Do you want to start a business in the app & software development industry? If YES, here are 50 best software business ideas for beginners. The industry is one that is intensively technological and geographically clustered, especially as most employees in this industry come from top universities. The industry generates revenue of $193 billion, with a projected growth of 3.6% from 2010 to 2015.
In 2013, an estimated $542 billion was spent on software, which was 25% of the total expenditure of IT. As at 2012, the value development software market globally was $82.2 billion. According to IDC, subscription revenue including SaaS is projected to a 175% compounded annual growth, reaching 24% of total software revenue in 2016.
In 2007, the software sector experienced a real annual growth rate of 14% in the US industries, compared to other industries growth of 2%. The sector has outpaced other sectors each year since 2003. If you are looking for a software related business, then you should look into any of the business ideas listed below;
50 Best Software Business ideas & Opportunities for Beginners
There is good business for those who have the skills for developing software packages that customers would enjoy and find very helpful. Big companies are looking to hire those with these skills. You could make your money on contract basis or through outright sales of software packages you develop. There are several software application ideas you can look to for motivation.
For example in the music production business, you can develop a software package that is better than Footy Loops. You don’t have to invent something new; the key here is to study what’s available and coming up with an improvement on it.
- System Analysis
System analysts are professionals who analyse developed software packages to ensure that they meet standard requirements and that they work satisfactorily. Analysts implement software information on systems; they also work with potential end users to achieve their results.
Software analysts usually are not involved in the development of software packages, but their knowledge and skills enable them to implement timelines, develop cost analysis, and perform other important tasks that go into software production.
- Software programming and developing
Software programmers are those paid to write the codes and commands that control how the computer interacts with a software package. Programmers are skilled in various computer languages. For you to be an expert in this business, you will need to acquire all the skills involved in doing this.
If you are looking to make a good business out of software programming, then you must know computer languages like C++, Java and COBOL. Software programmers and developers are highly paid, provided they know their stuff and can deliver expected results.
- Software engineering
Software engineers design and work on complicated software packages. They check for errors in the programming code and repair them in most cases. In 2004, a research by the U.S Bureau of Labour Statistics revealed that there are 760,840 software engineers holding jobs in the U.S. alone, and the number keeps rising rapidly.
Aside being hired by employers on a full-time basis, software engineers also work on contract or as freelance engineers. Others work for the military and get paid very highly. Software engineering is a good business opportunity, and it is highly fulfilling for anyone who already has the necessary skills or is willing to acquire them.
- Technical writing
Technical writers for software developing companies help end users or customers understand software product manuals among others. They create easy-to-understand guides that are either printed for offline reading or published across online channels. They also write specification details for software packages and computers.
- Technical support
Technical support is another very interesting opportunity you can in the software industry. Technical support involves helping customers with software package installation, solving various installation and operation related problems. It is indeed an interesting way to make money especially for those who have great communication skills, a “techie” background, and passion for helping people solve their problems.
- Database management
Database managers maintain and manage databases that have to do with any software developed. Database management requires a high level of intelligence and diligence, and this is why database managers and administrators are generously paid. Tap into this software business and you are on your way to legally made fortune.
- Web developers
Website developers are the creative money makers in the software industry. They help integrate software packages into websites and other online platforms. Online registration and payment portals are designed and built by web developers.
Web site designers are in huge demand and are highly paid. One of the smartest way to break into the web development business is a start your own web development agency, and start rendering your services on a contract o freelance basis.
- Project management-: Project managers in the software industry are responsible for managing software project designs, budget allocations towards development, among others. It goes without saying, but this opportunity requires good management skills.
- Quality assurance and testing
Quality assurance and testing involves the testing of the quality of software function and standards. Those who have skills in this department can really earn a lot from this. There a number of experts who will be willing to have you under their tutelage as you start out in this field. Also, you can consult will other maturely experienced people.
- Project Management / Time Tracking / Bug Tracking
This is likely because the developer had to work at some point with existing software that just sucked and thought “Hey, I can build something better in a weekend and it will do exactly what I want. It’ll support custom fields, and query-by-example and persistent views and all sorts of neat stuff.”
- Community / Discussion Forums
The developer was kicking off a new online community for whatever hobby area she was interested in. Poked around looking for something to meet her needs, but there was nothing appealing. “Hey, this is easy — the data model is trivial and I can use this project to learn about this new web framework I’ve been meaning to play with.”
