Bringing your app idea to life with an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is a wise way to gauge its potential, whether you own a startup, or your business requires a boost with MVP technology. But while you’re sorted with the app idea, finding an accurate estimate of the MVP development cost can be challenging, to say the least.
But as it is a vital consideration before you put your plan into action and ensure you have the required budget, this is one more mountain you must conquer in your journey to become a startup founder.
Here’s a detailed post providing a detailed overview of all the factors that impact MVP development costs. But before that, let us provide you with an approximate range.
The Approximate Cost of Building an MVP
So, what is the cost of developing Minimum Viable Product (MVP)? Based on our experience, MVP development costs can range from $10,000 to $150,000. You can see the range is pretty wide, and it ultimately boils down to the factors we touched on above.
What are these factors impacting MVP app development costs? Let’s find out-
Factors Affecting the Cost of MVP Development
- Application Type & Complexity:- There are many different ways to categorize MVP development. For instance, based on the platform, you can build a native or hybrid MVP app for mobile, experience the MVP software, and have it as a web app.There are also some sub-categories to application development based on different requirements. MVP development can be used on shopping platforms/apps, businesses, video streaming, gaming, creating social media platforms, and more.And the development complexity varies for these different types of MVP apps. The more complex the MVP is, it will require more time & resources to develop. Along with that developing a complex MVP will add extra costs & require specialized skills.Needless to say, the simpler the app, the lesser will be the MVP app development cost. So, start with choosing the type of app you need and then create a list of features your MVP just cannot do without. The type of app and expected features can add more accuracy to the development estimate.
- Application Designing & User Experience:- The design of your app will consume a significant portion of your MVP development budget, and rightly so, as the app’s success will have a lot to do with its design. While designing it, the user experience also needed to be considered. So, give special attention to the wireframes, UI/UX, developer expertise, etc., for the best results.A well-developed and well-designed MVP can pave the path you’re envisioning for the final product. Thus, ensure you thoroughly discuss app design with the developer.Deciding on the goal of an app and choosing between hybrid and native app development, the total MVP development cost will vary.
- Scope of the MVP:- One of the main factors affecting MVP development cost is the scope of the MVP. The scopes are the goal you want to achieve with your project. The scope of the MVPs can be well defined with the features added to the app. While developing MVP, sticking to the main scope is required; otherwise, the project will end up spending a lot on unnecessary features with development delays.
- MVP Development Team:- When it comes to the development team, you have a few different options to choose from. Take a look-
- In-House Team:- The MVP development-costs will be the highest if you decide to hire an in-house MVP development team. The cost will include their salaries and other benefits, setup of the IT infrastructure for development, technology training, hardware, and software, etc. However, you’ll have complete control of the development process.An in-house team may cost around 150,000 USD to develop an MVP app.
- Freelancers:- If you have a limited MVP development budget, hiring freelancers can be a budget-friendly solution. You can use online platforms for hiring developers with expertise in building MVPs. But while freelancers can help you save money, working with people from different parts of the world remotely can be challenging.Hiring a freelancer hourly will cost you around 10 USD to 120 USD.And getting a dedicated team with multiple freelancers may cost you around – 10,000 USD to 25,000 USD.
- Local Teams:- The next option is to work with a local app development agency. This will provide you with access to the professionalism and expertise of a reliable company that will build an MVP app as per your requirements. And as it is a local company, communication will be highly convenient. But depending on the location, the cost to build an MVP through a local team can be considerably higher.While developing the local teams for developing MVP can range between 160,000 USD to 180,000 USD.
- Outsourcing MVP Development:- Probably the most popular option among several startups is outsourcing MVP development to a country like India, known for its high-quality and cost-effective services. Especially if you’re in a country like the USA or UK, where developers are generally more expensive, outsourcing the MVP development project is a viable option.The Outsourcing rate for MVP development may range from 35,000 USD to 75,000 USD.
- The Development Timeframe & Rates:-
The longer or shorter it takes for the MVP development, the total cost will be affected. The app development completion timeframe should be defined in a cost-effective manner & extra time could require extra cost.While talking about the MVP app completion timeframe, hiring developers for the hourly rate can be a cost-effective way. With this format, two components considerably impact the MVP estimate cost. They are-
- Developer Location:- As mentioned above, development costs vary significantly depending on location. For instance, in the US, the average hourly rate of an app developer is $45-$50. The same is around $25 in India. So, irrespective of whether you build an in-house team, hire freelancers, use a local agency, or outsource, location will have a drastic impact on your MVP development cost.
