So what does software development cost?


It won’t be a surprise to learn that this is one of the first questions asked.

Certainly, there’s a perception that software is costly, but I suppose that’s largely dependent on your perspective at the time. If it’s the choice between hiring a new member of staff or creating software that will assist existing staff, then your savings will be realised in a few short years: and that’s without looking at the savings made by becoming more efficient and improving customer experience. That’s why it’s always been difficult to discuss software costs in isolation from your business goals.

Undoubtedly, it’s complex and it’s very dependent on your wishes and goals. I sometimes use the ‘buying a car’ analogy. If you approached a car dealership and just announced you wanted a car but couldn’t offer the detail they needed such as budget, size, engine, type, auto/manual, coupe/SUV/estate etc. you may not get very far – or at the very least, you’ll get the sales person’s idea of what you want. So rather than paying for a Bentley when you were after a VW, we like to put costs to a project once we know your budget brackets (we can tailor our solutions better this way) and once we’ve created some wireframes and specifications.

There are 2 approaches to cost and it’s determined by the type of project:

1. If it’s a small, self-contained project with clearly defined steps, we can usually offer a fixed price and that will be based on our experience of similar work.

2. Ongoing and more complex work will carry a budget bracket but there will need to be flexibility, especially if all the requirements and details aren’t fully determined at the start.


“Software must always be considered in line with your ROI”

Initial costs for a project might seem high if it’s treated out of context but if the new software is going to increase efficiency and yield by 200%, then your investment of £55,000 isn’t going to seem commercially extravagant.

So, given that we can’t be specific, let me guide you with some examples which will assist you to see where your proposed project ideas sit.

The Vision Programme from £895.00

Open to all from small 2 plus businesses through to larger SMEs. Particularly suitable for businesses who are looking to bring several of their operations into one system or a core hub of software which can be deeply complex.

Some larger projects will need significant input. The program can run between 2 and 12 weeks depending on the scale.

The Vision Programme uses workshops, focus groups and Q&A sessions to build detail and produce wireframes which visually represent your software.

This approach can shorten development time and avoid mid-build errors.

You will complete this programme with a full proof of concept, wireframes and research documentation and is wrapped up in a takeaway format.

Costs start from £895 and if the project continues through to development with us, we will offer a discount on further work.

Budget of £2k - £10k

Suitable for small one-off developments; perhaps a module to integrate with another system or an addition to a previous bespoke build. It’s useful to think of this bracket as a foundation build with perhaps 10 screens. Some tasks might include a timetabling solution for staff/students or a marketing module to integrate with your CRM.

Budget of £10k – £20k

Suitable for an entry - mid level CRM project or database design, such as inventory and product management, a customer account and portal project or app development.

Budget of £20k - £50k

Suitable for slightly more complex builds that could include the replacement of a system that would normally run quotes and invoices, a pricing matrix, materials and stock, some level of automation and action-based structure to move a user through a journey.

Budget of £50k - £150k

Suitable for large scale builds of ERPs and CRMs with integration and more complex functionality to streamline systems and processes. Often treats the end to end operations.

*All costs always include consultancy, meetings, comms, support, 3rd party advice and training*

If we revisit the car analogy – you must also consider ongoing costs. You accept that a car requires insurance, MOT, servicing and an occasional wash to avoid the vehicle falling into a poor state and the same is true for software. It’s a little hard to accept that something you’ve paid for may need a repair or some maintenance but if you can factor these into your initial costings, you won’t feel so aggrieved when it’s mentioned at the end.

Don’t forget that if you’ve chosen a software company to develop bespoke software, you shouldn’t really be paying any subscription or ongoing licences as it’s your product.

Has this helped to give you some estimate of costs? Of course, it’s still very much dependent on your needs but we will always try to work with your budget and do what we can to phase delivery or break the project down over a longer period of time.

If you think you would like to explore a little more, please call 01244 455378 or email