mobile app development

How to build a great mobile app on a limited budget in 2021

You don't need a huge mobile app budget plan for creating a great app for your business.

Mobile App on a Shoestring Budget

Okay, so you want to build an app yourself. Good for you!

Now allow us to help you develop an app that will fit your wallet and fulfil your purpose as well.

You have an amazing idea for your app, have conducted ample market research to determine the pain-points of your target audience, and decided on the perfect platform for your app.

But, what’s next?

Budget for creating an app – Can you see your mobile app development project without breaking a bank?

If the trepidation of investing in an arm and a leg in creating a feature-rich and intuitive mobile app is stopping you, don’t worry. Here, I’m going to discuss some amazing tricks to help you develop a successful, functional result within your budget for making an app. 

Simple and effective strategies for minimising the cost to develop an app 

Many entrepreneurs and marketers think that building a highly-intuitive app is an exorbitant process, one that needs a fortune. However, that is not exactly the case. Before building your app get an estimate of what each stage of the development will cost based on the features and functionality you want to include. This will give you a realistic idea of a budget for creating an app. 

You can come up with a functional app by hiring a professional mobile app development company. By following these easy steps, you will come up with a great app within minimum expenses. 

Best Strategies to Built a mobile app on a tight budget

1. Make clear goals for your app

Think carefully about why you want to develop your app and what is the actual reason behind it. Figure out your target audience who will be interested in using your product.

What makes your product unique and how can it solve the problems of your customers? What features and functionalities will make your app stand out from the crowd. What are the goals that you want to achieve with your mobile app development project? Defining your goals earlier can make your mobile app development project a huge hit.

Types of Mobile apps

Benefits of having a clear vision for your app:

  • A clear understanding of ‘must-have’ functionalities - Once you have crystalised the vision of your app, you can easily figure out which functionalities you should include in the first phase of your app or while developing an MVP. This will help in keeping the cost low and development simple.
  • Keep the development process simple - When you have a clear understanding of your goals and functionalities you need, you can carry the development process accordingly, removing any unnecessary features and simplifying the process.
  • Decide which type of app you want - Once you know the services you are going to deliver through your app, decide what kind of app will better suit your needs. For example, if your app deals in data transfer or online shopping, then utilising Blockchain technology will be ideal and hence affect your developmental process accordingly. Various other kinds of apps utilise other features and technology which affects the cost drastically.
  • Get connected with expert partners - Having a clear vision of your app and the technology you need for it, you can connect with developers who have better expertise in those areas and deliver you more value.
  • Create relevant marketing strategies - Promotions are vital for any app or brand. A clear vision of your app, its functionalities and target audience will help you carve better marketing strategies which will give better results. 
  • Create better monetisation strategies - Finally, when you understand your audience, have a better understanding of the running cost of the app and the model of your business, you can create effective monetisation strategies which will yield better results.

2. Choose the right developmental partners:

Development partners are crucial for the development of your app. There are two options for any business, assuming that you are not a developer yourself. Either they can hire a freelancer or hire an agency. Both are viable options depending on your budget, needs and aspiration. There are pros and cons for both of these options and you must think hard to make a decision. Here are some basic differences between freelancer app developers and app development agencies.

Freelancer Vs Agency

3. Create a mobile app with the right development pricing model

Once you have done ample market research to get the answers to all these questions mentioned in point one, now is the time to come up with a monetization strategy. This will help you choose the right app development, pricing model. 

Mobile Monitization

There are various pricing models available for you to choose from. These models are:

  • Paid premium features - One of the most popular models out there, is paid premium features. This involves presenting a portion of your services for free of cost and putting a price for more premium features. It feels like creating a real user base for your app and creating a brand image before people start putting money into your pocket. 
  • One-time payment - This model includes putting a one-time price for all the services you offer through your app. On using these models, developers need to make sure that they are constantly looking for new users because the existing users will only add once in the revenue of the app.
  • In-app purchase - Just like a store, you can value various services/products you deliver through your app and directly charge for them. This is one of the most used models and added 36 billion dollar worth of business in 2018.

Total worldwide in-app purchase revenue from 2011 to 2017

  • Freemium model - This method is similar to a paid premium model. However, the difference is that in the freemium model, users can do everything the app has to offer without spending any money but by making purchases, users can speed up the process, get special awards and benefits in the course of the app usage. This is a very successful model in various mobile games.
  • Mobile-Ads - Finally, you can use an app to promote other people’s products and apps. It is important to keep the user experience into consideration while creating an ad strategy for your app. 

Since you have a limited app development budget, make sure you set a fixed price for your mobile app development company. 

