The budget for the graphic design services or digital product development and reason why the client should provide it.
I. Paradoxes in the creative industry.
Graphic designers, studios or agencies meet paradoxes unparalleled in other sectors of the market on a daily basis.
Stories about how a client expects to have a job done, and they want to decide whether to pay for it (and how much!) are the subject of the huge amount of articles and discussions in social media, and also very comical, funny and in the same time sad videos.
Tenders requiring the preparation of an offer that already contains finished projects, with a chance of a payment for these projects only in the case of winning the tender, are still everyday bread.
Such situations simply do not happen anywhere else. The tiler does not come to renovate the bathroom with the hope that he may receive a salary for it.
The situation in this matter is improving, but it is still visible, for example in the context of the budget.
II. “And what budget do you have?”, “What budget do you plan to spend?”
Each of us has at some point bought or decided to buy a smartphone, refrigerator, washing machine, scooter, car, flat or house. Some of us may have repaired the flat / house or booked a 2-week all-inclusive holiday.
In all these (and not only those) cases, we responded without any further hesitation to the budget question asked by the seller or the service provider. We responded with the conviction that a quick and honest answer will help with a better result.
This is how it looks in everyday life … but not in the creative industry, not in the case of a logo project or a service related to the creation of a website.
On our way, we meet clients (50% of them), who easily provide answers or clients (the second half), who treat the question negatively and even take it as a form of offense and mockery (taken from life!).
III. What is wrong with the budget for design and digital products?
What is the result of the following client’s fear “If I will specify 100 000 USD budget, then you will squeeze whole 100 000 USD out of me, even to the last penny” and the lack of such fear in other industries?
Why do we treat the budget definitions differently (https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budget), which clearly says that the budget is the amount of a specific resource designated for specific activities, purpose or undertaking?
Why do we decide to forget about the basic functions of the budget (https://mfiles.pl/pl/index.php/Budżet)?
“Thanks to the budget, we will achieve the program objectives we have set. For example, if we are planning a project, we must include costs, time and revenues in the budget. By means of the budget, we can also verify the shortcomings of our undertaking, and this allows us to predict the difficulties that are becoming or will be on our way during the implementation of the assumed goal. “
“The budget gives the opportunity to depict the financial situation. Thanks to this, it is possible to rationally divide the available funds without being afraid that unpredictable holes in the financial plan may arise. Each venture should be presented with a detailed financial plan, i.e. a budget. The well-presented budget allows us to see how much we will incur costs, and how much will we get the benefits of achieving our goals. Therefore, the control that can be carried out at the beginning of the budget preparation is important, thanks to which we can notice from the outset if there are any irregularities in the planning of the project. Control can also be carried out during the implementation of the budget or after its closure. “
The reasons for this behavior by some customers is due to the accepted stereotypes, bad experience from previous cooperation with a non-professional designer / studio / agency or simply the lack of knowledge of the creative industry and financial part related to design and programming.
I am in a hurry to explain – in the creative industry it is the same as in the automotive industry. You will get to the destination by driving Fiat Maluch (The most famous Polish car), Golf, Mercedes, but also Ferrari. The trip using the first car may not necessarily be as comfortable, “cool” and cheap as the trip using the last one.
IV. Customer, it’s not what you think!
Imagine a scientific experience consisting in placing 3 different group of people in 3 different rooms, one next to each other. Young children in the first one, students wanting to start their own startup in the second room and at the end room with the representatives of the creative industry.
– In the room where the children are there is a table with a bowl full of 10 delicious chocolate cookies. Every child will want to eat them all!
– An investor will come to the room with students, who will propose a competition with a prize of 100,000 USD. Each student will want to win the whole amount!
– A client with an interesting project and specified budget of 100.000 USD will enter a room with representatives of the creative industry. Each representative will want to obtain this client and use and earn 100,000 USD.
We can safely assume that:
– if one child eats all the cookies and does not share his peers, he will leave the room with a full belly, but also with the opinion of a bad, selfish colleague.
– if the one student wins the competition and wastes this huge prize for pleasure and stimulants, instead of a brilliant business idea, he will probably never get a similar chance again and will not get rid of the opinion of a “loser”.
– if one representative of the creative industry estimates the implementation of the project for the full amount provided by the client, although he knows that 70% of it would be sufficient (with profit), and at the same time another representative, will offer the client a more comprehensive service in the same budget, it is chance that the first one will lose the client and also trust.
What connects these 3 situations and 3 groups of people? Awareness (or, unfortunately, lack of it with the simultaneous lack of professionalism) that boldness and greed is often, if not always very risky and unprofitable play.
V. The reasons why it is worth giving the budget.
1. Dedicated service and estimate / price.
Having the idea of the project and knowing the budget, we can choose the optimal and dedicated list of services and specialists to implement it, so that we can achieve client’s goals and not exceed budget.
There is nothing worse than exchanging 20 emails just to find out that due to a lack of knowledge, the price has been shot by 100% or 200%. It was possible to avoid this situation by saying:
a.) “You have an X budget, but you need a Y” – the client decides if he increases the budget, and if not, he does not waste time, and he looks for a cheaper contractor.
b.) “We will fit in the budget for sure, we can move on to the next steps” – the client has one “surety” and implements the project with him or looks for a counteroffer.
3. Chance of “bonus”.
Often thanks to knowing the budget, the contractor can propose a more comprehensive and effective service (eg. Design and implementation of the website + SEO audit + photo session instead of just the design and implementation of the site). It is not about squeezing more out of the client but about making a better project.
Graphic designer, studio or agency is one of the biggest allies of the client. Nobody else depends so much on a successful project, because no one else relies so much on references and testimonials.
Professional (treating graphic designers, studio or agencies as a partner) and prepared for cooperation (with an idea in mind and a specific budget in the pocket) customer = Increased motivation of the team to deliver an outstanding result.
VI. What if I do not know what budget will be right?
Contact selected (check references, portfolio, completed projects, opinion in the industry, etc.) designer, studio or agency and make an appointment for a consultation or a workshop.
Get the necessary “know-how” and make informed decisions.