Why you should share your web project budget

Marketer hiding her web budget

I already know what you’re thinking. “Yeah, yeah, yeah. A vendor wants to know my budget. Big surprise.” BUT, what if I told you that being willing to share your budget could actually result in a better end product? Here’s why.

This partnership needs trust.

If you are hiring a firm to build a website or app for you, you should trust them. And if you can’t...do you really want to hire them? This idea might seem quaint or naive, but it isn’t. So often you have choices about who you work with - and these partners can make or break a project. Not to mention make your life better or, at least for a time, much worse.

By approaching the vendor selection process as a search for a true partner, you’ll end up with someone who really cares about your business and wants to see you succeed. Sharing your budget is a way to discover if this trust exists. Do they come back with something in your range? Have reasonable explanations for why you need to spend more? Offer you options that are within your means? These are all great signs that a partnership is on a solid foundation.

Budget is a legit constraint.

When you are in the midst of a website redesign, considering what to put in an RFP or looking to extend your internal dev team, you always have a budget. Or at least an idea. And, if you don’t put it out there, you won’t get the best product for the money you have. You’ll just get a sense of what people charge for the thing you described in a few paragraphs - or maybe a few pages.

Budget constrains digital design and development. This is a reality. And, we live in a time where nearly anything is technologically possible. So, setting your budget early on in the process will enable a creative partner to help you find the best path to get the most out of the dollars you have. This involves working with you to set the right priorities and thinking bigger about the experience we could build together. So often marketing leaders and project managers worry that sharing budgets will lead to a smaller project scope and more profit for the developer. But, if you found a partner you trust, they will be thinking about the long term success of your business - and how that ties back to the long term success of theirs.

Nobody has time to waste.

I have been guilty of asking potential partners for a budget and playing coy about how much I wanted to spend. In almost every case, I end up coming clean in the end so the right partner can adjust their proposal - and the project scope - to meet my needs. So, why go through all the bullshit? It’s as American as apple pie to try and get a deal. We all want to pay less for the thing we want - even when it’s not our own money.

But, the thing is, time is more precious than money. And, the multiple calls, meetings, proposal reviews and presentations all take time. Your time and our time. And, they don’t really get you closer to achieving your ultimate goals until we’re all honest about the money. So, skip a step next time, save us all some time and end up getting what you really want at a fair price. Sounds dreamy doesn’t it?