4. Choose the right platform to build an app

When it comes to developing your mobile app on a tight budget, it is highly advised to choose a platform that perfectly aligns with your development strategy.

Choose the right platform to build an app

Whether you choose Android, iOS, Desktop, or wearable gadgets for your app development project, make sure the platform you choose is used by a majority of your customers.

With proper market research, you can make a well-informed decision and choose the best platform that will be best suited to your audience and help you keep the average cost to build an app low. There are three popular choices for mobile app platforms:

  • Android - This is the most used platform for mobile apps and holds the largest share in terms of customer acquisition. It offers a relatively easy app approval process, however, the competition here is more. Cost of app development depends largely on the opted functionalities but usually turns around to be substantial.
  • iOS - iOS dominates the European and American market and offers a user base with higher paying capacity.
  • Hybrid app frameworks - Third and most feasible option for app development on a budget is hybrid frameworks. Hybrid frameworks offer seamless integration with different platforms including android and iOS. This reduces the development cost as you don't need to develop different apps for different platforms. Popular hybrid platforms are PhoneGap, ReactNative, Flutter and many more.

5. Invest in vital functionalities considering app development budget

To make your app a huge success, it is critically important to add some awesome features that solve the issues of your audience.

Create a list of features that can make your app stand out from the crowd and encourage people to use it regularly to solve their problems or complete their tasks.

For instance, if you are building an e-commerce app, make sure to include payment gateways that make the purchase process easier and simpler for the users. It is a sensible approach to prioritize all the functionalities and features by keeping your financial restrictions and users’ needs in mind.

A professional mobile app development company will guide you on how to outline your budget and set your priorities without compromising on the quality of the features you are aiming to include in your app in your allotted app development price.

6. Creating an MVP is a sensible approach

Starting with an MVP is a great decision to cut your mobile app development cost short. With a minimum viable product, there is no need to create an app from scratch.

You have an option for a mobile app launch with truncated functionality before investing money into your development project. Furthermore, choosing an MVP helps you collect users’ feedback, and check the market demand of your product.

It will save you money, time, and energy while minimizing the risk of investing too much money in your project. So, start with truncated functionality and carefully test out the features in the market before investing more money in creating a feature-rich app. 

7. Set aside a budget for app maintenance

Keep in mind that app maintenance is one of the most important factors that can affect the financial plans of your development project. It is important to upgrade your app from time to time; otherwise, it will crash, and people won’t think for a second to delete it.

So, when it comes to setting aside a budget for making an app, knowing the cost of app maintenance can help you plan your budget for making an app accordingly.

cost of app maintenance after one year

However, the cost varies with the functionality and features, and you should allot a budget of 20 per cent of the total cost of development for app maintenance.

Reliable and top app development companies will suggest the estimated cost required for additional features, upgrades, improvements, bug fixes and small tweaks. 

8. Start organic marketing before the mobile app launch

Start organic marketing before the mobile app launch

Promoting your app is quintessential even if you are working on a budget. You should start promoting your app via organic channels way before your app is ready for launch. Organic promotions will go easy on your pocket and deliver lasting results. Reach out to tech-blogs, social media and make people aware of the product you are introducing without spending money on paid promotions. It is vital to pick and go through an app marketing guide before you devise a plan for it. Be sure that you start on your marketing strategy since long before the app is finished and continue it during the next phases as well.

Wrapping it Up 

Whether you hire a freelance app developer or a mobile app development company to build your next app, make sure you figure out the hidden costs before choosing the option.

Keep in mind that building a functional and engaging app can be costly, and requires a lot of effort, energy and time. From the development phase to deployment and maintenance, estimating the app development cost beforehand will help you evaluate all your options, reduce risks and save you hundreds of thousands of dollars. Remember the following points:

  • Make clear goals for your app
  • Choose the right developmental partners
  • Create a mobile app with the right development pricing model 
  • Choose the right platform to build an app
  • Invest in vital functionalities considering app development budget
  • Creating an MVP is a sensible approach 
  • Set aside a budget for app maintenance
  • Start organic marketing before the mobile app launch

Hopefully, these simple strategies will help you come up with a great result on a small budget for creating an app and make it a great success.

And if you are interested in reading more such descriptive articles featuring topics straight from the mobile app industry then make sure to stay tuned with MobileAppDaily. To never miss another trending tech news story, all you need to do is click on the ‘Subscribe’ button.

Aparna <span>Growth Strategist</span>
Written By
Aparna Growth Strategist

Aparna is a growth specialist with handsful knowledge in business development. She values marketing as key a driver for sales, keeping up with the latest in the Mobile App industry. Her getting things done attitude makes her a magnet for the trickiest of tasks. In free times, which are few and far between, you can catch up with her at a game of Fussball.

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