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MVP Chapter #9: MVP Development Cost

October 31st, 2022

Introduction

If you have followed our MVP series till now, you know that developing an MVP is the safest way to overcome the vulnerabilities of the market and launch your business to success. Thus, you need to develop a reliable MVP.

By now, I know that a question would have definitely come up in your mind - How much will MVP development cost? And in this blog post, I am going to address exactly that and how can it vary as per various factors.

But don’t worry as developing an MVP is far cheaper than developing your final product. Why? Because it focuses only on the few core features of your product. So first, let’s have a look at why you can’t afford to ignore developing an MVP.

3 reasons to build an MVP

In the business world, the road ahead is dark and an MVP does the job of a torch so you can get an idea of what lies ahead. This is why starting with an MVP is the best thing you can do for your business.

Here are 3 reasons to build an MVP: -

Testing the market

Even though motivation and enthusiasm are good to have in entrepreneurship, practicality is also essential. And developing an MVP brings that and shows whether it is worth pursuing the idea or not. In other words, it helps you determine the need for your idea, your target audience, their characteristics, and your competitors.

Building a remarkable product

If you go to purchase anything, you have many options to choose from for the same product. And so does your target audience. This is why building a remarkable product is not an option anymore. It’s a necessity.

An MVP showers you with raw feedback from your target audience, allowing you to create a remarkable product that satisfies their needs.

Raise funding

When you launch your business, money plays a crucial role in determining how long will you go. Thus, initial financial support can really help. And developing an MVP is how you can attract it. With the proof of concept and love of your initial customers, you can really grab an investor with your MVP.

Factors that determine the cost of your MVP

There is no specific answer to how much will your MVP development cost. For example, remember the low and high-fidelity MVPs we discussed in our previous post? Low-fidelity MVPs are more inexpensive than the other. But they also provide fewer features. So let’s see the factors on which hangs your cost of MVP development: -

1. The complexity of your project

Sometimes you just want to provide a service than the one provided by your competitors which may be relatively simple because it doesn’t require reinventing the wheel. Other times you just want to come up with something original and thus, upping the complexity.

How simple or complex is your concept to bring to life says a lot about the amount you need to pay for it.

2. Technology stack

Which technologies are you going to choose to develop your idea? Developers of the latest technologies are hard to find and may charge you more because of scarcity. The demand for development in particular MVP can also play a crucial role. The higher the demand, the higher the cost for developers.

3. Type of development team

There are a lot of ways you can hire your development team and each path will charge you differently.

  1. In-house development team

    You can hire developers at your office to build your MVP. However, assuming you are just starting out, it is hard to afford because of overhead costs like space, system, benefits, maintenance, etc. An in-house team also binds you to work with local developers who may not be as effective.

  2. Outsourcing

    With the power of the Internet, you can outsource your work to developers anywhere around the globe allowing you access to a worldwide pool of talent. Another benefit of outsourcing is that it dramatically reduces your MVP development cost. You can either choose freelancers or a remote development company. But the latter is more reliable while the cost is almost similar.

4. Hourly payment rate

How much will your developers charge you per hour? This depends on 3 factors: -

  1. Country

    The cost of a developer per hour depends on the country he is in as each country has different pay scales and economies. For example - a developer in India will cost you much lesser than a developer in the USA, Australia, Germany, etc.

  2. Technology

    The tech stack you choose also matters. Each technology has different hourly rates as per its popularity.

  3. Experience

    The experience of the developer you hire also matters a lot. A developer with 5 years of experience will cost you more than a developer with 2 years of experience.

5. Type of contract

The shows how you hire your developers. There are 2 popular models usually remote development companies offer and each has its pros and cons. Here are they: -

  1. Dedicated contract

    In this model, you can hire your required number of developers to work full-time (usually, 8 hours a day for 5 days a week) for you. This is the most preferred way because it allows you to actually test the developers first you will be hiring.

  2. Fixed-price contract

    The other model is the fixed-price model. In this, you pay a pre-determined price for the completion of your project that you and the remote development company agree with regardless of the number of developers working on your project.

Planning MVP development to fit your budget

So now you know what are the factors that affect the cost of your MVP development. And the good news is that you control all of them to build your MVP within your budget.

You determine your idea and its complexity. You can choose the technology for your MVP. You can determine the country from which to hire developers. You can choose to pick a remote development team to save on overhead costs. You can also opt for a better pricing model.

Thus, let’s plan your MVP development to fit your means.

1. User understanding

Usually, many entrepreneurs unnecessarily complexify their MVP and development process. This happens when you are unclear about the needs of your target audience. Thus, understanding your target audience before developing your MVP can remove a lot of fluff to reduce your cost.

