Last Updated on January 1, 2021
Table of Index
Have an app idea but not sure how to get started? Worried, thinking investors wouldn’t pay heed to your idea because it’s all an idea with no actual implementation? In case you just nodded your head, now is the time to step ahead, take that plunge, and get started with your MVP.
But wait, what do you mean by an MVP?
As far as the acronym goes, it stands for Minimum Viable Product. Following the same notion, by definition, MVP or mobile app prototype is a minimalistic product with as many features as needed to attract buyers or the end-users. That is to say, MVP mobile app development has all the necessary features that one needs to pack in a product/app before the final release.
Often, it happens that startup owners fail to receive funding or gain traction in the market. By the time they restructure their app to fit the customer’s expectations, either it’s too late, or they have spent a lot more than decided.
In order to prevent such a situation, leading startup enthusiasts invest their time and money in something that we must define as MVP. The primary purpose of designing a minimum viable product is to launch the same, have customers try and test the product, receive feedback, modify the same, and start working on the actual model only after they are convinced.
With that being said, one reason why entrepreneurs hesitate to build MVP app is the cost associated with the same. It is essential to strike a balance and act wisely. This is where you must know how to build an MVP and the cost to develop a MVP. You need not scour the web to find an answer for that. This blogpost is designed to help you understand the factors that influence the MVP development cost in 2021 and what the figures would ideally look like when it comes to the cost of building an app.
Without further ado, let’s get started on how much does a mobile app MVP cost.
Why do you need to plan the MVP app cost?
Before we move ahead to see what are the various factors that cast their impact on the MVP app cost, let’s understand why you should plan the same in advance.
Even though the cost of building MVP is less as compared to the actual product development cost, it does incur significant charges. If the plan and the budget are not synchronized, it might so happen that the fate of your app is nothing but failure.
Not having ideal planning for the budget as well as minimum viable product may end up being your product’s fate as Beepi- P2P car marketplace. Beepi was so promising from the point of view of consumers as well as investors, and back in 2015, the platform secured a hefty $60 million funding. Still, a good idea meets the bad execution, and the products fail eventually.
- Running out of cash
- Lack of initial testing
It is seen that even after investing a lot of time and efforts in building a minimum viable product, securing funds, apps fail to see the light of the day. Probably because the curious minds run out of cash. In order to avoid the same and make sure that your prototype doesn’t eat up all of the money, planning is the best bet.
Factors Affecting the MVP Development Cost in 2021
Now that we are aware of what an MVP is, why you need it, and most importantly, why is there a need to determine the budget in advance, let’s get into the depth and see what factors affect the MVP app development cost?
#1. Application Type: Number of Features and Complexity affect MVP Pricing
To begin with, the cost to develop an MVP is mostly dependent on the type of app, followed by the complexities associated with it. Meaning that the cheaper the complexities involved, the more reasonable the cost to build an app and vice-versa.
Hence, the need to outline the features that would be part of the application. In other words, you must prioritize them as adding too much will only increase the MVP app cost.
The best way to highlight the must-have features is by segmenting them according to the user’s journey. There are three different parts: the user, the user’s actions, and the action taken by you. You can refer to this feature prioritization techniques to first define the features and then identify the important ones.
(i) Prioritization matrix: It allows you to sort out all of the features in the order of their importance.
(ii) Moscow method: This segments the features into four different categories (Must-have features, Should have features, Could have features, and won’t have feat). This makes it easier to strike off the not so important ones.
(iii) Feature Bucket: Divide features into 3-5 categories such as delights, metric movers, customer requests, etc.
It is advisable to divide your features into 3, or for your convenience, you can divide them into 5 bucket categories like customer requests, metric overs, and delights. Make sure for the metric movers you have considered features that create positive effects on your KPIs. Those are pretty considerable as it will help you reach your business goals. Under the delight, add the features that help to increase customer satisfaction. Customer request features help to resolve core problems.
So, before you get started with the process, make sure you have done the homework right, aligned the features, and chalk out the necessary ones. MVP development costs in 2021 may vary from product to product and industry to industry.
#2. MVP Cost of Design
The design conjures up a significant amount of MVP app development costs. In fact, it accounts for the maximum price and is dependent on the extent of difficulty. This is why we recommend you to plan and determine the cost of development in advance to precisely understand how much does an MVP cost.
One thing to note here is the MVP app design consists of the User Interface.
So many early-stage startups have failed with beautiful code.
A fault-tolerant, elegantly-architected and factored repo full of wonderfully-documented code just as easily ends up deleted as the quick thing you put together that also didn't work.
