The number of smartphone users in the US is rapidly increasing. Some reports estimate that there will be more than 250 million smartphone users in the US by 2020. While mobile technology growing at a rapid pace, it has become more important than ever for businesses to invest in mobile apps.

Whether you’re running a restaurant or a construction company, you need to have a business app to tap into the larger market. A mobile app can become a powerful marketing tool for your business. It can help you reach a wider audience and create new revenue streams altogether.

However, getting a mobile app built is not as easy as it seems, especially when you have got a limited budget. If you want an intuitive and feature-rich mobile app for your business, without breaking your bank, you need to have a proper plan.

So, how to get an awesome mobile app within your budget? In this guide, we’ll be discussing the ways to get a budget-friendly mobile app built for your business.

Developing a Budget-Friendly Mobile App for Your Business

Many entrepreneurs and business owners think that it takes a fortune to develop an intuitive mobile app, but that’s not true. The cost of developing a mobile app depends upon many factors. Let’s see each of them in detail.

Mobile app development budget

1. Set Clear Goals

First things first, you got to set clear goals to ensure the mobile app development cost remains within your budget. Make sure that you have defined your business goals and what you want to achieve using the mobile app.

Here’s a quick checklist of the questions you should ask yourself before getting started:

  • Who is going to use my app? What is my target audience?
  • Why should my customers (or potential customers) download and use my app?
  • How is it going to help my customers?
  • What specific problem the app is going to solve for my customers?
  • What are the short-term and long-term returns?
  • Who are my competitors? Do they have an app for their business? If yes, what unique features it has?

It will help if you do a little market research to get the answer to the above questions. From the answers, you’ll get the following high-level information:

  • Your target audience and the competition
  • A list of essential features and unique functionalities of the app
  • A solid monetization plan based

You will need to save this information as the developers would need it in the future for better planning of the development process.

As Kim Perell, the CEO of Amobee, says: “It’s about what you want to achieve. Without a clear vision, you don’t know what goals to set or what actions to take. You need to be exactingly clear about what you want.”

2. Determine the Right Pricing Model

Next step, you will need to decide the right pricing model for your mobile app development project. Should you go for a fixed pricing model or pay on hourly rates? Well, this entirely depends on the scope and requirements of the project.

Since you’ve got a limited budget, a fixed pricing model may sound a pretty reasonable option. However, one of the significant downsides of this model is the constraints it puts on the project.

In the fixed pricing model, you can’t modify or add new requirements once the contract is signed. If you want to make any modifications, you will have to pay extra charges to the developers.

On top of that, many mobile app development companies would add extra cost in the bid amount to avoid getting undercharged. This means you might also end up paying extra in the fixed pricing model.

Another option is to go for a Fixed-Budget Model. In this pricing model, you do the market study mentioned in the first step, be upfront about the budget and app priorities. Your development partner will mull over your requirements and budget constraints and provide you with the best possible options.

One of the main benefits of this model is that you get a custom business app to get going and make modifications further as you receive customer feedback.

3. Choose the Right Mobile Platform

You will need to decide whether to build your mobile app for Android phones or iPhones. Well, if you want to serve the broader market, then you have to develop an app for both platforms. However, budget-wise, it would be best to choose either Android or iOS.

The data you’ve collected from the target audience research would help you. Perform a competitive analysis to identify which platform is most prevalent. If there are more Android users than iPhone, you might want to develop an android app first.

4. Prioritize the Features Based on Cost and Users Needs

Some features and app functionalities need more time and budget.

For example, if you want to sell products through your mobile app, incorporating a payment system is a must. It can be expensive and time-consuming to code the payment gateway system. However, you can’t ditch this feature just because it’s costly.

This is why you should prioritize the app features and functionalities based on development cost and user needs. You need to build a low-cost, high-functioning app that has all the essential elements for product success.

Here’s an example of how to prioritize an e-commerce app:

Critical Features:

  • Registration using social media or email
  • Product catalog & product sharing
  • Secure payment gateway

Important Features:

  • Custom search function, filters
  • Gift options
  • Digital wallets integration

Additional Features:

  • Send notifications on mobile
  • Multiple payment options
  • Advanced profile settings

If you want to build an e-commerce app, you can cut the cost on additional features, but you must have essential features like customer sign-up and payment options.

5. Get an MVP

MVP or Minimum Viable Product can be a great option if incorporating essential features in your mobile app is going to cost more than your ideal budget. An MVP is a launch-product with limited important functionalities, which is available for users to download.

MVP allows you to collect valuable data and feedback from early adopters, validate your idea and initial assumptions and analyze the market needs.

This data will help you save time and money while reducing the risk of high investment into the actual product.

Mobile App Cost Calculator

6. Don’t Go for Hybrid Apps

Hybrid apps are much cheaper and faster to develop and provide a better alternative to MVP. However, don’t rush for it just yet. Hybrid apps have limited features, and they won’t be able to take your business too far.

It’s hard to incorporate advanced functionalities into hybrid apps. Even if you get a full-fledged hybrid app, it won’t be stable and will require maintenance now and then. Plus, there is not much room for improvements or modifications in the hybrid apps.

You may initially invest low into the hybrid apps, but it’s not a viable option in the longer run. That’s why you need to invest in native apps rather than hybrid apps.

7. Find an Agile Partner

Should you hire a freelancer/s or outsource your project to a mobile app development company? If you want your mobile app to be successful, it would be best to partner with an app development company.

For most of us, it would look like a budget-friendly option to hire a freelancer. However, the chances are high that you might end up paying more to the freelancer.

When you hire a freelancer or a team of freelancers, you need to continually collaborate with them to ensure your project is on track. Sometimes, the project timeline can also extend, and even though you’re paying less per hour, you may end up spending more with the extended deadline.

Developing a custom mobile app takes a lot of time, effort, money, and energy. Mobile development companies know the business processes, and they understand your needs.

It will speed up the development process and help you bring your product to the market much faster. And, you don’t even have to worry about exceeding the budget.

Let’s Talk

Do you want an awesome mobile app for your business? We can help you take your business to the next level with custom mobile app development.

We are an award-winning website and mobile app development company with a vast experience of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), IoT and blockchain.

We work with startups to Fortune 500 companies to build custom web and mobile apps. If you’re looking for a technology partner to create a custom mobile app in the budget, get in touch with us.


Michael Georgiou

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