Yes, I need to know your budget… there is value in that question.
The most asked question I get is “how much?” This can be for logo design, rebranding, graphic design, a website, the list goes on. If I had one service, applicable in a single context, I might display my prices. But I don’t – every scenario is different. Plus, fixed rates are a complete barrier to a budgetary discussion – if I can find a solution within your budget I will, but if you see a fixed price out of your budget, you won’t even bother to contact me, right?
There is no straight answer for this question. I wish there was because it would save me a hell of a lot of time!
Why is there no straight answer?
There are different levels of service. All levels of service are top notch customer service wise, but some are quicker, or more detailed, or differ in size, scale, or scope - think of it as Ferrari vs Fiat. When I ask for your budget, I’m not trying to trick you, I’m trying to save us time, gauge whether or not you’re serious and if you value what I do.
Now, I can work with most budgets, obviously not unrealistic ones, but I do my best to support as many of you as I can. There are legitimate reasons behind asking for your budget at the outset.
Nobody’s time is wasted.
I don’t want to waste your time, and I’d like to think you don’t want to waste mine either. I love talking about client’s projects with them, but there’s absolutely no point in chatting for ages to discover that my services are way out of budget, that’s a big disappointment for clients! It’s important that both myself and the client have understanding and clarity – and budget transparency helps with that massively. Some people will just refuse point blank to give any idea of budget – this is unproductive for all involved – I don’t hide my rates, but at the same time I can’t give a price without knowing whether or not what you want is even possible within your budget, or whether we may need to scale down.
But I don’t know my budget!
That’s not unusual – some people don’t have an exact figure in mind when first enquiring, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The best starting point here is going to be a rough idea of £xxx to £xxx – this shows your starting point and where you could potentially end up depending on what is needed.
If you really don’t have any numbers in mind, sometimes I’ll throw some numbers at you to gauge your reaction, if the first is too high and you recoil in horror, we just slide down the scale until you hear a number that sounds like what you want to spend – and there you go, your budget has revealed itself!
Can’t you just give me a ballpark figure?
Honestly, not really without project details. Every small business is so different and so are their needs, budgets, and the scopes of their projects. They need drastically different levels of work, time, commitment, and turnaround. There’s no one size fits all here!
If I was to give you a ballpark figure, and say I’ve worked on projects from £50 to £15,000, that is absolutely no help to you, is it? I will always ask a set of questions when you’re enquiring, and one of those will always be “what is your budget?” and it often goes unanswered.
No matter what the project, there will always be varying levels of complexity – and most clients don’t understand the amount of work that goes into a project. A simple logo design vs a complex logo design – most people will not understand the difference. Or a simple informational website vs a complex e-commerce website with a host of additional features. The scope of each project is different, and all need to be costed separately.
If you know my rough budget, won’t you just charge me that?
In short, no. Knowing your rough design budget means that a) I know whether or not I will even be able to quote within your budget and b) gives me a number to work below (usually). Sometimes I will try to give you a couple of options depending on the project – a price point near the lower end of your budget scale, and a more comprehensive option nearer the top. Sometimes what you want won’t be possible within your budget range, and that’s fine, I would recommend either finding a cheaper alternative or lowering your requirements to fit your budget – if there’s unnecessary ‘fluff’ that’s adding to the project estimate – I’ll let you know what could be dropped to lower it. Talk to me – I’m not here to rip you off, I’m here to help find a solution!
By outlining your budget from the start, we’re all on the same page and can work together a lot faster. If you don’t know your budget, that’s fine, too. We will just have to dig a little deeper to get it narrowed down.
I love working on a range of different projects, from beauty salons and dog walkers to childminders and construction companies. If you’d like to talk about your branding or website needs, get in touch today.