How to Plan Budget While Developing a Mobile App
Ishan Gupta
Ishan Gupta

How to Plan Budget While Developing a Mobile App?

Are you concerned about how to spend your money on developing your mobile app? While it is true that mobile app development is expensive and requires considerable resources. But if you pay attention to important factors and properly plan your budget, you can efficiently utilize your money and build your app successfully.

So before you delve into developing the app, read this guide that would help you to intelligently plan your budget while developing a mobile application.

Why Do You Need To Plan Your Budget For Mobile App Development?

Mobile apps have become inevitable for businesses that want to bring their services online and cater to their customers on mobile devices. Every day, on average 2526 apps are released on Google Play Store and over 1000 apps on Apple App Store. (Source)

However, launching an app might appear exciting for business owners. But developing an app is a challenging way to do it. Mobile app development is a complex process. It takes lots of research and development efforts into building a full-fledged mobile application. From ideation to designing and development to deployment, every stage plays a decisive role in affecting the cost associated with the project.

You have to hire developers and outsource your project to the best mobile app development company. So, there are many factors concerned with mobile app development costs. And how you manage the entire development lifecycle and the project team has a direct impact on the overall spending on the project.

Any wrong assumptions and miscalculations can lead to changes in the cost of mobile app development. As a result, your budget will also be affected. For startups and small businesses, it is generally unaffordable for bearing the changes in the cost of their mobile app development project. Therefore, it is critical to properly analyze the project and plan out the budget accordingly to achieve the goal without fail.

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What To Consider When Budgeting For App Development?

In mobile app development, budgeting is a sensitive and challenging process. Every application has its purpose and its objective for the customer-which is often productivity, saving the user’s time, effort, etc.

While you plan the budget for developing your mobile app, you should consider the following things

  • Location of the mobile app development company
  • Size of the development team
  • Choice of mobile OS platform
  • App design
  • Number of features
  • Size of complexity
  • Project management
  • Timeline of the project delivery
  • App maintenance cost

How To Plan Your Budget For Mobile App Development?

To plan a budget for mobile app development, you need to consider the following aspects and allocate resources accordingly that meet your business goals.

1. App Development Cost

App development cost estimate is what sits at the very bottom of any mobile app development budget. Quite often a company owner finds himself trying to answer these two questions- How much does it cost to make an app for my business by hiring a professional or how much does it cost to make an app by hiring dedicated app developers?

If we point to the app development cost, we can only come up with an estimate, simply because each app development process involves many factors that collectively influence a final price. Here we have mentioned some app development budgeting factors that will help you to shape an app development cost.

Cost Factor In Hiring a Mobile App Development Company

2. Mobile Platforms & Supportive Devices

The selection of a mobile operating system platform or mobile device has a great impact on the mobile app development budget. Whether an app will be developed for iOS only or has Android or another version as well. Cost determines at the time of refining what specific device will it support iPhone series, iPad, or Tablets.

It cost when it emerges orientation to the App like Landscape to portrait or portrait to lands. Besides this, the Use of Hardware Features in Apps like IoT apps requires additional hardware features to be combined in-app and that charges extra costs.

3. Server Infrastructure Cost

When designing a budget plan for a heavy-load application, it is very important to take into account & accurately calculate such costs as the pricing of the hosting service where the application data will be stored.

It is important to keep in mind that server hosting is characterized not only by the provisioned storage space but also by communication channel bandwidth & hardware capacities. Mobile app backend hosting cost would be estimated on three factors…

  • Cost of each storage GB
  • Cost of each MB of bandwidth
  • Server performance cost

If we give a rough estimation, then it is simple: If the cost of storing object is $0.1 per GB of space per month & your app is calculated, say for 5000 users, with a limit of 2 GB, then the result of multiplying all the numbers, the cost of the server would be $1000.

4. App Maintenance Cost

Once an app development is over, certainly it will require technical support from its developers. The cost for that technical support is based on a subscription for a year or more. The maintenance cost of an app depends on the active user base of the app. It cost high if there is an app like a media app. Maintenance cost varies according to user engagement on the app.

How to Choose the Right Mobile App Development Company

5. Dedicated Budget For App Marketing

Mobile app marketing budget depends on the market you want to enter and your target audience. The app can be serving as an extension of your brand identity or a place where you provide services. With the goals being different, the price of marketing also varies.

