Tuesday, February 27, 2024

What the Apple Small Business Program means for budding developers

By Richard Conn

On January 1, 2021, Apple launched its App Store Small Business Program.

The program slashes App Store commissions in half for businesses that earn up to $1 million per annum, taking the commission percentage from 30 down to 15.

Businesses can qualify for the program at any point, so long as their earnings that year don’t exceed $1 million. If a business stops qualifying, the commission percentage goes back up.

But what exactly does this mean for small business owners?

The breakdown

In practical terms, Apple’s new program will save app developers money on each paid download and in-app purchase. This money can then be invested into improving existing apps, as well as helping to grow and improve business strategies.

Boasting access to over 1.8 million apps, the App Store is a highly competitive platform where 2% of apps generate 95% of all revenue. The developers of these top money-making apps are excluded from Apple’s new program, because their total earnings per year exceed $1 million.

Small businesses need to work hard to stand out in this environment, and they can do this by investing their newly freed up funds in the following areas.

Catering to customers

Perhaps the most important thing a small business can focus on is learning how to meet customer expectations.

A recent survey asked 1,920 businesses what their main goal was for the future. Almost half of them chose customer experience, which depends on how well a business can meet expectations.

The exact ways in which a business can maximize customer satisfaction depends on the type of business.

For example, most businesses must make sure it has the remote access software and that the process is simple for all users.

In other words, anything the business does, it must do well. This helps boost customer satisfaction and, as a direct result, brand image.

Online security

Another key component of a flourishing small business is its online presence. In today’s digital age, building a strong brand identity across platforms is crucial.

With excellent online marketing comes an increase in security concerns. A study found that as many as 77% of the businesses it surveyed stored their customers’ data, meaning each of them has to consider the security measures they use to protect this information.

Studying the data security trends of 2020 is a great way to prepare for 2021

It’s a good idea to consider specifics in terms of security. Whether you’re looking into setting up a successful live stream or making sure you’re using the best platform for file sharing, each digital avenue has unique security concerns.

A small business that wants to grow its revenue will ensure that it’s careful about securing business communications, as well as keeping customers’ private information safe.

Eye-catching design

A website can’t properly appeal to its audience without an attractive aesthetic.

The focus here is more on the internal structure of the business that’s running the website than on the customer. Optimizing the way the design team is run produces a website that looks great, which can build customers’ trust in the site and the brand behind it.

The overall design needs to be cohesive, powerful, and easy to look at. Cohesion, in particular, can only be achieved if the whole team works together effectively.

A business that uses great collaboration tools for designers is therefore more likely to succeed in the design department.

To produce the best designs, it’s important to use computer-assisted design (CAD) software. This type of software has many benefits, such as increased legibility, a simpler sharing process, and better overall productivity.

Of course, productivity is tied to the mindset of the individual designer(s) as well. When designers keep up to date with useful CAD productivity tips, they can help make sure that only the best content gets produced.


Even when digital software is used, certain aspects of design still need a human eye. Not all parts of running a successful small business follow this rule, however, and automating processes can be helpful.

Robotic process automation (RPA) is a great way to grow a business.

When robotic software is taught how to complete a repetitive process through RPA, that process becomes more efficient. Productivity can increase by as much as 27%.

The use of RPA frees up more time for employees to focus on the kinds of tasks a robot can’t do alone, such as coming up with design and marketing ideas, networking, or creating new business plans.

Much like Apple’s new Small Business Program, RPA technology can reduce a business’ outgoing costs by 20-60%.

As RPA technology continues to develop, more apps will be needed to help it reach its full potential. From apps that control house locks via an Apple Watch to RPA software designed to help formulate IT organizational strategies, the possibilities are endless.

Any small business hoping to develop new apps would only do itself a favor by keeping a close eye on emerging RPA technology.

The takeaway

Apple’s new Small Business Program means a lot of exciting things for small businesses. First and foremost, it’s going to save them money, which can then be used to grow and expand their enterprise.

The program offers the vast majority of iOS app developers a chance to invest more resources into optimizing their businesses.

With ideal software development collaboration tools and increased funds at their disposal, these small businesses will have a significantly greater chance of success.

More time and money can be invested in creating the perfect customer experience, as well as improving design appeal in all areas.

All of these benefits apply doubly when RPA technology is used effectively.

In short, what the new Apple Small Business Program ensures is that they’ll have increased access to resources, which will make working collaboratively significantly easier.

Richard Conn is the senior director, Search Marketing for RingCentral, a global leader in unified communications. He is passionate about connecting businesses and customers and has experience working with Fortune 500 companies such as Google, Experian, Target, Nordstrom, Kayak, Hilton, and Kia. Richard has written for sites such as Clicdata and RightInbox.

The accompanying image is courtesy of Unsplash.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.