"Your startup website cost or product cost is based on 4 main life cycles, testing your idea, getting your first customer, get your first seed or series A round, going to series B and Beyond."
For starters I have launched and worked with over 100 startups. I started much beyond Webflow and joined an Ecommerce Shopify competitor back in 2014 that later sold to BootBarn. But that hasn't been my main high-five. My proudest moment(s) are when I tell startup that they frankly aren't ready for a custom Webflow 6-page build. Seriously, my favorite moments during the day are when we turn clients away because they frankly aren't ready for a big-custom website or no-code project. Why? Because they are at the best phase of an exciting journey - trying things and tweaking them to find their first customer. I tell them to find a Webflow or Bubble Template and learn enough to swap out images and text.
Please don't pay us $20K and expect to find your first customer. Period.
Let me outline really quick the startup journey and what you should be spending (minimum) at every stage and I have a break down that is quick to relay to see where you are with your invention and how much you should be paying for a custom, highly animated Webflow site or No-Code Product.
(Scroll down to see a diagram)
We suggest using a a Webflow or Bubble Template and only paying Pay $16 - 45 a Month on Hosting at this stage. Only build 1-2 Pages Max. For No-coded products only create 3 pages with 1 main goal and only 6 form fields (max). The main website should be a single page with a homepage of 3 sections max.
What you should pay your Webflow Agency: Nothing. You should be looking for a freelancer (maybe) with a minimum cost of $500 - $1500 weekly cost for setting up something very, very simple or altering your theme.
Build on your Webflow or Bubble Template and add on 2 more pages and 2 more features. For this stage we recommend putting any budget you have in PR and Publish, Publish, Publish and Promote the heck out of these new features.
What you should pay your Webflow Agency: This should be close to NOTHING or a even smaller freelance fee to add on more features. Save your cash to PR campaigns and build an audience, community or social presence.
At this stage you have three new stakeholders, attracting conversation about your product, getting investors to write you check and getting new hires. This is the time to rebuild and redesign everything. Use customer feedback and complete a design discovery and customer journeys. PR Campaigns will be higher than your Webflow agency costs.
What you should pay your Webflow Agency: Budget for $25K at the minimum for just the site design (budget separately for Lottie animations or video (marketing product how-to films). This is a rebuild and redesign with proper naming rights, trademarks and social ad campaigns. Your Webflow site should be 10-20 Pages. Our advice is to find an agency with Seed stage experience and knows how to display your product or service in an animated fashion.
At this stage you have more stakeholders and these are usually your enterprise customers or established community and high-stakes funding partners with high-growth requirements. Rebuild and Redesign everything AGAIN! And now its time to start a Design System. Enhance customer journeys and features and promote the heck out of these professional, shiny new features. Make sure your animations on your site are on-point! and the scroll experience is interactive. Now is the time for whitespace and a blog with more than 30 high-qualified long range posts in it (more than 5000 words for each please!) and a help center with a dedicated team page. Hire your first Webflow in-house technician. Finally you Webflow agency costs will be higher than your PR Campaigns.
What you should pay your Webflow Agency: Budget for $75K at the minimum for just the site design (budget separately for Lottie animations or video (marketing product how-to films). Your Webflow site should be 35+ Pages. Our advice is to find an agency with advance series stage experience and knows how to display your product or service in an highly animated fashion. You should also budget for ongoing training and a maintenance retainer within this agency or a secondary to train your team to scale out the Webflow Design system. We at BrandWeld created the oldest one that has been used (a ton throughout the years): https://www.codelessmarket.com/contactless-co-template-theme
For starters our pricing went much higher after Webflow's Series B funding. The amount of Webflow ads created a surge in those asking for our services. Today 40% of our income comes from training and maintenance work, not full site build-outs. How many clients do we take on a year? We annually do around 12 - 20 websites. Today, at Webflow, I instead of thinking about hours or long term client value, I think about project pricing in terms of where your company is at within their start up stage.
Because, let’s face it, even when we’re not working directly on a project, it’s partnering with you during your life cycle within the company, and startups are a running, moving target. Whether we’re in the shower or making dinner, we’re still thinking that next feature with you. But it’s hard to charge our clients for this time, so I pick and choose the clients based on where they are in their stage.
So I decided to think of each project in terms of how much headspace I’d devote to the project, and then how long I’d be devoting this headspace for. When you are at a series A or B we as an agency have to think very critical about your companies message, the animations, how to display your product and what benefits your product or service give to your end clients.
In my experience, it’s best to think of this in terms of weeks. Then benefits of using Bubble or Webflow is that you can consider your project in weeks instead of 4 to 6 months. So for each new project, I ask myself a couple of questions:
It’s important to remember that your headspace and agency bandwidth is limited (especially lately with the amount of Webflow leads coming in). You can only give so much thought to any given thing in any given week. If you spread your team too thin, your projects will suffer.
Understand that these are minimums. At BrandWeld we have minimum pricing to attract those that are at a certain journey to maximize their ROI. For companies, the last advice is to a partner with investor-able agencies to benefit from their experience in regards to growing your idea.
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