Creating Business Proposals Efficiently03 December 2013
Whilst I consider myself somewhat business minded; I don't tend to come up with business proposals on a daily basis, reason being I don't just do freelance, so most of my freelance work is with trusted partners. That means that I'm no expert in the art of proposals, and I don't quite have a ready made template which happens to be tried and tested.
Recently I've been talking to some potential clients; where I needed to give an actual proposal for the website and work I was about to conduct. Amongst other things I needed to:
- Establish exactly what I am going to give to the client
- Convince the clients that I'm a good option
- Ensure the pricing and project timeline are appropriate
- Include understandable terms and conditions of the proposal
- And most importantly have the proposal look good
I had been delaying doing the proposals for quite a while, however I remembered coming across bidsketch, a few weeks before - something which was supposed to help doing proposals. Seeing that it had a 15day trial, this could be ideal to give a shot.
When setting up the account; bidsketch asks what type of proposals you'd like to submit, it's important to set this up straight away as each type you add, includes a new set of pre-set tasks/parts which you can add into the proposal. Since I mainly provide web development services I chose this option.
As I started my first proposal, I realized that most of the content was already written up-front, especially when it comes to introductions. Not just that I could modify the changes and save it in my account to re-use later. This way I didn't need to edit my introduction for my second and third clients, making the proposals shorter as time went by.
Coming to describing the fees that; you're presented with 3 options, one time project fees, yearly fees and monthly fees. Making it perfect for coupling in hosting and other services over the long term, or even yearly support. With the option of adding multiple fees, including optional ones, the system is great for adding Addons, and increasing profits through these options. It's fair to say though that I didn't have enough time to thinker with these optional fees and I'd need to get back to them and give an update with how these fare.
When it comes to terms and acceptance, bidsketch makes this quite simple, with the document being signed/approved online things can move forward quite quickly. With my first proposal finished in around one hour and being hailed as very professional by the client, it was accepted with less of 24 hours being sent (though the deposit didn't make it so quickly). If I had to create the whole proposal template and text from scratch I'm pretty sure it would have taken me a couple of days to find the time to polish the text and design to a point of sending, which might have meant losing a hot lead.
I'm sure you can't think of that being too bad, and if you're still having nightmares with proposals I'm pretty sure you'll be giving bidsketch a try sooner rather than later.