If you and your business are already big users of SaaS based tech then you’ll know exactly what that means and how you’re using it. If so, then you certainly won’t need to read this article. If at the other extreme you think you’re not using Software as a Service at all yet, you’re almost certainly wrong about that. At the moment Dropbox, just for example, is rapidly heading towards a billion individual active users globally, with most of them still on ‘freemium’ access. STOP STORING FILES ON YOUR DESKTOP. Given the stellar SaaS advantages, small business and corporate-based paid premium Dropbox usage is sky-rocketing. So the odds are that you are already, at the very least, using this particular iteration of SaaS very regularly. If your business or start-up enterprise is to prosper, then one key essential is to understand the benefits and costs of the numerous SaaS offerings and lever these to your best advantage.
How much time should you be sending on this?
Chances are that regardless of whether you are selling products, services or personal experiences, your business is based largely on your own and your team’s communication and people skills. So the question is, what proportion of your time should you be spending on managing your IT structures when this isn’t your core business, your passion or your skill set? The answer is obviously, as little as possible. And this is where SaaS comes in.
If you decide to go largely stand-alone or ‘on-premises’ with your IT management then you are committing a significant proportion of your available time and resources to maintaining the currency of applications; creating adequate, retrievable and shareable data; and ultimately taking on the burden of servers, storage and network sharing capabilities. That means you won’t have the time you need to develop your real business – or else you’ll need to hire a specialist in-house IT person or small team, which even if viable isn’t cost effective.
There are intermediate options such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) which comes in at the network sharing stage and provides the external servers and storage. However, it is generally much better to commit from the outset to fuller scale SaaS, which externalises all applications and data management. This enables you to concentrate on core business and to be free of software access constraints so that with no downloaded applications to manage and keep updated you can work from virtually any computer or device in the world, along with other members of your team. The cloud application services, managed by a third-party provider, are run directly through the internet web browser and don’t rely on any downloads or installations by you at all. That means that ‘on the road’ functionality becomes exactly the same as ‘on premises’ functionality for you and every team member.
What are the main advantages?
So, the major advantage of using SaaS is that it frees you to devote your time to what you are really passionate about and trying to achieve in your venture. It’s a great way to launch e-commerce with no software or server issues, no need to buy expensive downloaded software programs, no problems with access from mobile devices, and unlimited capacity for real-time data and document sharing with team members.
SaaS takes on the management of virtualization, in which a local workstation operates exactly as if it was using an installed application without this actually being the case. Additionally it enables users to remotely access their own personalised desktops from any device in virtually any location. Hardware virtualization ultimately enables an off-site third party processor to behave as if was many different individual processors working on the same hardware from team members’ own locations. The advantages include greater efficiency and lower costs as team members can access the company’s networked information from anywhere, embracing the increasingly expected (because cost minimising) BYOD approach.
What about the cost?
The costs of using SaaS are generally very manageable with the key advantage that levels of service access, data storage limits and the like, can be adjusted at any time. SaaS is commonly used to deliver business applications such as accounting programs, customer records software including management of orders or bookings and, for larger businesses, HR management software. Automated multilingual versions of documents can be included. There is obviously much lower up-front cost, as you are essentially renting rather than owning the asset, virtually immediate set-up and access as the applications are already fully configured in the cloud, and there are automatic updates and easily managed scalability, with plan upgrades (or capacity downgrades) adjustable on demand. This flexibility is a great advantage and there is essentially no significant hardware, software or server depreciation to be factored in.
Are there any disadvantages?
There are really very few disadvantages of SaaS. The initially understandable concerns around data security breaches are not really well-founded, as the enormous success of cloud-based accountancy provision such as Xero attests. However, the dependency of SaaS on uninterrupted fast internet connectivity, plus the potentially lower speeds compared to on-premise user applications can cause some occasional headaches.
When you are ready to choose your SaaS provider, then as with any contract it’s a case of ‘buyer beware’. As with everything, it’s easy to enter into a provision agreement but it can be much harder to exit it. In particular, carefully check the provisions for exporting your data to another destination of your direction if you leave that provider – and ensure that the export will be in a standard format which will enable it to port over to another SaaS provider.
Migrating data can be very costly in terms of time and money. That’s why it’s a good idea to move your own business data to a SaaS provider from the very outset or as early as possible. There is no definitive list of pre-eminent SaaS providers, partly because most of them specialise in a particular market segment. Request Service Level Agreements (SLAs) from a few providers and carefully cross-reference them, as well as verifying the vendors’ reputations and their customer reviews. Try to make contact with a couple of their clients directly and find out what they have to say about their experience of service reliability and technical assistance. Compare pricing plans and remember that if a provider’s prices and the promises seem too good to be true – then they almost certainly are!
With the launch of iOS 11, we’ve had to change our process on how we verify ownership of iOS apps for sale on Flippa. In the past, we had users update their app descriptions, but iOS 11 now prevents app descriptions from being updated without also updating the version of the app.
