Business

Proposals aren’t supposed to suck – the life out of you!

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There’s one thing that pushed my procrastination gift to a higher level than it usually is – and that’s proposals. It’s pretty ironic, since it’s a combo of kick ass proposals and turning them around pretty quickly that get you new business, right? It’s probably because of the amount of proposals that I’ve done in my lifetime. The endless hours, nights, word gremlins taking over, cut and paste gone wrong, you name it. So bugs me about proposals the most? It’s the time it takes in putting the information together and formatting the document to look ‘outstanding’ and ‘professional’.

Turn around time is key to winning the business. This infographic shows that average winning proposal is 2.7 days to client, while average losing proposal is 3.4 days to client. How long does it take you to turn around a proposal?

So I went on the hunt for an online proposal platform. And I came across Bidsketch.

Bidsketch makes me look like a rock star, and shaves off a ton of time that I can be using to get even more new business and be more productive. It’s an online proposal creator that you can customize for your type of business. Whether you need a proposal, an estimate or just a brief description of your services, you can customize it in Bidsketch.

How does it work?

It works in sections. You create a library of ‘sections’ of your proposal which you can easily choose depending on the client, the type of proposal and business you are going after. These sections can be edited, once chosen.

Imagine that you are working through a proposal and your opening sections are:

  • Client Needs
  • Goals & Objectives
  • Scope of Work

Bidsketch Proposal Sections

Other sections in your proposal can be:

  • Project Timeline
  • Next Steps
  • Terms & Conditions
  • Payment Terms
  • Examples of your stellar work
  • References

Your payment section is super easy to set-up. You can put in payment details as a project fee, a monthly fee, or break it out which ever you want. You can also add optional fees – to upsell your services!

The other part of Bidsketch is your client list that you build on the platform. Your client information can easily be pulled as merge fields into the proposal that you are creating. This definitely takes care of those multiple times you had taken an old proposal and cut and pasted so many parts of it to create a new proposal, and missed the ‘old’ clients name in the new ‘clients’ proposal. Has that happened to you? Fess up.

Once your proposal is created and you’ve checked it one or three times, you are able to send it out from Bidsketch. Through the client panel, you are able to do a couple of things:

  • View the status of the proposal – whether a client has viewed it, postponed it or hopefully accepted it!
  • If a client has comments on the proposal – the are able to communicate those comments through Bidsketch keeping them all in one spot
  • Customize the client landing page
  • Once accepted the client can also sign the proposal or agreement with an e-signature saving you the painful back and forth

Bidsketch Client view

Features that rock:

  • Customized templates
  • Ability to full edit the copy
  • Ability to embed images and videos to show off your work even more
  • It ties into online solutions such as Freshbooks, and I love that. Once a proposal is accepted by a client, it automatically creates a client profile in Freshbooks, and creates the first invoice based on the info that you had in the payment section in your proposal. How cool is that!
  • It also integrates with Salesforce, Highrise, SugarCRM, Harvest, and Basecamp.
  • You can have your entire team on Bidsketch [costs a little more, but so worth it]

Why that’s perfect for a small business or independent/freelancer?

You have to keep it mind that you need to keep your proposals simple and not long! It’s shown that proposals less than 5 pages long have a 51% chance of winning you the business! The key is to get it to the prospect as soon as possible.

What rocks even more about Bidsketch is Chalyse Elsasser on their support team! Quick, always there for me, super professional and friendly. How can you NOT love great customer servic

Bookmark Ruben’s blog – you’ll love what you read.

How many people love/hate doing proposals? Comment please!

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