If you are reading this post probably you already know how proposal might be important, if not then it’s definitely worth repeating: bad or even worse no proposal at all could be not only a deal breaker but a could turn into a nightmare for you (price is too low, client’s expectations too high and so on). And having a proposal makes a beginner freelancer look more professional – that’s always a good selling point.
I thought the same when friend of mine asked me to help his friend to build a “simple” website as he said. It wasn’t a 1 page website, actually after a discussion with client it appear to be a mid-size CMS portal with RSS link aggregation feature. I didn’t want to waste much time to write detailed list of requirements but I needed some document to support and continue our business communication – proposal.
Here’s main parts of my proposal:
- Client Information – Company Name, Address, contact phone number and etc.
- About Contractor – Brief paragraph about you or your company, list of previous and/or current clients, portfolio, credentials, certificates, degrees.
- Purpose – Description of project. Weather it is an e-commerce, marketing, service or information oriented website.
- The Site Map – No explanation needed. Nice, colorful chart is preferable
- Web Application – Mention what web application will be needed, usually it’s CMS with customization and modules or rarely custom-build webapp
- Project Overview – All the details from your initial interview with client could be put here (you had conversation with the client, right?)
- Services – What is included in price
- Conditions and Exclusions – What is excluded, things like hosting and domain name registration could be extra
- Development Schedule – How many phases of development and when payments are due.
- Maintenance and Additional Changes – Follow up cost, like support and changes after going live.
- Estimated Service Costs – Breakdown of website price.
You can also download example of my proposal (all the names and prices are changed) and use it as a template or example.
And don’t forget that well thought proposal could save you lots of anger and frustrating later!