Do you want to start an App Store Like Play-store on Android? If YES, here’s a complete guide to starting an App Store Like Play-store on Android with NO money and no experience. If you are an app developer and you are looking for a business to start, then you need not look far because there are loads of businesses you can successfully start, and one of them is an App store that can be adopted by smartphone manufacturers.

The fact that most apps are distributed through Google’s Play Store does not mean that there are no alternatives. As a matter of fact, many alternative software repositories, or app stores, exist. Alternative app stores use the “Unknown Sources” option of Android devices to install APK files directly via the Android Package Manager.

Starting an alternative app store requires that you come up with a unique and user – friendly store that can easily be adopted by smartphone manufacturers. This is because you will be coming into the market to compete with major players like Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store.

If you have been tinkering with starting your own app store but do not know how to go about it, then you need to go through this article.

19 Steps to Starting an App Store Like Play-store on Android

1. Understand the Industry

Aside from Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store and perhaps Windows Store; there are app stores that do not rely on being preinstalled by a manufacturer and some good examples are Aptoide, Droidapkstore, F-Droid, GetJar, Slide ME, Mobogenie Market, Itch.io and Uptodown.

Alternative app stores are often used by developers to distribute apps that are not allowed in Play Store because they allow users more access to the system or offer apps for niche users, such as only free and open-source software (F-Droid) or indie games (Itch.io). They might also serve to distribute “hacked” versions of paid apps for free.

Research shows that mobile phone owners prefer making use of alternative app stores to avoid using Google services. Alternative app stores may also be easier to navigate for users and allow them to find apps easier due to different algorithms or display of apps but users using third-party app stores cannot be certain that the apps they are installing have been checked for malware or computer viruses.

Another reason for alternative app stores is that full Google Play functionality is not available everywhere. For example, Chinese users cannot purchase apps on the Play Store, forcing them to use alternative app stores such as AppChina and Wandoujia. The Smartphone App Developers industry comprises companies and individuals that develop applications for smartphones, including the iPhone and Android devices.

The smartphone’s instant popularity and high adoption rate stimulated developers to quickly introduce new apps. Over the five years to 2018, as smartphones have grown in popularity and are now used by nearly every American, revenue has surged. With an increasing number of mobile internet connections and low barriers to entry, the number of industry operators have been growing rapidly, and demand for talented labor has often exceeded supply, leading to a rise in the average industry wage among employees. New types of apps will also spur demand for industry services over the five years to 2023.

The Smartphone App Developers industry is a thriving sector of the economy of the United States of America and they generate over $2 billion annually from more than 27,354 registered and licensed scattered all around the United States of America.

The industry is responsible for the employment of over 52,833 people. Experts project the Smartphone App Developers industry to grow at a 13.5 percent annual rate between 2013 and 2018. Presently, the two largest global platforms for app distribution are Apple’s App Store, which caters to iOS users, and Google Play Store, that is owned by the eponymous company, and if course it is the official app store for the Android OS.

A recent report published by IBISWorld shows that the capital intensity in the Smartphone App Developers industry is low. The report estimates that for every dollar spent on wages in 2018, the industry will allocate $0.01 for capital investment. The industry’s level of capital intensity has dropped slightly since 2013. The low level of capital intensity is influenced by the limited capital required to perform industry services, as operators require only computers and software to create apps and mobile devices on which to test them.

Another factor that contributes to low capital intensity is the industry’s high wages. App development relies on programmers to create and maintain app infrastructure; employees command 41.4 percent of revenue and labor costs accounts for the largest percentage of industry revenue. Some of the factors that encourage entrepreneurs to start their own app store business is the fact that it is a business has a global dimension and of course if you get it right you are certain of generating huge turnover annually.

Starting an app store requires professionalism and good grasp of how the ICT industry works. Besides, you would need to get the required certifications and license and also meet the standard expected for players in the industry in the United States.

2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies

  • Demographics and Psychographics

The demographic and psychographic composition of those that purchase apps from app stores cut across people and organizations that have one or more internet enabled mobile devices from all over the world. The software apps business is an internet based business hence you are working for people and organization all across the globe.

