Creating a budget for your app development process is definitely one of the most crucial parts of the process and needs to be done quite wisely. In this post, I am going to talk about 9 of the deadliest app budgeting mistakes that can spell disaster for your business and then we are going to take a look at a step-by-step guide to planning your mobile app development project.
Modern organizations today are getting more and more inclined towards getting a mobile app for their business, but it is surprising how little they are aware of when it comes to the budgeting part of the whole process.
It is common for the organizations to sometimes underestimate the kind of time and money investment that may be required in the process and at other times the focus might be completely off, on something that might not even need as great attention that you might end up planning for.
Following is a list of the biggest, deadliest mobile app budgeting mistakes that in my opinion can only spell disaster for you:
#1 Thinking of Websites & Mobile Apps as The Same While Budgeting
This is an elementary mistake that can cost you a great deal more than give you an advantage.
The mobile apps require a robust backend infrastructure, and for it to function smoothly, all the different components need to be integrated and work together. Now for the different components including the front-end, the CMS, the backend, the third-party services etc. to work in perfect union, there is a need for a whole lot of effort and time investment, significantly more than you would need on a website. In fact, as the project gets more and more complex, it would need more time and efforts, which resultantly means that the budget would have to be increased as well.
If you have made your website already and begin with an assumption that it is going to follow the same budget, you are in for a rude awakening.
Mobile apps and websites are wildly different from each other. Now, in principle, you might be aware of it, but you also need to understand the differences between the two in terms of their technical complexity and the manner in which they communicate with services and networks.
The user experience offered by the two are vastly different from each other and the real estate afforded on a mobile app is severely limited when compared to a website due to the mobile screen size.
The information in case of a mobile app is highly focused and the delivery of content must be a lot faster. This is why mobile apps make a higher number of network calls at a higher frequency and need services that can support it.
For most cases, the infrastructure needs to be created from the ground up. The services that already are in place were not designed especially for the mobile.
#2 Inadequate Continuity Planning
For any product, even a mobile app to garner any measure of success in the market, it is critical that they have a continuity plan in place. You can’t simply launch an app and then forget about it entirely!
Not only is it getting harder to please the customers, but they are also always looking for something extra, something innovative, new, and something that they are not getting anywhere else.
It is important that you be ready with a plan that would keep the customers interested with additions to the app that would keep your customers happy for longer.
If you fail to plan for continuity in your app you are giving your competitors and the new players an edge over you, and trailing behind in meeting the expectations of the clients as well.
#3 Overlooking Cross-Platform Development
When you engage in single platform development, you are deciding to cater only to the audience that is restricted to that platform. If, however, you plan to develop an app that is indeed for everyone and that everyone wants to have for themselves, you would invariably, at one point in time have to think about cross-platform development.
Failing to include this aspect in your mobile app budget can only give you grief when it comes to the point where you would want to expand your audience in order to gain greater profits. Wiser to plan ahead!
#4 Not Paying Attention to Backend Development & Service Integration
The single biggest and the most disastrous mistake is, to begin with, an assumption that the mobile app is an isolated product which only consists of the screens that a user can interact with, using their device. The user interaction is in fact only a part of the whole machinery that makes it possible for the app to function in a manner that you would like it to.
This is where we would have to dig a little deeper into the moving components that go into building an app as it is.
Content Management System
The CMS for mobile provides configuration and content services which can contribute to creating the highest quality mobile experience. If there were an endpoint API change or a backend maintenance window, there are chances that you would have to republish the entire app.
Consider mobile CMS to be an integral part of the mobile app as it provides everything from settings, menu details, images, and text content to the application.
There would be certain functions that the app would need to do, which cannot be done on the device, and for that reason, the app would have to communicate with a server. These functions may be anything from authentication, business integrations like booking appointments, requesting updates on status, business processes, notifications and messages etc. You know that the customers are not going to wait for a response, they are simply going to move on to others.
By itself, an app is not of any significance, unless it can manipulate the right data in a timely manner. The backend infrastructure is where the value of the app truly resides.
While developing your mobile app, if you were to develop every little element right from the scratch, not only would your budget drive through the roof, but the time commitments would be extraordinarily high.
