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Why it pays to share your budget with your designers
Product Design Melbourne

You will need three things when embarking on a new product design project: A customer need, a business goal and a project budget. The one thing that 80% of customers don't mention to their product designers is their budget. (Some also don't even know if their need is something they can make a business out of yet - but that's a whole other topic. read about it here).

At our Product Design studio in Melbourne, sometimes customers don't have a budget in mind or they're not prepared to disclose it. But really, it pays to share your budget with your designers. Here's why.

"If I tell you my budget then that's exactly what it will cost"

At some point cost will come up. It's one of the first questions we ask potential customers. We understand that it makes people nervous and it's a leap of faith to tell someone your budget up front. We've had clients tell us "If I tell you my budget then that's exactly what it will cost".

And to an extent that is true.

Your budget decides the type of product/service you receive. It also determines how each of your goals for your new product design project are met.

There is no one way to design a product, solve a problem or fulfil a need. Each approach has advantages, disadvantages, and different price points. With your budget in mind, we'll be able to tell you what we can do for that amount. More importantly, we can guide you towards more appropriate solutions for your business. Your proposal may include or exclude solutions to suit your price range.

If your product designers don't know your budget they could spend hours writing up a proposal that is out of your range. If we quote a basic design program at $10,000 or more per stage (often for 6 stages) and you only have $2,000 to spend total then we aren't even close. It's a waste of your time and your consultancy would appreciate a heads up.

When you're expecting a Mercedes Benz and you're shown a Ford Focus

Of course there is a minimum price to complete each stage. But is that what you want? Is that what will meet the needs of your customers and help your business thrive? The car dealership analogy often makes sense here. If you're expecting a Mercedes Benz and the dealer shows you a Ford Focus you're going to think that the dealer is not a good fit for you. The Ford Focus may meet the needs that you have put forward, but if your budget allows you not only to just meet, but to exceed your needs and to bring delight by meeting additional lower priority needs, wouldn't you prefer the Mercedes Benz?

If we know your budget we can tailor the best solution to meet your goal. It's a balance between time, money and best solution.

Look at your budget as an investment. The more you are able to put in, the more you get back when you're selling your product later in your business.

Find the right designers for you

By revealing your budget you can make better comparisons between designers. What can each offer within your budget? Can they offer more value for money? Do they think the budget is reasonable for what they can do? You can tell a lot by how they react to your budget:

"That number is great, when do you want to start" - you've found a potential match but can guess that it's a large project for them or they're eager for work. See what value and quality they can provide for your project. "We couldn't possibly do it for that number" - you've found something out of your budget, probably not a good fit at stage. "We could do something for that number but you might need to give up some of your needs" - you've found a good match that is willing to work with you and guide you towards a solution that meets your budget.

If you don't know your budget the next best thing is to give us a range that you can work in. It might be $5K, $50K or $500K. Knowing your range will make sure that we are on the same page (or at least the same chapter!) for your product design project.

It's an important part of our relationship with our customer to ask the tough questions and build trust with each other. We want you to succeed in business and we only want to do work for you that will pay itself off in the future.

Already know your budget? Get in contact and we will see what value we can add to your next product development project. Contact the Melbourne Product Design team to get started today on +61 3 9413 9000 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Michelle Rosevear, 1 September 2017



The customers' conundrum. Pick two.

Keeping your budget secret  from your team is not the way to get the best result.

That Ford Focus may meet all your needs, but if your budget allows, wouldn't you prefer the Mercedes?