Writing Out Project Business Proposals from Little Briefs.

by Adewale Adedamola

Welcome! Let’s create a story, shall we?

Let’s assume a client comes your way but he doesn’t have much time to sit with you and walk you through what he needs. No coffee meeting where you could brief each other and take turns questioning. He however prefers Phone calls and voice messages. He then sends you a voice message of what he needs and followed up with a quick phone call, END OF STORY.

Come alive! Stop assuming!

Quick Question; How do you reply to your client with the most detailed and professional documentation in the simplest form to secure the deal?

A host of creatives have missed out on lifetime opportunities due to the inability to present their proposal in the most required way. I have been there and I know what it feels like and that’s why I write this to walk you through my escape template.

Stay close, friends.

  1. PROJECT OVERVIEW:

Let’s assume once more and pick a project, say Allyson App. Then your project title goes like; Project document for Allyson App. (You get the idea of naming projects now)
After you might have titled your project, an Overview of what the project is comes up. In your overview, you basically just write back what the client said in the briefing (remember our story up there?). Some choose to use background but whatever your pick is, it has its place.
Definitely, the client will also mention where he wants you to come in, so, let’s call this Deliverables and Execution List.

2. DELIVERABLES AND EXECUTION LIST:

(I like to put this in front and that’s because I want my client to see all my value prepositions at a glance, the first glance at that).
Here, you write out the services the client needs you to do and also keep in mind to include what you can offer. It is very important that you propose your own value.
So far, the Allyson App now has a list of services to be delivered, keep them simple and short.

Such as; Allyson App services:

  1. UX design: User story, architecture map/flow chart, research, wireframe
  2. UI design: style guide, interface graphics, mockups
  3. Web interface: (Obviously this is why you were called upon for this project)

Afterwards, it is best you propose other services you can offer.

Such as; I also offer other services including:

1. Identity Branding: logo revamp, visual designs, shirts etc.
2. Product Maintenance
3. Product management
4. Product development (recruit and manage developers)
5. Social Media Graphics
6. Strategy documents; pitch deck, one pager, etc.
7. Admin (if he never made mention of such)
Now that you have highlighted these, proceed unto his Business Goals.

3. BUSINESS GOALS:

Don’t stress it. Just highlight what he already said he wants to achieve in the next couple of months, those are his goals. The most common goals you are more likely to hear are;

  1. More reach.
  2. More sales.
  3. More output.
  4. More downloads.

After his business goals, you want to include his Revenue Models.

4. REVENUE MODEL$:

Big question! How does this new development fetch me money? Where does my client make revenue, profit from this business proposal so he can call on me next time to take another project for him.

The most common sources of revenue are:

  1. Ad sections.
  2. Premium services/subscription
  3. Transaction charges
  4. Voucher
  5. Referrals
  6. Staking.

You obviously care about your client making money, so there should be a section that has a lucrative feature included in your UX design that you have improved and added to the client sales power regardless of what he has already planned. By so doing, this shows you are a functional designer and there is a big chance you become the product manager. Remember we mentioned proposing your value? That’s right!

5. KEY FEATURES (of the project, in this case Allyson App)

I’m walking you through my template, so in my opinion, it is necessary that you present the App’s features and what they are capable of doing by attaching a sample of how they do it on each side.

For example:
1. Wallet system (Cowrywise)
2. Referral commissions (Patricia)
3. Next day payout (Paystack)

6. COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS:

You sure would carry out a firsthand research on any brand that needs your service, right? I hope you do because this is where your brand research kicks in and pays off!

From your research, write out and make plain his Market issues and Users’ issues. Also, include all you could get about his online metrics, reports and feedback and also, trends. By this, you could even indicate if he needs a service (e.g. the Allyson App) or not, very important.

While you pitch this, you can create a sub section out of your research exercise.

Subsection 1
TARGET AUDIENCE:

The most common targets are;

  • Corporate businesses (banks, hotels, airlines etc.)
  • Institutional businesses (churches, schools).
  • Retailers (small scale).
  • SMEs (large scale)
  • SBOs (Small Business Owners)

You can go on to indicate that you did a One-on-One research/Questionnaire research to know if the project is user centric and usable and also to find out if it will solve the users’ problem.

7. PERSONA:

In creating a persona, these are the important questions that need to be asked.

  • Name, Sex, occupation, Location
  • How frustrated they are towards a problem (pain points)
  • What would they wish they had if they were to solve it / what do they need to solve it
  • What are the brands they will rather use?

8. TAKE-HOME-TO-CLIENT:

Here, you shortlist your ideas, make known your success factors, and research takeaways. This is literally the sauce on your excellent presentation. You don’t want to overdo it, just do it right.

The last but not least is to add your EXTRAS! What’s the EXTRA?

9. EXTRA:

Your extra comes at a cost: RESEARCH! From your research, you know the competitors of your client and then highlight top 4 competitors in your client’s niche. Why do you need to do this?

  1. To identify their strengths
  2. To identify loopholes (where they didn’t get it right)
  3. To identify opportunities (where you can use advantageously)
  4. To identify how they pose a threat (where they are better than your client)
  5. To identify usability measure (takes from their app/website)

(Once you’re done, Round it up with 7-8 figures! That’s a lot of work, isn’t it? Yeah!)

Project will cost 7-20M naira. Clean, nice and smart!

Whoosh! I’ve walked you to the end of my template and this is how to propose value to a client that just intends to hire you for a gig (UI/UX) with 350k.

Summarily,

  • Negotiations will take out some deliverables, definitely.
  • The fact that you went this far shows that you are the best for the job.
  • Trust is earned
  • Premium service here: free consultation to get this document to win the contract
  • In most cases, you become the Project Lead
  • High chance of getting hired as in-house
  • If negotiations fails, you have a root in the industry through research (UX portfolio)
  • You sounded more professional
  • You can fill this document up in one day now that you have a template (“I will get back to you sir”
  • When you seal the deal, half of your job is done
  • Negotiations failing will help you with new case study to work with (procrastination solved)
  • You earn better money

If you’ve come to read the summary, you really should read the whole article. We talked about how adequate research alone can pay you off, it will always be worth it.

Now go out there and secure that deal. Share with your friends so we all can win together!

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