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Disclosing your budget

Reasons why a budget is a good thing and why you shouldn’t be worried about disclosing it. Despite what you might think, it will probably mean you get more for your money and ultimately, you’ll get a better end product. Time to start comparing apples with apples…

Lewis North

Reasons why a budget is a good thing and why you shouldn’t be worried about disclosing it.

We are regularly involved in the pitch process, so we know what goes into preparing proposals and recommendations for a web project. If the project budget is not outlined from the outset, it’s just guesswork trying to establish the best solution for that company or individual. To quote the old adage, ‘There are many ways to skin a cat’. Likewise, there are many ways to build a web site. We always say that there is a solution for every budget and we genuinely believe that. However, what you want to achieve and how you achieve it is often dictated by your budget.

How does knowing the budget help?

It’s quite simple – if we know what your budget is, along with your business requirements, we can work out the best solution for you. There is little point in us working out a solution aimed at a £15,000 budget if you only have £5,000 available. It just saves wasted effort and puts all of the companies involved in your RFP (Request For Proposal) on a level playing field. It’s quite frustrating to find out that the custom-built ecommerce solution you have presented is overkill because the client only has a small budget and would be better of with an eBay shop! When the budget is smaller, we would suggest working smarter, not harder. So, for example, use tools readily available for some of the site’s functionality. We suggest things like:

  • Google maps API for showing the locations of items or people.
  • Flickr to manage your photographs and integrate it into the site as an RSS feed.
  • YouTube or Vimeo for managing your site video content.
  • Basecamp for managing your clients’ area. We can build bespoke alternatives to all of these tools but they obviously take time to develop and cost money. If the budget is tight and compromises can be made, the available tools are usually more than capable of doing the job.

A set budget means keener quotes

As a customer, you want to get the best price possible, and so you should. We understand why you would want to keep your budgetary cards close to your chest, however it doesn’t always work in your favour. By not giving a defined budget you will probably end up with a veritable cross section of quotes from the companies involved, as each one suggests a different solution. It’s simple economics really; each company involved is likely to charge similar amounts for similar things as we are likely to have a similar hourly rate and similar overheads. By defining your budget, you are more likely to get similar proposals and suggestions for the work required, meaning you can concentrate on establishing which is the best solution for you, not just the cheapest one.

Won’t you just quote for the whole budget?

In some cases, yes, we would aim to build you a solution that meets your budget. In others, we recognise that you need some of that budget for other things. For example, in the case of a new website, with a new domain name, you will need some of that budget for digital marketing. There is no point in spending your entire budget on the web site if no one can find it for 6 months! Why not spend less on the website and put some money aside for pay-per-click advertising, some paid-for submission directories or perhaps some SEO work to obtain back links? We believe in providing itemised, transparent, costed proposals, so you can see how much your core functionality will cost, and what, if any, are the optional extras.

Consultants

We want to give you the best solution we can – the solution that maximises your return in investment and ultimately brings you the most business. If that means saving money in one place to allow you to spend in another, then so be it. We consider ourselves to be consultants on your project, not just the company commissioned to design and develop the web site for you.

P.S. Don’t forget to mention if VAT should be included in your budget or not!

So... Shall we talk about your next project?

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