So, if you are looking towards defining the demographics for your app store, then you should make it all encompassing.

3. Decide What Niche to Concentrate On

Please note that there are no niche ideas when it comes to app stores despite the fact that we have major app stores that are owned by original device manufacturers and there are alternative app stores that carter to need of clients who can’t get what they want from their device app stores.

The Level of Competition in the Industry

The level of competition in the software apps development industry does not in any way depend on the location of the business since all app stores can operate from any part of the world and still effectively compete in the global market.

When it comes to app stores, what most clients want is affordable, safe, secure and seamless service, hence they are ready to purchase apps from your store no matter the part of the world you operate from as long as you have good track record and can deliver excellent services and security.

4. Know the Major Competitors in the Industry

It is the norm that in every industry, there are always brands that perform better or are better regarded by customers and general public than others. Some of these brands have been in the industry for a long time, while others are best known for how they conduct their businesses and the results they have achieved over the years.

These are some of the most used app stores in the United States of America and also in the globe;

The Google Play Store (originally the Android Market)

  • Apple’s App Store, which caters to iOS users
  • SlideME
  • Amazon Appstore
  • 1Mobile Market
  • Samsung Galaxy Apps
  • Mobile9
  • Opera Mobile Store
  • Mobango
  • Aptoide,
  • Droidapkstore
  • Mobogenie Market
  • Itch.io
  • Uptodown.
  • F- Droid
  • GetJar
  • AppChina
  • Wandoujia
Economic Analysis

When it comes to starting an app store, you just have to get your feasibility studies and market research right before venturing into the business. It is good to mention that you cannot run your app store independent of mobile phone manufacturers hence you need to ensure that there buy into your app store.

You will be expected to hire experts that will help you with a comprehensive economic analysis of the businesses. If you get your economic and cost analysis right before launching the business, you may not have to stay the long before you breakeven.

5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch

The nature of app stores makes it impossible for you to purchase a franchise; as a matter of fact, there is no franchise for app stores. This goes to show that if you are looking towards starting an app store, then you should start from the very scratch.

6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face

If you decide to start your own app store today, one of the major challenges you are likely going to face is the presence of app stores like Apple Store and Google Play Store et al. The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market.

Other threats that you are likely going to face as an app store owner operating in the United States are unfavourable government policies, competitions from alternative app stores and of course global economic downturn. There is hardly anything you can do as regards these threats other than to be optimistic that things will continue to work for your good.

7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)

When considering starting an apple store, the legal entity you choose will go a long way to determine how big the business can grow. You can either choose a general partnership, limited liability company, or a sole proprietorship for your app store. Ordinarily, general partnership should have been the ideal business structure for a small – scale app store especially if you are just starting out with a moderate capital and restricted to a region or a mobile phone brand.

But if your intention is to grow the business and have clients from all across the United States of America and other countries of the world, then choosing general partnership is not an option for you. Limited Liability Company will cut it for you.

Setting up an LLC protects you from personal liability. If anything goes wrong in the business, it is only the money that you invested into the limited liability company that will be at risk. It is not so for sole proprietorships and general partnerships. Limited liability companies are simpler and more flexible to operate and you don’t need a board of directors, shareholder meetings and other managerial formalities.

These are some of the factors you should consider before choosing a legal entity for your app store; limitation of personal liability, ease of transferability, admission of new owners and investors’ expectation and of course taxes. If you take your time to study the various legal entities to use for your app store, you will agree that limited liability company; an LLC is most suitable. You can start this type of business as limited liability company (LLC) and in future convert it to a ‘C’ corporation or an ‘S’ corporation especially when you have the plans of going public.

Upgrading to a ‘C’ corporation or ‘S’ corporation will give you the opportunity to grow your app store business so as to compete with major players in the industry; you will be able to generate capital from venture capital firms, you will enjoy separate tax structure, and you can easily transfer ownership of the company.

8. Choose a Catchy Business Name from the ideas Below

When it comes to choosing a name for a business, it is expected that you should be creative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents.

