Disclose your website budget to get the best proposals.

If you are asking for proposals for designing and developing a website, you are probably looking for a developer who can do the best job for the most reasonable price.   

One personal hurdle you might need to get over is discussing your budget.  A lot of people think they will get more for their money if they don’t reveal how much they are willing to spend; this might be true at a dealership where you are negotiating a price on a car, but it’s not true for a customized website.  You won’t get a $15,000 website for $9,000 simply because you haven’t disclosed a budget.  

What you will get are proposals for $6,000 and $25,000 and everything in between because the developers have no point of reference.   It will be an exercise in frustration trying to find meaningful comparisons between these cost estimates.  

If you think of a website proposal in the following way, it might help relieve the tension of talking about your budget.  

"The proposal is a commitment from a professional to provide a service and deliverables for a set cost.  Not only should the proposal be written to meet specific requirements, but it should also be written to satisfy these needs under a budget."

In short, a proposal should be written for a budget, not to establish one.  

Here are two examples of how sharing your budget helps you get meaningful proposals.  

#1 Most sites have contact forms that are inexpensive to implement.  If your budget is on the low end, the developer won't quote on integrating form submissions into a Customer Relationship Manager.  Instead, they will allocate more of the budget toward design or content development.  If your budget is on the higher end, the developer might suggest a CRM integration solution you may not have thought of or even realized would be beneficial.

#2 If your budget is on the low end, the developer won't suggest using 80% of it on a custom design. Instead, they may recommend customizing a WordPress theme leaving more for content development or search engine optimization.  If your budget is on the high end, the developer may allocate more budget toward design and branding.

These examples show a professional won’t try to do a little as possible for the money if they know your price range.  The information helps them allocate the budget appropriately.

If you have no idea how much budget is required, you aren’t quite ready to request a proposal.  You need to do a little legwork first.  

Reach out to a developer and let them know you are currently in the process of setting a budget and would like to get an expectation of costs before asking for a formal proposal.

The developer will ask you a lot of questions and should be able to tell you what price range to expect.   Talk with more than one developer.  It takes far less time to speak with two or three professionals than to read through scores of disparate proposals.  The added benefit is you get a little education and a feel for the development team’s style.  And that’s a good thing!

Once you are comfortable with a budget for your website, include that budget in requests for proposals.  The proposals you get will be more relevant, and you can choose the cost estimate that gives you the most bang for your buck.

Do you need help establishing a budget for your website project?  Give us a call, we'd love to chat.

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