MVP isn’t: bad UI, good code. 😇
— Jensen Harris (@jensenharris) May 30, 2018
The CEO of the esteemed organizationTextio,Jensen Harris, once tweeted that no matter what all you pack in the MVP feature list, it has to have a good UI. Without an appealing interface, the MVP stands null and void. However, a beautiful design doesn’t implicate inducing complexities. You need to simplify the design while keeping it eye-catching.
In order to build an engaging User Experience (UX), it is a must to keep the User Interface (UI) simple, easy to navigate, and understand in an attempt to keep the users engaged.
The Decision-making factors in UX Cost of an MVP
Now several aspects affect the cost of MVP app design:
(i) Preparation for the design: Begin with preparing for the design. What this means is to have enough information on the app design. This will help be an active part of the meeting; you might have scheduled with the designing team.
(ii) Wireframe: This is more like the skeleton of the app/website. You can either sketch it out on a piece of paper or draw the same on a software/screen. Several job-specific tools simplify the process of creating wireframes. Depending upon your needs, you can pick either of them. If you plan to create the design by yourself, you won’t incur any costs. However, if you are looking for professional services, the cost will depend on the company selected. On average, it costs $500 for the same.
(iii) Mockup or Prototype: Mock-up is the visual representation of the client’s ideas. If you are wondering how much it costs to build app prototype, then here’s your answer. An app prototype cost around $500. If you have more screens, the cost increases exponentially. You can go ahead and download Adobe software to design the prototype saving money, yet it is best advised to hire a designer for better services.
MVP mockup might cost you nearby $500 with mere 5 screens, and with the comprehensive design, it would cost around $1000. Each screen might cost you nearby $50 to $70. It is convenient to estimate the charges, which is how UX design agencies consider offering their services. However, to get it done with the Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Experience Design at the cost of $10-$20 from professionals. Adobe XD is completely free for the starters.
(iv) On-page Interactions: Remember, a minimum viable product is not just a page with all information-packed. It can and must have more. Creating a dynamic layout ensures higher customer interaction, increasing engagement. You can use tools like Axure RP and InVision for designing an MVP. Needless to state that the cost of designing a dynamic model is a bit higher than that of its static counterpart.Alternatively, outsourcing the work to a designer may cost you in-between 100–$500, based on the skillset and expertise you need.
#3. Development Budget Planning: Outsourcing/In-house Hiring
We have the features and design. The next question that pops up is how. Would you prefer outsourcing your requirements and do away with the hassles or have an in-house team supervise and monitor everything.
As trivial as it seems to be, how do you plan to develop triggers the cost of MVP app development? When it comes to hiring a development company, you might need somewhere around $5,000 and $50,000 to get the job done. Note that the total price again rests on your necessities. All you need to have is the right company to execute the task efficiently.
On the other hand, an in-house team might cost differently, considering who you hire and for what duration.
#4. Users’ Understanding
Often, it is seen that entrepreneurs segment the entire process into several steps or versions. This is done to ensure that the final product is as per the user’s expectations. So based on the levels of production/development, the cost of developing an app increases.
MVP pricing widely depends on the functional as well as business requirements. Food delivery is a good example to take into consideration because;
- The Initial version covers 3rd party implementation, payment portal, account protection, authentication process with a few additional characteristics.
- The 2nd and updated version is a little complex from the point of view of customer preference and recommendations
- The 3rd and last one is even more complex, which is also expensive to develop from the business perspective as well.
#5. Tech Stack for MVP Development
The tech stack that you choose for the mobile app MVP development has a tremendous impact on the total cost. In case you have a technical head who is well aware of the different technologies and frameworks, half of your job is done. But if neither you nor your team is capable of selecting the best stack, you might feel the need to consult an expert, and while doing so, you add expenses to the estimate.
To help you, we have tailored a few solutions that might help when designing an MVP.
- Ruby on Rails for backend development: Since it is easy-to-learn and has a 30–40% quicker development cycle..
- React Native: To build cross-platform apps as it reduces the time of development, reusing 90% of the code.
Selecting the right tech stack is essential as it ensures that you spend less on the overall cost of mobile app development.
#6. Time Required to Build an MVP
Last we have the duration of the entire project. Most often, developers are billed based on their working hours. The more time they spend on a project, the greater is the amount. It would be best to have more manpower to reduce the cost of development.
Suppose that you have 8 developers working at $25/hour. They complete the project in two months. On the other hand, if you hire 4 developers at the same price, they take nearly 4 months. Suppose that you have 8 developers working at $25/hour. They complete the project in two months. On the other hand, if you hire 4 developers at the same price, they take nearly 4 months. Now the expenses here are more as compared to the first scenario. Hence, you need to be wise when deciding whom you need to hire and for how long.
