I have a great idea for a web app in personal finance niche. It's a B2C. I have brainstormed and did some research. I made some specs and wrote the idea explaining every functionality. There is already some fair competition in this niche but my app idea has some unique useful features which other apps in competition do not have.
I am planning to start the business by creating Web, mobile web, Android and Iphone apps. I don't understand how and where to start.
I am a recent Graduate have some PHP & MySql programming knowledge, however I didn't do any major projects so far. Presently I am learning Android app development. I love programming but I am a kind of lazy guy, but I am very serious regarding my Idea implementation. I am new to business world and have very little knowledge about management, marketing etc. BTW I am low on funds.
My questions are.
I think the reason you don't know where to start is because you have this idea and you are planning to conquer all platforms in one fell swoop (which is daunting). My suggestion is to build the website yourself and then go from there. If you are low on funds, you aren't going to get many quality programmers to build the apps/site for you, which is really just wasting your money and time. I would definitely suggest paying a designer to make the look/feel of your site for you as that is critical. Also, if you enjoy programming but aren't able to make yourself do the project that is a warning that you don't have as much faith in your idea as it seems.
To answer your other questions:
1.) Do the site by yourself, if you know PHP and MySQL you should be able to put together a decent site and if you pay a designer to make the layout then it will look good as well. Save the professional developers for the iphone and android app (and save those 'til you have a customer base that would be willing to use it).
2.) I don't know you or your learning style so it is hard to answer this one. It is definitely based on your determination to learn and push through the difficulties/frustration.
3.) If your site takes off, then you may want to hire people to do day to day business and the other "business" stuff. Until then though, don't worry about it.
4.) The answer to this depends on if you pay them by the hour or not (and if they are ethical too I guess). If you can do it yourself, I would since you will need to save your money.
5.) Venture Capitalists (VCs) are institutional investors who can provide money for a company in order for it to grow. Considering you don't have a product yet, I wouldn't approach them. Just do your thing and if they feel like you are a good investment they may approach you. You are getting way ahead of yourself as of now.
6.) Just build a prototype of your site and launch it. Use the userbase there as the test to see what they want. Otherwise, you will never launch your product because you will be stuck doing "market research" until you lose interest.
7.) I'm not going to mislead you here to make me seem like I know it all, I don't have a good idea on how to answer this question!
I think those are too many questions to answer at once in detail. Here are my first thoughts:
Who isn't low on funds? :)
Do little more market research. Put up a polls and try to find out possible traction of your app.
To hire people you can use: freelancer, elance, guru, odeks, iteezy ;), and bunch of other sites. The touch part is to pick the right person to work with. I had the best luck with developers from China. Their englich sucks but when you chat with the it really doesn't matter. As long as you have some pseudo code with logic requirements you should be good to go.
As far skill set of the programmer you are going to hire, check their portfolio. Make sure they already made something similar to what you want. The app developers do usually everything including design and web.
As far as time you would have to give more specific criteria.
You want to start with Angels first :) before you go for venture capital. And you never approach investor. You approach his/her contacts such as former business owners they invested or other people they deal on day to day bases. Take look at veturehacks they have nice think book about :)
You hire marketing consultant to get an idea how to market your software. Than you'll have starting point and can open google adwords and other similar online advertising accounts
You can use sevices such as spyfu to get metrics on competitors advertising. Also you can lookup the competitors on alexa.com to get an idea what kind of traffic the get on their software.
Do you know why every person doesn't start business? Because it is hard, and you have to find edge that will get you over the top and you have to fight to stay on top.
As far as book do search on amazon and look at the stars :)