You’re thinking it, now: “That’s a strange thing for a guy at a web agency to say.” But really it’s not. Investment isn’t just about money. And investing less to gain a lot more in your web project means everybody wins. You save some cash, you can still get a great product, and the pie gets bigger.

Is investing less really possible?

What you should be wondering is whether investing less is even possible. There’s a notion that skimping on financial investments (i.e., budget) can be countered simply by ramping up personal investments of time and good ole’ fashioned elbow grease. Doing more on your part, so the story goes, means less you’ve got to pay for, and a cheaper-but-equally-good final product.

Sadly, that’s not true. Or, it’s only true if you’re already personally able to do all the sorts of things you’d hire an agency to do for you.

Investing less is possible. But it’s not without some discomfort. What you save in outlay you have to deal with in the form of an equally vexing cost: anxiety. In the case of a web project, it’s anxiety that the agency you’re working with really does know what’s best for you, how to work with you, how to build what you need, and most of all how to manage the rocky points along the path of any project.

Investing badly is bad all around

Suppose you had one hundred dollars to invest in the stock market. You’d immediately want to know which stock would guarantee the highest returns. Now suppose you had one million dollars to invest: you’d want to know exactly the same thing.

Your web project will go especially badly if you begin to believe that hedging your budget is a better choice than spending it confidently. (An equally bad move is believing that a bigger budget would make being confident easier.) If you aren’t going to spend your money on the prospect that looks most promising — and spend it confidently — then you shouldn’t spend any of it.

The only good solution

The only good solution is to work with an agency you can trust, one that inspires your confidence. And to engage that partnership like you mean it. Speaking from the agency side, I’ve seen plenty more modestly-priced projects turn into home runs than hesitant but deeply-funded projects turn out even okay.

It’s alright to want to invest less. And it’s definitely worthwhile. If you’re going to do it, though, it’s important to remember: Willingness to invest in the right things is the secret — and pairing with the right people is what ultimately makes it possible.