- Personalized News Aggregation/Filtering
I’m not exactly sure why this one keeps cropping up. I think the reason is that it seems obvious that there’s just much more information out there than any normal person can consume. The entrepreneur arrives at some interesting angle on how to better filter the information. Could be individual voting/learning mechanisms, social features (your friends liked this stuff, so you will too).
- Content Management (website, blog)
Another one of those seemingly simple apps (“how hard could it be?”) combined with the fact that it’s often harder to learn some existing system and make it do what you want than just hacking together a “minimalist” application (that over time, becomes less and less minimal).
- Social Voting and Reviews
This one is newer to the scene. These applications allow users to vote/rate/review something (movies, books, and wines, whatever). If you think you have the passion for starting this kind of business, then you can look at starting a social voting and reviews business.
- Music/Events Location Application
What the world really needs is a way to figure out when their favourite band is going to be in town. Connect with your friends! Figure out where they’re going! Hook-up! There are a lot of people who will be willing to buy into your idea for a location applicator. There are a good number of them working all over the world.
This one requires no explanation. As is the case with most of these application categories, entrepreneurs often like to “scratch their own itch”. There are lots of people out there who do not mind being match made. You too can join the train and help people find their true love.
- Personal Information Management
Without a doubt, this one is really common because it’s often one of the early applications developers build to learn something new. Take for instance, a personal information software can be like; “Hey, I can use this new ORM system to track my DVD collection. It’ll take just 50 lines of code!”
You can start a social network consulting business. One of the attractions about this kind of business is the fact that a lot of people are making it in the industry and you can begin a mentorship cum consulting business where you can groom people too. The data models can be rich and if one has some UI chops, it’s often a fun application to work on.
- Photo/video/bookmark/whatever sharing
As humans, we like to share stuff. You can start a photo software business and be sure that people will love it. All that you will need to do after launching the software is to make sure that words reach a lot of people about what you have embarked on. If well thought out and planned, this is a good business to venture into.
- Search Engine Optimization & Digital Advertising Consultant
In the old days, it was enough to take out an ad in the Yellow Pages to ensure potential customers would find your business. These days, you need a website, but you also need that website to rank high on search engines. How does the average business owner keep up?
An online marketing and advertising consultant is similar to a marketing consultant in their goal—getting their clients new business—but online consultants specialize in search engine optimization (SEO) and advertising on Google, Facebook, and other websites.
Drones have revolutionized the aerial photography trade, which used to (and still does sometimes) depend on equipment like including telescopic aluminium masts that can be extended 100 feet in the air and helium-filled blimps that can reach heights of up to 1,000 feet.
Drones can be purchased cheaply, they can be outfitted with still or video cameras and the quality of this technology is constantly improving. Be aware of local and federal laws, as well as local business policies, before launching your drones.
One of the most exciting new technologies in recent years is 3D printing. A 3D printer takes a 3D design and brings it to life, layer by layer. It allows inexpensive prototyping as well as creating manufactured goods one by one. Everything from jewellery and toys to technology gadgets (like tripods) and machine parts can be created with a 3D printer.
You can purchase a 3D printer for as low as a few hundred dollars up to thousands of dollars, so your investment will depend on the size of the objects you wish to print and the materials you wish to offer. The market is wide for such a new service.
- App Developer
Each month, the iTunes App Store adds 25,000 to 40,000 new apps. With 80 percent of U.S. adults owning a Smartphone, it’s no wonder that so many app developers can find new ideas to build. You can get in on this booming market regardless of whether you can code.
If you have a background in web or software development, you should easily be able to pick up on the nuances of coding an app for Android or Apple iOS devices through books and online learning. If not, you can outsource the work, either online or to local developers in your area.
- Short-Run CD-ROM Production
Are you searching for a unique business opportunity in the fast-paced technology industry? If so, consider starting a business that produces CDs for clients that are only seeking 100 copies or less, as the market demand for the service is gigantic and growing by the second.
Anyone who has ever tried to locate a company that is willing to produce a short run for CDs can certainly tell you it is very difficult, due to the fact that most companies specialize in large runs that produce thousands of CD copies a day.
- Auto Alarm Sales and Installations
In spite of the fact that many new automobiles now come outfitted with auto alarms as standard equipment, starting an auto alarm installation business is still a good choice for a new business venture, especially if the objective is to build a small one-person business that can provide the owner with a comfortable annual income.
Establishing alliances with used car dealers is a fabulous way to activate this type of security business, as the car dealers can offer their car purchasing clients optional installations of car alarms.
