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7 Tactics How to Save a Budget for Building a Mobile app

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Posted February 14, 2017

The cost to build a mobile app depends on an incredible amount of factors. These days building apps  for business is getting complex, and so rather expensive procedure – mainly due to the fact that it demands quite specific knowledge in various areas of engineering, such as UX/UI design, security, programming languages, etc. Therefore, considering the average app development cost many businesses are eager to find out some ways to save a budget for a mobile app development in order to build it less expensively but with the same quality.

The other issue is having the right development team for your project. An experienced development team will ease the entire process of development and may suggest a few tactics to fit your budget.

Anyway, if you want to understand what differentiates the cheapest app from the most expensive one, take a look at the list of common, but the most significant elements which form mobile app development cost:

  1. The type of your app: Its purpose and main functions,
  2. The complexity of its features,
  3. Platform,
  4. The scale of the project,
  5. Location of the app development company.

Let’s see what tricks can allow you to reduce the costs and to benefit budgets.

7 ways to create a mobile app with limited budget

#1 — Keep it simple

Let’s start with the broadest advice. It is needless to say that the complexity of the app is directly connected with the price of the final product. Therefore, you’d better think twice over each function you want to add to the app. Select only most essential features and develop Minimum Viable Product (MVP).

If you go with MVP development, the main features of the app will be released after first development sprint, e.g. 2-4 weeks. Thusly, your customers and clients will be able to enjoy your app with the main features as fast as it’s possible. You will get the first customers feedback right away so that the next release will fit the market needs and not your guess-work.

Otherwise the first release is possible only after all the desirable features are implemented. It may take numerous years before the app will be launched to market. In this case, you have no guarantee that all the features will be really useful for users or there won’t be a few competitors that launched an MVP with same functionality before you. By the way – all these unnecessary features will cost you a lot of money.

This tip is crucial for startups.  It not only saves a budget for building a mobile app but also allows you to get return of investments faster.

#2 — Be humble with the app design

App design combines numerous aspects such as interface design, icons design, interaction design, etc. So it is needless to say that it occupies a big part of the app development budget.

The advice to keep it simple can be used pretty literally here and it looks the most appropriate way to go. MVP development will allow you to decide on overall design concept and get a design for several features of the app which is cheaper than designing a big and complex solution.

#3 — Choose a platform wisely

On the one hand, building apps for Android quite commonly require more time. Especially when we are speaking about custom apps; mainly due to a wide variety of Android devices. At this point, it is much easier to deal with app development for iOS since the amount of Apple devices is way smaller and all it takes is to build an app that can support the most recent operating systems along with the previous ones.

A lot of startups build their apps for the iPhones and iPads, even though developing an app for iOS is proved to be more expensive. Mainly because of the fact that monetization potential for iOS apps is simply higher: on average, iOS App Store generates 75% more revenue.

Before deciding for which platform to develop first, think about your target audience: where do they live (iOS is more popular in US and Europe, Android was chosen by the rest of the world), what devices they prefer, whether you want them to pay for your app or not, etc. As target audience for Android and iOS are different, you must into account this information as well as your personal goals.

#4 — Work on the app development map

That’s the advice that requires combining all the previous tips and generating a final clear idea of what the future app should look like, what it should consist of, which platform it should be built on, etc. Start with mapping out everything you want to see in your app, so once you have a clear vision of your project, you will be ready to start looking for the development company.

After all, the stage of implementing the idea into reality is the hardest part, mainly because of the lack of clarity between the one who came up with the idea and those who are supposed to build it into a real product. So, try to map out everything you want to include in the project by following the tactics above.

#5 — Go outsource

You might be thinking of hiring a freelancer or an inhouse developer but I would definitely recommend to consider outsourcing the app development to a mobile development company. That’s because they have expertise and resources essential to deliver quality product. Thus, you’ll get a team of a product manager, designer, developers and quality assurance engineers as an all-in-one pack to benefit your timing and so money saving.

You need to make a research and maybe contact a few companies, weigh their pros and cons and select a team of really skillful professionals. If a company claims that they are “the best on the market” don’t rush, ask for free consultation, portfolio and everything you need to make sure they have an expertise you might need for the project.

If you are on a budget saving mode, imagine a triangle where 3 of angles are “cheap”, “good” and “fast”. Now you pick only one line, so if you want to have it cheap you should expect that you will have it either fast (but with poor quality) or good (but time-consuming). When you start looking for the development company, try to find the one that harmonizes all three conditions together.

#6 — Define the most beneficial system of payment

There are two ways to go when it comes to the app development. You can choose a fixed price or the non-fixed one. Fixed price might be a budget friendly idea, especially if you have a rather small app to build and you already have a roadmap which includes a clear vision of what should and what shouldn’t be present in the final product.

However, if you are not sure about some of the project aspects you might consider going with the payment for the time the development team spent on your tasks. This way even if you want to offer changes along the process you might do them  with no worries about going out of your confirmed budget.

At MindK we advice our clients to go with fixed-price for MVP, and non-fixed after. With a fixed-price for MVP, you will get the working product for the minimum budget and it will prevent  all the risks you might have working with people you haven’t worked before. If you think that the team fits your requirements you can continue working with them on future features and changes but paying as you go and only for the exact work done for your app.

#7 — Work on the establishment of good communication patterns with your team

Finding a web developing company that is able to meet your requirements concerning your budget is not the end of the story. If you’re really going to give your app a chance, be ready to work for its success too.

Find a comfortable way to communicate with a project manager of your app: Skype calls, emails or whatever fits you best. Make sure that the company is able to regularly send you reports with the project status OR you may even track the team’s progress in Redmine or Jira if you want to). By communicating with developers you will more likely avoid many of misunderstandings concerning your app idea. That will save your time and money for sure.

It is very important to cooperate with your development team, to give them all the information they need and frequent feedbacks. Good communication is always a key to any project success.

One more thing

Low cash levels can be a problem for many  when it comes to developing a mobile app. But implementing these low budget tips will bring big budget results. The rest depends on you and the power of your idea.

To get the best possible result, be ready not to rush through the process, but carefully and mindfully carry out one aspect after another and discuss all of them with the company of developers you are about to hire. Start setting up your app development map and contact a few companies, so that you will see for yourself what’s possible with a modest app development budget.

Do you know any other tips on saving app development budget that we could all learn from?

Written by Oksana Sobolieva

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