This means our prior way of verifying ownership of an iOS app is no longer effective. With that, we’ve rolled out a new process for verifying iOS app ownership.
To verify ownership of an iOS app when listing it for sale on Flippa, users will receive a unique verification token which needs to be added to the end of the support url.
For example, if the support url is google.com and the token is 12345, then the updated Support URL should be google.com?token=12345
Android app verification will remain the same, where you will be provided with a 10 digit verification code upon listing. As the app owner, you will be instructed to copy and paste this code into the app description on Google Play Store so it can be referenced. The verification will be done automatically and is usually the last step to be completed before your app listing can go live.
We apologize for any inconvenience this might have caused. Please feel free to leave a comment or email [email protected] with any questions!
Writing the perfect mobile app listing description may seem daunting for new sellers. This blog post will provide new sellers tips on how to best structure your listing description for a mobile app, as well as the do’s and don’ts associated with selling your app on Flippa.
The structure of your listing is one of the most crucial parts of setting up your listing for success.
Since establishing the Apps marketplace, our account management team has refined a listing structure which is easy to follow, and reduces the amount of questions buyers ask sellers during the auction process.
The following has been identified as the best structure for an app listing description:
- About the Seller – Briefly describe yourself and your role in the app.
- App Description – Describe what the application does. This should be similar to the app’s description on the App Store or Google Play Store.
- Reason for Sale – Briefly describe why you are selling the app.
- Development – Briefly describe how the application was developed. This should include the programming language and any frameworks used.
- Operation – Briefly describe what is required to keep the app operational. This should include an average time spent per week.
- Monetization – Briefly describe how you generate revenue through the app. Any peaks or troughs in revenue should be explained.
- Marketing – Briefly describe what marketing initiatives you have used to establish the app.
- Included in Sale – List the items included in the sale. This would include any associated website or social media fan page. It is also customary, but not required, that sellers provide post-auction support to the new buyer if they were to have any questions.
- Future Opportunities – Briefly describe what a buyer could potentially do to improve the app.
A few good examples of app listing descriptions can be found here:
Do’s and Don’ts
When selling your mobile app, lying or omitting items will almost always hurt you, as it is sure to come out in the due diligence process. It is crucial that all information you provide in the listing is accurate for the app you are selling. All claims should be able to be verified by potential buyers on request.
Any revenue claims need to be supported by proof. This proof can be in video or image format. We also suggest providing proof of downloads and other claims you make on the listing.
Provide as much information as possible
Buyers want to have access to as much information as possible about the app before they place a bid on it. Providing as much information as possible will allow buyers to have access to this, and also reduce the amount of questions you will be asked throughout the auction process.
Don’t be rude
Respecting potential buyers and the questions they submit is important to ensure buyers want to work with you. To ensure the auction process is smooth, ensure that you assist and support buyers during the auction period when they are deciding if the app is right for them.
Potential buyers don’t want to be searching through your description for specific information about your app. Using the structure provided above (with correct grammar) will dramatically improve the quality of your listing.
By following this structure, not only will it help establish trust between you and other buyers, but it will also help reduce the amount of questions you receive.
To get started selling your mobile app here: https://flippa.com/sell
App Reskins – What does it mean?
As the largest marketplace for buying and selling both iOS and Android apps, we’ve noticed a lot of inquiries generated around the topic of app reskins. In this post, we’ll answer your questions like “What is an app reskin?” and “Are reskinned apps safe to buy?”
What is an App Reskin?
An app reskin is taking an app and making an identical copy of the source code to make it look different from the original. The source code of both apps remain 100% identical, with the change only being in that of the logo and designs.
For example, if you owned the source code to the popular app Angry Birds, you could create a reskin copy called Crazy Cats, where you launched kittens out of a slingshot to hurt mice. While the game would look differently, the source code would remain completely the same, with the only change being to the graphics of the game.
The reason we require all mobile app sellers to clarify if they are selling a reskinned app is to let buyers know if there might be another app that is near identical to theirs.
It’s important to note that buying a reskinned app isn’t necessarily bad. There are many reskinned apps on the marketplace that do very well. That being said, if you buy a reskinned app, there is nothing stopping the owner of the source code from turning around and making 20 apps that are nearly identical to yours.
Looking to Buy a Reskinned App?
Now that you know what an app reskin is, as well as the potential pitfalls, it’s important to understand what you can do to mitigate any risk on your part.
The first thing is to check to make sure the seller has the right to sell the source code. If the source code was licensed, there is a good chance that they do not have the right to sell the source code. If you’re unsure if the seller is allowed to be selling an app, and they cannot provide you with proof, please report the seller and we will investigate the issue further.
