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.