2. Tech stack for MVP development

I recommend you go with the Laravel framework to build your website and web app. Why? Because it offers huge libraries of pre-written code for various elements of a website. This prevents writing code from scratch and cuts your development time and cost. It is also reliable, stable, and secure.

If you are looking for a mobile app, you can go for hybrid technology like React Native which lets you create a single app that runs on both - Android and iOS.

3. Time for project completion

The cost of development isn’t just about money. It is also about time. Thus, determine the number of developers you can afford. The more developers you hire, the less time your project will take to complete. This also reduces your time to market.

How much does it cost to build an MVP?

Here we are. Now let’s get more realistic and compare the estimated cost of various paths we have determined.

1. In-house development

Assuming you have resources, the positives of hiring an in-house team of developers are that it allows full transparency and room to connect with your development team. But for those having a tight budget, it is a hole in the pocket. For example, let’s see the cost of in-house developers in the USA having 3 years of experience.

  1. A Laravel developer will cost you approx. $9500 per month.

  2. A Python developer will also cost you approx. $9500 per month.

2. Outsource MVP development to a remote team

Hiring a remote team is a great option as it saves you a huge chunk of your development cost, not to mention that you also save time on managing your team. This frees you up to work on other aspects of your business. With the advancement of technology, you can connect with your team anytime to track and audit the progress.

In a nutshell, a remote team can reduce your cost by 40-60% as compared to hiring an in-house team.

3. Freelance

This is another cost-effective way that helps you save just as much as a remote team. There are many freelancing platforms where you can find good freelance developers. For example - Upwork, Fiverr, etc. But the problem with this is its unreliability as the platforms don’t take any responsibility for your project completion. It is hard to hire and manage a team of multiple freelancers.

4. Hire a local team

Hiring a local company is another option you can opt for. It charges you as per the development cost and the technology used. You can find many MVP development companies in your own region using Clutch and Goodfirms which provides you with reviews and ratings of various companies. This eases for you to pick the best among them.

What is the post-launch cost of MVP?

Developing an MVP isn’t the end. It’s the beginning of your journey as an entrepreneur. Your MVP will have many flaws you will get to know once your target audience uses your product. Thus, you should always look out to make your MVP even better with your development team. Here are the other cost that may incur to you: -

Advertising and marketing

Developing a good product isn’t enough. You need to reach and compel your audience to prefer your product or service over others. And for that, you need advertising and marketing which cost money.

Sales

What is your cost of customer acquisition? In other words, how much does it cost you to bring a person down your funnel to buy your product? That is the cost of a sale. This depends on what you use to make a sale - lead-generation tools, CRM, etc.

Maintenance

As I said earlier, you need to refine and maintain your MVP once it's developed. You need to make it better in terms of everything to stay relevant - stability, security, ease of use, website design, etc. This is a crucial step that many entrepreneurs overlook.

There are many reasons for you to build an MVP first: -

  1. Validates (or invalidates) your idea

  2. Reduces launch time

  3. Attracts investors

  4. Provides invaluable feedback on your product

  5. Helps you create a business and marketing strategy

Read our blog post on the importance of MVP to know more.

There is no specific answer to this question. It depends on your requirements, the number of developers you hire, their experience, their location, and the pricing model you pick. But if you are on a tight budget, hiring a remote team is the best choice.

No, developing an MVP is not an unbreakable rule to succeed in business. But without it, you jeopardize your journey by taking unnecessary risks and making costly mistakes.

Hiring a remote team from a company like ours is the best choice for small businesses and startups to develop an MVP. Our benefits include: -

  1. Save up to 60% of your development cost.

  2. The full responsibility for your project completion on time.

  3. 9+ years of industry experience serving clients across the globe.

  4. Flexible options

  5. Experienced developers

Yes, you can! However, it is better left to professionals than working on your own because even though it is an MVP, it needs to be of high quality to serve its true purpose. MVP development companies like us have experience in developing it and thus, provide finer precision to it.

On top of that, we can also save you a lot of time and money in the long run. You can check out the cost of your MVP development with our MVP Cost Calculator.

Conclusion

The cost of developing an MVP is always worth it because it helps you recover (or save) your investment many times over with its benefits. So hire an MVP development company like ours to develop a high-quality MVP at a cost you can afford. If you still have any queries, reach out to us for a free consultation. We are eager to hear from you.

Mukesh Ram

Founder and CEO, Acquaint Softtech

I love to make a difference. Thus, I started Acquaint Softtech with the vision of making developers easily accessible and affordable to all. Me and my beloved team have been fulfilling this vision for over 15 years now and will continue to get even bigger and better.

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