- Home Alarm Sales
There are various approaches that can be taken when starting a security alarm first is to sell and install alarms that are monitored; the second is to sell alarms for residential and commercial applications that are not monitored. The third approach is to sell security alarm packages to the do-it-yourself homeowner for self-installation.
All three approaches have the potential to pay off big in terms of business profits. However, the best approach is to sell and install residential and commercially monitored alarms, which can generate an ongoing residual income by way of monthly alarm monitoring fees, paid by the home or business owner.
- Video Arcade
Gone are the days of 25-cent video and pinball games. Today’s high-tech games can often cost as much $2 or $3, and children (and adults) are still lined up to play. A video arcade is a high-investment business to properly establish; nevertheless, the potential profit returns are also extremely high. Like any business that requires a large volume of people to be successful, you will want your video arcade to be located in a high-traffic, highly visible location. Mall and tourist attractions make fantastic operating locations for video arcades.
- Intercom Installations
Recent technology changes in intercom systems have made them extremely easy to install, as intercoms are now available in wireless form. Due to these recent changes in the product, starting a business that sells and installs wireless intercoms is a fantastic business opportunity for just about anyone, regardless of construction or business experience. You can therefore start this business.
- Satellite Dish Sales and Installation
Mini satellite dishes are in high demand by consumers, as many of these systems can receive a few hundred televisions and radio stations for the cost of a basic television cable service. There has never been a better time to start a business that sells and installs mini satellite dishes, as the product and service is still relatively new, yet well proven, and saturation of the market place is many years (if ever) away. The first step to establishing this type of business is to secure a sales and installation contract with one of the many manufacturers and subscription providers
- Software and Computer Cleaning Service
Most commercial office cleaning services won’t clean computers while cleaning an office. In fact, most commercial cleaners won’t even dust a desk that a computer is sitting on or near. Why? Simply because they don’t want to accept the liability should anything happen to the computer equipment or information and programs stored within.
Herein lies the business opportunity. The fastest and most efficient way to establish a computer cleaning service that specializes in cleaning computers used for business is to build alliances with commercial office cleaners so they can recommend your service to their clients.
- Software Delivery and Assembly Service
A software delivery and assembly service is a very easy new business venture to set in action. The best way to market the service is to establish joint ventures with retailers of new and second hand computer systems and equipment. They sell’-you deliver and install it. Furthermore, as a method to earn additional income for the business, consider marketing additional products and services along with the delivery and assembly service.
- Software Repair and Maintenance
We all know that computers can crash at any time without notice. Hard drive crashes–and for businesspeople, it usually happens when they are aiming at a goal. But if you are a computer physician capable of identifying virtual troubles and then repairing them, you can take on the appearance of an angel of mercy as a computer repair specialist. You will drive out to clients’ homes or offices with your briefcase of tools and equipment and heal those sickly computers and printers
- Computer Training
If you are a computer guru, and have learnt all that needs to be learnt, then you can look at starting a computer training software company. This will be aimed at helping rookies in the field learn all that they need to know about computer literacy. If you want to start this business, you have to be sure this is what you want to do.
- Computer Training Camp
Starting a computer training camp for children is a terrific new business venture to set in motion. In spite of the fact that many children now receive computer training in school, attending computer camps ensures parents and children a better and more complete understanding of the course material. The computer camps can be operated on a year-round basis or in the summer only. Typically, these camps are one or two days in length and available for various training needs, from beginner to advanced.
- Computer Upgrading Service
Starting a business that specializes in upgrading existing computer systems with new internal and external equipment is a terrific home based business to initiate that has great potential to earn an outstanding income for the operator of the business.
A computer upgrading service is a very easy business to get rolling, providing you have the skills and equipment necessary to complete upgrading tasks, such as installing more memory into the hard drive, replacing a hard drive, or adding a new disk drive to the computer system.
- Communications Store
Stake your claim in the multibillion dollar communications industry by opening a communications store. Stock and sell items such as residential and business telephones, fax machines, pagers, Palm Pilots, cell phones, and accessories.
Ideally, you’ll want to secure an authorized agents agreement for the wireless side of the business. Securing this type of agreement should not prove difficult given the vast number of communication companies now providing paging, cell-phone calling, and two-way radio systems.
- Free Internet Terminals
Free Internet terminals are simply kiosks that contain computer equipment capable of connecting to the Internet. The terminals are strategically located in high-traffic community gathering places such as malls and sports complexes, and are free to use for visitors of the location.
