Imagine you’re running a small business. In this particular line of business (oh, let’s say you sell muffins) you require a van with which to make deliveries to your customers. You’re tasked with purchasing a vehicle capable of undertaking this most important aspect of your muffin delivery business.
The Muffin Man (or Lady)
As with any industry, you have overheads and expenditure to worry about. Keeping these low will go some way towards making a real fist of it in the business world, but where do you make savings? Do you sacrifice the quality of ingredients that first brought your muffins to the attention of the masses? Do you buy cheaper spatulas? What if you skimp on the delivery van?
Don’t bother leasing a shiny new van when you could pick up a second-hand van for next to nothing. A quick paint job, a couple of Magic Trees over the rear-view mirror to mask the smell (what is that smell anyway?), slap your logo on the side and voilà, you’re good to go!
One day you get a big order via some word-of-mouth marketing. You load up the van with all sorts of muffins (blueberry, toffee, banana, chocolate, the lot!) and set off. It’s not the fastest or most attractive van in the world, but it’ll do.
Until it breaks down…
You’re stuck. You’re never going to make this delivery on time. You’re going to lose money and potential repeat business. Not to mention the fact that you have to get this hunk of junk repaired! How much will that cost? You could try and fix it yourself, but do you have the know-how or indeed the time?
If only you had taken the chance with the more expensive van. A larger outlay of cash could have saved you money in the long-run.
“Yeah, well, what’s your point?”
Well, a van (or any other piece of tangible equipment) is, in a sense, no different to a website when it comes to making a wise investment. You know the old adage, “if you buy cheap, you buy twice.”
Whilst it may seem like an attractive prospect to go with the cheaper option, there is a great deal more to consider than short-term costs. There are plenty of free and cheap template sites to choose from, but there’s a lot more to competing online than sticking your logo up and choosing a background colour.
Just as you wouldn’t want to find your delivery van broken down at the side of the road, you don’t want to miss out on business opportunities online by failing to invest in a properly developed, structured and optimised website.
For a very comprehensive, well-written and well-researched post on web development pricing please read Carol Lynn Rivera’s brilliant ‘How Much Should A Website Cost?‘