"What's your budget?" - the question no one likes to ask OR answer; PART ONE!

As part of our business we ask about budgets on a daily basis. Of course, asking somebody's weight or age is far more personal but asking for a project’s budget can be as tricky or even offensive when dealing with new project enquiries. The last thing you want to do is start a new business relationship on the wrong foot.

We all tend to provide answers to difficult questions depending on context. If a doctor asks for your weight, more likely it is because of a health-related concern and it will be in your best interest to answer, whereas if this question comes from someone you just met: Why are they asking that question? Are they calling me fat? How are they going to use my answer?

01EX specialises in designing and manufacturing bespoke exhibition stands and other commercial interiors like shops, offices and public spaces. As with any other business that requires creative thinking a client’s budget is an important part of the solution-tailoring process. It defines the scope of work that can be offered and the financial viability of the project, hence our need to find an answer this question.

However, it is undeniable that there are two schools of thoughts to be considered when it comes to providing an answer to “the budget question”: Those who say 'no way' and those that say 'why not?', so let’s look at some of the arguments.

Reasons people say 'no';

• You are not sure that you will be getting the best price possible if you give a budget

• Providing a budget may weaken your negotiation strategy

• You had a poor experience with a contractor that took advantage and didn’t provide the value for money return that you were expecting

• In your opinion it is none of my business and shouldn’t ask

Reasons we think you should say 'yes';

• Your answer will provide a rough idea of what needs doing. In our experience, big discrepancies between the original quote and the final bill are due to misunderstandings or lack of communication, not profiteering.

• A fair budget figure or ballpark range will help you. A real expert will use it to come up with the right design and options to satisfy your expectations and affordability.

• In the long run it will save you headaches and unnecessary meetings. If your budget isn't right 01EX we will tell you. You may even get a recommendation for an alternative partner better suited to your needs.

• Having a budget means that you have invested some time and effort into understanding your own project and have a clear idea of what you want or wish to achieve. As professionals in our field we will guide all our clients through the different stages of a given project, from concept design to fitting and success is always linked to understanding what you need, want and can afford.

• Perhaps it's the first time your company is attending an exhibition, creating a retail space or a showroom, and your idea of cost is a far from reality. By being honest you will quickly learn if you are being realistic in your expectations and we will be more than happy to offer our guidance so that you can work out a fair budget for your project.

While we obviously think that sharing your budget with us is sensible, we fully appreciate it's still an awkward conversation to have, so in part two of this blog, we will try and help you reach your own conclusion about budgets, as well as showing you exactly what kind of results you can expect for bespoke exhibition stands in these brackets;

  • Less than £10,000
  • £10-25,000
  • £25-50,000
  • £50-100,000
  • £100,000+

Read PART TWO here or, alternatively, contact us if you're now ready to share your biggest secret... your budget!