How to estimate the budget for marketing an app depends on some figures for gaining users so you will be able to predict how much money should be spent to reach your promotional goals. There are three budget models for mobile app marketing…

  • Modest Budget

For new businesses, getting the first income is critical, that is why it’s necessary to concentrate on essentials and spend about 20% of the time on marketing activities.

In this model- If you have less than $1000 to spend for a month, it is safer to try different methods of gaining customers and adjust the strategy along the way.

  • Medium Budget

A sufficient budget for mobile app marketing comes under this model. If you have a budget between $1,000 to $5,000 you can actually shape quite a comprehensive budget for marketing a mobile app.  It requires websites, and social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc for marketing the app under this budget.

  • Higher Budget

In this model, you will have a marketing specialist who can work hard for marketing the app. It will cost more than $5000. A larger budget means you will get more channels to promote an app.

6. Consider the User Acquisition Cost

Customer acquisition costs (CAC) portray the estimated costs for every new user you acquire for your business. The CAC is a vital metric when estimating the mobile app development budget.

As a company may have spent a huge amount of time & effort in developing & designing the app but the entire process can be a failure unless it is sustained with an equally good & reliable customer acquisition strategy. Mobile user acquisition is now more competitive, expensive & complicated than ever before.

We can calculate the cost of CAC in the mobile app development budget based on the following factors:

  • CPI (Cost per Install)

CPI= Ad Spend/Number of new installs directly tied to the ad campaign

  • CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost)

CAC= Total of marketing expense/Number of new users or customers

Under user acquisition costs, there are further areas, which require money, and we apply these calculations to the given strategies to find out the acquisition cost are…

Paid Advertising: Paid app marketing is a sure-shot way of ensuring downloads & acquiring a set of customers within a set timeframe. Paid App advertising could be through various channels such as App stores, social media, or third-party apps promoting publisher apps.

Benefits & Rewards Programs: Who does not like being rewarded? Be it a simple discount on the next purchase or a coupon to be redeemed. Apps that provide benefits & reward programs are sure to attach multiple users very quickly & achieve high engagement with them.

Referrals: If users have great things to say about your app & would like to share it with others, make it easier by integrating social sharing capabilities so a user can easily share the instant that he or she feels like it.

7. Don’t Ignore User Retention Cost

Did you know the fact that it costs five times as much to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one? The foremost rule of any business is to retain customers and build loyal relationships with them.

Retaining a user is a way that makes your user connected with the app. Some features emerge with the app, to retain the user. Strategies Where Retention Cost Applies-

  • Refunds & Credit: It costs to add features like refund & credit to the app. It enables users to get refunds & credits via an app.
  • Wallet/Discounts: There are many of them nowadays which hold a wallet option in their feature list. This feature enables a user to achieve points through the functionalities of the app and can use those points as a credit. In the case of user retention, the refunds are converted into points and credited into the wallet of the app so that users can use those points anywhere.


Effective planning of the budget for mobile app development can help in several ways. Having a well-planned budget can not only help significant costs but also avoid potential financial loss or overspending. But since developing a mobile app is a dynamic process and requires immense planning and research, you should better take assistance from a professional application development company that can guide you in planning your budget properly. They will ensure you drive optimum ROI from your investment in app development and achieve your goals successfully.


1) How should I divide my budget for app development?

Mobile app development is a defined process. So, you need to consider all the associated aspects related to app development. Some of them include mobile app development cost, number of developers, per-hour rate, location of the developer, timeline of the project delivery, etc.

2) Should I go with hire freelance developers or outsource my project to a company?

Freelance developers might build your app at a low cost. But since there is a risk of security and data privacy associated while working with freelance developers, the best way would be to outsource your app project to a dedicated mobile app development company. Because they have certified and trusted professionals for app development and they secure data fully safe.

3) How much does it cost to build a mobile app?

The cost of developing a mobile app depends on various factors. However, on average, the cost of developing a small-scale mobile app might go between $10,000-$30,000. But the exact cost might vary as per your app requirements and features. Hence, it would be better to consult a mobile app development company and get a quote directly from them.

Ishan Gupta

Ishan Gupta

CEO & Founder

With a strong belief that inclusion of mobile technology and digitalisation of processes for any individual or a business will help them to ease their life so that they can be more focused on their Core Business functions, with this intent and an experience of 6+ years our service ranges from consultancy to build next-generation mobile applications for Entrepreneurs/Startups to Enterprise Businesses. Our goal is to provide optimum quality services to our clients at the best reasonable price in the market.

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