Latest News

Subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter

coding on laptop

App Development: What is an MVP, and How to Budget For One

With the rise of technology, there are now more options than ever for you to optimize your business. One way to do that is to create an app that you can use to make money, connect with your customers, and improve your operations.

But designing an app can take a lot of time and money. Luckily, you can start with a minimum viable product (MVP) for less money and time.

Here’s where to start with how to budget for Android application development services.

Why Use an MVP

An MVP can be a great option for the first version of an app. Because building an entire app can be expensive, it can be a big risk for business owners and investors.

Instead you can start small by hiring an Android application development service to create a basic version of the app and get it on the market.

Your MVP will cost money to develop, but it can be a lot cheaper and easier than tackling the whole project you envision from the start. As you work with developers, you can see your app come to life. Then, you can then verify that people will use the app and it will help you meet your goals before continuing to add functionality.

How to Develop Your MVP

Unless you’re a developer, you will need to hire someone to build it for you. Make sure you choose a developer you trust and can work with. But as you start the app design process, you can do a few things.

You don’t need to be an app developer to plan your MVP and get it going. Here are a few steps you can follow at the start.

List the Essential Features

Your MVP should contain the basics and nothing else. Think about the most central parts of your ideal app and what you want to be able to do.

List out those features but try to keep the list relatively short. You can add more features later, so focus on the ones that are necessary for the app to function correctly. 

For example, you may need a login page and a settings page. But you may not need to setup profiles and allow a ton of user customization to start. You can list out those features, but save them for after you bring your app to the market.

Create a Timeline

Next, you should create a timeline for when you want to start developing the app and when you want to release it. Your timeline will serve as a guide, and you can use the release date as a cutoff for working on your MVP.

You can create a shorter timeline if you have the resources for a full-time developer. But you can make the timeline longer if you can only afford to hire someone to work a few hours a week.

Either way, having a timeline can help you and your developer plan out the development process. You can consider if you want feedback from the public, in which case, you may want to release the app earlier to get more reviews and opinions.

Just Start

Of course, you will need to hire your Android application design service before you can start actually building. But once you choose a developer, don’t wait to start the project.

The longer you wait, the more you will agonize over if you made the right choices. Your main goal with your MVP is to do it and publish it. It doesn’t need to have every feature or function you want. It needs to accomplish the primary goal and function you’re aiming for.

While you want to avoid a security breach, the app can have flaws. Odds are, the first version of an app will probably have some sort of problem. That’s part of the process.

Once you get feedback from users, you can apply that information and fix issues. Then, you can make the app even better.

Release the App

Stick to the release date you chose when you created your MVP timeline. Try not to push it back unless something serious happens with your developer or the app itself.

Don’t let a small issue, like the font or color scheme, keep you from releasing your app. One of the benefits of app design is that it’s flexible. You can change it whenever you like, so you don’t have to love the first design.

Now, you can start getting feedback from users through reviews or on your website or social media. You can use that feedback to determine what features to add or remove, and you can refine the app design.

At this point, you shouldn’t have to worry as much about future costs. You can get investors on board to pay for more app development, especially if you’ve already made some profit.

MVP App Design Cost

As you start planning your app prototype, you should consider how much it will cost. Unfortunately, it can be hard to estimate the cost of iPhone and Android application development services.

While designing an MVP will cost less than creating a fully functioning app, it can still be expensive. However, a few factors can determine how much you can expect to pay for your MVP.

Freelancer vs. Design Team

You should consider if you want to hire an individual freelancer or a development company. A company will typically mean you can have multiple developers working on your project.

But it can cost more than hiring a freelancer with the same experience. With a freelancer, you only need to pay one person, but they can’t work at all hours.

An individual freelancer might charge anywhere from $4,000 to $15,000 to develop an MVP. When you hire a design or development team, it can cost about $15,000 to $30,000, depending on the timeline and other factors.

Work Hours

In general, your MVP shouldn’t take as long to build as a full app. However, some features may require more time to build than others.

If you want your MVP to have more features, you can expect to pay more. After all, your developer will need to spend more time and resources creating the first version of an app for you.

You may also need to pay more if you want someone to work on your app more quickly. That can be useful if you want to get your app out sooner, but you may need to increase your budget.


You should also consider where you live and where the developer you hire lives. If you hire someone who lives in a small town, they will probably charge less than a developer in Los Angeles or New York City.

The cost of living can have a huge effect on how much an individual or a company charges. If the cost is super important to you, look for someone who lives in a lower-priced area, and you may save some money but still get an experienced app developer.

How to Save Money on Your MVP

As you budget for your MVP, you may want to determine how you can save money. Fortunately, you can do a few things to potentially lower the cost.

Consider What You Need

If your essential features aren’t too complex, you may be able to work with a newer freelance developer. New freelancers will usually have lower rates than those with more experience, so that can be a good way to save money.

Of course, you want to hire someone who can do the job. Make sure you look at the developer’s portfolio to see what work they’ve done and make sure you are able to rely on that individual to deliver for your specific project. This is one of the advantages of using an agency, which will have a development team with a wide set of development skills. The money you save upfront with a freelancer can end up being more trouble than it’s worth in the long run.

Look at Your Timeline

You should also consider your timeline and if you have any wiggle room. If you want to get the app out within a few weeks, you may need to pay a premium for the rush.

Consider a few developers and their average turnaround time. Of course, you don’t want to wait too long, but taking an extra couple of weeks could save you a lot.

Wait for Feedback

Getting feedback after you release your MVP can be an excellent way to save money now. Waiting for your users to tell you what they like and don’t like means you don’t have to spend time or money experimenting with different features.

You can focus on creating the barebones of your app. That can save you time and money, and you won’t need to pay as much for a developer.

Once you have the money, you can make changes and improve your app so that the public likes your app even more.

Finding Android Application Development Services

If you’re ready to create your MVP, you need the right people to help. Unless you’re a developer, that means finding iOS and Android application development services.

The right developer or team can make or break your MVP and your budget. So consider how much you can afford and what experience you need for your new app.

Are you ready for someone to design your MVP? Contact us for a consultation.

Let’s Make Your Idea Reality

We deliver value to partners through mobile strategy expertise, user-centered design, and lean methodology. Take a look around our work portfolio and drop us a line, we’d love to chat.