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For someone new to proposal writing, putting together even a simple one could be a real challenge. As a software developer, however, writing software development proposals isn’t something you can run away from. As soon as your freelancing career picks up and you start receiving big money projects, clients will be asking you for proposals. Preparing a software development proposal might be quite difficult for someone whose focus is on nothing but programming.

It doesn’t have to be difficult though. Why? There are already various resources online to guide you. They provide a solid foundation for you to build on. Most of these resources also come with examples for you to borrow from thus making the whole proposal creation process as effortless as possible.

Image Credits: typeset.io

For the best results, ensure you employ the following tips.

1. Write a convincing executive summary

At the very opening part of your proposal, your potential client must be wowed. Remember he’s probably receiving a ton of software development proposals from many other freelancers and may not have all the time to read all of them. Write the executive summary like it’s all the opportunity you have to convince the client. And most likely it is. In the executive summary, highlight what makes you stand out. Address the client’s problem head-on by clearly providing solutions to each element of the problem. How well you understand it, how you’ll solve it and why your way is the best way must be clearly communicated.

2. Answer questions one would typically ask

As you move deeper into the flesh of your software development proposal, answer as many questions as possible. Don’t just answer any question you can think of. Anticipate questions and address them individually and systematically. There are clients who literally don’t have the time to keep requesting for one piece of information after another.

3. Share your portfolio

As a freelancer, by the time you’re receiving a request for a software development proposal, you must have at one point in your career completed some related software development projects. These should be part of your proposal. For each project, express in simple and clear times why you did them, the problems they were expected to solve, whether or not they solved these problems, why you chose the programming languages you used, and why you believe they’re excellent, linking these to the predominant industry best practices.

  • Are they of good design?
  • Do they address user experience concerns?
  • What are their security features?
  • Are they using the latest technologies?

By showing your potential client the amazing designs you have done and providing explanations about their functions, you portray yourself as a master of your trade.

4. Share an implementation road-map

By the time a client is reaching out to you for a software development proposal, he already has an idea of what his problem is. Even though he may not know the exact time it’d take a freelancer to get the job done, he definitely has a period within which he’d like the project to be completed. This can be a source of conflict if you fail to explicitly state your timeline in your software development proposal and subsequently in the contract. One mistake you should never ever make as a freelancer is to give a false schedule just to win the contract. Instead, add a little more time on top of the time you need to drive the project to its logical conclusion. This will cater for any eventualities.

Image Credits: examples.com

5. Have a professional and appealing presentation

The overall presentation of your proposal must be appealing. Software development, as you already know, is incomplete without a good design. This attribute must be evident in your presentation. How you format your proposal, how you lace it up with images, and the kind of fonts you use all coalesce to tell a story about you. Your potential client is smart enough to look at the design and presentation of your proposal and perceive whether you’d be able to deliver a reliable software program. A good design could also give you an edge over other freelancers pitching for the same job.

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