Hence, for push notifications, analytics, authorization, and authentication, and many such other things, third-party integrations might be a good idea.
It is a common mistake to only consider the front-end of the development process when it comes to planning the budget for a mobile app. Doing so results in disregarding or failing to account for the aspects that are, in fact, the most expensive ones of the lot. The backend infrastructure and the integrations that may not be evident at the beginning are important to be accounted for, right at the start.
#5 Inadequate Budget for Marketing
Devising a strong marketing strategy is of extreme importance in the current competitive app market. It plays a critical role, not only in user acquisition and growth but also in revitalizing the existing customer groups.
Unfortunately, marketing often comes as an afterthought and rarely ever included in the initial budget plan, which, if you ask me, is a grave error.
As you determine or designate the metrics you would be used to measure the success of your app, you must simultaneously calculate the cost of marketing your app as well, and the earlier this happens in the process, the more effective it is going to be.
The goals or the predicted milestones you set for the future of your app needs to correlate with the marketing strategies you develop for the app. This means that if you want to garner 10,000 installs in the first 3 weeks of the launch of your app, you would most certainly have to invest in some paid promotion.
Though you might not have all the numbers, you would have to chalk out the basics for benchmarking, assessment, and refinement.
#6 Not Accounting for Regular Updates
Yet another common mistake committed by a majority of mobile app developers is failing to set out a budget for any future updates, thus losing out on the user downloads and the profits. Now there is something new coming up all the time in the world of mobile apps and new developments keep popping up on the horizon delivering on their promise of better user experience and offering an engaging experience for all app users.
It is for this reason that you must develop an app that would have the ability to incorporate these developments in it.
When you update your app frequently and tweak it according to the modern standards periodically, you have the ability to satisfy your customers with an experience that is memorable while solidifying a space for yourself in this cutthroat competitive app world.
#7 Not Accounting For Cross-Department Development
It is true and has been oft-repeated that there is a huge diversity in the technical components that are needed for an app to function smoothly. In addition to that, for any app to achieve any measure of success, it is also important that there is a kind of cohesion between various internal teams. It is important at this level that you understand, development is only a part of the BIG picture.
In case of any consumer-facing app, there would be direct or indirect involvement of a number of business functions that may include the IT division, engineering, marketing, sales, and other such stakeholders. It is quite possible that there would be a single central force at play here which would emerge as the biggest contributor, but this cannot be done in isolation without the involvement of other teams.
The development aspect which is a big one involves IT & engineering of course, but when it comes to promoting your app to acquire new users or growing the app in terms of the user base, the marketing and sales team come into the picture.
There could be any number of divisions that would finally have to be included in the whole process of app development and this needs to be considered when you set out o plan the budget for your mobile app development project.
#8 Diverting Your Whole Attention To UI
It is true that the mobile app you are planning to build must be designed keeping in mind the app user. The app users would only be pulled in and stay within your app if the app was attractive and engaging with exemplary UI. It is true enough and of course, due attention must be paid to it.
It is, however critical that you also understand that the backend code holds as much if not more of importance when compared to the front-end design.
You might be able to attract your fair share of users with awesome graphics or animations, but they would only stay if your app delivers great functionality. This is a compromise they will never make.
The focus of the project must be suitably divided between the UI and the backend of the app if you plan on getting anywhere good with the app you are building.
#9 Forgetting About Third-Party Integrations
Let me try and explain this with the example of social media integration. It would probably be an understatement to say that social media is a big part of our lives today. This is why every business under the sun who is planning to develop an app for their business must consider integrating social media in your app.
The problem does not lie in acknowledging the need for it, but in knowing how to do that! Confronting this conundrum, quite a few companies refrain from doing so, or try and hire some help outsourcing the whole thing. Now, this might solve the problem eventually, but can also cause a massive time lag in the entire process of development.
If, as a newbie in the app development world, you were to hire an additional couple of software developers with the sole aim of let’s say incorporate a Facebook or a YouTube plugin, you would end up making an investment in terms of time, money, space, and even attention. In place of that, if you decided to go with a third party that already has expertise in developing these plugins in bulk, you would eventually have saved a huge amount of resources. This would free the resources up for further investment in things that truly make your apps stand apart!