November 18, 2019

Acquiring A Stagnant App Development Company And Leading It To $50K/Month

Cameron Upson

Please introduce yourself (name, age, country, job before starting a company) and what you are working on

Hey! Well to start my name is Cameron Upson, and I am a 23-year-old entrepreneur. I recently acquired an app development company called Appsitude that a friend of mine started. I am not the original founder but I think of myself as one as I had to completely restart the company from the ground up and get it moving again.

It sat stagnant for a year or so when the former CEO moved on to another project as app development wasn't his calling in life. I have really been there since the beginning of everything and plan on being there all the way through until we are one of the biggest app development companies in the world.

We tend to do quite a lot of B2B but we also really enjoy doing B2C as the app ideas can always get to the next level! We are currently doing around $30,000 to $50,000 a month and have big plans to continue our growth, watch out world.

What does education mean to you? Do you have any educational qualifications?

I personally don't think education is as important as a lot of people will tell you. You need it to a certain degree, elementary and high school. After that I don't think it is nearly as important.

As long as you have the basics down that will set you up enough for the future. What i think is 10x more important than any degree you can get in college would be drive and motivation.

Anyone can get into college if they try hard enough in highschool and get a good gpa if that's the path they want to go down. I personally didn't care about school whatsoever I left high school with a 1.7 GPA, for anyone who doesnt know GPA that’s a C- average in every single class.

Some of you might think I'm an idiot now and you might be right if i was actually trying but i was not applying myself whatsoever because ¾ of the information i was learning wasn't going to do anything for me in my future.

I thought growing up as a kid I would either be a businessman or work in the trade industry. As i grew up and had jobs i realized i hated working for somebody else and then went down the path of becoming my own boss. Nothing I learned in high school has got me to where I am now. Drive, being motivated, choosing my own path, networking, and making smart decisions has.

I am not saying you can’t learn anything in college/university and if that’s the path for you then go for it, but personally for me it wasn’t and I dont think a degree or certificate will get you where you want to be in life.

If anything what I would do is go sit down in an info session and learn as much as possible to something directly related to what i need to learn like marketing. But to go to school for 4+ years just to get a certificate to work for someone else doesn't seem worth it to me.

I dont think a degree or certificate will get you where you want to be in life.

What's your backstory and why did you decide to start a business?

I grew up in North Vancouver, Canada, as a normal kid, went to public school, I have zero post-secondary experience, and yet I had this unwavering need to succeed to do something great, I just didn't know what.

I don't know if it was to prove it to myself or to show everyone else I could do it? Everyone could always tell I was different than my friends they would be out partying and I would be doing something business-related to either better myself or figuring out another way to make money. I knew I wouldn't be like them, working 9-5 for somebody wasn't something I could do the rest of my life I needed to figure something out and fast. Every job I got I was either fired or quit. It really is true that a boss makes a terrible employee.

I did all sorts of things growing up on the internet it really was a grind. Anything I could do to make money I did it. I was on Fiverr posting flyers for people and made about $10,000 doing that. I then moved onto buying and reselling clothes among other things.

After all that I wanted to expand my horizons and have always been interested in real estate so I moved onto subletting apartments on Airbnb and really found a great way to make some serious money. Moving into present most of my time and passion goes into app development but I am still really into real estate and will continue in real estate on the side!

Describe the process of starting and launching the business.

Well as I said earlier, I took over this company after it had been sitting stagnant for around a year and a half and was pretty much dead. I had to do a complete relaunch from the ground up. I used up a lot of the money I had from real estate doing marketing for the company and man is it not easy if you don't know what your doing.

I have zero experience marketing and lost a decent amount of money trying to figure it out. You also need to think about how valuable your time is I wasted a lot of time trying to make Craigslist ads and looking through craigslistall.com for people in need of app development. If it's not your area of expertise and you have the money I would recommend hiring out for positions your not good at. That's what I ended up doing and getting a marketing expert on board to do some SEO work for us helped a lot.

After doing some marketing, it took a few months before we started to see a good amount of clients come in. That's when I realized the power of marketing and how much easier it is when you have clients coming to you for your services and not the other way around.

It is 10x easier to close when you have a client who comes looking for you and not you looking for him.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

One thing I learned is that content is key and you need it to be trustworthy, especially in this business. It may be different for other businesses, but in-app development trust is everything because sometimes people could be sending you their life savings! It's one thing to trust a company to send you the $50 worth of stuff you ordered but trusting someone with $10,000-$100,000 on an app is a whole other story.

