, such as task management tools and no-code platforms. Even if the app has not yet been developed, it is important to make at least a mock-up of it and include it in the business plan that has been created. Furthermore, the planning of the hiring of employees, especially whether personnel is planned permanently internally and temporarily externally, is an important part of the financial plan .

Professional start -up advice will help you with the creation of a business plan so that investors not only understand your app business idea, but are also convinced. Depending on the circumstances, funding can also be applied for ( funding check as a free start-up service ).