So, you have a cool idea. And haven’t even started looking for MVP development cost, being scared of failure.
Most likely, you’ve covered a lot of ground to come up with it. Months or years? Sounds impressive. What you need now is not to muck it up, and it isn’t so easy.
You’ve heard about hundreds of startups like Buffer or Grammarly whose projects popped. But how many of them left in the silence? Unknown, misunderstood, devalued. You definitely don’t want to become one of them.
Before you start, you should be prepared to fail. An Analysis of 101 Startup Postmortemshttps://www.cbinsights.com/research/startup-failure-reasons-top/ says there are several particular reasons why startups do this all the time. Almost half of them spend their time developing products with no market need. One-third of them just run out of cash. A lot of startups bet on the wrong team, get outcompeted, or have some financial issues.
Such problems as lack of appropriate business model, poor marketing, and wrong focus are also worth considering. Sometimes you have everything to succeed, but running a startup is like going through a minefield: you never know where you meet the next mine.
What if we say that there is a sound solution? Yes, it is a Minimum Viable Product you might have heard of from Dropbox and Spotify. Sounds perfect, but it may assume costs from zero to infinity. Let’s see how you can define the budget.
Why turn to MVP app development at all
Start with a definition. An MVP is a product that consists of a set of minimum essential features that help you test an idea.
Groupon, Zappos, ZeroCater started like that, and you can see where they are now. But each of these companies had their background, budget, and mistakes. And you also need to find your way before you reach the top. You may fail, but you shouldn’t be afraid. Failure is just a lesson you need to learn before you try again. At least you’ll not waste too much money. Just find the right approach and dare!
How to estimate the cost of MVP development
It is impossible to predict the cost to build an MVP from the early beginning. There are a lot of factors to consider, from the base concept to your geographical location. But we can highlight the most important ones that you should take into account.
We’re sure you have huge ambitions for MVP development of your product. You want to blow up Apple Store and Google Play.
But take a helicopter view of your product. The scope, the type of app you envision — this obviously affects the cost. The thing is — if you aren’t an experienced developer you’ll have a hard time trying to eyeball the costs. The solution is getting an estimation from your development agency. Here at Purrweb our analysts will do it free of charge.
The final cost depends on the complexity of the UI/UX design. On the one hand, you need a minimal set of features to define scope of work. On the other hand, your users want an attractive, simple, easy to understand, and navigate interface.
- Preparation. This is where product creation begins. Schedule a meeting with a designer or team and discuss all aspects that interest you. You can bet on minimalism or ask for a super customized interface — regardless of what your expectations are, share them all with your team from day one.
- Prototyping. It is the skeleton of your application that describes its core functions and user flows. At Purrweb, the average time required for building prototypes is 2 weeks.
- Visual design creation. It is a time to work out the skeleton that was created initially. At this stage, designers play with colors, fonts, animations, different concepts. They are trying to make your product outstanding, to show off among competitors. Purrweb designers use Figma and Principle to attract the users’ attention once and forever and to make the best MVP development.
Timeline for MVP Development
On average it takes 4-5 months to build an MVP. But each case is unique and the estimation can change in different situations.
But there are some pitfalls that can influence on timeline of MVP app development:
Failing during the preparatory process. If you haven’t explored the audience and the needs of your future users then you can do a big scope of work for nothing. It can extend the preparatory phase and MVP development estimations. Set 2 weeks for the preparatory stage.
Hiring amateurs. The main challenge that influences the timeline for MVP development is the professionalism of the design and development team that you hire. If the team has enough qualification to complete the task then the MVP process would go much quicker. Only a team of professionals can prepare high-quality products in 4-5 months. Choose outsourcing companies: the cost to build an MVP or a prototype will be lower because you don’t have to create your own development department and hire specialists. Outsourcing app development company usually offers such type of development in which its team is more experienced.
Choosing the wrong technology stack. It’s important to choose the right technology for further development because it’s a time saver and creates a solid basis for future improvements. This is a crucial technical question, so you should consult with experts. Right tech stack will save you money, the wrong one will consume it.
For example, here at Purrweb we use React Native.It’s a solution that allows you to kill two birds with one stone. It is a cross-platform framework with which you can reuse almost all your code. The entire product development time takes much less time because there is no need to develop separate mobile app versions for iOS and Android. Plus, such an approach drastically simplifies further support and React Native MVP development of the mobile app.
