App Return on Investment

App Return on Investment


The graphic shows a glaring difference between how successful games are compared to other types of apps.

This isn’t to discourage you.

I just wanted to make you aware of the difference.

There’s lots of misleading information out there on the web.

So while the success of Monument Valley from Ustwo Games is worth sharing, the information should be taken with a grain of salt.


PitchBook helps people analyze businesses.

It’s a place for investors to research different industries and private companies before making a commitment.

Some services that they offer include:

  • Fundraising
  • Networking
  • Business development
  • Private market intelligence
  • Due diligence
  • Deal execution
  • Sourcing investments

They recognized that there was a growing demand for their services on mobile platforms.

In fact, they saw an increase from 25% active monthly mobile users to to 54% active monthly mobile users in just one year.

Recognizing this trend, PitchBook needed to develop a mobile app.

It turned out to be a profitable decision.

In October of 2016, the company was acquired by Morningstar for $225 million.

So if you’re looking for an exit strategy for business, building a mobile app could significantly increase the value of your brand.

Figure out the cost to develop your app

OK. So we’ve established that companies have had success from launching an app.

But don’t throw your basic business principals out of the window when you’re going through this process.

If the cost of your app will be too much money to generate a return on your investment, it’s probably not worth it for you.

And you don’t want to cut corners and develop an app that’s too slow.

faster is better

Speed is important for the user experience.

The cost to build your mobile app will depend on how you choose to develop it.

You’ve got a few options here, and I’ll explain how each one works.

  1. Custom development shops
  2. Learning how to code yourself
  3. Use an app building service

Based on your time frame, skills, and budget, you’ll have to come up with the best option for your business.

Here’s an overview of each choice.

Custom development shops

Essentially, you’re getting someone else to build the app for you.

On average, this route will cost an average of $270,000 to develop.

This process will usually take between 7 to 12 months.

With that said, the price will vary slightly based on what kind of development shop you’re using.

You can work with a freelancer or decide to go with an agency.

A freelance developer would be the most affordable option between the two choices.

That’s one of the benefits.

However, you’re working with just one person, so you’re at their mercy.

If they are taking on too many projects, this person could be overwhelmed and not fully committed to developing your app.

The project could take much longer than anticipated.

But if your design is pretty simple and the person you’re hiring has a great reputation, it’s not the worst option to consider.

If you’d prefer to work with an agency, it’s going to cost you more money.

You can find a small company with roughly 3-10 developers on the team or large agency with several teams of developers.

You’ll pay more for a large agency, but you’ll be backed by their quality and experience.

Building an app has multiple stages of development. Let’s take a look at the average cost of the design stage.

design cost

So if you’re planning to use a big agency, you can expect to pay something on the higher end of this scale.

Again, that’s just for one portion of the development.

Learn how to code

If you’re tech savvy and have lots of free time on your hands, learning to code could be an option.

Doing all of the work yourself will significantly cut the development costs.

But you’ll need to weigh that saved money against your time.

So ask yourself, “how much is my time worth?”

Everyone will have a different answer.

While learning to code may sound intimidating, it’s not rocket science.

It’s doable, but it won’t happen overnight.

There are options online that teach you how to code for free using interactive teaching tools.

Some popular choices include Team Treehouse and Code Academy.

Most business owners don’t have the time to do this.

They would rather spend a little bit more money and focus their free time and effort on improving other aspects of their business.

App building services

You can also build an app online without learning to code using services like BuildFire.

It’s a more cost effective solution than going through an agency.

Plus you have complete control of customization.


I know I’m biased (obviously) but it’s one of the easiest app building services I’ve ever seen.

You don’t need any experience or development skills to do this.

All you need to know is how to simply navigate on your Internet browser.

The BuildFire platform takes care of everything else.

We also have a team of experts that you can reach out to for help with any questions that arise during the process.

If you’re really short on time, our pro services team can build the app for you.

Just consult with our team and let us know exactly what you’re looking for.

It’s unrealistic for most businesses to pay for a big agency developer.

Using an app building service is much more reasonable.

Since the process is simplified, it will take less time to develop your app as well.

This is imperative.

Not having an app puts your company at risk for several different things.


App building services can help you avoid these pitfalls.

Just sign up for a BuildFire account when you’re ready to get started.

So is it worth it for you?

As I said earlier, there’s no right or wrong answer to this question.

Like the majority of your company’s executive decisions, this is something you’ll have to figure out for yourself.

With that said, I think that most of you would benefit from a mobile app.

Just make sure you have a clear goal before you get started.

“Apps are cool” isn’t a viable reason to start development.

But if you’re trying to save money, make money, improve the customer experience, or increase sales, launching an app can help you achieve your goal.

Look back to some of the success stories that we saw.

Just know that not all apps make millions of dollars overnight.

average dail app revenue

Once you determine that you’re ready to proceed, the next step is finding out how you’re going to develop your app.

You can outsource development to a freelancer, small shop, or large agency.

This will be your most expensive option.

You can also learn to code everything if you want to build it yourself from scratch.

An alternative option is finding an app building service.

You can still build the app yourself, but you don’t need to learn any coding skills.

This is most likely the best option for most businesses.

It will save you time and money.

How will your new app save your business money while improving the customer experience?

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