Financial sweet spot for developing apps on contract?

I’m curious about what it takes financially to sustain yourself as a Bubble developer; I’d like to hear stories about what works and what doesn’t.

As a straw-man, let’s say a developer wants to earn $150,000 per year personal income and therefore needs to gross about $200,000 in yearly sales. If the developer can do 8 apps per year, they’d need to charge $25,000 per app.

How close is that? Do you have another model that is working for you?

If someone is charging $25,000 per app, I would like to know how.

Even at $5k, a lot of clients (via forum here) seem to start struggling in my experience.

This is initial ballpark estimate for the app.
Over life time of app, I’m sure they will invest further as business grows.

I’d be interested in hearing other insights.
Thought I’d share mine and hope for some good karma bounce back :slight_smile:

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I have a full ERP app underway at the moment with various industry modules included. I have some clients signed up for the beta launch and it will be subscription based (per user). So my goal is to grow the user base of a single app by continuing to add functionality for additional industries as opposed to charging for up-front development and then just handing off to the client (which, as you point out, you’d need to produce a lot of sites/ apps to make a decent income)

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May you and your family be blessed with good karma!

I am most drawn to a similar model @brett.miles. Have you worked out a financial plan? While you may not want to share your particular plan, it would be interesting if you have developed any metrics or goals that you hope to hit. For example, if you charge $1/per user/per year then you’d need 200,000 users to hit my straw man target. Have you figured out a model for you?

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I was happy to see a marketing launch from @levon today on getting their help starting an agency. A little disheartened to see the advertisement to “make $3000/mo” though- and I presume that’s revenue, and on the top end of the scale. Living wage in my area is $4,870/mo. So I’m reading this as “get paid for your hobby! but don’t give up your day job.” I think the real money is still in developing businesses for one’s self.

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I wish you all the very best of luck with this. I was an SAP consultant waaaayyyy back in the day and was thinking that someone should take on ERP with Bubble. I understand privacy concerns, but are you planning on showcasing? I’d be very curious how you progress.

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hey @eric1!

The intentions were (very much like yours in this topic) to try and find a sweet spot in setting initial realistic expectations for people getting started on this journey.

It is possible to earn way more than that, and the last thing we wanted this communication to sound like is "you’re going to make $3k/mo tops".
Very sorry that this came across that way.

The figure is something we believe is a reasonable estimate for someone with little to no experience to get started.

There is no upper cap, and many great agencies listed on https://bubble.io/agencies are a living proof to that statement.

Hope this helps :+1:

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@eric1
There are several ways to look at this, a few of them covered above.

  1. Will this be your “day job”? Many Bubblers are doing this as a hobby while they build their business. We all realize these are different times, but creating a portfolio of work may take time… which brings me to my next thought.
  2. Do you have your own idea(s) of what to build? This is the category I fall in. I do plan on taking project work (shameless plug to anyone that wants to chat) but my success plan starts with building 5 apps on the Bubble platform that have recurring revenue. These are my intellectual property, and to me, that’s where it made sense to start. Two products are going through focus groups and the other 3 are sitting in Trello… and frankly, there are several more that I’d love to build which is the exciting part for me (may not be for others). There is a story to tell when your portfolio includes your own work along side the other work you are able to pull in. There is a huge part B to point #2, and that’s mailbox money. Like with @brett.miles (and so many others that want to encourage you) there will be recurring revenue coming in for Brett. That’s his business model. He can then choose to work on other projects if he wants and as it makes sense. That’s a solid strategy.
  3. Are you only going to code for others? If yes, you have competition and need to know what that looks like. With the supply chain of Bubble developers being International, competing on price will be a tough option. It’s not a show stopper, but a consideration.
  4. Methods of others in the Bubble community (others please chime in): Do you want to provide the “MVP builder/trainer” approach. A Google search of “build a no code MVP” will give you several examples of what others are doing in the marketplace to get their name known. It’s a fantastic model. Some are selling blocks of hours as @ZubairLK mentioned (also solid), some help a given customer their apps acting as the coach (@romanmg), some are building apps for free then charging the customer when they accept the MVP project with service provide hours on the backside. Others are taking a percentage of the sale rather than charging a fee (or combo platters of all three). In any case, I do believe if you can define ROI for your customers you will have success.

If you plan on becoming a Bubble developer it’s your business model my friend. What I can tell you is the platform is amazing. I’ve been building enterprise level stuff for 20 years and have never seen anything like Bubble. Is it perfect, nope, that’s evident in the forum posts.

I hope one of the above thoughts, or something from the fellow caring Bubblers makes sense as you start your journey.

Best of luck! All positive thoughts your way!

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I searched ERP in the forms and you came up. I come from the specialty alloy and stainless steel supplier industry that NEEDS a disruption when it comes to connecting inventory management and sales. Id love to see what you are building. Thanks!