Branding on a Budget- Building an E-Commerce Site

Branding on a budget, and building an e-commerce platform is really challenging. How do you actually get this project off the ground without spending so much money, or even hiring a big agency to do this? It takes a lot of planning but it can be done.

Give Yourself Time.

Give yourself enough time to complete this project. This also goes hand in hand with how much you’re going to be able to spend. Some of the key areas that you’re going to want to allocate funds or time for are going to be copywriting, photography for your website, understanding and doing the user experience flow and layout and making the time to upload and apply quality control to everything. This is a minimum of six weeks on your own pulling everything together.

Spend Conservatively.

When it comes to putting things together on the website, you have options. You don’t need to hire a big graphic designer, or someone who’s going to take a lot of time and money, and an agency that’s going to pull it all together. For a cost between $5,000 and $25,000, you can find competitive places to outsource this work. A good resource is the Shopify Expert section; it gives you access to a lot of designers that are specifically working with the Shopify platform.

If you’re working on another platform, you can also find other great outsource designers to help you make those customized changes to that platform. If you’re not a graphic designer, and you’re not someone who’s used to building these kinds of things, you certainly don’t want to build it all for yourself. If you have $500 to spend on your website, spend that money getting a designer, or someone on budget to maybe put it together so you don’t make any mistakes. If you have $1,000 to spend on your website, bootstrap that and hire someone to write a little bit of the key messaging, or the key copy on the site, and get someone on budget to put things together. It’s recommended that, on average, spend between $5,000 to $10,000, if you really want to get something stellar off the ground.

The best way to start is to just give yourself enough time. You have access, at any given moment, to thousands of creative people who could help you build your site. If you’re not able to plan your website out far in advance, you’re going to end up pulling from low-hanging fruit. Some have had great experiences giving themselves three months out to build out a website, and actually ending up with agency-quality graphic designers, and agency-quality developers at very discounted rates. That’s because they were able to do their due diligence, find their proposals, and find somebody who would work well with them within their budget.

The big takeaway here is put aside whatever money that you can to build your website. Your website is the first touchpoint of your brand. If you can spend $50,000, $25,000, you can send it over to an agency. But if you are looking to bootstrap it, give yourself enough time and give yourself the right allocation of budget in the right areas. I guarantee you’re going to have a real quality product at the end of the day.

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