Everybody in the agency world talks about project proposals. But what exactly are they?
If you’re looking for the quick answer, here it is: a project proposal is a document or a set of documents that is used to define a project and represents a working document between the provider and the client before a potential project. In some cases, a project proposal is a formal offer from a provider to a potential client.
Also, in practical terms, a project proposal is the step that transforms interaction with the client from a discussion about the requirements to a practical discussion about timeline, deliverables and pricing.
What are the components of a project proposal?
A project proposal includes all the information relevant to the client to help them make a decision, like:
- Project background
- Objectives and deliverables
- Timeline and milestones
Should you send a project proposal without a prior discussion with the client?
No – the project proposal should be the result of an ongoing conversion with the client and it formalizes what was already discussed. The details in the proposal should never be a surprise for the client, as they have already invested time and money in getting this far, so the project proposal should make it easy for them to say “yes”.
When should you send a project proposal?
The project proposal should be sent after all the sensible items have been clarified with the client and they are already close to a decision.
How to create a project proposal?
There really isn’t a single way to do it. It depends on the industry, project and many other aspects. You can keep it simple or you can be very creative. It depends on what you’re selling and what type of relationshop you have with the client.
When in doubt, you can always use a proven, well established template. There is a handy collection of templates, called The Agency Kit Templates Collection, that helps agencies and small business prepare any document faster. You can get it here.