It’s the question dreaded on both sides of the table. Agencies don’t want to pry, and clients don’t always feel comfortable disclosing the answer. But the fact of the matter is, “What’s your website redesign budget?” is one of the most important questions we ask. The answer lays the foundation for the entire project.
Think about building a website in terms of building a house. You approach a couple designers and ask them to plot out your new home. All you have is a lot and a general budget, but you decline to share the latter. After a couple weeks, the designers are ready to present their ideas. One designer plays it safe and outlines a modest microhome for $20,000. The other, liberated by the lack of budget, proposes a $5 million mansion. You immediately know you can’t use either of these plans. You need a single family home and can’t afford to spend more than $250,000.
Realizing the variables are essentially endless, you decide to give your designers a budget so they can come back with ideas that are more in line with what you need. Now, they have to go back to the drawing board and you’ve lost a considerable amount of time as your plot continues to stand empty.
Websites are no different. There are an infinite number of factors that can impact the plan and the budget. Is it responsive? Is there an e-commerce element? Do you need content strategy? How many design concepts are necessary? Knowing your budget will help us put together a proposal that addresses some of these unknowns while defining a web project that meets your needs.
“We’re just shopping around.”“That’s confidential.”“You’ll just present a proposal that uses the entire budget.”
“We’re just shopping around.”
“You’ll just present a proposal that uses the entire budget.”
Objections. We’ve heard them all. But, in the long run, they make no difference. We’ve never come across a web project where early budget disclosure hasn’t laid the groundwork for a more successful outcome. In fact, there are far more benefits than drawbacks when working with an open budget.
As with any relationship, the agency-client partnership works best with a little trust. Laying out budget parameters early on opens a dialogue. It facilitates a true partnership that will allow us to do the best job possible as we work together toward a common goal: a website that falls within budget and drives business objectives.
Budget parameters help us narrow down the project scope from the outset. If we don’t know what we’re working with, conversations and proposals can go around and around before you actually get what you need. Having a budget to work within means we can present you with a more accurate, useful proposal. The sooner we get a budget, the sooner you get a proposal that works, and, ultimately, the sooner you get a website.
We’ve been building websites for a long time. We understand the infinite pieces and how to pull the right ones together to make the best website within the framework of your budget. Once we have this framework, we can review your wish list through an experienced lens and advise you where to compromise to fit the budget without compromising the effectiveness of your website.
Not all web proposals are created equal. When it comes to print materials, you may be able to choose the lowest bidder and know you’ll end up with a suitable standard tri-fold brochure. With web, one proposal may outline a project at a lower price point, but the solution will likely be completely different from the other proposals. Budget transparency puts RFP responses on the same plane, making it easier for you to compare proposals and choose the best solution, not just the cheapest.
An open budget is by no means a requirement as we move forward with your website project. But it will certainly help us partner with you to provide the best possible course of action, making your decisions clearer and your website more effective.