The Cost of Building Your App

App PromotionIt seems there’s an app for everything these days, a notion which has even been used to market the thousands, if not millions of apps that are currently available through the App Store and Google Play. But if you’re looking to invest in an app for your business, to take your interaction with your customers to the next level, or even just to make your business and your employees more efficient, what[’s involved and how much is it likely to cost?

We spoke to some of the best app developers NYC has to offer, to find out what kind of things you should think about when you’re considering building an app, and what kind of costs you might be looking at.

Why an App?

A good place to start is to ask why you think your business needs an app? What do your think it will deliver over and above what you have at the moment, and will this make the investment worthwhile? If an app is the way forward, you then want to start thinking about the basic questions like, which platform do you want your app designed for – iOS (Apple), Android or both? Is it going to be for mobiles, tablets or both? How are you going to build your app? Yes there are off the shelf packages and services that allow you to create your own app, but the chances are you’re only going to get the end product you want, and that’s worth investing in, if you hire a specialist company to assist you. And once you find an app developer to work with, there are a whole host of other questions that you need to think about.

Features

What is the app meant to do? Apps and app developers have the capacity to do pretty much whatever you want, so you need to think about what you want to achieve with your app, but also what your users are likely to want from your app. There’s no point creating something you think is up to the job, when in actual fact it leaves your potential customers or employees feeling rather underwhelmed and disappointed. And that goes for how your app looks and works as well as what it actually does.

Perhaps you need an enterprise app for your business, to improve communication between departments and employees and deliver the kind of information that will help make your business function more efficiently? In which case, there could be a lot of investigation and consultation involved in order to develop the understanding of what the app needs to be able to do.

Functionality

What are users meant to do with the app? If the app is designed to market your business and your products, is it just meant to be a shop window, or do you want users to be able to interact with your app, and ultimately you? Does your app need e-commerce functionality, so users can purchase your products from the app itself? Do you want users to be able to communicate with you, ask questions our leave reviews? Does your app need to communicate with your website or will it stand alone?

Potential Cost

The Internet is full of stories of tech whizz kids who built apps over a weekend, for next to no cost, and ended up making millions. In these instances it’s less the app that’s responsible for the success, and more the unique or interesting idea behind it.

But what if you’re not looking to create the latest novelty app or addictive game, but rather something that can help you grow and expand your business? Well, in this case you probably need to think of the cost of your app as you would any other investment in your business, like your premises or your website. In which case, you’re probably looking at a cost that’s certainly in 4 figures, and more than likely in the mid five figures if you’ve ticked a lot of the features and functionality boxes.

While an app for your business may require a significant investment, the key is to make sure you know what you want and can deliver it within a sensible budget. You might even want to spend a good long while thinking about whether or not you actually need an app. How much of your traffic is via mobile devices? How much interaction do your customers have with you before, during and after the buying process and does this make investing in an app worthwhile? Would a mobile website be more appropriate?

But if you keep coming back to the fact that an app is what you need to grow or improve your business, the best thing you can do is speak to the professionals. Not only will a specialist app developer tell you what is and what isn’t possible, they will no doubt come up with other ideas and options you hadn’t even thought of. Their advice and expertise will be invaluable, and these will be the guys who can deliver an app that has the best possible chance of being everything you wanted it to be.