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Building An App On A Budget: The Entrepreneur’s Guide (Part 1)

David Barlev

October 29, 2018 · 2 minutes

When you’re ready to pull the trigger and make a move on finally bringing your app idea to life, you’re going to hear a lot of mixed messages. Some people will tell you not to bother unless you have an endless supply of cash. Others will say you should bootstrap it, and spend as little as humanly possible.

The reality, though, falls somewhere in the middle. While it’s true you’re going to need some cash to make this thing happen, there are some areas where you need to spend, and some that you don’t.

The advice below is assuming you’ve done the work to validate your idea through customer and market research, and have come up with a product that meets a current market gap. Once you’ve got all your ducks in a row, it’s time to take action on turning your idea into a reality.

But, the reality of building an app on a budget is often quite different from the expectation. Things change, and costs can soar. The most important thing is to have a plan and to have a strategy to stick to that plan.

This blog post started out as a simple list but has turned into a comprehensive guide. We’ve split into 3 blog posts!

building an app on a budget

Here are some proven ways to keep your app project on budget, and tips to help you cut costs where it makes sense:

Start with clear product goals

Clearly defined product goals are essential for the success of any project, especially if you’re building an app on a budget. When you’re working with a limited budget, this becomes even more important.

You want to clarify important things like:

  • Who is your target audience?
  • What does the customer journey map look like?
  • Why do consumers need your product, and what specific problems will it address?
  • Who are your main competitors? What makes you different?
  • What specific results do you expect to achieve after your launch?

In this early stage, you also want to complete your preliminary market research and conduct customer surveys. You should build out a list of your app’s desired features, and rank them in terms of importance (more on this point later).

Additionally, you should decide on your app’s monetization strategy. Will it be a paid download or a freemium model? There are plenty to choose from, so take your time on this one.

Choose the right pricing model for your business and your project

When you’re building an app on a budget, there are different ways you can hire help. The most common ways to compensate your builder or software development team will be hourly, or by a fixed project fee. There are pros and cons to each approach, so it’s important you fully understand the scope of your project before making this decision.

For example, a fixed project price can seem like a good idea, especially when you’re on a tight budget. But what happens when you receive customer feedback and want to make a change? No dice if the contract’s been signed.

We’ll continue this guide in a few days, so stay tuned!

About David Barlev

David is the Co-founder and CEO of Goji Labs. David loves working closely with passionate founders to understand their vision and help them build beautiful applications while focusing on risk-mitigation. As an author, he focuses on informative and educational blogs that enable our clients to make the most of their businesses.

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