When to provide the price to the customer

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Following on from our previous blog articles of How a website project is priced and Should you disclose your budget to your web agency we'll explore when the best time to give the client a price is.

The price of a website is crucial to the awarding of the project, but when is the best time to give the client the golden figure?

In the past we used to meet up with the client, take a good brief, generate some ideas, create a detailed specification for the work and then add a pretty accurate price. By this time you have got to know the client a bit and so the lead is a quite warm and the price and specification you have provided are pretty spot on.

Sounds like a perfect scenario.

It was, until you start quoting for a couple of projects a week and you realise that a meeting, travel, some research and then writing the specification generally takes around a day to complete if done right. A couple of those and you are already 2 days down.

Add on top of that clients generally ask for the moon on a stick and get excited by all the sparkly ideas that are suggested at the meeting and it's not until you provide the price that the client realises that they don't actually have anywhere near that budget.

The Way Fresh approach

Depending on the client we tend to initially to take a very detailed specification over the phone gathering as much information as we can from the customer.

We also ask the client if they have a budget in mind and sometimes they do disclose this value. See our previous blog article on Should you disclose your budget to your web agency?

If the client doesn't let us know the budget then we have to come back with some price in order to see if we're in the right area. So at this stage we provide a rough ballpark, for example £2,500 - £3,000. If the client is fine with this and roughly matches their own budget then we'll be happy to organise a meeting and go through the project in a lot more depth safe in the knowledge that price isn't going to be a major issue.

If the client doesn't have the budget that matches our ballpark then we can either end the conversation or discuss what the client can actually have for their budget and look to scale the project back.

Either way, providing a ballpark lets all parties know the rough value and the project can progress or can end there saving time and effort for both ourselves and the customer.


As a customer, always have a budget in mind, but keep it close to your chest initially until you have a rough ballpark. If it's way out then you (and the web agencyweb agency) have the option of walking away without having spent time on meetings and travel or you can try and compromise to get something that suits your budget.