Most businesses, no matter their size or scale, can benefit from the additional marketing opportunities inherent in having your own app. Quotes to build an app can be over $100,000, though, a discouraging figure which may have put your app ideas on hold.
Luckily, the same popularity which makes apps a viable marketing strategy also means that companies have been formed with the sole purpose of making the process of building mobile apps quicker, easier, and cheaper. This guide will discuss the various avenues your business could take to get its app off the ground without spending a fortune.
From the Ground Up
Building an application from scratch requires the skilled hands of programmers and designers, working for anywhere between a couple hundred to thousands of hours on your project. It’s a daunting task, but it’s the only way to get a truly unique, highly functional app with all of your specifications.
Some sources may warn that developing your own app from “scratch” may cost over $100,000. While it’s true that some popular apps cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop, but those are usually games, which take a lot more time and effort, or belong to large existing companies like Amazon or Target. Chances are, your business app won’t cost nearly as much to program, plan and test.
Planning your idea and hiring your team are the two most important decisions you will make in the process. The nature of this work means that you can hire people across the world without disruption to your business. All information is simply sent digitally. International labor costs for skilled programmers and developers range from $20-50/hour, so you will have to weigh quality against quantity when determining from where and who you hire.
The major phases of development are planning, features, infrastructure, testing, and finally deployment. In total, these processes can take anywhere from between 250 and 1200 hours, depending heavily on the complexity of your app, including how many people will be using it.
As you can see, an app doesn’t need to cost 6 figures, and can come in comfortably under $25k. Still, there are more affordable options.
No-Code App Builders
For businesses who don’t need to reinvent the wheel with their app, handy software is available all over the web which allows average people with no prior coding knowledge create functional apps. Most services brag that it takes only minutes, though proper apps still require a few hours of fine tuning on these platforms.
Still, there is plenty of benefit to using these services, the most obvious being no need to hire a team to program your ideas. Drag-and-click interfaces replace dizzying lines of code, so almost anyone can make a passable application.
You will still need to have a strong perspective and plan before attempting to make a successful app with one of these programs. Be ready with upload-able logo and brand images, as well as a strong list of viable payment methods.
These services are provided for a monthly fee which ranges from around $30-100. Many businesses will like this no-commitment style development, where very little is invested initially in time or money, and you can choose to continue the service so long as it proves successful.
Buying a License
When there’s no time or money for the last two options, business owners have the convenient option of purchasing the license to existing applications. Such services allow developers to sell their license for a fee, and additionally offer personalization like reskinning, added features, social network integration, etc.
Businesses essentially purchase the right to use the pre-made code, which has been customized to their specifications, and only need to pay for the server in the future.
If you’re looking for an app that is very similar to those which already exist, chances are the code is for purchase. Codes vary widely in price and licenses can be anywhere from $20-$2,000, so shop around within your budget.
Now that you know building an app has never been more affordable or accessible, what are you waiting for? Take your business to the next level with an app that your customers will adore.
Featured photo credit: Apps for Business Success via lifehack.org