When it’s time to develop a mobile app that’s functional, responsive, valuable to users and profitable for your business, your first thought goes to how much it’s going to cost.
Mobile app development certainly isn’t a cheap endeavor. This is especially true if you want an app that makes an impact in your industry. In general, a simple, small app that doesn’t contain a lot of features will cost around $15,000 to develop. If you’re looking for a more robust solution with highly complex features and heavy integrations, it can cost $100,000 or more.
The good news is, the cost of app development can be dramatically reduced by using a few powerful strategies. In this article, we’ll take a look at what five of these money-saving tactics are.
- React Native
Have you heard of React Native? If not, it’s time to take a look.
This is an app development and app design solution that’s perfect for the development of apps on both the Android and iOS platforms. It works seamlessly on both because you can reuse native components of its building blocks on either of the platforms.
This helps save large chunks of time and money during the app development process. You’ll no longer need separate developers for Android and iOS, and you won’t require separate code repositories.
Whether you’re a fan of them or not, this app was created by Facebook, and their developers use it every chance they get. Many other of the world’s most successful apps have used it as well, including:
React Native allows you to create powerful apps that, both in performance and design, are very similar to their analog counterparts.
When starting out, your best practice is to first have your app developed for one of the two platforms. Once it’s tested and launched, build out the second version.
Other mobile app development solutions have their own User Interface features. Because of this, frontend creation costs are quite high due to the need of hiring several different teams for each of the platforms.
- Minimize Design
Gone are the days of spending months planning and developing features, testing them internally, then getting them optimized for market. Doing this in today’s market will end up costing you too much time and money. You’ll probably end up marketing features that your users don’t care for.
This is why a minimal design approach is your best option. To do this, utilize small design sprints. Design sprints compress weeks or months of work down into a single five-day process of answering analytical business questions through prototyping, design and customer testing.
Rather than waiting to launch your finished app, you’ll be able to get immediate customer reactions from your prototypes in the early stages, before you make long-term commitments.
To manage your sprints, use Agile methodology. It will allow your team to split the overall project into smaller sprints while keeping the final vision intact. When you receive reactions from consumers, you’ll be able to add additional features with newsprints. When changes are needed, your team can quickly respond to them and fix any unexpected bugs at the same time.
When using Agile methodology, you’ll never need to restructure or re-plan your entire project to fit the needed changes. This helps save a lot of time and money, thus reducing the cost of your app design and development.
- Launch an MVP (Minimum Viable Product)
It’s always best to launch the first version of your app as an MVP. It should have minimal functionality, leaving secondary features for development at a later date. This helps keep costs low and, in the long run, consumers happy. Never invest in app features until the market identifies and demands them.
What’s best, the MVP approach works perfectly in conjunction with Agile methodology.
When you launch in MVP mode, you’ll be able to test the core idea of your app at the earliest stages of development, at a minimal budget. It’ll help you identify needed improvements and bugs without losing money, time and valuable resources.
Even better than the cost savings and development speed-up you’ll experience, it’ll make your app better. You’ll get instant user feedback immediately after launch that can help you steer subsequent development needs. With an MVP launch, you’ll never face the problem of users wanting a completely different solution than what you’ve rolled out.
Don’t waste time and resources on developing branded designs and detailed interfaces up-front. Instead, launch in MVP mode at an early stage of development. You’ll fail fast and you’ll learn fast.
- Outsource Before You Hire
If you’re not already sitting on an experienced in-house team, don’t start out your project by building one from scratch. Instead, outsource the work. It’ll increase speed, save money and avoid the painful hiring process.
One key to outsourcing app development is that you keep your code review process internal. The last thing you want on your project is unstructured code. If you don’t have an internal code reviewer, consider renting one.
Once your project has reached the stage of identifying your product-market fit, it’s time to start building a team for scale-up.
In the meantime, while outsourcing, look for an organization that offers complete end-to-end services. Make sure their talent pool is large and diverse. When you take the path of hiring different people from multiple places for one project build, you’ll end up losing hours of sleep trying to coordinate with them across time zones.
Hire a company that takes full responsibility for all testing, developing and bug fixing. Make sure they employ best practices using Agile, design sprint and UX. These factors will reduce your development costs and the time needed to build out the app.
- Solutions That Are Already Made
You don’t necessarily need an authentic, original software foundation for your app. This will increase your cost of app development exponentially.
To reduce costs, consider the reusability approach, either through a company that can provide it or through online tools.
The good news is, React Native already has a large glut of libraries ready to be reused. Other companies such as Wix have a lot that is being added to the community as well.
Look for solutions that have extensive libraries for web-frontend (Reach JS), backend (Sprint-Boot, Java) and mobile app (such as React Native).
The Best Ways to Save Time and Cost During Development
When you start development, you’re looking to get the project completed on time and under budget. While it may have seemed like a daunting task to come up with cost estimates for your app before reading this article, you’re now equipped with the information you need in order to save money without sacrificing the quality and efficiency of your app.
Don’t delay. Start today. Your app can’t find success until you see what the market has to say about it