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Secrets to Building a Mobile App on a Budget


You can hardly find a business whose owners don’t strive to scale and grow it online. Developing a mobile application can be a huge step towards taking your entrepreneurial venture to the next level. Be it a large business or a modest startup, the cost is often one of the factors that determine the success of the end product.

Now lots of business owners take advantage of the app development calculator and for good reason. This efficient online tool can help developers make a ballpark estimate of the cost of their apps. But it’s not an app development calculator alone you should avail yourself to ensure your app is a success.

You should also be mindful of the key factors that may affect the cost of your digital product. The first one is the material costs required to design the basic features, integrations, user interface, and lots of other elements of your app. The second factor involves the costs of labor or money your developers will ask for implementing your idea and building your app.

The more sophisticated and feature-rich product you require, the more labor and thus the money you will need to invest in your app. Still, your shoestring budget shouldn’t get in the way of your dream.

Preliminary Considerations

As with implementing any business idea, you should make it clear to yourself what you expect of your app in the first place. Ideally, you should envision it. Decide not only on its core features and functionalities, but also its icon, color, layout, and other seemingly minor things. Set the timeline for the development process and come up with the list of questions you may want to ask your developers. To set clear goals you’ll also need to:

  • Define your target audience, the people who might be interested in your app
  • Get to know your competitors, access their strengths, weaknesses, and achievements in their niche
  • Make the selling propositions of your product clear and define the problem our app may solve
  • List the functions your app can perform
  • Figure out the optimal monetization strategy
  • Define short- and long-term objectives you aim to achieve

Allocate Money for an Emergency Fund

Even if you don’t have a huge budget, try to stash some cash away just in case the emergency hits. If you hire a responsible and reliable team of developers, the odds are good that there will not be any problems and cost overruns. That being said, you need to plan ahead and budget for unforeseen expenses like adding more features, researching target audience, fixing bugs, app testing, pre-launch marketing, etc. Keeping aside a budget for features, researching the target audience, fixing bugs, app testing, pre-launch marketing is the best practice to get an exact idea of your budget. Keeping a little margin over the predicted estimate is always a wise idea.

Choose a Platform

Most business owners want their app to be able to hit the most popular mobile platforms, that’s Android and iOS, simultaneously. Still, if you don’t want to fall short of budget, you may want to launch your app on one platform at the initial stage. Once it gains momentum, you can introduce the second platform. To decide which platform to build for, you may want to research the market and your niche. Conducting a survey among your target users won’t hurt as well.

Start Small

Developing a full-fledged app can be quite a costly undertaking. So, if you aim to develop a pocket-friendly mobile app, but try to create its full-blown version from the get-go. It would be a good idea to create an MVP first and see it in action. Starting with the MVP will help you collect the maximum amount of validated information about your target audience’s interest in your product and analyze demand.

The MVP for your app will provide you with the opportunity to see how your potential users interact with your app and find out whether your product appeals to them. Once you realize that your app can bring the desired ROI, you may want to jump straight into developing a full-blown app or pitch your idea to investors and get the funding necessary for developing an actual product.