Whether it is an informational website, eCommerce store, custom web application, blog or any other type of website that can be developed, if you follow these guidelines, you'll write an accurate proposal everytime. Not only will you write an accurate proposal, you'll protect yourself from additional work without making your client upset.
They key to this formula is breaking out the website task by task and keeping the time per task. Now you might be wondering, won't this take a long time? Unfortunately, yes it does, however, the benefit is worth the time.
How many times have you had a client say "Oh, well I thought that was included." or "I discussed this with you on our initial consultation". I know I have, and this puts you in a tight position. You either have to bite the bullet and take the hit, or risk upsetting the customer by telling them it will cost more.
When you break the site out by task, it shows the client every single thing they will get on their website. Now you don't have to get crazy with it, but be rather specific. Also include the time in minutes of how long you estimate each task to take. I have listed an example proposal below.
- Front End (Put break down time here (120))
- Homepage (60)
- Graphics to highlight web development and hosting.
- About Us (30)
- Services (45)
- Web Development (30)
- Web Hosting (30)
- Graphic Design (30)
- Contact Us (60)
- Program form to send details to client email (20)
- Collect Name, Phone, Email, Details
- Sitemap (60)
- Additional Programming & Tasks
- Design company logo (120)
- Design website mockup for client approval (180)
- Advanced SEO (60)
- Install Google Analytics (10)
Calculating The Costs:
Now you have to establish what your hourly rate will be. Lets say your hourly rate is $50/hour. Lets add up all the minutes and multiply them by your hourly rate and that will give you your costs to develop the site. So we have 855 minutes / 60 = 14.25 hours. 14.25 x hour rate of $50 gives you a total cost of $712.50 to design and develop the site. You should know, or will learn over time, how long it takes you to do a task. When you send this to the client, ask them to look over each task to ensure that the proposal includes everything they have asked for and if something is missing to let you know now.
Makes adjustments a breeze!
When you calculate your proposals like this and the client wants to make a change, it is super easy! So if they want to remove the logo design, you already know you have 2 hours alotted so the price will come down by $100.00.
So all in all, when a client comes to you and says "I thought that was included" you can tell them that it wasn't included in the proposal and will require additional work in turn raising the price. Also, be sure to remove the values of time prior to sending as many clients will think they know how long things take, and everyone takes different time for different tasks.