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A few years ago when we were considering a major house extension, we were faced with a couple of options.  1) project manage the extension ourselves, co-ordinating a group of builders, plasterers, painters, electricians, roofers and plumbers.   Or 2) pay extra and get one company to do the whole job for us.

We went with option two.   And here’s why:

When I worked out my time-costs to project manage it, the costs of my own time almost balanced with the cost of a professional project manager.  We were roughly on par.

But I also realised that this was not just a cost calculation.  Because even if it had cost me a lot more to get a project manager on the job, I would still have done it.

Why?   Because I’m not an expert at building.  Certainly, I know the difference between a breezeblock and a brick, and I’m quite handy with a screwdriver.  But the overall cost of this project (over £100K) was a risk I was not prepared to meet, when you factor the “who you going to blame?” cost in.

It may not be a high cost… it might just be the cost of chiselling out a bit of wall to add another electrical socket, when the plumber says “it’s not me, gov” and the electrician swears it was.  Or it could be an enormous cost – a new load-bearing wall when the builder claims an RSJ is strong enough but the roofer says “no way!”

The fact is – someone is going to have to foot the cost.  And unless you’ve got that expert project manager running the show, that someone is going to be me.

I’ve worked on this principle for years.  For every project where I’m not the expert I now rigidly factor in a “WAYGTB” cost to all my projects.  And then once I’ve identified it, I’ll appoint the project manager or add a WAYGTB contingency to my costs

Although this is obvious for a physical building project, it is also relevant to a website build.  So many of our ecommerce customers have come to us after using a collective of resources, with no expert  project manager.   In many ways the web build can be even more complex than a house build.  The ultimate price to pay can be a complete rebuild and loss of clients as your site is down for months, and all you have to show for it is a series of emails all blaming someone else, in a technical language that’s undecipherable.

Calculating the WAYGTB budget

Sadly I cannot give you an exact calculation – but if you work out the cost of the project done by the cheapest option, the cost of the project done by the “best” option, and then the cost of not having a website in place (lack of clients, no sales etc), throw in some cash to cover your own stress and potential lack of work, and add these all together, you’ve got your WYGTB budget.







Might it not be a good idea to just go for the best option in the first place?

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