As always with any nuanced and thoughtful discussion, the answer to this question is, “It depends.” It depends on how you go about building an app....
Budgeting for Your Project
Here at Bixly we like to be as transparent as possible about what it really costs to build a custom piece of software, because we think it is essential to having a great relationship with our clients. We have been very open about how expensive it can be to build …
Here at Bixly we like to be as transparent as possible about what it really costs to build a custom piece of software, because we think it is essential to having a great relationship with our clients. We have been very open about how expensive it can be to build custom software and you will often hear us saying, “Have $60,000 in the budget and a minimum of three months.” If we were to layout a graph of the out the door expense for our clients it would range from $40,000 to well into six figures. This is why we say you should be prepared with $60,000 to start building your custom software. With all of this in mind, let’s cover a few questions about how to budget for your project.
Can I build my app for less?
Yes! There are certainly ways to bootstrap your development process for a cost savings. The cheapest is to build it yourself, but that may not be an option. Or, taking the time to learn programming may actually be more expensive in the long run. However, there are many freelance software engineers for hire that can do great work. This can be an option for you if you’re looking to shrink the budget. As Cris outlined in our recent Tech Tuesday about trustworthy development companies, there are three points to the triangle of custom software: cost, time, and features. All of these can be flexible in some way to satisfy what you need, but you can’t get all three: a low-cost app, delivered quickly, with a ton of amazing features. To get your budget smaller, you can invest more time into your app and be ruthless about the features you really need in your custom software.
What if I don’t want to take the time to hire a team?
Great! That’s why we are here! We take the questions out of whether or not you’re getting an expert working on your project. All of our staff are extremely experienced and skilled. So let’s talk about ways to make the budget work. First is to figure out how to get to market as cheaply and quickly as possible. This is where our conversations with you about the Minimum Viable Product become important and we will refine that alongside you during Project Roadmapping. Maybe you can do a friends and family round of funding to build your MVP, if you aren’t prepared to fund it yourself. Once you have an MVP, you can beta test it, you can present it to angel investors.
Another way to fund your app is by considering the ROI to your company. For some of our clients, they are paying a premium monthly or annual subscription fee for an essential piece of software. The cost made sense when they were smaller, but as their business has succeeded and they have scaled to meet the demand, now it makes sense to pay once for a proprietary software that means that can pull those recurring subscriptions from their expenses. In other scenarios, maybe your staff are dealing with several pieces of software and even pen and paper procedures that are holding your team back, are frustrating, and making you less efficient in serving your clients. In these cases, investing in custom software that empowers your staff and serves your customers is a wise investment. In both of these cases, you are funding your app with the savings gained down the line, either in terms of a line item expense or in terms of saving time and payroll.
If you find yourself in any of these scenarios, and you’re ready to figure out what it will actually cost you to build your custom software, reach out to us today and schedule a free 30 minute consultation. We will be happy to develop a project roadmap with you, so you can plan for the future of your business.