A while ago one of my clients was balking at the price I was charging her for her website. She loved the design, but said her previous designer had charged her much less. Her next statement was poignant, “But you know what? The guy is out of business now.” Kevin McCarthy, the on-purpose guru, says that it does no good to charge too little because you can’t help your clients if you are out of business.
The focus of our work shouldn’t be price but value.
I’ll never be the least expensive web design company in town. Nor will I ever be the most expensive one either. But I do want to be the one who gives the most bang for the buck, whether that’s $4,000 or $20,000.
We took over the design of a website two years ago where the previous design company was charging $28,000 for the design and programming of the site. The initial design was horrible and never could figure out why they were charging so much. The only reason I could think of was that they did because they could, and this client fell for it. We ended up doing the site for only $6,000.
It all comes down to what you get for your money, not what you pay. If you don’t have $10,000 to spend on a website then you should find the $1,000 web designer who can get a site up for you. The problem comes when you want a $5,000 website and you only have $500 to spend. It’s feel odd to me when someone wants to pay Craig’s List prices for big agency quality work.
Most of the companies who come to me want to be paid a reasonable amount for the work that they do. They aren’t in the business to rip people off by charging over-inflated prices. So, they should expect to pay a reasonable amount for quality work, too.
Over the last couple months I’ve been contemplating how to get my clients real value for the work they are asking me to do. What I’ve determined for my own business is that I need to take a more holistic approach to websites. I need to concentrate on a comprehensive approach to my web design.
Subsequently, I’ve been bidding projects in the $8,000-10,000 range so we have the time and the talented professionals to ensure my clients will be successful with their website. We begin the process by developing a comprehensive Web Marketing Plan, which happens before we even start thinking about the website design. From the Web Marketing Plan we can make wise choices of what should be included in the design and what we want people do to with the design.
As I’ve tried this approach I have had mixed results. I had one company that probably does $2 million a year in sales choose a company because of friend of his uses them a lot and supposedly will be able to piggyback on their prices. Knowing human nature, I doubt this other company will give them the effort and quality they would give to someone paying full price.
I saw a great quote by Benjamin Franklin recently that might be appropriate to your work: “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”
So, take a look at how you’re making decisions about what you’re willing to spend for anything with your business. It’s time for all of us to spend a reasonable amount for the things that will help us succeed, whether it’s hiring a professional web design company, upgrading your computers, or using a better bookkeeper.
And you need to charge a reasonable amount for your work. If you feel like you’re worth it, then you certainly should. You can’t help your clients if you’re out of business.