Return to site

How to Launch an App Without Code (with very little startup cost and time)

Do you have an idea that you have a burning desire to build?

Remember when you had to know how to code in order to build an app? We've moved on from that world: no-code tools are here to say.

They're power enough to let you build almost anything you can think of without learning or typing a line of code.

I've been working with no-code apps for a while now. It's given me the ability to drag-n-drop or integrate platforms together in a matter of seconds or minutes.

broken image

In 2016, I built my first app based on a pain experience with my barber.

I work full-time and the best time for me to book a haircut was on Saturdays. My sweet spot was 8AM, but there was one problem....

My barber still used a notebook to schedule an appointment.

So when I called to book at appointment and he was out away from his appointment book he would often forget to write down my appointment.

On multiple occassions, I would show up at 8AM and he was a no-show.

At that point I was desparate to solve my own problem by creating him an appointment booking app.

broken image

#1 I didn't know how to write code and #2 I didn't have thousands of dollars to pay a developer to build an app for me either.

I remember just like it was yesterday... I went to Google and typed, "How to build an app without code."

Then popped up, which is a visual programming language (drag-n-drop), making it accessible for beginners to create an app without code.

Fast forward I developed an appointment booking app, took me 3 months and signed my barber up. He loved it. (and solved my problem too).

The other barbers all signed up, I charged them $30 per month which then turned into signing up 500+ other users by the end of the year.

This allowed me to generate over $250K+ in revenue and sell this off as an asset.

To spare you with all of the mistakes that I made, I'm going to share you the exact steps you will need to take to launch your own app without code.

Let's dive in.

Forget the idea, find a problem to solve

You'll notice a recurring theme with me when it comes to create apps or a side hustle.

Forget your big ideas, rather make sure your ideas are actually solutions to problems that you've discovered.

Think back to my app process, I had a problem which I'm sure other customers at that shop faced. The barbers also had a problem with managing their calendars on the go 24/7.

You'll discover problems all around you.... networking events, people you casually talk to, or scrolling social media (preferrably Twitter or LinkedIn).

Make it a habit to listen to what people (especially business owners) complain most about.

Customer Interviews

Notice I haven't started this section with start developing your app? This is a huge mistake many people (me included) make when developing an app.

Once you've identified a perceived "big" problem, you want to validate that by talking with like people.

Going back to my appointment book app, once I discvoered my problem and my barber's problem I knew others faced the same problem.

broken image

Additionally, I spend some time with the other barbers in the shop to talk about the idea of managing their calendar in the app.

Find a mechanism to document the results of those conversations. Traditional pen and notebook, or use an app like Google Keep.

This is where you will be able to analyze truly how big of a problem you're dealing with.

Start building, but start small

Now that you've validated that you have something that's worth building and solving it's time to develop your app.

But don't get in a rush, start small.

Only build the basic function that allows you to provide an initial solution for your customers.

My app was a marketplace (or 2-sided) app in which I had to care for both the customer and the barbers.

The initial goal was to make it simple and easy for two aspsects:

  • Make it easy for the customer to find their barber's availabilty and book an appointment
  • Make it easy for the barber to display their availability and accept appointments

I didn't focus on email or text notifications, accepting payments or any other fancy bells and whistles.

The initial roll-out that I built was way better than what they originally had which was traditional notebooks to book appointments

Get feedback and collect data

Once the app is currently in use, my next goal was go get feedback from both the customers and the barbers.

I'm looking for things like easy of use, any buggy experiences, potential enhancements for both aspects of the customers and barbers.

Set up informal user interviews to collect the data that fits what you built.

Incrementally enhance your app

By now you should have an idea if your app is delivering exactly what the users need (or not).

If so, then you're ready to add the next "most" critical enhancement. For my app it was the text notification when an appointment has been booked and reminders.

I didn't this by integrating an SMS service which collected phone numbers to send out text notifications.

You would think the next enhancement would be paying through the app, but it wasn't. Why wasn't isn't?

Because I listened to my users and their needs.

The success of your app building journey is by listening to your users not on your personal goals.

Last Step

The last step to this process determines your goals with your app.

If you're in it for the long haul you may start to consider hiring people like support people, sales people, or virutal assistants.

Being that I was working full-time, I was in a position to sell my app off as an asset.


Building an app without code is a lot easier than learning how to write code.

Even though using no-code tools is much easier, you still have to follow a proven process to have a successful launch.

Launch an app with code or no code follows the same path

  • Focus first on solving problems (not ideas)
  • Talk to your potential users (learn what's giving them the most heartburn)
  • Build but start small
  • Enhance based on the needs of the user not yours.

If you follow this approach then you're on your way to building a successful app that will generate revenue for you while you work your job.

That's it for today.

See you next week.

Whenever you're ready, there are2 ways I can help you:

1. If you need some additional help launching your side hustle, I'd recommend starting with very affordable course that I'm building:

  • The Side Hustle Accelerator: This course will take you on a very thorough and step-by-step guide to help you identify your skills, the key tools, secret formulas and potential side hustle ideas to help you start your journey. Join 1000+ students here

One-on-One Consultation: Here we will set up a one-on-one FREE consultation to help me understand where you're stuck. This will help me confirm if your situation is a good fit for one-on-one coaching. Join 400+ other students here.