Number of features of your React Native MVP development
When planning a future app, your brain is full of creative ideas. Each brainstorming session gives you a considerable number of new features that you definitely want your development team to implement. But it’s worth the wait.
The cost of developing the first version of the application mainly depends on its features. It is logical, the more features, the more money. But a dilemma arises here: unuseful features may not interest customers, and the product will fail.
Use the MoSCoW Method to prioritize correctly:
- Must-haves: features that bring the highest possible value to users and your business;
- Should-haves: sweet features your user can live without.
- Could-haves: everything that adds additional value, however, if left out the product still functions.
- Won’t-haves: elements that you can introduce in later versions or even get rid of.
This choice is often difficult, but you still need to make it. Remember that at the MVP stage, the main thing is to validate the idea, not to create a product filled with tons of various features.
There are two main approaches to software MVP development. It is in-house and outsourcing.
Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages.
For example, when working with your own team, you’re likely to know what to expect from these people. In-house teammates tend to be more interested in the final result and easy to coordinate. It all sounds perfect but there’s one flaw.
If you came up with your first idea and are on a tight budget, the hiring of full-blown developers sounds like a totally crazy idea. Just imagine:
You also have to provide them with an office and various additional perks like vacation pay, sick leave, bonuses, etc. And every mistake you make when hiring hurts your wallet.
That’s why a lot of companies all around the world are choosing the outsource model. Especially when it comes to MVP development, you get all the benefits of a full-fledged team for lower MVP development cost. For example, when hiring an app development company from another country, you shouldn’t worry about a time zone difference. To conduct meetings, your project manager will pick the time when you’re available. And you can definitely expect a fantastic result! The hourly rates for outsourcing specialists are also much lower. The average price of the React Native MVP development by Purrweb is just about $30 000.
The good thing about React Native MVP development is that it’s throwing you in right away. You haven’t too much time for thinking, rethinking, or procrastinating. None of the famous startups have succeeded from the very first try. The first version of your product may not be perfect. Honestly, it won’t be perfect for sure. But what you can do is reduce the price for mistakes you will make.
The final aspect that affects the approximate cost of MVP development is the launch stage.
There are two ways to go:
- Just launch it. You have a product, and you present it. Now you have something to work with further: new insights to make it better and better.
- Create a whole product and realize all of your ideas at once. You should be ready to increasing criticism, long and costly alterations. In the worst case scenario, your product is simply not in demand. The choice is up to you.
MVP post-launch costs
The next stage goes after the product development — post-launch phase. Even though the product is launched, it doesn’t mean you get to take it easy from there. If you want your app to succeed, follow these steps after the MVP development process
Advertising and marketing. Now it’s time to choose a marketing partner to advertise your app on different platforms and attract users. There are a myriad of ways to do it. Trust in the judgment of your chosen experts but keep an eye on the money, since marketing can expand and bloat your budget. One of the most effective and economical ways is inbound marketing: active social media presence, blog posts and email newsletter.
Sales. You need to make a strategy to roll out the product and let the audience appreciate your app. The software development company helps the customers test the idea and determine the right sales funnel. This is where you employ data metrics like daily active users, churn rate and retention rates. Going on a gut feeling is dangerous — sales is the final, income generating step. Fail it and everything will be for naught.
Maintenance. The maintenance of the project takes about 20% from the MVP budget. The final cost depends on the product complexity. For investors it doesn’t matter how intricate your MVP is if it’s bug-ridden. Moreover it is a necessary step that’ll help you to gain user feedback, and evolve your app.
What factors play a role in determining the MVP price
Each development stage has different time and budget frames.
Project estimation. On this stage you need to choose the important features for your MVP and get the estimation. It takes about 2 weeks and at Purrweb it’s free.
UI/UX design. Designers begin to work! They collect positive and negative references including the client’s preferences, create mind maps, wireframes, and UI-kit, different concepts. It takes about 130 hours and costs $6 525.
App development. The development company assembles a team of 2-3 specialists and starts building the app. The team divides this process into 2-weeks sprints and implements new features gradually. Time frames of the development process depend on the app complexity and takes about 1070 hours, the average cost is $52 200.
Testing. This process goes along with the development. QA engineers check implemented features and search for bugs. On average QA testing costs $10 800.
Working with Purrweb, you will get a working functional product. The next steps are up to you: release it, test on users. You can even present the result of the MVP development to investors. You’ll definitely steal the show!