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 clear is discussing your budget. You won’t get more for your money because you haven’t been transparent about what you can afford. What you will get are proposals for $3,500 and $15,000 and everything between because the person writing up the cost estimates and deliverables has no point of reference.
If you openly discuss how much you can afford, you will get proposals that come in around the same price-point. Developers will try to offer as much as possible for that price-point to win your business.
You can then compare which developer is offering the most for your budget.
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.”
Below are two examples of how sharing your budget helps you get meaningful proposals.
If your budget is on the low end, the developer won’t suggest using 80% of it on a custom graphic design. Instead, the developer may recommend customizing a WordPress theme leaving more of your budget for content development or search engine optimization.
If your budget is on the high end, the developer may allocate more of the budget toward design and branding, since it won’t reduce their ability to provide other important aspects of your online business presence.
If your budget is on the lower end, a developer isn’t going to suggest you spend most of your budget on search engine optimization to promote a website that doesn’t have a great visual presentation and well written copy. They will allocate most of the budget to the website and perhaps provide the SEO basics – well written Meta Tags.
If your budget is on the higher end and the developer can allocate the budget to get a website that will do you proud, you may see a line item for SEO in the proposal to promote your business.
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 developers are trying to win your business, they will try to offer as much as possible for a specific budget. You can see how that benefits you, not them, right?!
Don’t waste your valuable time. Only consider and compare proposals you can afford.
If you have no idea how much budget is required or aren’t sure how much you want to spend, you aren’t quite ready to request a proposal. You need to do a little legwork first.
We get it; you don’t want to “limit” the agency’s creativity with a budget that isn’t necessarily set in stone. And maybe there is something that will be so compelling you will find additional budget in order to have it.
But there is little point receiving a $25,000 proposal if your budget doesn’t exceed $2,500.
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 to your project, and you can choose the cost estimate that gives you the most bang for your buck.