“But I don’t want to tell you my budget!”

pig-calculatorIf you submit a quote request on our website, you will get a response right away with a list of questions we would like to have answered before we can start the quote process. Sometimes those answers are enough, sometimes after that we’ll have follow up questions. But one of those first questions is this:

What’s your budget?

Some potential clients already have a budget in mind and have no problem sharing it. Other people are very hesitant to share this number, because they feel like they share it, then we’ll be taking advantage of that. But here’s the truth: knowing your budget puts us all on the same page and saves a lot of time.

Let me share a few scenarios. 

Scenario

If you’ve come to us and given us a list of all your hopes and dreams, but aren’t willing to share your budget, then we are going to prepare a quote that meets all those hopes and dreams in the best possible way, without considering a budgetary limitation.

However, if you know in your head that your budget is $1,000, but didn’t share it, our quote might wind up being $5,000 because we quoted based on only your needs and wants, and not based on your budget constraints. You walk away frustrated that it costs so much, and we don’t get that job, simply because we started on a different page.

Had we started the conversation with that number, then it’s possible we could have come up with a solution that would meet your needs, but on a lesser scale. Maybe using a template would suit your needs and give you the functionality you need, without the expensive of a custom design? Maybe we divide the project into stages so that you can add to it as your budget allows? Many of these scenarios are possible, but we didn’t explore them because we didn’t start on the same page. 

Scenario

Knowing your budget gives us an idea of whether we’re going to be able to work together from the start. Earlier this year I had a call from a fantastic lady who had a pretty big website she needed done. As we were talking through her needs, I asked her the budget and she told me $30,000-$40,000.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this is a great budget for a website, and it is going to allow her to get a very fabulous site. But I knew immediately upon hearing that number that she needed more than a two-person team working on this site, and that we weren’t the right company for her. I told her that, and sent her several recommendations for larger web design agencies that I thought would be better equipped to meet her needs.

We avoided a lot of wasted time, she was able to find a company  more suitable for her project, and I’m positive that when she needs a smaller scaled project, she’ll come back to us.

Scenario

Knowing your budget will allow us to give you more options. I pretty frequently get inquiries from people who have budgets less than $1,000. And, unfortunately, there’s no custom design projects we do that will fit into that price range. If I know that budget from the start, I can immediately begin the conversation by explaining what our baseline rate is, and what’s involved in doing a project like that. A lot of people just don’t realize what’s involved in the web design process, and once they understand, they are more willing to be flexible with their budget.

What I don’t want to do is start by immediately saying, “Oh, you can’t afford us!” Instead, I can say, “Here is where our rates start, and here is why. If it’s not possible to increase the budget, then we can offer you a basic site using a template that might meet your needs.” A lot of times I find that clients are able to be more flexible once they understand the value they receive for that cost.

Scenario

One last story, sometimes your budget is bigger than what it’ll take to complete your project, and I’m the kind of person who will tell you that. On more than one occasion I’ve had clients come to me with fairly large budgets, and I’ve been able to send them a quote for much less than that. They ask, “Are you sure?” and “Other companies were much more.” There’s a large variety in web design rates, and this is caused by many factors including experience, overhead, demand, etc. If you find a big company that has a large team, is in high demand, and provides larger scale websites, then their rates are going to be more expensive than a small agency that doesn’t have office space or a vast amount of employees. If you only need a basic informational site with 5-10 pages and no special functions, then it’s really possible to get what you need for less than you were thinking. I love coming back to a potential client with a number below their budget!


 

Sharing your budget is a starting place for a conversation about what we can do for you and it gives us a better position to find the right solution for your needs within a budget that you can afford. If we can’t find a solution for you in your budget, sometimes we can refer you to someone who can.

Need help with your website? Shoot us a quote request and we’ll be happy to start a conversation with you!

 

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Amy Masson

Amy is the co-owner, developer, and website strategist for Sumy Designs. She's been making websites with WordPress since 2006 and is passionate about making sure websites are as functional as they are beautiful.

3 Comments

  1. Moses on May 18, 2016 at 4:26 am

    It’s funny how whenever I share my budget with an agency, poof their price is the same!

    • Amy Masson on May 18, 2016 at 6:37 am

      I’ve heard that before, but that’s generally not the way it happens for us. I have a pricing ladder I follow, that I adjust based on functionality and complexity. More often than not, people tell me their budget and I have to tell them we can’t help them because their budget is too small.

    • Amy Masson on May 18, 2016 at 6:40 am

      Also, it’s possible that the agency is reducing their rate to meet your budget. Our custom designs start at $2,000, but if someone comes to me with a $1900 budget, I might lower that so they can afford us.

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