For fast-growing businesses, a strong brand is vital. But, no matter the size of the organisation, budgets play a big part in deciding on which design agency to work with. The problem occurs when there is a misunderstanding between client and agency when it comes to budget responsibility.
Who does the responsibility lie with? Do you as the client decide on a budget or does the agency lead with what they think you need? Honestly, it’s a combination of the two. And, if an agency is respectable they will tell you if you don’t need the whole budget you’ve said is available.
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 the maximum budget. Whilst we’re sure this shady practice has been undertaken by lesser agencies, we can assure you this is not the case for most reputable agencies.
It’s important for both clients and agencies to feel comfortable discussing costs openly so that there are no surprises further down the road.
Design work is not a ‘one size fits all’ product and so asking an agency ‘how much does a logo cost?’ won’t get you the right answer. Every business is different and each comes to the table with its own needs and aspirations, and so the time and research required for each project varies accordingly, as do the costs.
Understanding the process
As a prospective client, it’s important to understandhow to brief your designersso no time is wasted.
Try to have plenty of information to hand about your business, your goals, your ideas and your available budget before you get in touch with a design and marketing agency.
The more detail you can provide right from the start, the more likely it is that an agency will be able to deliver the results you had hoped for on a budget that you’re happy with.
Once budgets and requirements have been fully discussed an agency will be able to put together an outlined proposal for you with costings.
What should you expect from an agency?
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, agencies should always provide clients with a complete breakdown 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 it is broken down into its necessary components: research, initial experimentation, exploration and finalisation. This can take an entire day, and the fee would naturally reflect this.
It’s important that there are no surprises further down the road so agencies should always be very upfront and about what’s included and what will cost extra.
Once your project has been mapped out in terms of timescale and resources, your agency will then create a bespoke, affordable payment plan so you know what’s being paid for and when.
Our suggestion is to find an agency you can trust and who’s work you admire. Give them as much detail as you can about your business, your goals, aspirations and ideas so they can work out exactly what’s best for you and your business.