When you're in the web design and development business, it can be very easy to under quote or over quote a project. Both ways can be disasterous. If you under quote, you'll end up losing a lot of time and money. By the way, if you do under quote, do not, under any circumstances, ask for more money. You messed up the price, you bite the bullet. Live and Learn. Anyways, if you over quote, you'll probably lose the job to another developer. So how do you know how much to put on your proposal?
Ask the right questions! You can write an accurate proposal everytime by collecting all the details. I've included some questions below as well as a Word document that you can download and print off everytime you consult with a client regarding their website.
NOTE THESE QUESTIONS ARE MOSTLY FOR AN INFORMATIONAL WEBSITE, NOT A WEB APPLICATION.
1. What would you like your website to do for you? (Showcase products/services, increase sales, reduce advertising cost, distribute info, provide customer service, attract advertisers, etc.)
2. What is the purpose of your website?
3. Who are your company's closest competitors? List URLS.
4. Please give three description words that would reflect your site.
5. What kind of theme would you like your website to reflect? Are there any particular colors you would like us to use? (Professional, corporate, fun flashy, bold, wacky, etc)
6. What elements will you provide to help create your website? (Company brochures, logos, catalogs, electronic text, pictures, etc.)
7. Would you like, or do you need, your website to contain any of the following capabilities?
Interactive Menu Feedback Forms
Message Boards Banner Advertising
Website Tracking Stats eCommerce
Password Protected Login Audio/Video
U-Edit Software Search Engine Optimization
8. What is your estimated budget for this project?
9. Are there any websites you'd like us to view for style references. (List them below and describe what you like about each one)
10. Will your website require us to update it? If so, how often and what will it consist of?
11. Will you be using us for your monthly website hosting?
12. Will your website require Internet advertising?
Search Engine Optimization
Pay Per Click
13. Are you currently using eCommerce software?
14. Are you considering using eCommerce software?
15. How many pages would you estimate your site to be?
16. Are there any non-html modules that need to be on your site? (blogs, social networking integration, photo galleries, etc)
17. Is there anything else you'd like to include that might help give us a better 'feel' for your web project?
18. How did you find us?
There is more to writing an accurate proposal than just asking the right questions. Check out my follow-up post about the science behind writing an accurate proposal. Formula To Writing An Accurate Proposal
Click Here To Download Word Document