I see it all the time in community forums and online groups and I get asked the question every week. How much does a website cost?
To which I answer “how long is a piece of string”?
I know, I know! That doesn’t come anywhere near answering the question of either the new start up business owner who is trying to budget for their start up marketing, wondering how much they are going to have to bootstrap their start up.
Nor does it answer the query from the experienced business owner whose website hasn’t been touched for more than five years and needs a major overhaul to bring it into the 2020s.
Before considering cost, let’s talk about value:
- What value can you put on having a 24/7 presence that converts random visitors to interested potential customers?
- What value does having an online “assistant” available to take messages, make appointments or answer those frequently asked questions?
- How much is it worth to your business to be able to sell products online when the stores are closed?
- How critical is it to your survival in a pandemic-ridden world to still be able to market your services, without the ability to network face to face?
- How important is it to your professional credibility to be able to share your knowledge, demonstrate your expertise and share information for free to begin to engage with your prospects?
These are just some of the value-added services a website can provide. Let’s cost these out in more detail.
A website gives you an alternative shop
A storefront in a mediocre location will most likely cost you around $1000 per month for not many square meters. Plus outgoings such as electricity and water. I found a 30m2 shop in my local tourist destination beachside town’s main street for that price. With about 4m of street frontage.
That doesn’t include the price to set it up, install fixtures and fittings or signage. To get started in that location I am most likely to spend upwards of $5000 before I even hang my shingle. So that gives me a 24/7 presence but I have no guarantee that anyone passing by will even call in let along become a customer. And each year I’m committed to at least $12,000 just for rent.
A website gives you an assistant
If I were to employ an assistant on a casual basis, for a minimum of 4 hours a week, at the going wage of around $37.65 which is the average wage for a personal assistant in South Australia (9% below the national average at the time of writing) including casual loading, then it would cost me around $9000 per annum, including average on-costs for employment (I used 15% if you want to check my numbers).
And that would only give me an assistant 4 hours per week. A website gives me an assistant to take message, make appointments and provide answers to frequently asked questions all day, every day. At the going rate that’s worth upward of $300,000 per year!
And your website rarely goes down or takes sick leave. I also haven’t included here the value of your time that is freed up by implementing some automation to do the regular tasks.
A website doesn't knock off, get sick or take a lunch break
If I were to sell products on line, my store would be open 24/7 instead of say 8 or 9 hours a day. Let’s assume your store is open 6 days a week (because it just isn’t worth it to pay Sunday penalties for a few tyre kickers to come through during the afternoon).
So instead of trading 54 hours a week (6 days at 9 hours per day), you can trade for 168 hours per week (7 days at 24 hours per day). Let’s assume for the sake of sanity that your customers sleep 8 hours a day, or 56 hours a week.
That still leaves 112 hours per week they can access your site and purchase your products. That’s more than twice as many hours.
If your daily takings in your store front are on average $1500 per 8-hour day – and I know this will vary massively depending on your industry, location, products and so on – but come along for the ride with me. With average turnover of $1,500 per day, that’s the equivalent to $187.50 per hour in turnover.
Now you have 112 hours per week that takes your turnover to $21,000 per week, instead of $9,000 – because you can now trade 7 days a week, 24 hours a day – I’ve only used 16 hours per day to calculate this – let’s not get carried away with other time zones or shipping overseas!
And I haven’t factored in the reality that you can only serve one customer at a time in your physical shop. An online store can process multiple orders simultaneously. An online store could be worth conservatively $12,000 per week in additional turnover. That’s the equivalent of $624,000 per annum.
If we consider the income generated, rent costs and the cost of an assistant, a website which is your store front could be worth around $1,000,000 to you per year. And my figures were conservative! I know I did a double take at that figure too and triple checked my calculations!
Even if it is only 25% as good as my calculations – would an extra $156,000 in income and savings be worth it?
So is it worth it?
If you are considering whether your business needs a website, an online store or an upgrade, don’t just think about the upfront cost to build the infrastructure – consider the value it might generate for your business:
- the increased exposure online
- the opportunities to automate menial repetitive tasks
- an ability to answer the same questions all the time, and
- the opportunities to promote your products, services and expertise 24/7.
The money you save on shopfront rent and staff will be much more than you would expect to pay for a new website and still give you a healthy marketing budget to get the word out.
A forward thinking business owner will ask how a website can add value to their business, and how it can give them more time to get creative and strategic in their business.
How can you take hold of the opportunity to automate, promote and trade online?
What value do you think you could add to your business by improving your online presence, upgrading your website or enhancing the automation behind your business?
If you’d like to get clear on the opportunities that might be available for your unique business, then get in touch.Use my automated booking system to set a time for us to chat (see what I did there?).
I’ll give you an hour of my time with no obligation so we can chat one to one, without interruption and I will share some ideas about how you can improve your online presence, automate the menial tasks, improve engagement with your prospects or setup an online store so you don’t have to be there to open the doors every day at 9am.
So, really, how long is a piece of string?