It’s always challenging to choose the right app development team to trust your project to. Great if you are a developer or CTO who can evaluate the quality of the teamwork from various angles, including its technical aspect.

But what to do if you are not a technical guy and have no clue about programming? How should you make sure that the developers don’t lie to you? How should you verify their project cost estimation? If this topic is close to you, keep on reading as you will find an exhaustive reply below.


Let’s say you’ve sent out your RFP to the shortlisted companies. The initial selection process was quite easy as you had to judge based on the general criteria like an overall experience, portfolio, client feedback, response time, etc. But now it’s high time to talk about the figures, verify their project cost estimation, and choose the right development agency based on the accuracy of their quotes. Obviously, different development companies have provided different figures and the question arises “which one is true?”.

1. Ask friends

Shout out for programmers among your friend list or someone who has a technical background. You could either ask your friend to make an independent review of the project cost estimate provided by the shortlisted agencies. Or you could ask them to study your project requirements and to estimate costs by their own giving you a chance to compare the offers.

2. Use app cost calculators

Use project cost estimation tools to get a rough idea of what it may cost. You can find such project estimation tools almost many websites. Just google “app cost calculators” and you will get a list. See what an app cost calculator states and now when you have an idea of what it costs, compare its quote with the figures provided by the selected teams.

app cost calculator

3. Compare quotes

Compare quotes and apply common sense. This is the easiest way. Too low or too high = too bad. Think about purchasing a car. Obviously, you don’t need a Great Wall C30 because you get what you pay for. Cheap doesn’t mean quality. So be ready to get a number of potential issues as a gift. Now think whether or not you really need a Ferrari at this stage? Or maybe Volkswagen is good enough because of the reasonable price, security, comfort points?

There is a hidden message in every quote. Make sure that you can decipher this message properly. Let me give you some tips.

  • “We have tons of experience developing projects like yours, we have got plenty of groundworks and ready-made solutions which we are eager to apply for accelerating the development of your app. That’s true because you can see it on our website that we have released dozens of projects like yours. Besides, we are crystal clear explaining it to you which modules could be integrated into your system and how much time that would save you”.
  • “The estimate is that low because we want to get your money, we want to get this project no matter what, the current load of the team is as low as possible and we are in a trouble. We are in such a bad situation that we are ready to overpromise just to put you on a hook. That’s why we keep saying yes to any of your wishes”.
  • “We don’t have any experience developing projects like yours, our expertise is way too limited. Our estimate is a shot in the dark. That’s why you won’t find that many of projects on our website”.

The highest project cost estimation can mean almost the same, though the connotation can be different. These are some options of the possible hidden messages in case of the high quote:

  • “We can’t estimate this project properly because we have never ever done smth similar in the past. That’s why we include too many risks into the quote. Just ask if we have any experience in this niche and you will see our frightened eyes”.
  • “We have developed smth similar before and faced certain challenges. We would like to be transparent and that’s why we clearly communicate the risks related to the development to you. You should be aware of those risks as we don’t want any surprises at the end.”’
  • “We are an Apple among the development agencies. We provide brilliant service and have a pipeline of projects. That’s why we can overprice”.

I know it’s difficult. No one said it’s gonna be easy. At the conclusion, I’d like to suggest that while making your decision you consider:

– the reputation of the company and what others say about it;
– their technology stack and whether they use the up to date ones;
– what they put into the estimate, what services are included;
– what list of features is included in the estimate and if that’s really what you need;
– how clearly they explain why it takes that particular number of hours to build your project;
– their involvement and willingness to help you find a solution;
– of course, your personal feeling as there should be some chemistry.

Hope this helps. Should you get any questions, shoot them in the comments section.

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