- Qualification:- The next critical factor is the qualification of the app developer. A developer with extensive app development experience will be more expensive than someone new to the field. The cost will also be higher if you need a specialized developer.
- Type of Contract:- Two types of contracts commonly used for start-ups app development are fixed price and time and material. As the contract type also impacts the MVP development costs, it is important to understand what they mean.
- Fixed Price Contract:- The fixed price or fixed rate contract is ideal when the project scope, timeline, and requirements are known beforehand. Basically, you’ll get into a contract with the app developer or development agency wherein the MVP will be built at a mutually agreed-upon price.
- Time and Material Contract:- Time and Material (T&M) contract is more popular for its flexibility. It follows the hourly payment model wherein the payment is made as per the time and resources spent by the developer. In most cases, T&M contracts prove more cost-effective than fixed-price contracts.
- Tech Stack Required:- The tech stack is the technologies that’ll be used for developing the MVP. It includes frameworks, programming languages, APIs, and front-end and back-end tools. App type and complexity are taken into consideration for selecting the right tech stack. Note that the selection will also influence the development costs.
Post-Development Factors Affecting MVP Development Costs
When approximating the Minimum Viable Product cost, you should also consider the post-development expenses. Some of the most important ones are-
- Sales Pitch and Marketing:- Your MVP is ready and now you want people to try your new app. But how will they know such a product exists? Thus, once the MVP is ready, you’ll have to start marketing it. Most startups partner with a digital marketing agency to boost the reach of their products.While the marketing costs vary based on the marketing strategy you use, it can easily cost $10,000 or even more. Some of the popular marketing channels you can consider are corporate events, trade shows, social media, influencer marketing, and paid online ads.Apart from marketing, you’ll also have to conceptualize a unique sales pitch to attract users. The marketing company should be able to help you with the sales pitch for an average cost of $5,000 to $15,000.
- Maintenance:- You’ll also have a few ongoing MVP development costs, like the service fee for servers, integrations, APIs, etc. Factors like app type, complexity, and team location affect maintenance costs. Most startups generally spend up to 20% of the development cost on app maintenance.
- Scalability:- This is one of the characteristics that a good MVP development can have. As people start using your MVP, you’ll have to keep adding new features to keep the users engaged. Thus, an MVP needs to have extensive scope for scalability. The complexity of the new features and the time the developers will spend on adding those features to the app will determine the total scalability costs.
To sum it up, the development cost of an MVP app is just as critical as developing it for any startup & entrepreneur. But before you start developing your MVP, it’s better to know about all the aspects that somehow link up with the development costs. Consider all the points mentioned above for a cost-effective MVP app development process, and for more about MVP apps, keep reading our blogs.
- How Long Does It Take to Build an MVP from Scratch?
There is no single correct answer to this question. Just like the cost to build an MVP, the time frame for building the MVP varies from project to project. But to give you an idea, it can take 4-5 months to build an MVP from scratch.
- What is the Cost of Building an MVP?
MVP development costs can range from $10,000 to $150,000. Factors like app type, complexity, design, development team, contract type, and tech stack impact the development costs the most. You can discuss your requirements with a reputable app development agency that excels in building MVPs for startups for a more accurate estimate.
- Why Do Startups Build MVP Apps?
Rather than indulging in the cost and resource-intensive process of building a full-fledged product, startups first build the MVP to get a better understanding of whether or not their product idea is worth pursuing. The MVP app only has the essential features to test the waters and check whether there is an actual demand for the product and if people are willing to pay for it.
- What Tech Stack is Commonly Used for Building MVPs?
For the front-end interface, Angular.js, React.js, and Vue.js are commonly used. Python, Node.js, and Ruby on Rails are preferred choices for the back end. Technologies like React Native and Google Flutter are used for building cross-platform apps.
- What Type of Developer Should You Choose for Your MVP?
Most startups, especially from countries like US and UK where the development costs are higher, prefer outsourcing MVP development. They look for leading app development agencies in countries like India for cost-effective and high-quality MVPs.
Test Your App Idea with an MVP
If you believe your app idea will be the next big thing, you should consider building an MVP to test its viability. But as building MVP for startup is something not every app development company excels in, ensure you thoroughly analyze your options and only choose a company with extensive experience of working with startups.
Discuss your requirements and expectations with one such company and they’ll provide you with a more accurate estimate of the MVP development costs.
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