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Web Design Fee - How Much Should You Charge?




How much should you charge for your web design fee? Now that you know how lucrative it can be to design websites for others, you need to figure out how much you will charge for your services.

You might be good at a skill or craft, but you need the basic business savvy to run your business. Donít worry, I wont tell you to go to business school. Just always remember that donít under price yourself. Charge what you are worth and make sure your client is every bit pleased with your work.

Having a business and client service background, I will share with you my thoughts on running a profitable and successful web designing business.



Research the Market

How much are your competitors charging for web design fees? Are they better than you in any way? Can you do what they are doing and even better? Do you have a lower cost of running your business than they do (i.e. they might have a big office where they pay rent and you might work from your home)

Your research will bring a lot of good information to the surface. And while you learn your competition, donít feel like you have to undercut ďthemĒ in order to succeed.



Your Web Design Fees

What you charge your clients for your web design fees will mainly depend on your cost of doing business. Do you have a lot of fixed expenses? Will you need a lot of expensive equipment and programs?

Being in business requires you make a profit. You can only make a profit if what you charge is greater than your cost.

After evaluating your expenses, you need to put a price on your time and skill level. How much skill and experience do you bring to the table? Can you work more efficiently than your competition? Are you faster?

Finally, you need to benchmark yourself to your competition. What are they charging in web design fees?

Not that it makes or breaks your decision, but what you charge should in around the same ballpark as your top competition. Unless of course you feel like you have a significant distinctive edge that separates you from your competition.

Put a price tag on each of those factors and determine what you need to charge to make the profits you want. If the numbers donít make sense, then it probably isnít smart to get in business.

But if you can make adjustments (i.e. lower your cost of doing business by working from home rather than renting office space) to make the numbers work, then it might be worth the shot.



The Service Industry Golden Rule

The rule says to know who your customer is (that goes for every industry). If you know your customer you will be able to segregate and target a specific group within a bigger group.

Confusing? Well as a wed designer you might get clients who just want a quick and dirty website up within 24 hours. You will also get clients that want comprehensive sites for their small business.

Who you choose to serve is up to you. But you need to determine which group you want to serve before getting in business. This will dictate your advertising and marketing efforts. This will also determine the name you make for yourself in the industry.

Spend some considerable time deciding what you want. It will be time well spent. Just keep in mind that serving higher end vs. lower end clients will determine if your business is quality based or volume based.

With higher end clients you donít need many of them. Just a handful will give you plenty business and will keep you plenty busy. With smaller clients, they will demand cheaper web design fees and therefore you will have to serve many of them (high volume) to make the same amount of money.

Generally though if a client is willing to pay a higher price in full then they are really in need of your services. They expect good value from your services and for you to do a good job for them. They will also be your best aid by referring your business to others through word of mouth (best form of advertising)!

On the other hand, clients that haggle and excessively negotiate with you are usually not very serious about their projects anyway. Some might be serious but their needs may not dictate for your services.

Either way these kinds of clients usually will take up more of your time (there are just so many to deal with) and may pose more problems for you (they expect much more than what they pay).



You Get What You Pay For

Again, I will reemphasize that you do not have to undercut your competition. Iím sure you have heard the phrase ďyou get what you pay forĒ. Itís true, at least the majority perception says so.

So think about this from your clientís perspective. If they see your web design fees are ďcheapĒ, they may think your product is average at best. You donít want to be just another cookie cutter developer out there do you?



Charge for your Dedication to Your Profession & Education

You will likely learn more valuable web design skills over time and get more efficient developing web pages. And maybe you ran into a special project and had to learn a new skill (i.e. flash, java).

Should be you charging all the other clients for this knowledge? I think so. Just because you became more efficient in designing webpages and learning other technologies in the past doesnít mean you donít bake that into your web design fees.

In fact, the more reputable and credentialed you are, the more you should charge. Your clients will appreciate your dedication to continuous education. It shows you are committed to your profession.

Think about what message you are sending if you have all kinds of skills and certifications and yet charge significantly under your competition. Your clients may think you are desperate for business. You must pricing for profitability and benchmark your competition well in advance.



Pricing Strategy

People perceive the value of a product or service based on the price they pay. Think about it, when you go out to a fine restaurant that has a hefty priced menu, donít you set service expectations in your mind?

Yes, itís all about the value of the service that you will get. The quality of the food must be good. That goes without saying. But if you are paying excessively more than usual for dinner, then I am sure you are expecting something ďmore than usualĒ as well right?

In the same way, you clients will value your services based on the web design fee they pay you. So if you want to run promotions or discounts, donít advertise your services as half the price you normally charge.

Instead, put an ad out that indicates your full price and then mention that you will be charging 25% or 50% off for this week (or however you want to run your promotion). This way, your clients will realize that normally you charge much more but are currently running a 50% off promotion.

Do the same when you are throwing in extras and freebies for your clients. Letís say you add a small flash intro to their home page, mention to your client that it normally costs X dollars to do that.

The best way to do that is to include it in your invoice to your client with the full price and then indicate on the bottom of the invoice that you have provided a 100% discount on the added service. This one action alone will boost your reputation and credibility tremendously.





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