I needed to present a professional proposal and I needed it fast.
The Proposal Kit Revisited
... reviewed by Joyce Evans
I needed to present a professional proposal and I needed it fast. My schedule was too full to completely design one so I went searching for a product. I found the Proposal Kit and fell in love. Well, maybe not love, but it's pretty darn nice... I wrote this over a year ago and have been using it ever since! What a difference it's made. My clients are very impressed and it sure has helped in the proposal end of things as well as the contract.
I'll get into more of the details in a little but but I want to share a bit of the personal experience I've had using this kit. As my business has grown this past year I've had to find new ways to keep everything organized and a system for bidding jobs. Some of the forms in the Proposal Kit Pro has helped me track how long tasks take and keep a record.
When growing a business you'll constantly be "tweaking" your contract and your proposal. When I first started using the Proposal Kit I only used some of the more basic forms. Now I go back and find the "sign off on the design" sheet, the specifications sheet and many more. This package helps the client know exactly what they are paying for, while protecting me in the event of "scope creep".
"Proposal Kit Pro" is geared towards Web, CD-ROM, software, and IT businesses. The Proposal Kit comes with templates for various parts of a proposal-you pick and choose from 72 templates for the Pro version and 27 templates for the Lite version. However the Pro version is the best value. You not only get the Proposal Pack with the templates, sample filled out templates and a style (design) but it comes with quite a few other products.
Included in the Pro Kit is a whole range of contract tools as well. For new Web designers or small design companies starting out on a limited budget, contracts are an expensive proposition. While no contract package can take the place of an attorney, they may be a good starting point for you. For many independent designers/developers you may be able to use the contracts. But if in doubt or need additional clauses, be sure to consult a contract attorney.
Briefly, the options are:
Proposal Kit Pro which includes, proposals (over 100 templates (22 new in version 9.5). Other new features include:
- Added tax calculations to the project estimate spreadsheets.
- Added more line items to the web development spreadsheet.
- Added Web Site Hosting Price Guide template and example.
- Added Web Hosting and Server Setup Information sheet.
- Added Issue Log Spreadsheet.
- Added Work Order Tracking Spreadsheet.
- Added set of security questions to the existing Interview Worksheet.
- Added more design tips.
Contract Pack includes material for pre-project protection, project development (including web sites, CD-ROMs, video, graphics, hardware/networking, general software and more), project and contract changes, intellectual property protection, ownership transfer, project acceptance, policy disclaimers for public posting, subcontractor and employee agreements, resellers, problem notification, demand for action and much more.
Web Plan Kit is a collection of materials used to conduct an extensive interview, design a project storyboard; and then develop, deploy and market a web site project. This stage helps you write an effective proposal.
Estimate Pack, includes these features and more:
- estimate & costing spreadsheets for
- General project estimates
- Web site estimates
- CD-ROM estimates
- Video estimates
And sample proposals to learn from. There is are two graphic design styles (Proposal Pack).
Proposal Kit Standard includes proposals with 34 templates, Contract Pack - Lite, Web Plan Kit Lite and 2 sample proposal collections (lite versions).
Proposal Pack Wizard, a stand alone product that is pretty handy, but not required. It's an interface I found quite easy to use. I could browse through the templates and choose the ones I wanted for my specific project. The wizard then generated just the templates I selected into one file.
Proposal Packs are generic for any type of business. All the packs have the same templates but the graphic design is different in each. This is a stand alone package. You don't need to purchase the other kits if general business is what you need
If you are handy with graphics you can customize your own proposals and contracts by making your own graphics which you can then use with the kits.
For a complete product comparison go to: www.proposalkit.com
Using the Proposal Kit Pro and the Wizard (I also have a couple of Proposal Packs) I am able to develop a very professional proposal and contract in the fraction of the time it would have taken me. Plus I have the forms I need as situations arise. I first started using the Proposal Kit Pro for the proposal phase and was delightfully surprised by the extensive resource for not only documents I needed but the spreedsheets, price evaluators, interview and basically resources I needed to grow my business!
Joyce Evans is a web designer, Dreamweaver/Fireworks expert, and author of numerous books for web designers and developers.
Visit Joyce at her web site: www.je-ideadesign.com
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