How to Develop an Effective Mobile App without Technical Expertise (Advice from Someone Who Actually Did It)

Mobile apps are skyrocketing in popularity and many business owners seek ways to develop one for their own brand. Nevertheless, aren’t only programmers capable of developing these things? Veteran entrepreneur Bill Busbice says no. Mr. Busbice recently unveiled HWY Pro, an app he co-developed with two business partners. None of the three developers actually have any programming experience, and yet, HWY Pro is on its way to possibly disrupt the entire trucking industry.

So how can an entrepreneur with no programming experience build an app? Here are some suggestions from Mr. Busbice:

Aim to Solve a Problem

All successful mobile apps solve a problem in one way or another. Take Uber, for example, one of the most successful mobile apps of all time. Uber did not own a single taxi but managed to disrupt the urban commuter industry. The app streamlined commuting for consumers in a manner that has not been tried before. Likewise, an app with potential will solve a problem in any given industry.

Mr. Busbice’s HWY Pro app aims to streamline organizing loads for truckers in a similar way Uber streamlined commuting for people. HWY Pro is aimed directly at truck owner-operators, who often have to spend hours calling shippers to arrange loads. With the app, truckers can organize a road in less than 6 taps on their smartphone. An app like this has the potential for fast widespread adoption because it solves a major problem—inefficiency and time consumption—in the trucking sector. Likewise, new app developers should aim to solve a very real problem in an industry.

Target an Industry You Are Passionate About

There are plenty of problems out there that apps can solve. However, it is not wise to just jump into any sector without prior experience. Mr. Busbice cautions that knowledge and experience in an industry are vital to developing an effective app. Mr. Busbice was involved in the trucking industry for more than a decade before developing HWY Pro. He once directed a trucking company called ACE Transportation, which is where he observed the unique problems truckers face in everyday work life. Mr. Busbice advises potential app developers to start with an industry they know about, and above all, an industry they are passionate about.

Get Opinions of Other Professionals

While it is easy to get an idea in the head and spend money on it, Mr. Busbice cautions restraint in this regard. His advice is to take your idea to other professionals who are familiar with the industry. When Mr. Busbice got his idea for the trucking app, he consulted with his longtime business partners Paul Svindland and Harry Hover. They spent money on developing the app only after discussing potential issues, problems, and problem-solving ability.

Once an app developer goes through the above steps, then it will finally be time to hire people who actually know how to code the app. It’s recommended to work with coders who can be patient with non-programmers who want to pitch in ideas for the app. The coding process will be long and there will be loads of testing involved. Collaboration will be key to getting your app off the ground.

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