Due to the fact that the Internet terminals are free to use, the business that owns and operates the terminals sell advertising space on the kiosks to local companies to generate sales and profits for the business.
- Mobile Computer Training
Most computer training schools require students to come to their location for training classes. But for companies that have upgraded or purchased new computers and software, this is often not practical, especially if there are five to ten or more employees who are in need of training or retraining. Likewise, not everyone who purchases a new computer, software, or other hardware devices has time to attend classes to learn how to use the equipment. Herein lies the opportunity.
- Photograph Restoration Service
Purchasing a good quality scanner, computer and photo restoration software will enable you to start a business providing photo restoration services for clients right from a home based location. Regardless of whether the photos are black and white or colored, you’ll be able to restore old and damaged photos and produce new copies in print format or on a CD. It should be noted that you’ll need to spend time practicing the art of electronic photo restoration, as the software isn’t designed for beginners.
- Airplane designing
Airplane designing is a lucrative way to launch into the software business big. An airplane manufacturer is a software company, and so you can join force with them to help achieve massive result. It is not inconceivable that a computer scientist, working with aerospace engineers, will one day lead such a company.
- Technology for those with disabilities
There is a lack of technology and services for people with disabilities. Software like screen readers are years behind where they should be. There just aren’t enough people focused on building better products and services for people with disabilities. It’s a huge untapped market.”
- Video dating websites
Though YouTube is immensely popular, most singles online don’t have a clue how to make a video of themselves and put it online. A key issue is that video files are huge and hard to edit. Even a small video of a few MB would be such a huge enhancement for a dating site.”
- Remote controls for cell phones
Parents need a mobile device remote control, an operations centre if you like, where you can check on their location (on a map of course), check what calls they have made, apps they use, if they are texting while moving fast (i.e. driving). You should be able to turn on and off all functions at will. The best function would be the speaker function. At any time, which should be able to access the speaker of their device and be able to talk, shout or scream.
Graphics are a huge stumbling block for small businesses–the software is expensive, and you really have to be a designer to make them look nice. Apple has done a great job with Keynote, creating templates that are so well-designed that anyone can make a great-looking presentation. Someone needs to do the same with basic web graphics.”
- Streamlined property management system for landlords-: If you are looking for a software to launch, you can look at launching a software for landlords. This is because there is need for an online tool for landlords to collect rent, receive work orders, post messages, review contracts, etc.
- Video technology for hospitals
These days, technology has gone off the hook and people are able to do more and more with it. What if patients could have something like Skype in their rooms and they could call the front desk for non-emergency questions? If this happens then the nurse would be able to see them and the patient could see the nurse in turn. Things would become easier if they could see the patient, instead of just talking to them, it would be much more helpful in solving their problems.
- Bitcoin (Read-Only) Wallet as a Service
A lot of people use desktop Bitcoin wallets because they don’t require trust in a third party. The problem with those wallets is that they are hard to extend and build upon. A read only web wallet would enable third party developers to offer services that require access to someone’s wallet data.
If this read-only wallet service offers an API, other developers could build those services. OAuth could be used to gain access to a user’s wallet, in the same standard way many developers ask users access for their Facebook/Twitter accounts. This would enable the creation of an app ecosystem built around Bitcoin wallets.
- Start up Software as a Service
When you create a new project or start up, you have to sign up for a bunch of different services, grab a domain name, setup hosting, setup email, etc. Maybe get a 1-800 number? Sometimes, you don’t even know which services could help you be more productive.
Similarly, freelancers and web development shops are often required to setup all those things for their customers even when it is not spelled out in their contract. Build a service where a user can pick a bunch of services to sign up for (e.g. Google Apps, Gmail, AWS, Reddit, AngelList, Analytics, User Voice, etc.) or a pre-defined service bundle (e.g. SaaS bundle).
- Price Checker Software
The market for commodities have continued to be competitive and more and more people have continues to make it against all odds. You can help checkmate the prices of things and make sure that people get the prices for their commodities. There are already a number of price checker software available in the marketplace. You too may look at joining the train as you launch yours.
Finally, if you are creative, disciplined, innovative and intelligent risk-taker, if you are fascinated by how productivity can be improved with Software, Do you want to start your own business? If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions; then it’s time you claim your share of the billion-dollar software industry that’s growing every day. But don’t jump to starting a business just because you’re a talented worker and want to be your own boss. Thinking business means thinking differently. Of course your talent counts.
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