As mentioned earlier, one of the big drawbacks of a reskinned app is there can be a near identical copy of your app out there on the marketplace. This can create a competitive nightmare for you in the future, as the seller may also be selling different versions of your reskinned app. To combat this, you may want to discuss with the seller to gauge the impact of the reskinned app competition. Things to look out for include: The number of reskinned apps, and how that may impact your app’s future performance and revenue. One suggestion is to utilize certain contracts, such as a non-compete, to limit the level of competition from the seller.
So, Are Reskinned Apps Safe to Buy?
Simple answer, yes! As long as you are aware of the potential pitfalls of a reskinned app, these operate the same way (and are not any less safe) than a non-reskinned app. Reskinned apps require a lot more due diligence for the buyer, but they can also be found for a fraction of the price compared to a uniquely coded, non-reskinned app. If you don’t have much money to spend, reskinned apps can provide a great introduction into the apps marketplace.
Regardless of if an app is reskinned or not, it is always recommended to perform your due diligence and research on if an app is right for you. Buying an app is an investment. Apps can provide tremendous revenue and can be a great source of alternative income.
For a more detailed guide on app due diligence, look out for our Apps Due Diligence Guide, which is coming soon to the Flippa blog.
Today we sit down with app entrepreneur Michael Patzer, who has completed 9 successful Flippa sales with a 100% positive feedback rating. In this interview Michael gives us the inside scoop on his latest sale, a $10,000 app portfolio, while also sharing insightful tips and strategies others can use to achieve success selling apps on Flippa.
What lead you to become an iOS App Developer?
I studied Finance at the University of Southern Indiana and graduated in 2009. In 2010, I started learning how to develop iOS apps. It didn’t take long before I was hooked, and I decided to make a career out of it. Since then, I have built and sold more than a dozen apps, and I’m currently employed full-time as an iOS Engineer at an e-mail marketing company.
What are some of the apps you’ve sold on Flippa?
I have always enjoyed building both useful and fun apps, and the apps I sell typically follow this trend. For example, I built and sold County Finder, a location app which allows users to quickly and easily look up counties via search or maps. I have also built and sold game apps, such as Word Frenzy, a fun word building game. In addition to games, I also enjoy building functional utility apps such as a text language translator app that I sold for $800, as well as an audio recording and playback app that I sold for $600.
Tell us about your recent $10,000 app portfolio sale
The portfolio was composed of 4 adventure and lifestyle apps: Alti, Ella, Zen Habits, and Life Hacks. Alti is an altimeter and compass, while Ella tracks elevation changes over time (e.g. for hiking & road trips). Zen Habits displays up to date content from the famous Zen Habits blog in a minimalist style, and Life Hacks gives users a feed of thousands of different life tips and tricks for different categories. During the auction the portfolio received more than 60 bids on top of nearly 100 watchers, and it was ultimately closed out via Buy It Now (BIN) for $10,000.
What prompted you to sell your app portfolio?
I developed the apps in the portfolio with a business partner of mine who is a mobile app designer. These apps reflect our shared interests and hobbies, and we built them for other likeminded people to enjoy. For us, it wasn’t so much about the money as it was about providing a good user experience. As our real-world careers took off, however, it became more and more difficult to find time for the apps. Rather than earning passive income while they became less relevant, we felt it would be best to find a buyer who would keep the apps updated and continue to improve them.
Why do you use Flippa to sell your apps?
Flippa makes it really easy to create a listing and get instant exposure. There are a ton of people buying apps on the platform (a lot of the website & domain buying audience seem to be interested in apps now too), and Flippa has the lowest commission in the industry by far. All in all, I’ve used Flippa for 9 transactions totaling over $14,000 in sales. As a result, I’ve gained a solid understanding of app valuations and the types of apps buyers are interested in acquiring.
Any advice for other entrepreneurs looking to sell their apps?
One piece of advice would be around iCloud. The main challenge in selling the portfolio was that all apps in it had previously used iCloud, and Apple would not allow them to be transferred. Even removing iCloud didn’t solve the issue. In this case, you will have to sell the entire app developer account along with the apps, and you need to explain this in the listing description. Another piece of advice is to be realistic about app valuations. It’s easy to overvalue something you’ve built, but buyers want an asset that can give them a return on their investment (usually in 1-2 years).
Enjoy reading Michael’s story? Continue reading more Flippa case studies now.
We launched the Flippa Apps marketplace in 2013, and since then thousands of successful App sales have been completed through the Flippa platform, helping us become the largest Apps marketplace in the world.
To date, it has always been free to list an App, and while we remain committed to ensuring that Flippa is an open and easy to use platform for all entrepreneurs, we’ve also received your feedback on the drawbacks to our current pricing model.
This is why we are introducing a $9 App listing fee. We expect that introducing this change will help push low-quality listings away from the marketplace, and increase the exposure received by top quality offerings, providing a better experience for both Buyers and Sellers.
During the coming months, we plan to unveil many new exciting features in the Apps marketplace, and we hope this change will allow us to release even more features as we continue to grow and evolve.
If you have any questions or feedback about this pricing change, please contact our support team by emailing [email protected] – we’re here to help.