How many times have you asked yourself this question? A hundred? A thousand? Should I charge same as the previous project or do you brainstorm with a friend or colleague?
Well it doesn’t matter the number of times you have spent sleepless nights wondering the approach to take. It just keeps on happening. And the indecisiveness keeps on growing with each new project.
As a matter of fact, many IT novices consider a Website to be a product with X pages. And they expect to be paid a fixed amount for these number of pages. However, what they fail to appreciate is the service nature of web design. It is a service that takes into account all the aspects of a business. Thus, the charges are bound to range.
For instance, consider a car dealership shop. They sell all kinds of cars. Point to note is, all cars provide the same basic function. They take you from one place to another. But their prices are never the same. Why? Because of design, options, comfort, after sale services and quality. These are the things that bring about the variance in their prices.
Similarly, all websites provide the same basic function. A platform for the client to learn more about the services provided by a particular individual or organization. Even so, there are aspects of a websites that will make it different from another. Not the number of pages, but the technical nitty gritty requirements of a client’s business.
Below are factors to consider when pricing your web design service.
Step 1: Evaluate Yourself
Jumping into a web design contract without taking time to gauge yourself is the wrong way to go about.
As a web designer, each project tends to present a new challenge or experience. It’s from these challenges that we grow. Having said that, it’s time for you to put your ego aside and get to know your strengths.
You need to ask yourself:
- How much experience do I have?
- Can I offer something others cannot?
- What is my reputation in the design world?
- Do I have demand?
Getting to answer the above questions will put you in a better position of determining how much you need to charge. You can’t charge above the market rates without any experience or demand. You need to start low.
Or how do you justify that!
Moreover, if you get to know your strengths and the things that you can offer and others cannot, it gives you an upper hand. Thus, you are able to justify yourself when your price your service above market rates.
Secondly, getting to know yourself will help you furnish your reputation. There are certain trivia bridges we designers cross and think our clients will downplay them. Take for example a project you previously worked on but the client kept on changing it every minute. Not only did these hurdles take more of your time, you also felt you ought to have charged more. And to make it worse, the client gave you a bad review.
Evidently, it’s only by evaluating yourself that you can rise above certain hurdles. Therefore, you are able to right a wrong and better prepare yourself for next time.
Step 2: What’s The Project?
Any web design project is a website, but not all websites are a match for another.
When approached by a client, carefully listen to their requirements. By doing this, you will get an overview of what they exactly need. Furthermore, a clear understanding will back your proposal write up.
The requirements may include:
- Search engine marketing.
- Usability/user experience design.
- Social media marketing.
- Content Writing.
- Mobile friendliness.
Discuss these with the client. Let them expound on each requirement and how you should go about it.
Level with them.
The reason why the above requirements are important is for the simple fact that projects differ. The features of one project might stress on some requirements and totally ignore others. A private website will not need social media marketing but a large corporation will do. This is because they need to market their services. On the other hand, a mobile friendly design is a must for any business but not necessary for a personal website.
So, get to know what the project is and its requirements. The clearer the understanding, the easier it will be to gauge the time required to complete it.
Step 3: Who Is the Client?
Understand who the client is. Is the client an individual, small-medium business or a large corporation?
An individual will in most cases fund such a project from their personal savings. A small/medium business is already making money or in some instances funded. This means, their pool of financial resources is much better in comparison to a private client. Lastly, there is the large corporation. It has a lot of employees and makes a lot of money.
If the above three clients were to approach you, requiring a similar project with similar features, you can’t charge them all the same price. If you overcharge, the medium business and the private client will walk out on you. If you undercharge, the big corporation will definitely think your services are mediocre. And no corporation wants a website that is average even if their requirements are average. They have a knack for taste.
So, consider who the client is and charge them a fee which shouts professionalism. Otherwise, you might scare them away.
Step 4: How Much Does It Cost You?
This does not only imply monetary cost, but also the amount of time it will take you to complete the website.
What materials do you need to purchase for this project? And what is your hourly rate? Also remember to include the time spent on meetings, emails and on phone calls. These are part of the project and they too should be priced.
Pricing is an important aspect of your life as a web designer.
You simply can’t work on a project and give it out for free. Nor can you price your services too low hoping to attract more clients. These will only waste your time. You need to value your services. You need to value your time.
Whether you are starting out or you are an experienced designer, taking the above factors into consideration will help you make the right call.