I could cut right to the chase and give you a dollar figure for your new website. I could also cop out and tell you that it will cost between a few hundred dollars and a million dollars. I’m not going to do either of those, though.

Stick with me for just a little bit and I promise I’ll give you a real answer.

What Does a Boat Cost?

Seems like an irrelevant question to ask, but the answer is much more in line with the cost of a website than you might think.

The easy answer, of course, is “it depends.” It depends on what kind of boat you are purchasing. It depends on the quality of the boat and the cost of the materials it takes to build that boat. It depends on the boat brand’s perceived value in the marketplace. It depends on the additional features that are added on top of the base model. I think you see where I’m going with this.

The more accurate answer to what a boat costs (and, coincidentally what a website costs as well) is anywhere from a couple thousand dollars to a couple hundred thousand dollars, with the majority being closer to the former end of the spectrum – somewhere in the $20k to $45k range.

Some Real Numbers and Validation

As a boat manufacturer, you know why your boats cost what they do. They’re probably high-quality, hand-crafted, custom, effective, valuable machines.

So is your website.

At Thrive, our philosophy is that your website is the cornerstone of your brand. Yes, there are many other pieces that make up your brand, but they ultimately all lead traffic to your website.

When visitors come to your website, you have their full attention. You can tell your whole story and prove why your product should be the one they purchase. They’re at a place online where there are no outside distractions from competition or banner ads or links to other websites. How often does that happen?

The importance of your website is what gives it its value. If you could have a tool designed and developed that told your story in a way that increased your sales by 25%, what would that be worth? What if it increased sales by 50%? Or doubled sales? What if it provided an avenue to sell your products online (like an e-commerce store) that you didn’t even have before?

Sell your gear online.

To make any of these potential opportunities a reality, some research must also be done. While the research can’t objectively be done without cost, it can (and usually does) provide an insight into more than just the website. Our competitive research stretches well beyond the website to uncover market demands, which often results in determining and improving business strategies as a whole.

But What About Sites Like Squarespace?

By now I’ve let on that your website costs should be equivalent to the cost of a shallow-water skiff. Yes, that can be a lot of money. Especially when there are sites and services out there like Squarespace, Wix, Shopify, and so on that are a fraction of the cost to get started.

When the price is too good to be true, it usually isn’t true.

Without getting into the nitty-gritty of each service, each of them has its limitations. Because you don’t have access to the source code, you’re locked into what they offer in terms of features and data. Some don’t even allow you to transport your content. With any of these services, you have to start over when you wanted (or ultimately need) to go in a different direction when budgets allow or you’re sick of hitting roadblocks. If you want just a website with a couple of pages and a stock template that a couple hundred other sites are using too, then I suppose one of these site services might be an okay option – but I’m guessing that’s not your idea of your best brand representation.

So, if you prefer to show your customers that you care about quality and that attention to detail is important to you, you’re going to want something more custom. How you present yourself online says A LOT about how you craft your product. Are you a cookie-cutter boat manufacturer? No? Then why would you settle for a cookie-cutter brand?

How to Budget for Your Next Website

When the price is too good to be true, it usually isn’t true.

We can all agree that tens of thousands of dollars is a lot of money – even if it is worth every penny. You’ve certainly heard it from potential customers about your boats and we understand.

For this reason, we spread the cost of our branding/marketing program, which includes your website, evenly over the course of a 12-18 month engagement. Our process, WAYPOINT, offers you the benefit of having your entire brand and marketing system, audited and then built up to create a comprehensive, modern marketing ecosystem – with your website as the central focal point. In addition, by spreading costs over the entirety of the program, you’re not with heavy up-front down payments, making budgeting for the entire year easier on cashflow.

If you have a marketing budget (and you should, but we’ll get into that another time), you should be able to budget a monthly cost of a few thousand dollars for your website and marketing efforts.

If you’re looking for a partner that can help you increase those sales by 25%, 50%, or more, let us know. If you’ve realized that you need to be selling your products online and aren’t, let us know. We’d love to engage in a conversation about how we can help.

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