Let’s Talk About Budgets
So, you’ve got a project in mind and you want to know how much it’s going to cost you when you hand it over to a design agency. The cost is, after all, a key factor in helping you to decide which agency you’ll eventually go with; but do you have a clear budget in mind?
If the answer is no, you really need to work that out before you go any further as you’re probably not quite ready to take your project to the next step.
If the answer is yes, then that’s a great start, but many clients tend to want to keep their budgets under their hats when initially contacting agencies for quotes. We would advise that you not only have a clear idea of what your budget is, but that you also be open and honest about your budget with the agencies you approach, and here’s why:
It prevents time wasting
Many clients tend to scope out the market and put together a short list of agencies they may want to work with, and this makes a lot of sense. However, contacting said agencies simply asking ‘how much will a new logo cost?’ isn’t going to get you the response you’re looking for and can be a total waste of your time. This is because most agencies (us included) don’t have set prices for projects, due mostly to the sheer variety in client needs, criteria and required hours each individual project carries.
For example, a logo project with a smaller budget will mean the agency could artwork some logo ideas based on your vision and ideas, and a larger budget would create scope for extra, in-depth idea generation and exploration.
If you insist upon an indication of costings (still without a clear idea of your budget), most agencies would agree to put together an in-depth proposal of work based on the information you have provided. This increases the risk of you then receiving the proposal and deciding it’s far too high for your budget. This mean’s you’ve lost precious time in trying to find the right agency for your project and the folks at the agencies have wasted their own precious time working on your proposal.
It therefore makes sense that stating your intended budget – even if it’s just a preliminary outline – gives the agency the opportunity to give you an immediate indication of how realistic your budget is and can accept or turn down the project accordingly.
You won’t be scammed
Worries about being taken for a ride seem to be a key reason why clients are reluctant to approach agencies with full budget disclosure. However, any agency worth it’s salt – especially one with a great portfolio and positive client testimonials – will absolutely not try to rip you off if you have a high budget.
When presented with a budget, the agency will always tell you if you’ve got far more than you actually need, and will provide you with an accurate quote for the services you require.
If you’re talking to an integrated agency who provide a wide range of services, they might also provide extra guidance on how you could spend any extra budget (branding exercises, Search Engine Optimisation and so on) or recommend other reputable agencies who can help you with extra services; sharing is caring after all.
Approaching agencies: Best practice
The most important piece of advice we can provide to a prospective client is very simple: give as much information as possible.
By this we mean everything you can think of which could help us understand your business, your ideas and your budget from the outset. So, an example checklist of questions you might need to ask yourself might include:
An overview of your business – what do you do and what are your visions?
Who are your main industry competitors?
If it’s a website or branding project, what are your current strengths and weaknesses?
What are your existing ideas and visions for the project?
Do you have any examples of existing logos or websites you like the style of?
When do you want the project to start and finish?
And last but not least, what is your budget?
Once you have as many of these questions answered as you possibly can, put them into a document or an email and send them over. Based on all this wonderful information we can really get our creative juices flowing and provide you with a project proposal which not only fits your budget, but which really gets you excited about the project at the same time.
If all of this is sounding good to you then there’s no time like the present to get the ball rolling and make contact, we’d love to hear about your next project!