We recently started working with a new online program called “Bidsketch” for proposal writing. Much of the work we do is very customized and each client’s needs are different. As a result, proposal writing tended to be a lengthy process that I always felt could be better streamlined somehow. Being a bit of a project management software geek, I thought I’d start looking around to see what online tools were available. I came across Bidsketch and have been using it now for several months.
I have to say that my desire to streamline has been more than accomplished. The software saves a library of services you create with your own descriptions and pricing so that you can select the items you want and insert them into a very professional looking template. Bidsketch also gives you some sample text to use for things like introductory paragraphs. I’ve found these to be useful – though I’ve definitely altered them quite a bit to suit my own company’s messaging. Once the proposal is completed, you can email the client a link to the online version of the proposal (kind of like a mini website with your proposal all laid out) or save it as a pdf. The client can make comments or simply provide an electronic signature to confirm approval. All the proposals are archived in your own personal account.
There are instances when Bidsketch’s templates pose some limitations. Text formatting is less flexible than working in, for example, Microsoft Word. Also the software has not yet been configured to adequately provide hourly or per item rates but I’ve been told they are working on that.
All in all, the response from clients to the proposals has been really positive. In fact one client was so impressed, they’ve started using an online proposal writing tool for their business.