Why You Should Fold Your Hand and Reveal Your Website Budget

posted this in
Web Design
on January 8th, 2013

As a full-time purveyor of the esteemed art of cards, I’m quite aware of the benefit of “bluffing” and keeping your hand to yourself.

But as an account manager at Rocket Media on the side, I see many small businesses attempting something similar (yet much less beneficial) when it comes to shopping for a web design company.

The conversation usually goes something like this:

Me: “What can I help you with?”
Most businesses: “We need a new website.”
Me: “Great! We have 8 years of experience providing custom web solutions for businesses just like yours. What’s your budget?”
MB: “…well…”

The problem here is that many businesses do not want to show me their hand (website budget) upfront because they think it will leave them at a disadvantage.

However, the reverse is actually true. By hiding your custom website budget, you are turning the process into a guessing game.

Website Shopping is Like Home Buying

Let’s look at an example many people are quite familiar with to give you a better picture: home buying. (Yes, we’ve used the example before, but that’s because it works.)

Say you are looking for a new home. You go to your realtor and let them know you would like to begin this quest. What is one of the very first questions they will ask you?

“What’s your budget?”

If you notice, this is the very same question used in the example conversation at the top of the page. Yet realtors usually get a much more honest response.

Why? Most home buyers understand this question is asked so your realtor can help you find a home that suits your needs and fits within your budget (as well as to make sure your expectations are reasonable.)

Yet, if a web design company asks you the same question (for the same reasons), you’ll probably give them the cold shoulder.

3 Possible Outcomes of Hiding Your Website Budget

When you don’t tell us your budget there are two highly-possible outcomes and one very unlikely one:

  1. You will get everything you want, but the price will be too high (very likely)
  2. The price will be lower than expected, but will exclude some things you really wanted (very likely)
  3. Purely by coincidence, we will arrive at the perfect balance of features and price (extremely unlikely)(Disclaimer: I’ve seen more pink flying unicorns than I have #3, when a potential customer doesn’t tell me their website budget.)

By keeping your website budget a secret, you are turning the whole process into an un-winnable guessing game.

How can I help you get to that sweet spot without knowing where the sweet spot resides?

Your Web Company is Your Digital Real Estate Agent

To get past the false assumption that a web design company is just trying to take as much money as they can from you, consider them your digital realtor. They can help you find a comfortable accommodation for your business on the world wide web that fits your business’ needs and your budget - but only if you tell them what your budget is.

By revealing your website budget, we can show you solutions that are within your price range and save you time by not having to look at million dollar mansions you cannot afford or shacks you would never want.

So the next time you’re looking for a website design company and they ask you for your budget, be ready with an open and honest answer (a range is more than fine) and you will get a much more agreeable quote the first time – I guarantee it.

What hangups do you have when a web company asks your budget? Tell us about it on Facebook or Twitter.