What is a proposal and what does it include? Let’s back up and state that proposals are normally given for project-based work. Last week we did an introduction to necessary paperwork for a VA, and now we will take a closer look into defining a proposal.

Know What You Are Writing a Proposal For

Project-based work could include social media packages, websites, and other projects with a flat rate. Ongoing work may not need a proposal. When I do a flat rate, I do a proposal and most of the time I charge 50% deposit and 50% when the project is complete. I also do 5/10/15-hour packages that are hourly and purchased up-front, and these hours are used throughout the month, expiring in thirty days. My other packages where clients renew every month have rollover hours like the old mobile phone plans.

Pieces of a Proposal

What is a proposal and what does it include? It’s good to start off with a letter, almost like a resume cover letter. This will let the client know you are excited and thank them for the opportunity to share the proposal.

Now we move on to the next piece. What is required to make this project work? When I was doing websites, I highlighted tech requirements. They needed a domain name, hosting, WordPress, and so on. These requirements can be different based on the type of proposal and the project.

The piece after tech requirements is the scope of work and the different things you’ll do for the project. With the website as an example, you’re informing the client that you’re setting up tech and integrations. You’ll let them know you’ll help them get domains, a website, WordPress, a logo, design pages, and so on.

You’ll itemize the scope of work and show all it takes to complete the project. Show the client you’re worth the money and how it’s better for you to do it for them to help ensure success. Itemizing gives a big picture of what work goes into the project. I call my third page The Bottom Line where we cover all the costs. Outline each piece, for example showing the total for the website and the total for integrations.

The last piece would be the terms and for me, I detail the 50% split payment and include a timeline. Give a good time expectation and don’t let the client assume, which may cause them to check in constantly. Make sure there are no questions, and it’s best to underpromise and over-deliver. You can set a realistic timeline and if you finish early, it looks good to the client.

Include an Expiration Date

I always say to put “this proposal is good until X date”. An instance like inflation may cause prices to go up and someone can’t come to you six months later wanting a previous price. Learn from me as I have learned this from experience.

Training Is Available!

HoneyBook makes the process simple. I have training on how to write a proposal and a template I made in Canva before moving to HoneyBook. The package is inexpensive, including the free template.  You can find the How to Create a Proposal Mini Workshop by clicking here. 

What is a proposal and what does it include? Hopefully, this information helped answer the question! I’ll share the workshop in the show notes and next week we will discuss the important policies and procedures. Have a great week!


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