You have a budget and you are looking for a website. The companies ask you what your budget it. Should you tell them?
The answer is YES!
Doing so will get you the best option and save you a lot of time and headaches.
Most webdesign clients go out and ask for quotes and do not reveal their budgets. That is because our consumer experience has taught is that it is never a good idea to tell someone your budget because you may overpay or get someone that will mark something up that would otherwise have been a lower price.
So you start getting quotes and they are all over the place from $1500 to $15,000 and you are more confused than ever! And are you getting everything you need?
The thing to remember is that the cheapest option is not the cheapest. We see time and time again, people going with the cheapest quote only to find out later that it was a bad idea.
When you go shopping for peanut butter, and you specifically want a certain brand, you look to see what store is competing to give the lowest price. Then you go there and get exactly what you want for the lowest price. You weren’t looking for the lowest priced peanut butter. You were looking for the lowest price for a very specific peanut butter. If you were just looking to get the lowest price, you would end up with a generic brand of peanut butter probably in a very small size.
That is how shopping for web services works. But unfortunately not all clients know what they want. And that makes you vulnerable to opportunists which will result with you getting overcharged or ending up with something you can’t use.
Here is how to avoid getting into trouble.
You want to go to at least 3 companies. Tell them this is my budget and this is what I want. Try to be as specific as you can. Ideally you want to make an RFP (Request for Proposal) with a specific list of what you want.
There is more then building a website than you know.
And tell them you are getting quotes from other companies. This does one of several things:
- It will prevent a company from overselling or marking up a cost.
- It will make the companies compete to get your business, and you win.
- And most importantly you will get back quotes within your means.
Your only job at that point is to look at how much you are getting for the amount. All the bids will probably be relatively close to each other but company A may be offering free hosting, or are offering a years worth of maintenance, or something that puts them ahead of the others.
You do want to be cautions of any company that comes in very low even if they seem to be offering a great deal. There are companies who are very good and winning bids. They underbid for a reason. Unless this is a company starting out just trying to get business, they more than likely will find a way to add costs on. Thousands of dollars later, you realized you spent more than the highest quote you got initially.
When we know your budget amount it cuts down significantly on the time you spend answering questions and the time preparing your estimate. Clients are never specific enough for us to provide a perfect estimate. We do our best to ask enough questions and nail everything down to the best of our abilities so we can stay within the estimate and not have any surprises later on.
If your immediate budget doesn’t allow for everything you want, there are always alternatives that make for a very nice web site and if you go with the right company, it can be added on to as you grow. A good studio will help you constructively scale your request down a bit and prioritize what you must have to what you can live without for now. Alternatives are not the same as sacrificing!
Knowing ahead of time of what you are comfortable spending speeds the entire process. You also need to understand that the more committed you are to this process both in the shopping phase through launch, the more money you will save!