Mobile apps are now powerful tools for expanding your business and converting your business. They are the new storefronts or digital brand faces or new channels for customer interactions. Naturally, app development is a serious business and involves a lot of expertise and considerable cost.
App development remains no longer the same. It is quite complex, multifaceted, time-consuming, and resource-demanding. Consequently, the app development budget soars high. In such a scenario, startups and small entrepreneurs are on the lookout for building apps in a budget.
How can you reduce the app development budget without compromising on the app quality, performance and security? Well, here below, we provide some time-tested ways to build apps in a lesser budget.
1. Have your app objectives clear
When building an app, consider first what kind of solution you want to offer and the specific audience problems your app will address. Next, have a clear idea of the target audience who are going to use your app.
Now consider the key attributes that make your app product unique and are the key value additions or incentives you offer for the audience so that they choose your app instead of another app from your competitor. When you clearly set these objectives, guiding the app project to success while keeping control of resources and cost, becomes easier.
A clear idea about the app will help you do away with all the excesses in design and feature set and concentrate on the key features and the app performance. This will help you embrace a stripped-off development approach stricter to the basics and thus will reduce development costs.
The same clarity and understanding of the app project will also help you to hire the right development agency or partners instead of running pillar to post for different solution providers. This will also help you to give better control over the cost of development.
2. Go for the ideal OS platform.
Now you also need to decide about the operating system platform you want to build your app for. You can create an iOS app targeting iPhone and iPad users or develop an Android app targeting a large number of smartphones and tablets in the market. Or else, you can also build a cross-platform app that runs on both iOS and Android. You need to hire a mobile app development company with the right portfolio and skills corresponding to the platform.
This is where the earlier step of idea development for the app and the audience research will help you. You need to know the OS platform majority of your users choose. Depending upon this data, you can decide to give priority to one platform over the other.
3. Make a priority list of features
Now, you need to decide about the app features that you want to build based upon the basic audience needs of your app and the development cost. There are certain features and app functions that may consume a long time and budget. On the other hand, you can’t do away with the must-have features that decide your app’s user experience.
This is the reason why you need to prioritize the key app features and functions on the basis of your primary app objective, user needs, and the development cost. While deciding on features, you should choose the features that can help you to develop a high-performance and low-cost app with all the key app attributes as per your original objective.
When deciding on the priority of features, start with the critical features that define the core app user experience, followed by “nice to have” features that you can bring in with later updates.
For example, when developing an e-commerce app, the critical and must-have features are customer registration and login, product catalogs, filters and search function, a checkout page, push notifications, and a secure payment gateway.
4. Build an MVP
These days building an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) app is a pragmatic decision to reduce your mobile app development cost to a great extent while remaining open for future value additions through updates.
You can build your app with basic and elementary features and functions that share your app’s core user experience. Based upon the user feedback, you can incorporate more features, functions, and design changes through future app updates. This helps build the initial app at a lower cost while remaining open for value additions and improvements.
The MVP approach is popular because it reduces the risk of investing big money while keeping options open for future development based upon user validation and feedback.
5. Keep a separate app maintenance budget.
Apart from development, maintaining an app is a crucial aspect of an app project. Often many app project costs are calculated without keeping any room for app maintenance and future updates. This often results in extra financial stress or a lack of regular updates for the app. When an app undergoes performance issues just because it remained without updates for a year, the app is destined to taste failure.
While setting an app budget, it is wise to make room for app maintenance and updating costs. The app maintenance cost varies as per the app features, functionalities, and technology stack.
On average, app maintenance deserves at least one-fifth of the entire app project budget to make regular updates, security patches, research and development, content and design updates, performance enhancements, and feature improvements.
If you consider all the points we have explained so far, mobile app development should not cost a fortune anymore. While the app market is getting extremely competitive in terms of features, user experience, and performance, a lower development budget can create more room for app marketers, which can fuel the app’s success. So, keeping the app budget at a minimum is no longer just a compulsion but a strategic necessity. A winning app should involve less development cost now.