How Much Does It Cost To Build An MVP
The cost of building a minimum viable product will be zero if you do it yourself. Sounds good, but does not work in 99% of the cases. The average cost of a mobile app MVP may vary from $5000 to $50000; as we discussed earlier, the pricing completely depends on the complexity of the app idea and the other significant factors. The MVP price is just one side of the coin; however, on-time delivery is also a crucial factor to take into consideration.
The importance of choosing a well-versed developer is also a significant thing to take into consideration.
An important aspect to consider when estimating the cost of MVP app development is the manpower. To put it this way, you can:
(a) In-House Development
(b) Outsource App Development Firm
(c) Hand it over to a freelancer
All three have their share of interests and affect the total cost of development. You must have all your requirements listed to shortlist which option to proceed with.
(a) In-House Development
Sometimes founders choose in-house development. It provides transparent relations and clear communication. For the in-house development, you are required to identify individual talents with different skill sets. There are lots of pros of having an in-house development team, but there are cons as well. Be it quality, co-ordination, or quality; everything comes under your responsibility.
However, pricing is one of the biggest disadvantages, so if you plan to start with a limited budget, you need to think twice before having an in-house setup. From infrastructure to hiring expenses, you are required to take care of everything from your end along with the development.
How much does an in-house development costs?
- A full-stack developer might cost you $2900 a month.
- A UI/UX designer costs $3600 a month.
- A QA developer costs $4100 a month, and a project coordinator costs $7500 a month
If you build your MVP with the in-house team, it would cost around $25,000.
(b) Outsource App Development Firm
Because of its viable nature, MVP outsourcing is quite a popular option than in-house development. Working with the local agency always makes sense instead of having an in-house team. Covid -19 outbreak has changed the whole scenario- clients working and preferring next-door services are also opting for remote software development services and going for outsourcing,
Lack of trust and time zone is not an issue at all. The latest tools, technologies, and Agile practices have eliminated these fears. So, startups outsourcing MVP development undoubtedly sounds a good idea.
Let’s have a look at the cost of MVP development and why startups must outsource MVP development. If you are outsourcing MVP development to India, it might cost you $30 per hour. The team of 4 four persons will cost you $120. It might cost you $19 000 per month to build an MVP.
Outsourcing from an app development firm has 2 major benefits. Various developer’s skillsets can be accessed, and if you are not satisfied with the assigned developer’s output, then a new dedicated developer can be instantly replaced and assigned.
(c) Freelance Developers
A freelance developer will definitely cost less, and if selected meticulously, will benefit you on a massive scale. In case you aren’t in support of hiring freelancers, maybe because you don’t trust their work or find it hard to communicate, outsourcing the job to a relevant app development firm will meet your needs best. Adopting professionalism, they will look after your project as their own and do the best.
Even though this topic remains controversial, the choice is yours and solely relies on your requirements.
MVP Post-Launch Costs
Is your app ready to launch? Does it sound like a sigh of relief?
After app development, you need to promote, market, and maintain the same to get the desired results. And when you are putting in your efforts, you are liable to make some sort of investment.
Irrespective of whether it is advertising the same through an inbound channel or paid campaigns, it will cost you money. It is expected that the advertisements cost nearly $10k on average. Besides, you also need to spend money on maintaining the performance of the application. This cost around $20-$100, thereby increasing the total estimate. You must consider all of the above before stepping foot on the MVP application development journey.
Marketing and Advertising
Choose an ideal marketing partner to promote your app on all the platforms where your prospects can reach out to you at the earliest. Marketing price may vary based on the type of marketing you choose and the platforms you promote. Be its promotional activities on social media platforms, paid campaigns on search engines, or corporate events. The average cost of MVP marketing campaigns is around $10 000. The average cost of marketing campaigns is around $10 000.
The sales funnel plays a significant factor in gaining the target audience as well as profit on your MVP. Usually, the average founders are investing $5000 to $10,000 just to test the assumptions and identify the right sales funnel.
The maintenance cost is usually 20% of the initial development budget, and the product maintenance is completely dependent on the team location, experience product complexity. Along with the maintenance cost, you should also consider the server expenses and the price of integrations and API who helps you with the various interactions.
With that being said, designing and developing an MVP is no easy task.
Looking for a Trustful Partner to Develop MVP?
Looking for a trusted partner to develop an MVP in 2021, you have landed on the right blogpost at Bacancy Technology; we lead the app development space with the major focus laid on MVP application development for early-stage startups. We have a team of dedicated MVP developers who are well-versed at creating next-generation solutions that can make a difference undoubtedly. We strive for excellence and will do all that’s needed to help your business grow and prosper. Get in touch with us today to know the MVP development cost in 2021.