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How to Design an App for Your Business Without Breaking the Bank

Selling products or services is no longer about connecting with buyers physically. A majority of customers like interacting with businesses online and prefer buying the same way. Having a robust digital presence is ubiquitous for businesses. If you think that a website is enough to get the sales churning, you should get your facts right, because many of today’s consumers prefer making purchases with apps. 

Think beyond investing in a responsive website, and design an app to make your business future-ready. Global app store spend in 2023 totalled $171 billion, so clearly, this is an opportunity no business should miss out on.

However, not every business can shell out thousands to hire developers to create high-end apps. The cost of designing your app is only the tip of the iceberg. If you get one up and running, be ready to spend more on testing, upgrades, feature enhancements, and maintenance in the long run. But cost apprehension shouldn’t keep you from gaining the app advantage.

In this article, we will discuss a few tips to help you empower your business with a mobile app without spending a fortune.

Set a Realistic Budget

Surveys show that mobile apps come with varying price tags, depending on the features and complexity of the project. A simple one may cost $16,000 to $32,000, while a medium-complexity project may reach up to $32,000 to $48,000. You should be ready to spend $72,000+ on complex app development. The cost of hiring a professional developer in the US is $105,000. 

App builder platforms are better suited for projects that are simpler, but if this type of solution works for you, it can make for significant savings. Since building an app entails a wide range of expenses, you should be ready with a budget in mind. 

Set a realistic starting point, because development costs often extend beyond the upfront spending. You will be in a good place to spend wisely and choose your app’s features according to your budget. There are hardly any chances of breaking the bank with this approach. 

Use Your Website as a Starting Point

You can save time, money, and effort in designing an app’s interface by seeking inspiration from your website. 

Another reason to replicate the design is that it maintains consistency between your marketing assets. A customer can easily connect your website and app with your brand due to their similar look and feel. 

At this point, you might want to know how to make a website an app. You’ll find online tools that quickly convert your website into an app for iOS and/or Android. A few clicks is all you need to do to build an app store-ready, installable replica of your website. Imagine how much you can save on the development costs. 

Stick to Must-Have Features

Another word of advice for businesses looking to develop a mobile app on a tight budget is to focus on must-have features. A minimum viable product (MVP) has the basics you need to satisfy the users and get feedback for future iterations. It costs a fraction of the development costs of an app with all the bells and whistles.

The development cycle for an MVP is smaller and simpler, starting with conceiving an idea, prioritizing features, streamlining design and development, testing, and feedback-based iterative improvements. 

This way, you can accelerate your market entry and reduce development costs with this approach. It also facilitates a user-centric focus and reduces the risk of creating a product that does not resonate with your target audience.

Outsource Wisely

Outsourcing app development is another effective measure to build it without spending a fortune. In many situations, collaborating with a freelancer or app development agency is a far better alternative to hiring an in-house team of developers. It eliminates the cost of recruiting, training, and retaining in-house app developers.


Not surprisingly, outsourcing is widely popular in the US with 66% of American companies with 50 or more employees using this model. Also, 29% of businesses with fewer than 50 employees adopt it for various purposes, including mobile app development. The cost savings are even bigger if you choose to hire off-shore developers. 

Test and Improve

App development is not a set-and-forget process; it entails continuous improvements, upgrades, and feature enhancements. 

You can make the most of your app by testing it before the final rollout. The last thing you want is to lose users because a bug ruins their experience when they use it for the first time. Testing enables you to identify these bugs and address them before the final release.

Also, commit to continuous improvement to match audience expectations and align with the latest app trends. You may have to spend on upgrades, but it is a worthy investment for staying relevant and competitive, and by tackling dev cycles over time, you’re able to plan spending in a manner that’s commensurate with revenue.


A mobile app is a must-have for all businesses, even small ones with limited resources. The expense may seem back-breaking if you are on a tight budget, but building a cost-effective app is possible and easier than you imagine. You can rely on the aforementioned tips to get it done without burning your wallet.

StartUp Mindset

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