Writing a business plan is the first step to developing your app. It helps you clarify your vision and identify the steps you need to take to reach your goals. 

This guide will show you how to write a business plan for your app startup to help you attract investors, secure funding, and guide your overall efforts. 

You’ll need to include:

  • Executive summary
  • Company description
  • Market analysis
  • Unique selling proposition (USP)
  • Marketing strategy
  • Startup costs and funding
  • Monetisation plan

How to write a business plan for your app startup

Every business plan should answer whether it’s profitable to produce the product and invest in the business. Use the following sections to get that point across.

Executive summary

This section is the first thing potential investors will see when reading your business plan, so make sure it packs a punch. 

Your executive summary should hook the reader and entice them to keep reading your plan –– and invest in your app startup. 

Make your summary clear and memorable, and answer the following questions:

  • What problem do you want to solve with your app?
  • What is your solution?
  • How will your app change the market? 
  • What goal are you pursuing? 
  • Why will you succeed?

While your executive summary comes first in a business plan, it’s best to write it last to ensure it highlights all key aspects of the document. You can learn more about how to write an executive summary here.

Company description 

This section introduces your app startup and app concept to help potential investors understand more about you. Who are you, and what makes you unique?

When describing your business and app, share the following details:

  • Business structure (is it a sole proprietorship or limited company?)
  • Company location 
  • Information about you as the owner
  • Problem your app will solve
  • Business mission (why you created your app startup)

Quick tip: People love a good story, so use your company description to tell yours. Explain how you came up with your app idea and why you think it’s important. Keep it short and catchy to win the reader’s attention quickly.

Market analysis

Next, investors need to know how your app will fit into the market. After all, you’re trying to convince them that you’re worth investing in.

Market size

First, research what the current market looks like. There are three key parameters to base the market size:

  • Total available market (TAM) – the maximum demand for a solution in the commercial market.
  • Serviceable available market (SAM) – the portion of the total available market you can target through sales and marketing.
  • Serviceable obtainable market (SOM) – this defines the segment of the serviceable available market that includes the first people to use your product or service.

Projections

How likely is your app to succeed in the market?

Research firms like Nielsen or Forrester can help you understand your target market size and your industry’s potential for growth. Use success stories of similar businesses to give readers proof that your idea can be profitable.

Key point: Only include statistics that relate to your business. For example, if your app will only serve the local market, try to find local statistics. 

Competitors

Also research your competitors to demonstrate how your app measures up against other solutions. What makes you different?

Study other app businesses in your industry, including their niche, branding, app functionality, audience size, pricing, marketing, and so on. 

SWOT analysis

Identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) to define where you stand in the market and against your competition. 

Demonstrating your strengths and opportunities shows potential investors why your app startup is a worthwhile investment.

And highlighting your weaknesses and threats shows investors that you know your limits and have a plan to overcome challenges you might face.

Unique selling point (USP)

Your unique selling point (USP) is what differentiates your app and business from others in your industry. How is your app better than your competitors’?

Explain who you’ll do differently that will make people download your app instead of another, similar one. 

Marketing strategy

When considering how to write a business plan for your app startup, think about how you can prove to potential investors that you have a plan for promoting your business. 

You want to write a section that details your marketing strategy, including the following aspects:

Customer acquisition strategy

Lay out your strategies for acquiring new customers, talking about each channel and tactic you plan on using to attract them. 

Try to estimate how much it will cost you to acquire one customer from each channel. For example, if you plan on using paid advertising, how much do you think you’ll need to spend on it?

It’s important to have numbers to show investors to give them an idea of how much money you might need.

Social media

Social media marketing is one of the most effective ways to promote a product these days. When developing your marketing plan, find out how many potential customers you could reach through platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and so on. 

Provide readers with details about what channel you believe will be most profitable and why. Remember, you want them to want to invest in you.

Startup costs and funding

Include a reasonable estimate of how much it’ll cost to get your app startup up and running. Investors want to know where their money will go. 

Mention one-time costs, recurring charges, fixed costs, and any other expenses you think you’ll incur. Give an estimation of how much money you’ll need and why. 

Monetisation strategy

This section explains how you’ll generate revenue from your app. The most common ways to monetise an app are: 

  • In-app ads – your app is free for people to use, but other brands pay to advertise their solutions to your users. 
  • Paid app – this is where users pay a small fee to download and use your app. 
  • In-app purchases – here, you offer a basic version of your app for free and encourage people to pay for more features or other privileges.
  • Subscription – you can charge monthly or annual fees for people to use your app. Netflix is an example of a subscription app. 

Final thoughts…

Knowing how to write a business plan for your app startup isn’t always easy. The idea is to prove that your idea is a worthwhile investment by demonstrating:

  • Your knowledge about the market.
  • Your understanding of your target audience.
  • Why your app will succeed in the current market.
  • That you’ve done your research to support your concept.

Once you’re done with your research and have written your business plan, remember to proofread it. Use writing tools like Grammarly to make sure your spelling, grammar and style are spotless.

Now that you have a better idea of how to write a business plan for your app startup, you’re one step closer to bringing your idea to life!

Manage your finances better

You can improve almost every aspect of your business with new technology, including your business bookkeeping. That’s why hundreds of app startups use Countingup to make their financial admin easier. 

Countingup is the business current account and accounting software in one app. Keep your money where you can see them, and your financial data easily accessible whenever you need it.