Philip Hung Cao

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5 Steps to Developing a Mobile App With Little to No Budget

3 min read


There are a lot of differing opinions when it comes to developing an app for your business, but nobody argues about the efficacy of a well-developed app. The arguments focus more on how to develop quality apps without spending tons of money. If you have little-to-no budget for your app and still want the results to be phenomenal, your back is up against the wall. There is very little room for error and you need a plan.

Helpful Tips and Strategies
Your exact approach to developing an app on a budget will depend on how much money you have to spend, what industry you are targeting, and how conducive your business is to a mobile app. With that being said, the following helpful tips and strategies are transferable:

  1. Develop a Prototype Before Hiring a Programmer

Hiring a programmer immediately can exhaust your budget and limit your flexibility. Why not start with a simple prototype? Using a tool like Invision, all you have to do is “upload your designs and add hotspots to transform your static screens into clickable, interactive prototypes complete with gestures, transitions, and animations.” In other words, you can easily build an app without having to understand coding. Once you get something you like, you can hire and show the programmer exactly how you want the app to look and function.

  1. Aim for Simplicity and Functionality

Many businesses mess up when they try to overcomplicate things and create an over-the-top, appealing app. Time and time again, it has been shown that customers appreciate simplicity and functionality over complex features. This is good news for you, as you really do not have a budget to design complex features. Focus on core functionality before considering extra features.

  1. Do not Pay for Things You Do not Need

Programmers will probably try to sell you on different features, but stay grounded and do not pay for things you do not need. For example, does your app really need push notifications? This simple feature could add a significant amount to your overall project cost. By eliminating this superfluous feature, you can spend money on the things that really add value.

  1. Ask for Funding in Return for Ad Space

Who says you have to work within a tight budget? You may be able to increase your budget by finding investors who are willing to exchange capital in return for guaranteed ad space inside your app. This is beneficial for both parties and can allow you to add some additional features you would not be able to afford otherwise.

  1. Do not Rush Things

Finally, it is important that you do not rush things. When you are working within a tight timeframe, you end up spending more and making mistakes. Give yourself time and make sure you are testing the app and gathering feedback before putting it on the market. It is much easier to start with a functional app than it is to release a poorly performing one and be forced to make dozens of tweaks and updates. Here are some helpful tips for getting feedback.

Let Loose and Have Some Fun
Developing a mobile app should be fun and exciting. Do not stress over the small details, and make sure you are open to new ideas as you go. It would be very rare that your final version would look identical to your initial prototype. As you go, you will learn about the app, what users are looking for, and what does and does not work. At the end of the day–even with a small budget–you should be able to develop a functional, engaging app that people enjoy using.

Larry Alton
Freelance Writer

[ISACA Now Blog]

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