How we try to answer the persistent question - how much will an app cost me?
A daily question
One of the most common questions we receive is: "How much will an app cost me?" It's a difficult question to answer as there are so many variables at play. For instance:
- How many features does the app have?
- Does the app integrate with any external systems and is there a cost to them?
- What platforms or devices will it be deployed on?
- What external factors do we have to consider (any 3rd parties involved etc)?
Our science isn't exact
In addition to the above variables, it's worth noting that app development isn't an exact science. Sometimes we will spend more or sometimes less time on specific areas to either 'just do enough' or really perfect certain features. Of course, we always want to do the best we can, to produce an app that is as polished as possible. However, the budget allocated to a project by a client may not allow for that...and we're ok with that.
The next question that often arises is; 'do we work to a fixed price?'. The trickiest factor in answering this, is accurately estimating how long it might take to complete the project. Even with a tight, fixed and specific specification there are always unknown factors (risks if you will) that need to be accounted for and mitigated against in any quote or estimate, perhaps by an added percentage. We generally advise clients not to enforce a fixed-price contract as often they will end up having to pay more than they've budgeted or they'll receive a less-rounded project.
We're open to many options but our preferred means to deliver a project is to agree upfront with the client a 'Proposed Budget'. This will be based on an initial ballpark estimate from us (we'd hope to be reasonably accurate here) and an open conversation with the client regarding how much they want to spend. We can produce the best proposal if we know your budget upfront. From here on in, we will then work within an agile framework to deliver the project within this budget.
We're proud of our project process (you can read more about it here). For the purposes of this document we'll focus on the initial 'Discover' process. Which usually follows the following steps:
- Firstly, gather initial information on the project and supply a basic estimate.
- Assuming we’re both in the same ballpark, then we’ll start to gather as much information from the client as possible.
- We’ll meet internally to discuss and suggest features, additions and amendments to the client’s brief and present back to the client in a proposal document.
- As part of the document we will include a proposed budget figure (or some budget options). This isn’t the final figure, but it is our best estimate at this stage.
- If the client is broadly happy with the proposed budget then we’ll agree contracts, produce a statement of work and move into the Discovery Phase of the project.
So as you can see, our process is very collaborative. It is based on both us and the client being transparent in regards to budgets and costs. It's important to note; it's also a process that allows the budget to be refined as we go, and adjusted if required.
Looking for an app?
We trust this article may have helped answer some of your queries and clarified the specification of your potential app. We'd love to hear more about how we can help you - do get in touch.