How to Budget for a New Website
Why Do I Need a Budget for a New Website Project?
You want to build a budget based on what a business can afford and the value one can expect to gain from it.
Before acting, consider the importance of setting a budget for a new website. Whenever you are in the market to make a large and important purchase, the one thing you may tend to know is your budget. Few of us have lives where price does not play a factor in these decisions. For example, when searching for a new car, you most likely have a working budget. From within that range, find the car that fits your wants and needs. This is also true for buying a home. First, you look at how much you can afford and then start searching for homes which meet all of your requirements that are within your budget.
The same thought process should be used when looking to redesign or build a new website for a business. You want to build a budget based on what a business can afford. As well as the value one can expect to gain from it.
So why do so many businesses go into a website project without a budget? There are a lot of reasons, but we most often see these two:
“I feel if I share my budget, they will spend up to that limit”
To speak honestly, what’s wrong with that? The more money you have, the more time and attention an agency can spend on your website. Less money, less time. When you are building a budget, you are preparing to spend that amount based on the needs that have been determined by you or the company. Let’s start at the beginning…if you want to build a home, what is one of the first things a home builder will ask? What is your budget? A capable builder can do nearly anything a client needs or wants them to do. Yet, without a budget, it’s a waste of everyone’s time by designing a home that cannot be afforded. Or is below the customer’s expectations.
Ask the Right Questions
Now, this is not to say that there aren’t companies out there that would take advantage of businesses. Companies that do the same amount of work no matter what your budget is. That is why it is important to first ask prospective agencies the right questions – which we will dive into later with a future article – in order to weed out the ones that are not reputable companies.
For these reasons, it is important to go into a budget for a new website design project with the above thought processes. It is vital to know how much the business can afford to budget for the project, and what kind of return on investment (ROI) the business expects to have. The more valuable the website can be for the company, the more funds should be budgeted for the website to put in the proper amount of time and attention to gain that value. Of course, a larger budget for a new website does not always mean a greater return on investment. When you put $500,000 into a home and needs are not meet, that money is not well spent. That is why it is important to find a capable agency that has experience, strong case studies, and positive testimonials.
Another factor is that there should be a connection between both the agency and the client. When an agency has a passion for what the client is doing – and truly cares – it has a much higher chance of success than a less motivated one. Such is true for a lot of things in life…passion is a tremendous motivator.
“I just don’t know what my budget should be.”
In this scenario, you should not start the project right away. It is important to review the company’s needs for the website and think about how valuable it can be. It is also important to consider which problems the website is supposed to solve and what goals it should achieve.
There are times that this is determined by an internal team. Other times, having a discovery session (an in-depth strategy meeting to discover and create best strategies to obtain desired goals) with an agency can be helpful in understanding the business’s needs and goals. With that, a strategy and budget for a new website can be created.
There is more to a website than creating a beautiful design. The website needs to have goals and a way to measure its effectiveness towards reaching those goals. This is to understand what success looks like. Otherwise, we end up with an expensive “unknown” that may or may not be bringing value to the company.
To understand the value that a custom designed website can bring, it is important to think about the objectives of the website:
- What type(s) of an audience(s) are you targeting?
- What content is your audience looking for?
- How should the website be organized to deliver your objectives?
- What are your functional requirements?
- What are your technical requirements?
- How should the website design look like?
- How will we measure success?
Remember, think of that home building and buying experience, and the budget allocated is an investment in achieving your goals and gaining value. Give the process and project the respect, time and attention it deserves to be successful. By practicing these steps, your rewards will be an outcome that will undeniably benefit the company in the best way possible as it brings new customers to your business.