SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast Swashbuckler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    34
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Business Proposal advice

    Hi all,

    I've been invited to put forward a proposal for a potentially large web project following an initial meeting I had with the client this evening.

    It will entail a more project management role for myself with some aspects of the design to be outsourced.

    Now just to give a little info on my background I've only recently become a full time Flash Designer after a few years working for a city institution in the UK, so as you can see I've taken the plunge and gone for a lifestyle change.

    To cut a long story short I've had experience working with business plans/proposals and hopefully I can use some of that knowledge and apply it to writing a site proposal.

    Luckily I've managed to source this article: http://www.sitepoint.com/article/pricing-2-quoting-win

    Obviously nothing beats hearing from you guys and your experience in writing proposals for a business project and I would welcome your comments and suggestions.

    #1 My initial concerns are not so much the structure of the proposal but aspects such as the size of the proposal e.g. how many pages is too much?

    #2 Is it common practice to be able to ask for feedback after the decision.

    #3 The importance of gauging the client's ability to understand jargon and guiding them through it.

    #4 whats the best approach at getting quotes for the outsourced elements of the design.

    I'm sure there's loads of aspects to consider and any help would be most appreciated.

    All the best

    Swash

  2. #2
    SitePoint Evangelist bronze trophy Derek Sheppard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    566
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Swashbuckler
    #1 My initial concerns are not so much the structure of the proposal but aspects such as the size of the proposal e.g. how many pages is too much?

    #2 Is it common practice to be able to ask for feedback after the decision.

    #3 The importance of gauging the client's ability to understand jargon and guiding them through it.

    #4 whats the best approach at getting quotes for the outsourced elements of the design.

    I'm sure there's loads of aspects to consider and any help would be most appreciated.
    Well, let me take your questions in turn:

    1. This depends on the client. What is he expecting? You may want to ask him - "Do you want the 6-8 page executive summary version, or the 20-30 page detailed version with charts & graphs?" Generally, the larger and more bureaucratically-bound the organization you are quoting for, the more heft you'll need to include, unless you are dealing directly with the decision-maker - a CEO or Managing Director.

    It may also depend on other factors. My proposals tend to be longer, because I put things in the proposal that others include in the contract. I like short contracts, so I reference the proposal in the contract.

    2. I don't know if it's common. I always do, especially if I lose. No one's ever said it was a problem and most people are helpful, if you are polite.

    3. Jargon obfuscates. Eschew obfuscation. If you write well enough, you'll have no need for jargon or buzz-words. You don't need to impress anyone with technical knowledge. They assume you have it, or they wouldn't have asked you for the proposal.

    4. Pull out your Golden Rolodex full of Qualified and Trusted Professional Subcontractors and call them up to get quotes. Don't have that yet? Ask for recommendations from people you know. Ask for recommendations here. As a last resort, visit a *lance board and look at the feedback. Sometimes pickings are slim. Working with the locals is best, if you can find good ones and still make a profit. Start building that Rolodex for the future.

    Those are the direct answers. The larger question is whether you should do a proposal at all without having the job already in hand, or at least a very good chance that the effort you spend writing it will pay off. Why is this person coming to you for this job? Do you have a proir relationship? You are new on your own and using price to establish yourself? He likes the work he has seen you do? How many others are submitting proposals?

    (As an aside, I'll tell you that the article you quoted above is controversial here. Some respected members disagree with it. Fortunately, the proposal subject has come up a few times, so you can do a search for 'proposal' in the B&E forum and get lots of interesting results.)

  3. #3
    SitePoint Enthusiast Swashbuckler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    34
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks Derek for you comments they have proved very useful.

    At first glance I thought the very last thing you said was your tag line but that's definitely got me curious so thanks for highlighting that, I will do some research on this forum regarding said article.

    In answer to your questions I think I stand as good a chance as anybody to win the job despite my obvious disadvantage of having not had the experience of writing a website proposal before (although as indicated in my initial post I have knowledge of business proposals in my previous role).

    To my mind in the meeting I had with the client (working on behalf of the company) I got the impression that there may 2-3 other proposals to be considered.

    One of the things you touched upon re the project budget is something I need to clarify very carefully in an email. My initial meeting was to get a flavour of what the business was about and I am going to pen an email with a hope of establishing what the budget is and how flexible so that any proposal I do write is not going to fall massively out of its scope. Just need to choose my words carefully as potentially this could be a sensative issue.

    Finally, I've only recently started trading so I will be looking to outsource elements of the work with a a view to establishing a good reliable network of developer/programmers to work on future projects.

  4. #4
    Twitter - @CarlBeckel busy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Richmond, VA, USA
    Posts
    819
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    #1 My initial concerns are not so much the structure of the proposal but aspects such as the size of the proposal e.g. how many pages is too much?

    #2 Is it common practice to be able to ask for feedback after the decision.

    #3 The importance of gauging the client's ability to understand jargon and guiding them through it.

    #4 whats the best approach at getting quotes for the outsourced elements of the design.
    #1 Mine are usually between 10-15 pages. Complex projects might require more pages.

    #2 It's a good idea. Sometimes I forget. (Sometimes == often)

    #3 I try to never use jargon. If a client uses it I tend to explain what it means and gently remind them that it's better for them to know what the site does, rather than how it does it or what buzzwords are involved.

    #4 I have no experience here. I've got a flash guy but I've never had to use him. I imagine it's easier if you use someone you know. If it's for XHTML, CSS, PHP, MySQL, or graphic design you can practice on me, just PM me


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •