Two days ago I got a call from "Jen". Jen wanted a quote for a HubSpot Website Refresh. Jen had gotten proposals from 5 agencies and they ranged from $5,000 to $50,000. The proposals were different and they confused her more than they helped her.
My call with Jen went well. We didn't waste a lot of time. By the end of it she said "Now I have an idea of what I need to do to get this done and know what it will cost".
Jen's not alone. I've got the stats below to prove it. It may help to put the stats into context first so they make sense. Don't worry the juicy stats you want to see are coming. Y0u can skip ahead here.
If you have no concrete plan and have questions, you're operating under fallacy if you think "proposal hoarding" brings enough focus to get the job done.
Proposals Don't Create Plans
Saying "I need a refresh for a site" isn't a plan. No one's going to put in the time it takes to figure out a plan for free. So the proposal you're getting is junk if you haven't articulated youre plan. If you have a spec written out or an RFP that is a different story.
Figuring out price is the last step. The first step is creating a spec. You've got to be aware of the things you could need. Has anyone showed you the inventory of everything that could to into the refresh?
One thing that's saved our clients time and some steps is a tool I made. Hundreds of exploratory calls for website refresh projects combined with our "ever evolving" systematic approach to custom design, I've been able to do make this tool. If you're curious feel free to use it here.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.
I've had 5 calls a week for the past two years regarding HubSpot Website Refresh projects. That's 520 doing the math "rough".
I see one thing over and over which has proven that the budgeting and planning process for creating a HubSpot Site Refresh is broken. A lot of people feel alone, but the majority are in the same boat. You try to do it on your own and when one question's answered two more come up.
Most of the people I've talked to, have done a few website refreshes. They followed the same buying process every time and every time they didn't like the outcome.
Using a website estimator specifically designed for HubSpot Site Refresh Budgeting will show the pieces you're missing in your plan before you put a number to it.
In the past month I've tallied up answers to common questions for budgeting and planning a site refresh.
If you're a Marketing Manager or if you run a company, it might help to know that we had a 50/50 split in respondents. 50% were Marketers and 50% were CEOs. Their problems were pretty consistent.
1. Planning could require a Xanax. 70% expressed being overwhelmed or having their team "put it on them" to figure out.
2. 80% had done a Website refresh before. However no one had an internal design or development team that could do the whole thing.
3. While 50% said they had a budget in mind, most were missing the upfront planning to determine what was needed.
Here are some contradictions in the "physics" of planning and budgeting for a site.
1. Everyone wanted a site quick. 10% said yesterday. 40% said in 4 weeks. Everyone else said no more than 1-3 months.
2. Almost everyone wanted to do a refresh because their site was dated and their competitors had sites that looked better. Yet 50% had no style guide for their company. Even a simple style guide is required as a first step. It's a signifcant part of the budget that can't be overlooked.
3. 40% planned on changing the copy in a major way during the refresh but most had no plan. That's not going to sync up for a 4 week refresh.
4. When the designers and developers have done their part, somebody has to be in charge of creating the pages and publishing them with content. 60% said for a fast refresh there would be little content change on most pages. Yet, almost 40% didn't know if they would do it or the firm they hired would do it. That is a significant piece of the budget. The remaining 60% were evenly split among doing it on their own, having the firm do it all, or a joint effort.
What about using HubSpot Templates?
By now most people know about HubSpot Templates and the HubSpot Marketplace.
- 85% said that they would be using templates for their refresh.
- 54% needed a minimum of some help setting up the templates.
- 40% said they needed development help and high levels of customization on the templates for key pages.
Only 27% actually knew how to use HubSpot Templates. And over 70% said they needed training or might need training.
Template packs can range from $500 to $2,500. Some template "makers" are on the other side of the world. (Even I am... If you're among the 1% reading this from the far east) Some aren't even design certified. Many aren't HubSpot partners. So what's the true cost? How are you accounting for the hidden costs in your budget?
Is this easy for anyone?
By the end of the study questions 0% - NO ONE said "I've got my planning all figured out and can handle this for the next 6 months."
Everyone wants a plan. Everyone wants a budget. Everyone wants it fast.
What's going to get you all three?
Another consult call? More proposals? Has that ever made things more clear? Has it ever gotten you the result you were expecting on time?
The website estimator is a quick first step towards knowing what you need. Some agencies use them too. But most won't let you use it unless you talk to them first. This one is ungated.
Don't worry no one calls you after you do it unless you ask.
It's meant to help. Website Refreshes are never done by one person. But if you're all "alone on it" so far, the estimator could be your best friend.