Why I’ve set a minimum budget

Today I added a line to my contact page stating that my minimum budget for a new project was £2,000. I wanted to explain why I’ve done this.

I’m in the privileged position of getting lots of enquiries for new work. Some days I get up to five enquiry emails. I’m so grateful for this. I’ve worked hard to get to a point where this is the case, and I don’t take it for granted.

Defining a minimum budget might initially appear arrogant, but I have good reasons (I hope). Here are a few:

Good web design takes time

When I started out, I was building sites for hundreds of pounds. I thought, “how can these agencies be charging so much for these websites?” Over time I learnt why. Good web design takes time, and therefore money.

It is possible to put a website together in a matter of hours. Tools like WordPress make this possible, and I love it for that. However, I’ve chosen to take a different path, one where design decisions are based on research, planning, testing and collaboration. These things take time, and money (you get the point now!).

From a technological point of view, web design is getting more complex. Responsive web design (RWD) is the way forward, but it adds more steps to your process – more research, wireframes, mockups, development, iterations, testing, etc. I would estimate that a responsive site can (should?) easily double the cost of a website, if not more.

Cutting down on admin

I like to respond courteously to every enquiry that comes my way. You never know what being nice to someone might lead to. All those replies take time though, and that time is starting to build up.

If I give out that budget info up front, it saves them time not having to fill out the enquiry form, and it saves me time in responding to the email. Win-win.

The right people for the job

When a job comes in that I can’t take on, I send them to the WordPress London meetup group, where they can post the job on the discussion forum.

There are people there with different skills, experience and interests, who might love the chance to work on those jobs. Lower budget work can be very rewarding, if you’re working with the right people on the right projects.

 

Hopefully that helps to clarify why I’ve set a minimum budget. It might all backfire – who knows? – but for now it feels like the right thing to do.

 

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5 Responses to “Why I’ve set a minimum budget”

  1. Graham Armfield

    What you’ve done is a brave but necessary step. It should ensure that you only now get enquiries from those who want to invest a realistic amount of money in the skills that you offer.

    Reply
  2. Nigel Minchin

    Hi Keith

    good call. We do pretty much the same. £3k is really the starter budget for a responsive WP website. Client expectations in terms of UX, design and functionality have increased significantly in the last 5 years or so. We also state the maximum number of hours the budget will include to try to align client demands with project scope.

    cheers

    Nigel

    Reply
    • keithdevon

      It obviously depends on the level of service that you offer and the type of projects that you work on, but I’ve found this to be the bare minimum for a custom design and build. There is lots that can be done for under £3k, e.g. theme customisation, but it’s not the type of work that I do.

      Reply
  3. Laura Zito

    Hello there,

    I know I’m slightly out of budget here, so I must apologise in advance for my email, but I wonder if you could help a struggling small blog owner in a search for someone reliable to help me!

    I’m looking for a developer to help me transfer my WordPress blog from my current, old domain name to another (all domains and hosting are via TSOHost), and set up some redirects to ensure my SEO isn’t hit too badly. I don’t know if you could perhaps point me in the right direction of someone who could help? I’ve had bad experiences with unscrupulous developers on bid-type sites outsourcing to shady companies and netting a decent profit for literally no work, so any decent recommendations would be appreciated.

    Many thanks,
    Laura

    Reply
    • Keith Devon

      Hi Laura,

      “I know I’m slightly out of budget here”

      That is likely the problem. I see it over and over again that people aren’t prepared to pay the rates for reputable developers, and then wonder why things go wrong.

      I can’t speak for your exact situation, as it may be different, but if people always look for the cheapest option, they’re likely to get what they pay for. As the expression goes, “If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.”

      If you want me to quote on the work, you can find me over at Highrise Digital these days.

      Keith

      Reply

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