Know Thy Budget!

Your budget is your starting point

You wouldn’t go into the house buying market or car buying market or hell, even a prom dress buying market, without having a clear budget in mind. So why do so many compaines and individuals who are seeking Design help throw out their RFPs just to simply see how much their proposed scope of work will cost – often times without a working budget in mind?

Well, that’s easy. Unlike other services, design services can vary based on the size of the project, the size of the design team, the location of the design team, the urgency of the project, is the project custom or can you leverage existing platforms out there. Really, the options are endless.

No wonder buying design can often seem like a big game of poker. Because it is – kind of.

No one wants to spend top dollar on a service that they feel could have been solved for less. No one. But so few individuals and companies actually know how much design services really cost. So when a client asks the million dollar question “How much does a website cost”?, I know that they truly have no idea how this works of how much this could run them.

And this is when I start talking about cars. Cars? Yes, cars.

If you are someone who is looking for visual design help, I recommend approaching your upcoming purchase of design services like you are shopping for a new car. Every new car buyer has a budget and a list of features in mind before they even walk onto a new car lot. Knowing your budget will tell you right away if you will be heading out to the Tesla or Audi dealership or if you are going to be heading over to your local Totota dealership.

However, let’s just say that on your lists of “Musts” for this new car is a self driving feature. Then, you will either have to find a way to make your budget match your list of automated features and be prepared to pay for the convenience of this feature…or get really creative and see how you can alter your wish list in order to keep yourself within your budget.

Here’s what I recommend from all project managers who are throwing their RFPs around waiting for the lowest price.

  • Have a list of MUST HAVE features, functionalities and visual design inspiration
  • Have a list of NICE TO HAVE items
  • Have a number in mind, and make it public. Ask around. You have friends who have purchased design before. Now, knock off a bit to that number and present that number to the designer. They will either tell you that it’s not possible or will get creative in order to meet your budget.
  • Find a designer who’s style and personalities best fit yours and your company’s. Every designer has a specific style that is unique to them. These styles are hard to break, and asking a designer to do so will require extra time on their behalf – which equals extra spend on your behalf. So if you’re wanting to save, make sure your design team already fits your desired style.

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