How Much Does It Cost To Build A Website (Or Anything Else)
Below is a checklist you can go through to find out the value (and fairness) of whatever it is you want to buy but are stuck on (be it a website or anything else). First though, a look at why we get stuck. It matters to know this.
Without the technical expertise to value something, we’re at a disadvantage, and we know that because we go into fear mode. We are frightened because:
- We don’t want to be ripped off.
- We don’t want to spend more than we need to.
- We don’t want to look stupid.
- We don’t want to be sold a pup.
The fear is the same whichever way you look at it. We lie to ourselves that we are not frightened of anything. We say it is common sense not to have to pay more than we need. We say we don’t care what other people think. We say this is simply being pragmatic. We get irrational about it. Our emotional intelligence takes a dive.
So here’s my pragmatic guide to figuring out the value of anything (not just a website).
1 Think about what you want to buy and answer these 3 questions:
- Write down right now how much you could afford to pay.
- Then write down how much you would be willing to pay.
- FInally, write down how much you think it is worth.
Revisit these questions when you’ve gone through the rest of the points on this page.
2 Work out the precise value of what it is you are contemplating buying. Do this in terms of:
- Time saved
- Money saved
- Peace of mind
- Return on investment
And add any other factors in you can think of.
To understand how much time it will save you (or your staff, your suppliers, your customers, or anything else you can think of) you need to analyse and understand what your life is like right now whilst you haven’t got this thing you want.
3 Write down exactly why you need this thing. In what way is it going to improve your life or business? Write a list so you can refer back to it as you work through the rest of these points.
4 Write down all the features and attributes it must have to fulfil your wishes. Think about what it is going to do that you are not already doing? Running through your mind may be the question of what else you could do instead to get the same results?
5 Figure out what makes this thing you want unique and not available elsewhere. What is the one crucial thing this solution does that nothing else does?
If you discover there is no uniqueness to it – so it turns out to be a commodity, then your choice will be immediately widened (and you will already know something different about the price you were expecting to pay).
Write a list of alternatives if it makes sense to do so.
6 Work out how long you need this thing for. If it’s going to last you a lifetime, that will make a difference to your expectation of cost, but then again, do the alternative solutions also have this attribute (see point 5 above)?
7 Work out if you can resell it after you no longer need it (or will it be written off). Is this a real asset? Or just a cost of the business? Is this a real investment or just an expense?
8 Find out how long this thing will last for. You may have discovered from point 5 that you are likely to need this for life, but will it last that long? That adds more cost if it needs replacing.
9 Speaking of which, are there any ongoing maintenance costs? How long can it survive without them? – ie. are they really necessary and are they compulsory?
10 If you still value this thing, write down the full specification of your needs so you can get legitimate quotes (see your items in point 4 for reference) – this will clarify what you really want.
Make sure your specs also fit point 2 – do not extend the specifications just because you can or it seems like a good idea. It’s a business decision. Ask your business what it needs (not yourself).
11 Understand that our sense of fairness is entirely arbitrary and comes from our sense of fear (being ripped off, made to look stupid, losing money).
12 Ask yourself what you would be willing to pay if this thing could do precisely what you want AND live up to all your expectations?
13 Revisit point 1 and see if your expectation of price has changed.
14 Send out for quotes using your specification from point 10.