6 Ways to Save Money on App Development


Six Ways to Save Money on App Development

It’s no secret that a custom software solution can come with a hefty price tag. But before you let the fear of the bottom line stop you from turning your innovative idea into the next big software success, let’s look at ways that the right development could help you cut costs while still delivering the perfect product. 

How Much Does It Cost to Develop an App? 

Unfortunately, this question is nearly impossible to answer. Each app is unique, and each project’s total budget will depend on several different factors, such as: 

  • The type of app you’re creating
  • The complexity of your software
  • The platform you want to use
  • The team building the app
  • Maintenance and updates for your app

If you have an app idea, the best way to get a ballpark understanding of the potential development cost is to set up a free consultation with a development agency.

Six Money-Saving Strategies

Once you decide to create your app, there are several strategies you can use to ensure you’re getting the best product at the most competitive price. 

1. Define Clear Requirements 

You can start saving money before you even begin developing your app. Creating clear guidelines for your app and the development process from the beginning can help you stay on task and within your budget. 

You’ll want to make sure you deeply understand the following:

  • Problem: What problem are you trying to solve with your app? 
  • Target Users: Who is your target audience? Understanding the people you are trying to reach will help you expedite app creation, marketing, and deployment. 
  • User Needs: Now that you have a clear definition of your users and the problems they are encountering, you can define the solution that your software will offer. 
  • Scope: Will your app be on a single platform or multiple platforms? Will it be an online or offline solution? The more you can articulate the scope of your solution, the easier it will be to prioritize tasks in the future.
  • Timeline and Milestones: How long do you anticipate your development will take? Is there a specific deployment schedule you need to meet to align with a larger project or with specific goals? Rather than simply setting a deployment date, look at smaller milestones you can hit throughout the process.

At Grio, we understand the importance of this initial brainstorming process. We love beginning our projects with an MVP Blueprint Workshop. This strategy session allows us to bring together our cross-functional teams, define our project goals and priorities, and discover how to bring your concept to life. 

2. Outsource

Hiring an outside development agency may seem like an unnecessary expense, but it can ultimately save you money. With a software agency, you gain the skills and expertise of an entire team while only paying for exactly what you need. 

A software development team will also allow you to create your software more quickly and get to market sooner, enhancing your market competitiveness and allowing you to reap the rewards of your investment even sooner. 

3. Start with an MVP

If you’ve never heard of a minimal viable product (MVP), you can learn all about it in Grio’s blog series, “How to Build a Killer MVP.” An MVP is essentially the bare-bones version of your app. It allows you to create an app with key features to meet your target users’ needs without wasting precious time and money on unnecessary bells and whistles. 

By initially releasing an MVP app, you can:

  • Test the viability of your product to ensure a successful product-market fit.
  • Save time and money on development and deployment.
  • Go to market sooner, allowing for a quicker return on investment (ROI) and more expedited feedback on your solution. 
  • Engage investors and stakeholders to gain additional funding and/or support for your product. 

Once you’ve released your MVP, you can then add additional features based on user feedback. 

4. Use Agile Development Methodologies

Agile software development is a continuous, iterative product development process. Product, design, and development teams work in parallel as the product evolves, adjusting and adapting as needed. 

Rather than completing each step in a linear fashion, work is divided into small sprints. Each sprint results in a small deliverable that you can review and refine. This helps ensure that the end product meets your product goals and aligns with your vision. By actively reviewing and refining, you decrease the overall time and money spent on revisions. 

5. Choose the Right Platform and Technology

When developing custom software, choosing the right platform and technology can drastically impact your total development costs. Work with your software developers to choose:

  • A platform that your development team is already adept at using. If you have a platform that you are sure you want to use, make sure you hire a development team that is expert in that platform
  • A platform that integrates well with your other applications. If all of your current applications are built on one platform, using that same platform for your new app will drastically decrease the amount of time you spend on integration.  

If you want your app to be available on multiple platforms, such as iOS and Android, consider using cross-platform technology to cut your costs. Cross-platform development allows you to code only once for multiple deployments. While there are pros and cons to this strategy, it is nonetheless one of the biggest cost-saving strategies within the development lifecycle. 

6. Save Time for Testing 

When you’re developing on a tight budget, it can be very tempting to cut corners in the testing phase. However, deploying an app that hasn’t been tested can end up costing you much more money in the long run. When bugs make it all the way to the quality assurance (QA) phase or, even worse, to the clients, they take much more time and money to fix. 

Additionally, the success of your app will be dependent on the happiness of your users. If their experience is impacted by bugs you failed to catch, they won’t want to use your app. 

Rather than cutting tests, create testing efficiency with a Test Plan. A Test Plan is a dynamic document that acts as a blueprint for how the testing activities will be completed for your project. It ensures that each feature of your app is thoroughly tested while using the fewest tests possible. A Test Plan can also help your team find creative solutions, such as automating certain tests, that allow you to cut budget without cutting quality. 

Final Thoughts

With the right team, a tight budget doesn’t have to mean a low-quality software solution. By implementing cost-saving strategies throughout your product development lifecycle, we can help you create a killer MVP app that brings your innovative idea to life.

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