Stretching Your Mobile App BudgetSmashing piggy banks and stretching kitties are common practices in mobile app development today. Many start-ups go through a rigorous ordeal of trying to find a budget to build a mobile app. Established businesses recognize the importance of apps for customer engagement, but shuffle their feet when it comes to making one. Why?

Because developing a mobile app can get ridiculously expensive.  In a recent AnyPresence report, over 51 percent of respondents said they spent over $50,000 just in initial app development costs. Factor in the costs of upgrades and app marketing, and your bank account can take an even bigger hit. Here are some ways to stretch your mobile app budget, and get the best value for your dollars.

1. Scrap the “One App to Rule them All”

The more complicated your app is, the more it is likely to cost. While you might wish to give your customers a comprehensive app, the “stickiest” apps are those that allow users to accomplish a limited number of goals.  That’s not to say that your app should only have one function. But a diluted app, with dozens of functions, can confuse your users – and cost you much more.  If you want your mobile app budget to go further, choose your features carefully and don’t overload your app. This is especially true if you’re working with a custom mobile development team.

2. Take an Iterative Approach

You can spend weeks doing research and figuring out the optimal functionality for your app.  But be aware; when your prototype is ready, you will want to change it, and it will cost more money.  Change management can be a major budget drain – potentially up to 50% of your initial mobile app budget.  The solution? Take an iterative approach to developing your mobile use case.  Build a basic prototype and send it to your focus group.  You will be sure to receive lots of comments and suggestions!  The important capability to have, at this point, is to go back to the drawing board and reinvent your app – from scratch, if necessary – without breaking the bank.

3. Determine the Potential for ROI

The whole point of spending money to build a mobile app is to improve your business metrics.  Sometimes it’s worth it to pay a little more, if you have potential for higher returns. For example, it will generally cost extra to add an iPad version of your app, but potential ROI from offering iPad apps can be high.  Using your app to engage your customers via push notifications – announcing promotions or other customer friendly facts – is a great way to expand your ROI, and does not require emptying your app budget on extra features.  Calculating your potential ROI, be it in revenue, customer loyalty, or brand awareness, should definitely be part of your initial mobile strategy planning.  It may also help you defend a larger mobile app budget!

4. Use an App Platform to Stretch your Mobile App Budget

Custom apps can clearly cost a great deal to develop. But you don’t have to break the bank to build one, nor do you have to cram all your desired features into one app.  With the MobileSmith platform, you can easily create multiple, custom, native apps without draining your app budget to pay costly developers.  MobileSmith makes it easy to build apps iteratively and test them on your device as you go.  Change management is a breeze, and you are in complete control – no coding, and no risk of spilling outside your mobile app budget!

Request a demo today and learn how you can stretch your kitty, while launching an entire portfolio of awesome apps.