Most people who are setting out to purchase a product or service start out with a budget in mind. This helps the process by limiting choices and making sure that they do not spend outside of their means. This way when someone is going to purchase a car they don’t pull into the dealership that sells $100K cars when their budget is only $20K, or vice versa.
Although this happens every single day, many SMB’s are not forthcoming about budgets when it comes to figuring out an online marketing strategy. Whether it is a feeling of distrust in the process or something else, often time’s businesses are reluctant to put this number out there initially. Regardless of apprehension, this is always one of the first questions I ask and will continue to be, because it is important for a variety of different reasons. I have outlined why being upfront about budgets is best for all parties involved.
- Time is Money – Whether it is the SMB, or the online marketing company, time is an extremely valuable resource. If you get the process started and find out that the marketing company that you are planning to move forward with can not accomplish the goals you have set out, that is a problem and a lot of time has been wasted. Additionally, if you find out that the company you are planning to use is out of your budget range, same problem.
- Quality over Quantity – When an SMB gives a budget up front the marketing expert can then explain the best way to use that budget, which may actually save them money in the long run. For instance, if you are quoting full web design projects, but may only need a basic website with more focus on SEO, this could possibly save you money and shift resources to more effective tools. Certainly build trust with the company, but also remember that they are the experts and you are hiring them for a reason.
- Getting the BIG Picture – When a marketing company only receives pieces of the puzzle it is impossible for them to put it together. If you are quoting web design with one company, SEO with another, and Social Media Marketing, with yet another, this is a formula for disaster. Make sure you have a full budget in mind and tell each company all things you are looking to get started and why.
Of course we all want to get the best price and the highest quality products, but holding onto all your cards can actually end up costing you precious time and resources in the long run. When doing SEO in San Diego, CA the budget is always the first question, so I know how to construct the most effective program for that company with the resources they have. Next time you are “shopping” for online marketing services make sure to pick a budget ahead of time and be upfront about it. Once the company has the budget they should be able to easily allow for an apples to apples comparison, so you know you are getting the best “bang for your buck”.