In any business budgets are an important part of the strategic planning and business development. It’s important to have a clear idea of the budget for certain projects when you are outsourcing any work. This is one thing that surprises me when it comes to some of the enquiries that I handle on a daily basis.
All of the incoming new business enquiries that Bronco receive, whether it’s for an SEO contract or a website design and development project, are generally handled by myself. The initial email enquiry or phone call may result in a meeting to discuss the project further or in more communication as the brief or site specification is worked out. The subject of available budget tends to crop up, as for Bronco it’s a really important factor to understand and gauge what the prospective client has allocated and what return they are expecting. Everyone puts a different value on a top ranking in Google, the value of an ecommerce website, the importance of a well built content management system or even the time and effort involved in getting a simple website designed and coded up.
There are three types of response when the “Do you have a budget for your online marketing” or “Do you have a budget for your web development” question comes up.
The one that I totally prefer is when someone has actually planned for the future growth of their company using online marketing or web development and are happy to share the details. Knowing what someone’s marketing budget is, doesn’t mean that I will spend it all and coincidentally the proposal will just come in on budget… far from it. I have told a couple of prospective clients recently that they have allocated far too much budget for SEO and quoted them much less to gain the same results. In the same way I have sometimes shocked people when I say that they have not budgeted enough to get a top ranking for a massively competitive keyword. It just really helps if you can get some insight as to how much importance and value they have put to online marketing and what they expect from it. It also helps to be more efficient and when people have for instance £300 a month to spend on SEO (which they think is a lot) then it’s time to go our separate ways, but they will leave with lots of free advice as I kind of can’t help myself doing a quick SEO analysis during the call.
The second type of response is the one where they say that they don’t have a budget in mind for the SEO or the web development, so you spend the time doing the research and planning in order to get the proposal together and then to be told that the quote was way higher than they expected and they only wanted to spend x amount. It may then help to be more upfront at the start as we can work to people’s budgets on web builds and SEO, and if the budget doesn’t allow for the full project at the start we can quote on getting the most for the money.
The third response is similar to the second where they say that they haven’t got a budget, but mean it. They simply have no idea how much they need to spend to get either the rankings that they are trying to achieve or the website they want with the perfect design and functionality. This situation can go either way and after taking the time and care to move forward with the enquiry and send out a proposal, you either get the contract or you don’t, but along the way hopefully I have helped raise questions and explained how best to progress to get the best return on investment.
There may be a fourth and a fifth response so feel free to chip in with the typical responses you get, but these three are the main ones I get.