Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5

4 Great Apps Built on a Budget You Can Emulate

You don't need Facebook money to make your own app.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In the modern marketplace, cultivating a top-notch online reputation is paramount to success. Owners of businesses large and small are quickly learning to pay a great deal of attention to their online presence. For many of these businesses, the path to online success directly coincides with developing a consumer-facing app.

PeopleImages | Getty Images

Developing a mobile application can seem like a daunting task; in May of this year, there were about 2.2 million iOS apps, a far cry from the 800 apps on the market just nine years ago. Additionally, the cost of developing a good app can be high -- even a simple, single-purpose app can cost at least $10,000 to develop.

As difficult as it appears to build a high-quality app without the funding of a tech giant, it’s not impossible. Far from it, actually. It doesn’t take an unlimited budget to make a useful consumer-facing app, it just takes the ability to see a need and design a way to meet it.

There are a handful of companies that have built great consumer-facing apps that you seriously need to check out. If you’re a business owner looking for ideas on how to build up your own app, these present a great jumping-off point. 

1. Birch

Birch was developed to help credit card users find all of the rewards possible. It also manages your subscriptions to make sure you’re not paying too much for anything, and recommends new cards whose rewards coincide with your purchasing history. So, if you’d rather not leave free money on the table, give them a shot.

2. Wolfie

Wolfie is a full-blown search engine designed to find you great deals on just about anything. Rather than performing a traditional search and sifting through the ads and scams, with Wolfie, you’ll be presented with the best option to find what you’re looking for.

Businesses can present offers and promotions in real time, and Wolfie users can access them the second they become available. Basically, Wolfie offers a search engine app designed to help the actual consumer, not the highest bidder.

Related: 25 Creative Ways to Promote Your App For Free

3. Hitlist

We all have a Facebook friend or follow someone on Instagram who is constantly traveling. Most likely, you’ve asked yourself at some point where they keep their money tree and if maybe they’ll let you borrow from it a bit.

Hitlist wants to make travelers out of everybody by finding the best deals on airline tickets in the world for you, making travel a lifestyle rather than a luxury.

Related: 10 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Mobile App Developer

4. Freeplay

Freeplay was designed for gymgoers of all kinds. From weightlifters to rock climbers to cross-fitters, Freeplay helps fitness aficionados find ways to diversify their workouts by providing them a single pass to get them into basically any kind of gym. That way, you don't have to worry about being tethered to one gym.

Wrapping things up

Not all apps are created equal, but hopefully, you’ve been able to see that a business doesn’t need a Facebook-level of funding in order to create a useful, consumer-facing app.

If you’re a business owner looking to create your own app, take some inspiration from this list and know that it’s possible to be successful in the mobile space.

Entrepreneur Editors' Picks