Another thing that I would say that is as equally as important is cost. What helped us make the highest quality apps at a cost-effective standpoint with our clients was choosing our developers wisely. A lot of app development companies want to only use devs from the USA or Canada and that's a huge oversight. One they cost quite a bit more than someone equally as good in a foreign country such as Ukraine or India.

Two of the people I have hired overseas are the hardest working people I have met in my life and have a real positive attitude and a can-do mentality. What I always like to say is you can have the 50th best in America or the best of the best from a country overseas for the same price. If you can get over having a slight language barrier it is amazing to see the grind from people around the world trying to get their work out there for the world to see. That is how we have had so much success in such a short time period.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

Today we are doing good but there is always room for improvement! We are not even in the top 50% of app development companies out there, so there is always room to expand our reach. One thing we need to improve upon further would be conversions through our website.

You will always have people on your site that don't convert to sales and that's just how it is, but I feel like we need to really crack down with more content and keep working with our marketing department to really make something happen there. Thus far with the work, we have done SEO wise I have seen a huge ROI and definitely plan on continuing down that path.

In the future, I would like to also like to do a lot more Facebook ads and Google Adwords to really help us grab ahold of people's attention! All that in due time because we really can't handle much more before we expand and hire some new devs so were just gonna wait on that for now.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Grind and don't stop grinding! No one will give you money, you need to get out there and make it. I had no clue I would end up where I am now, I just went with the flow and it seemed to all just work itself out. I had many moments of just giving up completely and letting the company sit for longer while I wallowed in my own self-pity for not landing a contract or getting mad a client that backed out when I needed it most. There is nothing you can do about these moments it's just life and you have to deal with it, get back up and get back to work!

I know saying learn from your mistakes is a pretty generic thing to say but it is so true and is very important. If you say you don't make mistakes when building a company you are a liar, plain and simple it is not easy! Especially if it is your first one! Nobody tells you what to do you, there was no class in high school to teach you how to do taxes, how to incorporate your company, how to find clients, how to find employees, you have to figure it all out on your own. And that isn't for everybody but if you are a true entrepreneur you will make it work because it has to.

One more thing I learned is that I have a really tough time focusing when I needed to. If you have this problem you need to find a solution or you will get nothing done. I wake up and go to the gym and get everything else out of the way so that when it comes to it there is nothing else to do! This seems to work for me and really gets me in the zone to do what I need to do. Also listening to EDM/ trance music seems to really fire me up if I need an extra boost!

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

One of my favorite apps to use for the organization would have to be Trello! It really helps me and my team stay organized so we all know what needs to be done. Trello lets you connect with anyone you invite into it to see current tasks at hand that need to be finished. You can make different cards for different team members so everyone knows exactly what needs to be done and also what has been done.

Another one of my go-to apps for the organization would have to be Pipedrive. Pipedrive is great for keeping your potential clients in order. You know exactly what stage everyone is at from just getting in touch with signing the contract. I cannot recommend these apps enough for the organization!

If I need to look for an extra developer or something in a hurry I will always go to Upwork! Doesn't matter if you are just starting out of a multi-million dollar company Upwork is always great to find people for just about any project you can think of!

What are some sources for learning you would recommend for entrepreneurs who are just starting?

Its 2019 the internet is your best friend use it! If you can't find it on the internet(Youtube/Google) network with people that is the best way to learn anything you need to know. Go to events and network with everyone you can. Try and find a mentor to teach you anything you can't figure out yourself.

Advice for professionals who want to get started or are just starting out?

Just do it. Take the risk. It's scary but its all worth it in the end. If you don't take risks, you wont make money. It's as simple as that. That's why everyone who has stable money has just enough of it to get by. If you don't have an original idea who cares! Look at what others are doing to make money and follow suit.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

I have been thinking about getting a sales team together that would work off of commission. I have hired a salesman before on salary and commission and it just didn't work out.

If you're interested in bringing in clients to me I am willing to give more commission in return for not getting paid a salary. Email me at cam@appsitude.com with the header (APPLYING FOR a SALES POSITION) if you're interested!

Where can we go to learn more about you and your business?

www.appsitude.com

www.facebook.com/appsitude