My name is Eric from Orenda Technologies. We are in the water treatment chemical business; not the world of high-tech. In our market, we saw the need for a good dosing calculator that can help our customers with the balance of their water chemistry; and like so many companies these days, we thought there should be an mobile App for that. But we had no clue where to start, and no idea of what a fair app budget would look like.
For a bit of background, we had a bad experience with our previous “app guy” who consistently under-delivered on his promises. It cost us $15,000 to learn he was not capable of delivering what we wanted; a costly lesson learned. After that painful experience, we were understandably hesitant on the idea of going with any mobile app developer that we had not established trust with. Actually, beyond trust, we needed to know their capability to deliver what we needed.
So we went online to find affordable app developers.
A quick search of “mobile app pricing” and “what is a reasonable cost for a mobile app?” led us nowhere. It’s crazy how little information is out there, because it’s like this world of high-tech is its own exclusive club, with their own language. Our fear was similar to going to an auto mechanic, knowing NOTHING about a car. You know that feeling where you’re wondering if they’re overcharging for a simple repair, while taking advantage of our lack of knowledge? Well take that feeling and multiply it by a lot. Instead of being out several hundred dollars, we had already been screwed out of fifteen grand. And to make matters worse, we weren’t any closer to understanding what goes into developing a mobile app.
The point is, we had no confidence in what we were being told, and the internet offered no peace of mind. Thankfully, I was personally introduced to Rohan Lam, the CEO of Elite Crest. I am writing my personal testimonial today because I did not find Elite Crest online, and I’m hoping you will. They are awesome.
Let’s go back to the paralyzing fear we had of being taken advantage of. You know it’s bad when nobody publishes their app prices online…but it’s worse when they don’t even give you a ball-park range. We shopped around, and App development companies gave us quotes before knowing everything we wanted. They seemed to not care about us, our market, or customers. These app companies were quick to throw out huge numbers like “$240,000” and “$180,000”. As if that was going to ease my mind. Look, we are a small business with less than 10 employees…we cannot afford that. And even if we could, we had no confidence to back up the risk.
We needed an app development company that catered to small businesses with no tech experience. We needed someone we could trust, and could walk us through the process with transparency, and accountability. Enter Elite Crest.
My experience with Elite Crest was very different than those other companies. My first phone call with Rohan immediately put my mind at ease. Rather than sidestepping the 800-pound gorilla in the room (how much does an app cost?), Rohan and I discussed cost up front, and all the variables that go into it. I learned the reason nobody posts their prices online is because there are waaaaaaay too many variables. That makes sense, but does nothing to address our risk as a small business. Investing in a mobile app is a huge investment for us. It better work.
Elite Crest has a transparent way of getting started. Rohan explained the work that goes into framing a mobile App, and offered to put together a draft (or “test build”) of the app, for use in iOS TestFlight. This way, we could pay an affordable fee for his team to show us what they’re capable of–to show us that they understood our needs and our vision.
So back to Rohan and Elite Crest. He told us what the process is for creating the basic framework of an app, the hours involved, and that his cost would be just $1200, no strings attached. If we didn’t like what Elite Crest made for us, we could take it elsewhere. If we did like it, and wanted to continue with them, we had already paid $1200 toward the total cost as a downpayment. Rohan and his company were willing to share the risk with us, and all we were risking was $1200. Talk about peace of mind!
For a small business like ours, with no tech experience, this made so much sense, we agreed that day. Elite Crest delivered beyond and above our expectations, and fast.
Once we agreed to move forward, Rohan sent me emails to sign up for Apple’s TestFlight service to test beta apps. Within days, the first part of the test build was published for me to play around with. Within a week, the entire test build was completed, and my company could play around with it and give feedback. One thing I really liked about working with Rohan and Elite Crest was how responsive they were to us. They were very good about communicating with us throughout the process.
Every time they did an update to the app, we got to play with it on our own phones through TestFlight through iOS, and they also made a draft for Android phones (though none of us have android phones in my company). This was great.
Rohan and I put together a roadmap for the app, with a list of all the things we wanted included, and Rohan gave us a quote for it. We set forth priorities of:
We agreed to his initial quote of $9,000 more dollars without hesitation. Unlike the $15k mistake before, Elite Crest had proven to us through TestFlight that they were capable of doing what we needed, and more importantly, they understood us. They listened to us. Their customer service was excellent throughout the process…even through all the phone calls and emails of us asking novice questions from a place of tech ignorance. We knew we could trust Rohan to figure it out with his team.
So far, they have met and exceeded every task we have sent their way.
Within just a couple of weeks, our first app was published in both the App Store and GooglePlay. We have since made several updates to the app as we have grown, because the ROI for our business has been insanely good. It is hard to quantify how much this app has helped us, but put it this way: we have seen explosive growth in users because our app is so good and easy to use.
Of course, no app is without its bugs and problems. The good news is, Elite Crest goes through several days of testing to find as many as they can. Sure, we still find some here and there, but it’s as easy as a screenshot on my phone, emailed to Rohan, and they take care of it within 48 hours. I encouraged Rohan to explain more about how they identify bugs and solve them quickly.
In fact, we are in the process of doing a major upgrade to our App because it has taken off in popularity. The return on investment (ROI) in our business has been astronomical. This app is a great tool to bring customers to us.
In my opinion, Elite Crest is an ideal App development company for small businesses like ours. We have no tech experience, and therefore fear the risk of being taken advantage of. With Elite Crest, however, the process was simplified in a way we could all understand; and it was transparent throughout. Any and all updates came through TestFlight for us to play with.
I could ask questions like “Hey Rohan, is it possible to drag that icon and pull it down to open up the description? That might be an easier way to view the information in this section.” And Rohan usually responds with “We can try it…but let’s make sure the user experience stays consistent with their phone so the user does not get confused.” Then he’d come up with an even better idea, throw it in TestFlight, and we can play around with it. I can’t speak Tech, but Rohan is fluent.
It makes me wonder why on earth we were quoted such astronomical prices ranges ($180,000 – 240,000?? Really?!). Those companies didn’t even understand our business. Rohan and Elite Crest, however, spent a lot of time trying to understand our market and how the app would be used. He offered suggestions on user experience (UX) design and how to streamline things. Elite Crest is an honest consultant that put our needs first, and we are beyond satisfied with their work. I am proud to give this personal testimonial on their website and am happy to speak with you if you need to hear it in person.
Thank you, Elite Crest.March 2018