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A basic version of your product called a minimum viable product (MVP), lets you do just that. With an MVP, you can make a simple version of your product, try it out, see what works and what doesn’t, and then make changes before launching the final version. It’s even better to use the agile method, which means you can keep improving your product based on feedback as you go.

You might know it’s important to make an MVP before your final product, but you might still be unsure because of the money it’ll take. This article will help you understand the cost.

Usually, making an MVP can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $150,000 or more. But the actual cost depends on a few things. Knowing what these are can help you figure out how much your MVP will cost.

Now, let’s talk about why you should plan your MVP budget in the first place.

Why is it important to plan your budget for developing basic software?

Even though starting with a basic version costs less than making the whole thing, not everyone has enough money for it. You need to find money for it, maybe from an investor or somewhere else. But before you do that, you need to know exactly how much money you’ll need for the basic version and how you’ll spend it.

Lots of products or new businesses fail because they run out of money while they’re still making it. So, it’s smarter to figure out a realistic budget before you start spending anything.

How much does it cost to make a basic version of an app, and what makes the price go up or down?

So, how much does it take to make a basic version of an app and keep it running smoothly? Well, it can vary a lot, from $15,000 to $150,000 or even more. What makes the cost change? There are a few things:

First, how complicated is the app? The more stuff it can do, the more it might cost.

Second, how it looks matters too. Fancy designs can push the price up.

Third, where the team building the app is based also plays a part. Different places have different costs for this kind of work.

Let’s dig into each of these factors a bit more.

Factors that influence Minimum Viable Product (MVP) development

When figuring out how much an MVP will cost, each team or developer will give you a different estimate, even if you explain the projects in the same way. This is because several things affect the costs. Let’s talk about some of these things:

Type of App

The kind of app you want to build affects how much it will cost to create a basic version. If it’s simple, it’ll cost less; if it’s complex, it’ll cost more. Before figuring out the budget, it’s smart to make a list of all the features you need.

Next, divide all the features into four categories:

  1. Must-Have: These are the essential features that your users need. Within this category, you can further sort them based on what users input, do, or the activities they perform.
  2. Could-Have: These are nice-to-have features that aren’t necessary but would be good to include if you have the budget and time.
  3. Not-to-Have: These are features that you’ve decided not to include in the initial version of the app. They’re things you can consider for later updates.
  4. Good-to-Have: These are extra features that would enhance the app but aren’t critical. They can be added if there’s room in the budget and schedule.


Creating a great design is crucial for the app to succeed. So, we need to focus on how it looks and how easy it is to use. This includes making detailed plans for how each part will work, called wireframes.

The design will be a big part of the cost because it’s so important. A good design can also help your product stand out and build a strong brand, even in the early stages.

The wireframe is like a blueprint for the whole app, whether it’s just starting out or almost finished. It shows how everything fits together and how users will move through the app. So, we need to make sure it’s done right.

Different Kinds of Development Teams

There are four main types of development teams: ones that work in the same place as the company (in-house), ones that are hired for specific jobs (freelancers), ones that are from nearby areas (locals), and ones that are hired from outside companies (outsourced).

In-house team for MVP development

When you’re making a basic version of a product with your team, there are different costs to think about. These include paying the salaries of the people working on it, setting up the necessary computer systems, buying the tools and programs they need, training them to use everything properly, providing extra perks like health insurance, and covering other regular expenses. To keep your team working with you full-time, it’s important to offer them good benefits too.


Hiring freelancers to make a basic app can save you money. But it’s tricky because you might not know if they’re good at what they do. Sometimes, they’re not good at keeping in touch either.

Local teams

Consider hiring teams nearby if having your team is too expensive. This way, you stay connected with your team without the extra costs of setting up everything yourself. Look for local companies that can build the basic version of your app. It might cost more than getting it done overseas, but you’ll save on other expenses like equipment and software.

Outsourcing MVP development

Due to its viability, MVP outsourcing is the most liked option among all. While there are different forms of outsourcing, many companies prefer an offshore product development firm that can employ a focused team to build their MVP. Additionally, a project manager serves as their point of contact and makes sure that the MVP development proceeds according to schedule.

Hourly rate

Pricing per hour works well because you only pay for the time you use. The hourly rate can vary based on two things: where the developer is located and how experienced they are.


When it comes to hiring a developer, their salary hinges on their skills and how long they’ve been working. Developers usually fall into three categories:

The pay might also change if the job calls for special skills or experience.

Tech stack required

When planning your basic software, you’ve got some options for both the Frontend and the Backend.

Frontend interface – React.js, Angular.js, Vue.js

React.js is good because it straightforwardly handles data, it’s easy to understand, and it uses something called virtual DOM.

Angular.js is another option. It’s got a feature called two-way data binding, which means it’s good at updating what people see when things change. It also organizes things neatly with something called Model View Controller (MVC), and it’s all done using HTML.

Vue.js is a third option. It’s known for making interactive interfaces that are easy to grasp. It’s open source, meaning lots of people contribute to it, and it’s got some powerful features.

Backend interface – Python, Ruby on Rails, Node.js

Ruby on Rails is handy because it can make sure your app is secure and works well from the start. It’s got a way of organizing code that developers like, and it’s pretty easy to write.

Python with Django is used a lot in smart stuff like AI and machine learning. It’s nice because the code is clear and easy to read, and you can use it for both small and big projects.

Node.js is based on some powerful technology from Google, and it’s great for apps that need to send messages quickly or stream stuff online. It’s super fast and can handle lots of users at once.

Lastly, you can think about how your app will work on different devices with Google Flutter and React Native.

React Native is good because it lets you write code in JavaScript and share it between different platforms easily. So, you don’t have to start from scratch for each device.

Google Flutter is open source, meaning anyone can use it and improve it. It’s also good for making your app work on lots of different devices, and it’s easy to connect with other services through something called APIs.

Type of Contract

Different types of contracts affect how much an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) will cost. The most common one is called Time and Material. With this type, you pay based on how many hours are worked. It gives flexibility and ensures there’s a minimum payment for developing the MVP.

Another type is Fixed Price. It’s not as popular because it requires detailed planning upfront and a clear list of what the developers have to do. Changing things during the project is tough with this type.

Factors After Development That Influence Initial Cost of Developing an App

After you’ve finished making your app and put it out there, there are a few more costs you’ll need to handle to make sure your product does well and brings in good results. These are the three main things you’ll need to spend money on after launching:

  1. Getting the Word Out – You’ll need to spend around $10,000 on average to advertise your app. Finding a good partner to help spread the word on different platforms is key. Different ways to advertise include social media, ads, or events.
  2. Making Sales – To make sure your product reaches the right people and they use it well, you’ll need a good sales plan. It might cost you between $5,000 and $10,000 to come up with ideas that boost sales using your MVP.
  3. Keeping Things Running – After you’ve launched, you’ll need to set aside about 20% of the initial budget for ongoing maintenance. This covers server costs, integrating different parts of your app, and making sure everything runs smoothly. The total cost depends on where your team is located and how complex your app is.

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