I hate to come across as a strict schoolteacher with a ruler, but I’m going to slap your fingers and tell you this is the wrong question. While a budget is involved with any project scenario, there are other important keys to consider before making a decision based on budget.
What is the value of the website to your business?
I like this question better because it focuses on “value” rather than “how much is this going to cost me.” Looking at your website as an investment forces you to think a little differently about the web. An investment toward an asset (a.k.a. your website) should be with the goal of how is this website going to make money for your business. Getting your brand out there is no longer enough, and a business strategy which includes your website is the appropriate course of action.
When I am asked how much a project will cost I more often want to try to find out what the client needs first. Graphically, a site can be beautiful and function very nicely, but if the design and navigation don’t serve a higher purpose of making a business or individual successful the money spent will be wasted. No one is happy in the end.
So how much should a small business website cost?
I did go off on a little tangent there. To figure out an approximate figure on how much you should spend I recommend looking at the following questions/scenarios:
- What role does the website play in the growth and stability of my business?
- How will my website generate revenue for my business?
- How much revenue will my website generate for my business?
- What do I want users to do when they find my website?
- How will users find out about my website? SEO? SEM? Social media? Word of mouth?
- How much content will I, or my vendor, need to produce? What is the content strategy? Do I have one?
- Do I need a content management system (CMS)? Does it matter which one? (Enterprise content management systems can be very expensive.)
- What do I need the CMS to do?
- Do I need a custom web design? Do I have the staff available to design it, or do I need a vendor?
- Do I have staff available to develop the site, or do I need a vendor?
These are great starting questions to ask when beginning your web project. Depending on your business strategy, your investment will vary. Traditionally, seeking a vendor to provide the work you’re asking for will raise the cost, but the vendor may provide expertise which can improve your results or ask more in-depth questions to create the best website possible.
Do you have a question about your website or project? Talking is free. Contact me or leave a comment below!