Can you develop a mobile app by yourself?

Mobile app development services can become costly depending on your requirements. However, it may not be wise to undertake the task alone if you have no coding skills. There are some parts of the process you may handle, but the future of mobile development is all in exceptional functionality and surpassing customer expectations. While it's not often advisable to try and create a mobile app without professional expertise, you may identify areas where your professional abilities could reduce your outgoings.

In this guide, we'll look at the options if you're tempted to go at it alone, as well as the risks to consider.

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What is the cost of building an app?

Mobile apps vary considerably in features, functions, uses, and complexity, but most apps cost $25,000 as a rough ballpark figure. There's a lot of work behind a successful app, including research, testing, development, updates, and marketing. It's not often wise to develop an app without support, as it usually costs more, not less.

Why would it cost more to develop your own mobile app?

  • A development team has more resources and can use existing processes or approaches that have proven to work.
  • Outsourcing individual aspects of your app development inevitably costs more than working with a partner through the project.
  • Mistakes can be disastrous, especially if you have invested heavily in a self-build app that is unfit for its purpose.
  • No one coder or developer can have the same skill as an established team who can consult on problems and defer to colleagues to deal with specific sticking points.

This doesn't mean a talented developer can't create an app independently, but you may need to spend more on fixing bugs or paying for particular pieces of work.

How to save money on mobile app development

Collaborating with an established development team will usually cost less and produce a better app, but there are several ways to control your app build costs. Below, we've run through some of the app development aspects that influence your overall budget.

Competitor research

Knowing your business or sector better than anyone else can help you to conduct in-depth competitor research by:

  • Downloading apps in your business space
  • Testing functions and features you'd like to offer
  • Finding bugs or glitches that you need to eliminate from your app
  • Establishing your USP–what your app will do that nobody else can

Research is about getting an idea of what your competitors are doing, what works, what doesn't, and how to do it better. If, for example, you find a similar app, you may wish to revisit your plan to ensure you aren't replicating an offering already on the market.

Customer research

Understanding what your customers want, how they interact with apps, and what devices they typically use dictates the operating systems or devices your app needs to be compatible with. Choosing a platform or app development strategy from day one is more efficient than starting work on an app only to realize it isn't targeted correctly.

If you already have a customer persona, this can be a great starting point for building a user profile.

Choosing an experienced app developer

A developer with experience in your field will be the most efficient professional to work with. Efficiency in app design and development will cut down on time and money involved, and if you can provide comprehensive research to back up your app concept, the developer can get started faster. Focusing on an efficient build will also enable you to establish a finite budget and avoid any stumbling blocks.

Understanding the minimum viable product

Newly released apps are usually minimum viable products (MVPs), meaning that the app is suitable for real-life testing, but will be fairly basic. Knowing your MVP requirements means you can prioritize vital features and avoid spending time on less important functions that you can add later in the app life cycle.

Sergey Gyluyk

Head of Growth

Head of Growth and Customer Success. I'm interested in design, new tech, fashion, exploring new places and languages. My mission is to make our clients happy.

Head of Growth and Customer Success. I'm interested in design, new tech, fashion, exploring new places and languages. My mission is to make our clients happy.

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