If you are considering starting your own app store company, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;

  • Zeroes App Stores Company, LLC
  • Droplets App Stores Company, LLP
  • Vee Pearl App Play Store Technologies, LLC
  • Tux Tix App Store, Inc.
  • Uber App Store, LLC
  • Orange App Play Store
  • C Tech App Play Store, Inc.
  • Denzel App Play Store
  • Free Space App Play Store
  • Sky Blue App Play Store
  • K – Planet App Play Store
  • Crest App Play Store

9. Discuss With an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You

In the United States and in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policy covers that are required by the industry you want to operate from. So, it is imperative to create a budget for insurance policy and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your app store.

Here are some of the basic insurance policy covers that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own app store company in the United States of America;

  • General insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Liability insurance
  • Workers compensation
  • Overhead expense disability insurance
  • Business owner’s policy group insurance
  • Payment protection insurance.
  • E&O Insurance.
  • Cyber Liability Insurance (Data Breach Insurance).
  • Fidelity Bond Insurance.
  • Employment Practices Liability Insurance.

10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents

IT professionals know that handing data over to a third-party is always risky, but cloud storage and Hosting creates unique concerns for IP. Protecting your intellectual properties can be stressful but in the modern world where ideas and patents are being stolen on daily basis, you need to consider protecting your hard-earned intellectual property rights.

If you want to protect your intellectual properties; company’s logo and other documents or software that are unique to you or even jingles and media production concepts, then you can go ahead to file for intellectual property protection. If you want to register your trademark, you are expected to begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO.

11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification

When it comes to developing software apps, professional certification amongst key members of staff is one of the main reasons why some companies stand out. If you want to make an impact in the app development industry, you should work towards acquiring all the needed certifications in your area of specialization. You are strongly encouraged to pursue professional certifications; it will show your commitment towards the business.

These are some of the certifications you can work towards achieving if you want to run your own app store cum software development company;

  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD)
  • Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA)
  • Oracle (APEX) Cloudera Certified Developer for Apache Hadoop (CCDH)
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS Certified Developer – Associate Level)
  • CCSK — Cloud Security Alliance
  • CompTIA Cloud Essentials — Comp TIA
  • Cloud Certified Professional — CloudSchool.com
  • IBM Certified Cloud Solution Architect v1 and v3 – IBM
  • Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Infrastructure-as-a-Service — Red Hat
  • Please note that you can start and run a software development company or an app store without having any professional certification as long as you have the expertise to develop apps.

12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate

The importance of having the necessary documentation in place before launching a business in the United States of America cannot be overemphasized. It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentation. If you do, it won’t be too long before the long hand of the law catches up with you.

These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own app store in the United States of America;

  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Business License and Certification
  • Business Plan
  • Non – disclosure Agreement
  • Employment Agreement (offer letters)
  • Operating Agreement for LLCs
  • Insurance Policy
  • Consulting contract documents
  • Online Terms of Use
  • Online Privacy Policy Document
  • Apostille (for those who intend operating beyond the United States of America)
  • VAT registration
  • Federal tax identification number

13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital

The fact that you want to run a structured business means that you are likely going to need finance to lease an office space, equip the office and of course pay your staff members. When it comes to financing a business, one of the first things you should consider is to write a good business plan. If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labour yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business.

Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for startup capital for your app store cum software development company;

  • Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
  • Raising money from investors and business partners
  • Sell shares to interested investors
  • Applying for loan from your bank
  • Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from donor organizations and angel investors
  • Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends

14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business

App store business and most ICT service based type of businesses does not necessarily require that you see physically with your clients hence it can be located anywhere since most of your business deals are conducted over the internet.

The fact that you can operate your app development company from your home does not mean that a location has little influence on the success of your company. If you have taken your time to study the ICT industry, you will realize that players in this industry are willing to pay expensive rents in order to stay in a busy business district or ICT hub.

It cannot be overemphasized that the location you choose to open your app store is key to the success of the business, hence entrepreneurs are willing to rent or lease a facility in a visible location. If you make the mistake of renting or leasing a facility for your company in a not too visible or hidden location simply because it is cheap, then you must be prepared to spend more in promoting the business.

