Calling all SMEs: What’s the most important thing on your agenda when looking for a design agency for your next big project? We’re willing to bet budgets is right up there near the top, and so it should be – budgets are a big deal.
The problem is that there’s often a lot of misunderstanding between client and agency when it comes to budget. Who does the responsibility lie with? Does the client decide the budget or does the agency lead with costs?
The short answer is both. The long answer goes like this: It’s a joint effort.
It can never work any other way. Clients can’t simply ask an agency “how much will this new logo cost?” – though many still do – because most agencies don’t have set prices for tasks. Each client comes to the table with their own needs, criteria and aspirations, and so the time and research required for each project varies accordingly along with the cost.
Likewise, an agency can’t simply drop a cost proposal down in front of a prospective client without any further input or information, as it’s highly likely this cost will end up being too high for the client, and this means everybody’s time has been essentially wasted.
It’s all about the details. As an agency, we’d want to really get to know you and what your ambitions for your business before we even attempt to cost up your project.
Understanding the process
As a prospective client, try to have plenty of information about your business, your ideas and your potential budget availability to hand before you get in touch. The more detail you can give us right from the start, the more likely it is that we will be able to deliver the results you want for costs you’re happy with.
From there, we can put our heads together and work our creative magic. We’ll put together a proposal for you, complete with costings based on how much time it will take, how much research and planning will go into it and the sorts of resources the project will require.
This is where the understanding comes in, as it can often be hard to explain creative costs to a non-creative. With this in mind, we always provide clients with a complete break down of where money is being spent and how long each task will take.
A logo design, for example, might initially seem like a quick task until we break it down into it’s component parts: research, initial experimentation, exploration and finalisation. This can take an entire day, and so the fee would naturally reflect this.
One big (and very unfortunate) misconception when it comes to negotiating budgets is that, if a client discloses the full amount of budget available to them, the agency will then invent ‘extra work’ to take advantage of this. Whilst we’re sure this shady practice has been undertaken by lesser agencies, we can assure you this is absolutely not the case at Hug. We will always tell you if you have too much budget for the project you have in mind.
Back to the process. Once we’ve mapped out your project in terms of timescale and resources, we’ll then create a bespoke, affordable payment plan so you know what’s being paid for and when.
If you’ve got a project in mind then drop us an email, give us a call or pop into the studio for a chat – we have a kettle and we can make a great cup of coffee.
And remember, there’s no need to let budget worries get in the way of a great idea. We can always find a way to help.