FreshBooks Introduces Proposals

October 3, 2017


FreshBooks’ new Proposals feature helps small business owners win new jobs faster with professional-looking proposals.

If you’re a freelance creative professional or small agency, you’re probably familiar with scenarios like these:

  • As you walk out of a successful meeting about a new project, the prospective client asks you to send your pitch in writing.
  • You’ve been short-listed for a lucrative project and need to submit a professional bid on company letterhead.
  • You’re answering an ad for a freelance gig and need to really sell yourself to stand out from the crowd.
  • You’ve been referred to a potential new client and want to give them an introductory document that outlines your rates, experience and the type of work you do.
  • You’ve been asked to send an estimate for a project, but you’d like to offer more details about the additional value your business offers and be clear about the scope and timelines.
  • You create proposals in Word or InDesign, PDF them and email back and forth you’re your clients. It feels unnecessarily cumbersome and time-consuming.

What if you could create a professional-grade pitch as easily as you whip up invoices and estimates?

Enter FreshBooks’ Latest Feature: Proposals

“Proposals focuses on the value a business owner is offering a client as opposed to just the services or costs that you might find in an estimate,” explains Thais Amaral, a user experience designer at FreshBooks.

“[Using Proposals], you might remind the client what problem you’re solving, describe your process, offer a timeline and share a little bit about your business. These are all important things for creative professionals to express to explain the value of the service they provide.”

Like most great product improvements, the idea for the new feature came from FreshBooks customers themselves. In the quest to constantly improve, the product development team regularly interviews small business owners who use FreshBooks and pores over the feedback they get.

They heard from many professionals that proposals are an important step to securing new work and clients. Adding Proposals to FreshBooks was a logical step to creating an efficient process “from pitch to paid”.

proposals

Proposals: What’s in It For Me?

While the Proposals feature will be available to all FreshBooks users, the product development team expects creative professionals will benefit the most from it.

“Clients may never have worked with a creative professional before, so it’s especially important for this group of business owners to thoroughly convey the value, scope, timeline and deliverables with the client up front,” said Lindsay Rothman, FreshBooks lead product manager.

Proposals can be sent as follow-ups to great meetings, responses to RFPs (request for proposal) and can even be used as cold pitches to new clients.

Features include:
• Your company logo
• Custom sections like Overview, Scope of Work and Timeline
• Pricing (using the same format as Estimates and Invoices)
• Notes
• Terms

Benefits of Proposals

The Proposals feature offers business owners a number of distinct advantages:

Easy to Use

Built right into the FreshBooks, Proposals is as easy to use as the Invoicing and Estimates features.

Consistent, Professional Communications with Your Clients

The same letterhead and color scheme you use for Invoices and Estimates will appear in Proposals for a clear and streamlined look. You can even add images or graphics for extra visual appeal and/or to showcase your work.

Efficient

Just like with Invoices and Estimates, creating a Proposal in FreshBooks is a cinch. No more PDFs and email threads. What’s more, your client can accept your proposal directly. And, when the time comes, you can easily convert your proposal into an invoice.

Easily Customizable

You can add or remove sections to tailor your proposal for each project and client. You can also add your own new sections complete with images and formatted text to suit your needs.

Saves You Time

Forget about starting from scratch in Word or Excel or combing through your files looking for your template every time you want to create a proposal. Each one you create in FreshBooks will be saved and easy to find.

Improves Client Communication

No more wondering if a client has even looked at your proposal, much less considered it. You’ll be notified when they open it and if they add comments to it, so you know exactly when and how to follow up.

Keeps Your Business Documents All in One Place

It’s handy to have all of your business records (invoices, estimates, expenses and proposals) in one place for easy reference. With all the information at your fingertips, you’ll have a good sense of your business activity and can make informed, big-picture decisions.

Early test users of Proposals have raved about the new feature. A favorite benefit? “A lot of owners we spoke to feel that they spend too much time creating proposals, especially when they don’t pan out,” said Amaral.

While creating proposals using tools like Word or Google offers flexibility, it also means spending more time with spacing, margins, fonts, colors and other formatting. With the Proposals feature in FreshBooks, that’s all taken care of.

The new Proposals feature is just one more way that FreshBooks is striving to make accounting simple, fast and painless, so you can make the most of your precious time on doing the work you love.


about the author

Freelance Contributor Heather Hudson is an accomplished freelance writer and journalist based in Toronto. She writes for a number of publishing, corporate and agency clients who depend on her to deliver high-quality, on-brand content and journalism with a fresh perspective. Learn more about her work at heatherhudson.ca.