Although its not necessary to have an exact budget etched out, it is imperative to have a general idea of the dollars you've allocated for your web development project, which should include margins padded sufficiently to support changes in functionality and scope.
Most companies fall in the $1500 – $5000 price range, while others invest several thousand dollars for highly robust database and application-driven web sites. By providing me with this information, I'll be better able to help you decide which functions and features can be included while staying within your budget dollars.
It is equally important to first gather all of the materials that might be included in your site before entertaining quotes. You'll need any digital or 35mm images of your staff, products or facilities, brochures and other printed materials that contain up-to-date information about your business. This ensures that your designer will have a better grasp of the materials they will need to incorporate into the web site design.
It's easy to learn from other peoples' mistakes -- so review your competitor's websites, and make a list of what you do and don't like about their design, color scheme, navigation, etc. This will give me a better idea of what you're looking for on your site.
I've prepared a comprehensive Internet Survey (PDF/102K) for you to use in determining your website requirements. Print out and complete the questionnaire, then keep it handy when contacting design companies for quotes. The site's general “look and feel” should be indicative of your business's direction. It should reflect the corporate image, marketing campaign and other branding efforts. Work with your designer on color schemes, typestyles and flow.
In addition, its prudent to get feedback from existing customers therefore be sure to ask for client referrals in an effort to measure the consultants or agency's core values and evaluate their business practices. I'm confident that you'll choose me because of my competitive prices, and exceptional service.
Return On Investment (ROI)
The key here is to design, build and test sites for the actual user scenarios they must support. I recommend building customer models based on real-life users, which requires in-depth interviews with real customers. My creative process focuses on understanding users, and creating sites from a customer's perspective to guide the design effort. The result is shorter design cycles and improved site quality. Customers and prospects arrive at sites with goals in mind, and by crafting clear paths to content and function that satisfy those goals, companies quickly see their ROI increase.
- How do we increase revenue?
- How do we minimize expenses?
- How do we attract more customers?
- How do we generate additional business from each existing customer?
- How do we improve shareholder value?
Contact me, as well as, other consultants and design agencies to obtain quotes on your web-based project. Cost is always a factor, but it can't be the only consideration because any prospective consultant or agency should be viewed as a potential business partner. You rely on their expert advice and direction, which will have a direct impact on your site's success or failure therefore everyone's reputation and credibility are at stake.