Can You Launch A Quality Mobile App On A Tight Budget?

If you are looking for namely cheap mobile app development, be prepared to face some hidden pitfalls.

Photo: Max Hornostaiev is the CTO of Erminesoft; Credit: Igor Zaplavskiy
Photo: Max Hornostaiev is the CTO of Erminesoft; Credit: Igor Zaplavskiy

Mobile apps are excellent business investments.

Apps can help you keep a mobile workforce connected and help you reach out to customers and potential customers to boost sales and build solid customer relationships.

The problem is, mobile app development typically isn’t cheap. If you are looking for namely cheap mobile app development, be prepared to face some hidden pitfalls.

It does not mean it is not possible to build a mobile app with a low budget. “Everything you can imagine is real” – Pablo Picasso used to say. You just need to give due weight to all sides of this process.


The cost of mobile apps

What does it cost to build a mobile app? That’s a bit like asking what does a car cost, or how much does it cost to build a house. The answer depends on the particular app and the methods by which you choose to develop it.

Mobile apps have to be conceptualized, then designed, and empowered with a smart user interface. Then, the app has to be populated with savvy content that addresses the needs of the users. Each phase of this process takes time, a tremendous amount of talent, strong skills, and none can be skimped on if you want a truly quality app.


The path to affordable mobile app development

One way that startups might choose to acquire a mobile app for an affordable price is to use a template. At this point you should realize the difference between template app and custom app.

While template apps can be built quickly and with minimal effort and development skills, there are certain drawbacks. It doesn’t usually take the startup long to outgrow the capabilities of the template.


Photo: © SolisImages, YFS Magazine
Photo: © SolisImages, YFS Magazine

For example, the template app is limited in the amount and types of features it can provide. These apps can’t be empowered with truly unique functionality, and the number of users you can support with a template app is also limited.

In short, template apps force the startup to make sacrifices for the long run in order to achieve cost savings and quick deployment in the short term. That’s not a smart way to start a business.

In that same way, is it okay to support your idea with a template-based website only? If you are doing it at your leisure or assaying your powers in web design. You can make and customize the template so that it looks fine. However, if your intention is to develop your business, this option should be replaced by fully-fledged web development over time.


Hiring a mobile app development company

Hiring a proven mobile app development company is a happy middle ground between an inflexible template app and a costly team of in-house developers.

Hiring a reputable mobile app development firm is a little more costly than template apps, but less expensive than hiring a team of in-house developers. These companies are already staffed with experienced app developers, and many have a body of completed work available for review.


Photo: © bernardbodo, YFS Magazine
Photo: © bernardbodo, YFS Magazine

Development teams can’t be just developers, either. Some need to be designers, while others need some knowledge and pizzazz with data analytics and content development. It actually takes a team of different skill sets to produce a truly great mobile app.

Your project cost would be, in many cases, in direct dependence of a team’s qualifications. It does not mean you can’t find a passionate young freelancer who can create the perfect mobile app for your startup while accumulating good ratings and qualifications.

If you find one, you would be a happy owner of a quality product, having spent a tight app development budget for this. However, it’s not that easy to find such a professional at once. That’s why, for the rest of the developer market, quality-high price dependence is the case.


Smart development for low-budget app success

What do you need to do to assure that your mobile app is successful?

  • First, do your due diligence to research whether there is a market out there for your mobile app. If you partner with a mobile development company, they may be able to handle this part for you.

  • Then, you select which platform or platforms you want to develop for, such as Android or iPhone.

  • Next, develop the concept for the app, and then delve into designing user interface.

  • Finally, you populate the app with useful and interesting content, and beta test the app to fix any bugs and refine user experience.


Mobile app development for small businesses is a sensitive thing due to its somehow fragile nature. It is no wonder that young or burgeoning entrepreneurs do not always have unlimited time and funding resources for supporting one’s business. However, there is always a solution.


This article has been edited and condensed.

Max Hornostaiev is the CTO of Erminesoft, a mobile app development company. Connect with Max on LinkedIn.


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