App & Mobile Site Business: How do you charge?

6 replies
I'll be leaving my corporate position in coupon advertising in two weeks due to downsizing. Weighing my options to start a business or find a J-O-B. Prior to getting the job with this firm, I owned a web design & SEO company. I'm not looking to re-open that business.

I'm giving a heavy consideration into the Mobile App and Mobile Site business via the Seattle Cloud platform.

Here's where I need your input:
  • If I build an App for a local business, how do I charge them?
  • Do Apps just sell for a one-off price or is there a way to build in reoccurring monthly revenue for things like hosting, etc.?
  • What is a ball-park price for a mobile app for a restaurant?
  • What is a ball-park price to build them a mobile website?
In my last business, I built websites for a one-time fee. I always encouraged my clients to get their own hosting. I'm kicking myself for that now. So, I want to build this next business where I have a reoccurring revenue stream from my client base.

Thanks in advance for your tips, input, and advice! You guys ROCK!

#app #business #charge #mobile #mobile webdites #site
  • Profile picture of the author Appstar
    This is my first post and I'm new to the community, but I have been lurking for a while. You already have a pretty decent background in internet marketing, so you have a leg up. I'm in a similar situation. I have around 16 basic apps in the play store making a little revenue, but I have decided to go all in and I am starting my own app building program. I will be focusing most of my effort offline locally, but I do have the the ability to offer a similar build it yourself service as the other guys. In fact I am going to encourage my clients to participate in the initial build process and they will have complete access to their apps so they can make changes without me. I have my app builder site mostly setup, I just have a few bugs to work out and do some cosmetic changes.

    >You answered part of your first question with your second question, and it seems like you are leaning in one direction already with something you said later. I plan to offer 1 white label app solution to my customers at both a one off and recurring option. This price will just be for the app which they can submit under their own dev accounts. I plan to offer a relatively low cost solution for a white label app, but it will not include app and play store submission. Play store submission isn't to difficult, but I've heard that Apple's can be aggravating. I do plan on offering store submissions as an add on.

    >As far as pricing it depends on what services you are offering, but here are some guidelines that I am using. I would take a look around at what other people are charging and stay in the same neighborhood of price for similar services. I won't be the cheapest around simply because I won't have any limited option solutions, but my price will be very competitive in both the build it yourself market and dev built market. Since I realize that most people who find my site online will be looking for a build it yourself option and I plan on focusing on offline sales anyway, My "you build it for us price" online price will actually be more than what I plan to offer my offline customers so they can feel like they are getting a better deal than the great deal I am giving anyway if they look at my site. "Dev built" and "build it yourself" will both have the same recurring fees, but "dev built" will have an initial set-up fee. "One off" will be priced at about 3-4 years at the recurring rate plus the "build it for us set-up fee" if applicable. As far as app submission I plan on charging something like 5 bucks for Android submission and because of the difference in cost of dev accounts and the pickyness of Apple I'll charge something like 25 bucks for IOS submission.

    >The next two are hard to say, it depends on a lot of things like your local market, the services you are offering, your expenses, and the amount of time and resources that it will take you to produce said app. I won't start an app until I get some basic information from my client then I figure that I can build a very good basic business app in ~4 hours if the client provides me with some images and content for the project. I can live with $30/Hr or basically $120 for my set-up fee especially considering the recurring fee or the lump sum for one-off.

    I am not marketing mobile websites alone, but one will be definitely be included with the apps. I am also considering giving a mobile site away as a free version of my service.
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  • Profile picture of the author er0si0n
    In 2013 I quit a 6-figure/yr salary job as an iOS developer at a company to start my own mobile app development company.

    Working with new clients, and developing their ideas, was both fun and challenging. My partner and I found that running the company was about 60-70% business side (marketing, speaking with clients, writing up quotes, accounting, etc) and 30%-40% development work. Being developers, it was always a relief when we locked up a new contract, and could focus our time on building apps.

    We gave clients options to how we could draw up a contract.

    a) A fixed-bid quote, where all the requirements are defined ahead of time, and they are strictly kept to.
    b) billed hourly, where the client just gets charged for any time we work on the app, and we can be more flexible in terms of business requirement changes.

    Most clients prefer fix-bid because they want to know how much they are spending up front, but it's also the trickiest for you as the developer, because while you need to stick to the requirements as much as necessary, you still feel obligated to help the client out when the inevitable scope creep happens.

    On average, we were charging $20-50k per app as fixed bid, or $150/hr billed hourly.
    We were both very seasoned iOS developers, and we knew how to help clients get solutions they needed. So, our expertise enabled us to warrant those types of prices. YMMV.

    That being said, the ups and downs of searching for new contracts ultimately was our demise, and we are both back to full-time employment at regular jobs again.
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    • Profile picture of the author guerrillas
      Information in this thread is gold.
      Thank you guys for sharing your experience here.
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  • Profile picture of the author jonathan12345
    Some good questions here... for context I resell mobile apps but with bizness apps with some decent success thus far, enough for me to do this full time and see a growing business.

    1. I personally use PayPal to collect billings from my clients, it's easy, they are familiar with it, and doesn't take anytime to set up. For set up fees, I have collected those via check before but I mostly send a PayPal payment request to receive payment and set up automatic collections for hosting.

    2. One of my main goals was creating residual income so I charge a recurring monthly fee for every mobile apps and mobile website sold. I explain this fee is for the monthly hosting of their app's content, ability to send push notifications, check analytics, and make updates in seconds from their user portal.

    3. I've personally sold apps with set up fees ranging from $500-$2000 set up and $50-$100/month.. I typically try to stay firm on the monthly fee and discount on the set up fee when needed. I would start high and work lower if price is a concern for the business owner.

    4. I usually include this and sell a complete mobile strategy -- mobile website & app to cater to all types of mobile users. Those looking for brief information and those looking for a more engaging and rewarding experience view the mobile app.

    Best advice is to make sure you're selling BENFITS and not FEATURES! Building an app just to say you have an app will give you pretty poor results, i.e. low sales and cancelling clients after a few months.. so make sure to build apps with features that show a true return on investment otherwise the business owner and customers will not use the app!

    I resell mobile apps for a company called Bizness Apps. Not affiliated at all, just a fan and supporter.

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  • Profile picture of the author club20coaching
    Hey buddy I'm Jake the co-founder to

    Mobile application's can bring you a fortune if you can find perceived value for the customer.

    If the mobile app is generating lead's for their company and bringing them $30-$50,000 in business per year then let me ask you this question...

    How much would you pay for a tool that brought you that much money?

    The reason why I ask you this is because it's all about perceived value with your prospects.

    You need to work out a good plan and show them step by step how they can gain more money by hiring your team.

    This week in sales we did $30,000 and that's just 2 jobs.

    In order to sell at the higher price it never hurts to target people who have money.

    Use LinkedIn and connect with CEO's and VP's of marketing.

    Engage in a conversation discussing mobile applications and how you can use them to provide more customers.

    Make sure you are finding big shots and behind them you'll find big bucks.

    I hope this help's you paint a picture.

    if not you can check out the link's in my signature and get a free estimate on mobile applications.

    It will break down most of the pricing and just make a note you are from WF.
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    • Profile picture of the author KWeist
      With the new Google mobile friendly ranking change business's should be more open to mobile sites?
      I have been looking for a mobile site builder. I am looking for one that allows me to build a mobile site and upload it to a client's server. Anyone have a recommendation?
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