What’s your budget?


Every year businesses set out their budgets for the financial year. Whilst a lot of areas are covered an important part is the Marketing budget which a lot of people forget about. Even when your first setting up as a business start-up you should budget for your marketing, this can include a wide variety of things like Advertising (radio, print or online), business cards, leaflets, networking groups and YOUR website if you don’t have one. If you do have a website, have you put money aside to have it updated or changed over the coming year?

The point of a budget is?

Forecasting your spend for the coming year is important. It allows you to know what you’re spending on which area of your business and you can account for everything going out. By tracking the amount of money you’re spending on your marketing and when you do it, you can then see what kind of Return on Investment (ROI) you are getting for it.

90% of the time businesses have a website. Most people see the advantages of having a website even if it is a simple brochure site.

Sarah Parmenter can’t build a website for £500

Sarah Parmenter posted on her personal blog about why she couldn’t build a website for £500. In a nutshell Sarah had received an enquiry from a potential client who wanted a large dynamic website building. They had filled in Sarah’s website worksheet form with some in depth detail of what they were looking for, brand awareness, structure and colour palettes usually something us designers never see as most clients need guiding rather than them knowing what they want. Everything seemed fine to Sarah until she hit the “budget” part of the worksheet where her potential client had budgeted a lowly £500 for the work they were requiring.  Sarah did a fantastic job of handling this by not only replying where most would bin the emails, she also educated her potential client on what £500 would get them and why £500 was such a low estimation from them on what they could get.

Shortly after she blogged about the issue she updated everyone with the news that the client had indeed acknowledged what Sarah said and that they were able to increase their budget.

Whilst at first I thought Sarah’s post was going to be a rant, it turned out to be a valuable piece of information for anyone in the same position. The problem with potential clients or even current clients at times is something I see quite often. Design in my opinion is somewhat undervalued by most professions even though the most wealthy people in the world rely on designers and developers day in day out to enhance their brand or increase their sales.

How much does design cost?

It depends on who you want to work with and how long they think it will take to put the best piece of design out there for you. You have to remind yourself that a good designer is not going to do something below-par just because he’s getting paid for it. We’re a strange breed where being pedantic is something in our blood and we know if something doesn’t sit right. It maybe more beneficial for a client to book a whole day or longer with a designer rather than pay an hourly rate but this is something to talk over with your designer.

When it comes to web design, think of the size of the application you’re wanting to build. Ask advice before hand with regards to budget from someone who has been there and done it. Organisations like Business Link can guide you. And remember one thing, “Pay Peanuts and get Monkeys.”

What is your budget?

I’d love to see more realistic budgets being given to designers/developers, agencies and freelancers. A designer doesn’t ask for a new kitchen and then say they’ve budgeted £500 when the total cost is around £4500. A designer doesn’t ask for a new £10k car and then tell the salesmen they have £750 to spend. We’d get laughed out of the park.

Think about your budgets, think about what you want to achieve and don’t be surprised over cost. It takes time to build a website just like it takes time to build a car or fit a kitchen.

Thoughts anyone?

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Lead Interaction Designer at DigitalDWP. Organiser of Industry, The Practical Web Conference..

4 thoughts on “What’s your budget?”

  1. Hi Sarah,
    Nice job putting your blog together. Where do you find the time?
    The budget issue is central to our business. The bigger clients know they have to pay top dollar to get premium level quality. Small clients are more likely to see the cost of building a website as a cost and not an investment. It’s our duty to convince our clients that working with us is an investment that will take time to see a return. Accepting the fact that the cost of doing business is both developing the right attitude and educating yourself on how to use these tools and not letting them remain idle. You have to tend to them and feed them, like a garden, because ultimately there is a harvest.

  2. Great post and spot on. I see the same thing every day in the freelance writing world – especially online. People want well written, grammatically correct content for their websites but are not willing to pay for it. I see frequently on certain forums. It is shameful what some of these people are offering when they know that they would not allow their products to be sold for cents, or half-cents in may cases.

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