Starting a home-based business producing apps for mobile devices is a laudable goal, but you should know that it requires some up-front due diligence to ensure your entrepreneurial efforts are successful.

It’s not as easy as it sounds to become a popular producer of high-demand apps, but it’s not out of reach. Here are some steps you should take when starting your own home-based software development company, specializing in mobile apps.

1. You should probably incorporate

You want to protect yourself and your family finances as much as possible, right? If that’s the case, then you should opt for creating a business entity, such as a corporation or an LLC, to limit your own exposure and liability.

Without incorporation, someone could potentially sue you personally for some “damage” you supposedly caused to his or her mobile device. You could also be sued for financial loss if your business productivity app doesn’t work as advertised. In this excessively litigious day and age, it’s best to limit the extent of your liability by forming a corporation and producing apps as an officer with that corporation.

2. Do some market research

Sure, that idea you have for an app that rates the nearest public restrooms based on cleanliness might seem like a really cool idea to you and your family, but will it sell? The fact of the matter is that you don’t know what will and will not sell until you’ve done your homework.

You’ll need to do some market research to find out if there are people who might be willing to fork over some of their hard-earned dough to buy your product.

3. Consider running advertisements in your app

You might envision the production of a great app and charging $.99 (or more) for it. You’ll throw it out on Google Play or the App Store and just wait for all the money to start flying your way. While your vision is enticing, the reality might be substantially different.

For starters, some unscrupulous people might pirate your hard-earned work. Whoever buys the pirated version of your app gets the product without paying you a cent.

You may also find that competitors enter your space. It’s possible that your idea turns out to be so good that other independent developers will seek to copy it. That’s going to eat into your market share.

While there’s not much you can do to avoid the financial setbacks associated with competition, offering your app for free will certainly deter piracy. You can still monetize the app by running ads in it. This assumes, of course, that your app has a screen real estate available for advertisements. If not, you may have to sell it the old-fashioned way.

4. Use social media

If you’re running any kind of home-based business, then you’re going to want an online presence with social media. This is how home-based entrepreneurs stay connected with others while operating from the isolated environment of their own homes.

Make sure you have a Facebook and Twitter account, at the very least. If you believe you’re going to be doing a lot with images in your app, then a Pinterest account is also a great idea. Google+ will probably rise in popularity in the coming years, so you’ll want an account on that social media platform as well.

Also, Google+ is run by Google, which means you’ll be able to boost your brand with the Google search engine by using Google+ to advertise your apps.