I received a quotation request today from a chap who wrote;

‘With regards to my budget, I am reluctant to state a figure as studios that don’t  have a set price structure will treat it as a bullseye target…’

Now, I can understand this chap wanted to get the best possible deal. I also appreciate that commissioning a website isn’t something most people do that often. It’s an unfamiliar process, so it’s not surprising that commissioners are reluctant to show their cards when it comes to budget.

But will this approach identify the studio that offers the best proposition for the customer? Probably not…

The problem lies in inviting blind quotes. The customer will often get wildly differing estimates because some studios will cut their cloth to fit what they perceive to be a competitive quote.

To use the car showroom analogy, some studios will quote for a 2015 Porsche and and others will quote for a battered little Fiat. They’ll both get you from A to B but there’s a difference in performance, spec and audience perception.

My advice would be to share the brief, state the budget and ask for proposals. That way the customer will be able to directly compare responses on a like-for-like basis and see where the value lies.

Or to put in another way; ‘This is the brief and this is the maximum budget. I’m seeking four quotes. Write back with a figure, a full breakdown of what you’ll actually do (what I’ll get for my money), show me where the value lies and why you’re the best studio for us.’

The responses will provide an indication of the deliverables included and this will put the customer in a much better position to make an informed decision.

Stating a budget is also a time-saver for the customer and will filter out those studios for whom the project is either too big or too small.

It is undoubtedly a delicate subject, but if there’s openness around discussions on budget, it should result in a more informed decision and better value for the customer.

How Much Does it Cost to Design and Develop a Website? You Tell Me!