A business facility in good location does not come cheap hence you should be able to allocate enough fund for leasing / renting in your budget. If you are new to the dynamics of choosing a location for your business, then you should feel free to talk to a business consultant or a realtor to help you out.

So, if you are looking for a location for your company, ensure that it is a place that is located in a business district. Of course, you would not want to locate this type of business in the outskirt of town. Your clients should be able to drive down and locate your office with little or no difficulty.

15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs

An app store is based on highly virtualized infrastructure and is like broader cloud computing in terms of accessible interfaces, near-instant elasticity and scalability, multi-tenancy, and metered resources.

App store resources can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. This means that an organization can use more or fewer servers, stores, applications, or services, and can configure the ones it uses to meet its requirements when it wishes to do so.

When it comes to choosing between renting and leasing an office space, the size of the app development company you want to build, and your entire budget for the business should influence your choice. If you have enough capital to run a standard app store, then you should consider the option of leasing a facility for your office.

As regards the number of employees that you are expected to kick start the business with, you would need to consider your finance before making the decision. Averagely, you would need a Chief Executive Officer or President (you can occupy this role), an Admin and Human Resource Manager, ICT Consultants, Software Developers, Executive, Customer Service Officer or Help Desk Officer, and Accountant.

Over and above, you would need a minimum of 8 key staff to effectively run a medium scale but standard app development company.

The Services Delivery Process of the Business

This is how app store developers run their business; firstly the app store will be developed by software developers and then useful mobile apps and games are listed on the app store. As an alternative app store, you are expected to make use of the “Unknown Sources” option of Android devices to install APK files directly via the Android Package Manager.

Once an app store is up and running, they will look for mobile phone manufacturing companies or a mobile phone brands to help pre-install the app store in their mobile phone.

16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed With ideas & Strategies

As an app company, you would have to prove your worth before you can remain or be chosen as an app store in a mobile phone brand. So, if you have plans to start your own app store, it will pay you to build first build a successful career in the ICT industry.

17. Develop an Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win

The software development industry is a competitive industry, and you must come up with highly creative strategies to be able to outsmart your competitors in the industry. Part of what you need to do in order to stay competitive in the industry is to continue to make available safe, highly – secured, seamless and affordable or even free mobile apps in your store for your clients. People will always make use of your store to purchase and download mobile apps if they know that you have a better option.

18. Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers

When it comes to business, no matter the industry that you choose to pitch your tent in, one of the easiest ways to increase customer retention and perhaps to attract new customers is to produce results and satisfy your customers always. If your customers are satisfied with your service delivery, they can hardly source for alternative service provider.

Statistics has it that one of the major reasons why clients source for alternative service providers is when there is a drop in quality. Another reason is poor customer service. Part of what you need to do to achieve this is to track progress, results or outputs with the aim of improving on them quickly as the case demands. When it comes to managing your customers, and building loyal clientele base, you should purchase a customized CRM software.

With a customized CRM system, you can easily stay in touch with your clients (you can carry out quick surveys, you can introduce new products and prices to them without any hitch, you can felicitate with them on their birthdays and other anniversaries, you can keep track of their progress, you can send bulk sms and customized e – mails and above all, you can easily receive compliant and feedback from them).

19. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity

If you are in business and you are not deliberate about boosting you brand awareness and communicating your corporate identity, then you should be ready to take on whatever the society portrays your business to be. One of the secrets of larger corporations is that they are willing to spend fortunes to boost their brand and to continue to communicate their corporate identity the way they want people to perceive them to be.

If your intention of starting a app store cum software development company is to grow the business beyond the city where you are going to be operating from to become a national and international brand, then you must be ready to spend money on promotion and advertisement of your brand.

In promoting your brand and corporate identity, you should leverage on the internet because that is your primary base. Again, it is cost effective to use the internet and social media platforms to promote your brand.

  • Below are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand and to promote and advertise your business;
  • Encourage the use of word of mouth publicity from your loyal customers
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Google+ and other platforms to promote your business.
  • Advertise your business in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site