Writing a great web development proposal requires skill and practice. These proposals almost instantly catch the reader’s eye. They are quite different from your run-of-the-mill proposals, and they bring out the creative talent at the agency.
Good advertising doesn’t guarantee you landing a prospective client. Whether you’re running a major web agency or just starting out, creating a structured, well-defined proposal plays an integral role in signing on new projects. Some of the best agencies know how to do this right.
It gives you the opportunity to connect with the client and really explain your vision.
- What is a Web Development Proposal?
- 5 Important Sections to Add to Your Web Development Proposal
- Free Web Development Proposal Template
- Best Practices for Creating a Web Development Proposal
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What is a Web Development Proposal?
The web development proposal is like a written contract that usually spans several pages. Most agencies use it as a written agreement between themselves and the prospective client.
The proposal lays out all of the important points associated with the project, bridging the gap between the services on offer and client expectations. It mentions details such as the requirements of the client, the services offered by the agency, and the timeline to be followed. Keep in mind that this is different from a Request for Proposal.
But what are the essential elements to include in a web development proposal? Before we begin, it’s important for me to highlight that there’s no set structure that you need to follow.
5 Important Sections to Add to Your Web Development Proposal
Here are 5 key sections that you have to include in your proposal to make a good impression.
1. Executive Summary
While you have considerable creative freedom when creating the proposal, you should always include the executive summary at the start of the proposal. This section will summarize client requirements, the services that you are offering, and why your agency is qualified enough to handle these tasks. Underline the key benefits the client will receive. For instance, will the new website help the client benefit from a gap in a prospective niche and position themselves for higher profits? If so, put that in there.
Furthermore, include information about the ancillary services you will be offering as well.
2. Project Outline
The executive summary goes into greater detail to outline all of the stages of the project.
You can break this section into two parts: the problem overview, and the solution overview.
This section should inform clients, in clear and elaborate detail, about a problem or an opportunity that they haven’t fixed or taken advantage of yet. It is critical that you show the client you understand their major problems so they can trust you.
Some of the best proposals focus on the main problem, referencing it over and over to show why your agency is the right fit to solve it.!
You have to create a feeling of trust so that the prospect thinks that they can trust you, to the point that they stay on with you for future projects through retainer contracts. You have to show that you actually care. This will eventually help you get more clients.
Presenting the Solution
Now that you have described the problem in extensive detail, it’s time to focus on the solution. For this part, you need to do a great deal of research.
Interview a few people at the company, or talk to a few stakeholders before you put this section together. Before you begin, explain the impact of the problem on the client’s business as a whole in easy-to-understand business terms, and then proceed further.
Link the services that you offer to how they meet the needs of the client. Maintaining clarity is important because it shows that you have taken the time to go through their requirements and feel that your agency is a good fit.
This section demonstrates your agency’s ability to understand the problems of a prospective client, and coming up with viable solutions that meet their needs without adding any unnecessary services.
3. Scope of Work
Most examples of successful website proposals have a dedicated section that highlights deliverables. You have to clearly define the scope of the work to be done.
An undefined scope of work can lead to scenarios such as agencies doing much more work than they originally planned. We have all come across clients that want you to do a bit more for a bit less. Do you really want to get bogged up in that?
By underlining the scope of the work before the onboarding process and getting your client to sign up on that, you are making sure that you are appropriately compensated for your work.
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4. Project Completion Timeline
How long is the project going to run? Again, this section needs to be very well-defined, including dates and times. Break down the project as best as you can to cover everything in this section. You could create a table including the dates and the separate stages involved in the whole project.
If you are going to be testing in production afterwards, it should be highlighted as well.
Keep in mind that the timeline is a tentative projection susceptible to change. There are going to be hiccups along the way, so you have to factor in those as well. Discuss the dates with the client before finalizing them.
5. Requirements and Payment Milestones
This section breaks down client requirements, including documentation and credentials, along with the dates by which you need them.
Then divide the whole project into separate sections, and add payment milestones so that you and the client can track the work accordingly. This ensures the work continues smoothly. Once each milestone is cleared, you can move on to the next!
Free Web Development Proposal Template
We have created a web development proposal template that you can use to pitch to a prospective client. Here’s our free template.
Web Development Proposal Template
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Best Practices for Creating a Web Development Proposal
We’ve covered the basics. Now, it’s time to talk about some best practices you should always follow when writing a web development proposal. If you do this right, your acceptance rate should jump by a significant margin.
1. Define Your Goals Clearly
Website creation isn’t an end goal in itself. It’s a means to an end.
The goal of creating a website is deeper, like to generate more leads , or to improve the visibility of the brand. This is the underlying issue you need to clearly address. The client should know that both parties are on the same page. Your proposal shouldn’t just focus on “making a website.” It should always highlight the goal behind the creation of the website. When you submit the request for proposal, you can further elaborate on different elements.
2. Do Not Forget Integrations
Websites are not as simple as they used to be. Today, there are a host of different integrations that create dynamic websites. From connecting the website to the client’s social media accounts, to managing the backend through a dedicated content management system, you can incorporate various appropriate integrations in your web development proposal proposal.
If the client already has integrations or preferred web apps, ask them about it. It might not be relevant at the development stage, but it’s definitely going to play a role later on. And who knows, you might get more work as a result!
3. Don’t Over-Design the Document.
This is a cardinal sin. Don’t do it. There’s a very thin line between good design and over-design when creating a web development proposal. In an attempt to show off their creative talent, many agencies put all sorts of bells and whistles on their website development proposal.
That’s a terrible idea, and may put off the client permanently. Remember, the focus should be on providing a solution, so don’t invest too much time in designing the proposal itself. Focus on the meat of the content, not the packaging.
It’s best to create a web development proposal that is consistent with your overall agency branding.
4. Focus on Clarity and Value
Good web development proposals highlight the value offered by the proposer. The language you use should be concise and clear, and it should spell out why a client should hire your services. Why would they want to stick with you and not go with someone else? Focus on highlighting the appropriate value you can create for the client.
More importantly, give the client an insight into how you handle client management. It’ll help them understand how you deal with businesses.
5. Always Present Your Proposals.
It’s one thing to simply hand over the proposal to the client. It’s a whole other thing to present the proposal and answer any questions that the client might have.
Proposal presentations give you the chance to make a positive impression on clients, who’s really like it when agencies take the initiative to go above and beyond.
Even if you can’t meet the client in person, hold a virtual meeting and run through the proposal before letting them mull it over on their own time.
Writing a web development proposal can seem a bit daunting. The trick is to know what you have to present to the client and what you want to show them. As long as you include the elements given above and follow these practices, you’ll be cranking out fantastic proposals in no time!