A few years ago I discovered a terrific new business tool and I was so excited about its potential that I wrote a review article about it to share my discovery with others.
In case you’re not already familiar with the software, Proposal Kit takes the guesswork out of drafting a proposal or contract. It automates the chore of putting together a complex business proposal. Basically, Proposal Kit provides a comprehensive range of templates to suit any business requirement and helps you build a framework for your proposal to match virtually any product or service offering.
You then flesh out the templates with your own data and contact details. Templates are particularly suited to online businesses and include documents for the initial sales pitch, the planning stage, estimating, contracting, project timelines, analysis and even invoicing.
I’ve been using Proposal Kit for over 5 years now and I am still as enthusiastic about it as ever. So when developers of the product (Cyber Sea) told me of their latest upgrade this month, I was very excited.
You see, amongst the 40 new contract templates available in the new versions of Proposal Kit Pro and Contract Kit Pro is a Search Engine Optimization Services Contract, designed for SEOs just like me.
Let’s take a look at what’s been upgraded in the latest versions of the product:
Proposal Packs 9.0
- Over 300 pages of new material have been added to Proposal Pack (new templates, checklists, samples, instructional material) adding over 60% more material to this version.
- Added 61 new proposal templates increasing the total number of templates to over 270. Templates added include: Profile, Client Summary, Abstract, Estimate, Significance, Activities, Design, Planning, Approach, Innovativeness, Project Plan, System Plan, Promotion, Site Planning, Environmental, Public Relations, Community, Coordination, Responsibilities, Documentation, Authority, Measures of Success, Dissemination, Budget Information, Wholesale Price List, Retail Price List, Cost Effectiveness, Resources, Hourly Services Contract, Invoice, Memorandum of Understanding, Credentials, Capabilities, Accreditations, Certifications, Geographic Information, Key Positions, Contractors, Legal Eligibility, Authorization, Board of Directors, Policies, Flow Chart, Board Resolution, Contact Letter, Letter of Transmittal, Support Letter, Commitment Letter, Collaboration Letters, Report, Tab, Worksheet, Supplied Form, Appendix F, Appendix G, Appendix H, Appendix I, Appendix J, Fax Cover Sheet, Bid / No-Bid Checklist, Grant Proposal Development Checklist.
- Added a proposal bid/no-bid decision checklist.
- Added a government grant proposal development checklist.
- Added a complete service level agreement to the Contract and Terms template.
- Added an additional manual for writing Federal government grant proposals using Proposal Pack.
- 15 general business sample proposals have been added.
- 10 Federal government grant sample proposals have been added (USDA, Department of Justice, Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Housing and Urban Development).
- New Title Page graphics have been added for “Resume”, “Contract”, “Plan”, “Submission”, “Presentation”, “Report”, “Study”, “Estimate”, “Response”.
- The Table of Contents has been updated to add all of the new templates.
Proposal Kit Pro 12.0
Over 500 pages of new material have been added to Proposal Kit Pro (new templates, checklists, samples, instructional material) adding over 50% more material to this version.
- Minor grammar changes made to some documents.
- Four new categories of contracts have been added: Advertising and Marketing, Graphics and Printing, Computer Systems and Internal Company Plans.
- 41 new contracts, agreements and related documents have been added (over 144 pages of new material): Authorization to Start Work, Replication Quote Order Form, Email Marketing Creative by Agency Agreement, Email Marketing Creative by Designer Agreement, Pay Per Click (PPC) SEO Campaign Services Contract, Signage and Printing Order Form, Print Quote Form, Colocation Hosting Short Form Contract, Managed Hosting Service Level Agreement, Web Hosting Change Addendum, Pocket Photo Release Agreement, Photo Reprint Rights Agreement, Photo Credit Waiver, General Services Agreement, Repair Estimate Quote, General Contractor Work Order, Right of First Refusal Partnership Agreement, Right of First Refusal with Non-Disclosure Agreement, Works for Hire Agreement, Project Acceptance Partial Signoff, Project Acceptance Simple Signoff, Software Development Plan, Reprint Rights Agreement, SEO Services Reseller Contract, Disaster Recovery Plan, Software Disaster Recovery Plan, Human Resources Guide Update Addendum, PDA Usage Policy, Wireless Networking Usage Policy, Application for Employment, Employment Non-Compete and Non-Disclosure, Drug and Alcohol Testing Consent Form, Employee Promotion Authorization Form, Employee Notice of Salary Increase Form, Employee Injury Report Form, Expense Report, Hourly Services Agreement, Company Equipment Checkout Form, Agency Photo Shoot Model Release Form, Employee Grievance Form, Employee Demotion Form
- Many existing contracts have been updated with new replaceable tags and consistent usage of terms.
- Added 20 new standard mail merge tags to many documents.
- Updated HTML organizer to help find and open documents easier.
- Added Customer and Proposal Number tags to all spreadsheets for helping organize estimates by customer and proposal.
- Updated line items in existing spreadsheets with additional material.
- Added Help Desk Services Estimate Spreadsheet.
- Added Print Project Estimate Spreadsheet.
- Added Flash Animation Project Estimate Spreadsheet.
- Added Network Server Setup Estimate Spreadsheet.
- Added Software Services Project Estimate Spreadsheet.
- Added Computer Repair and Maintenance Estimate Spreadsheet.
- Project Management Pack:
- Renamed product from “Web Plan Kit” to “Project Management Pack”.
- Minor updates to existing documents to update outdated material.
- Added Web Development Worksheet Overview.
- Added Describe Your Web Site Worksheet (R01).
- Added Describe User Controlled Content Worksheet (R02).
- Added Describe Your Web Site Functions Worksheet (R03).
- Added Describe Your Web Site Users Worksheet (R04).
- Added Describe Your Web Site Administration Worksheet (R05).
- Added Describe Your Web Site Home Page Worksheet (R06).
- Added Project Plan Worksheet.
- Added Project Analysis Overview Worksheet.
- Added SEO Organic Keyword Report.
- Added SEO Pay Per Click Keyword Report.
- Added Customer Service Call Log Spreadsheet.
- Added Disaster Recovery Plan.
- Added Software Disaster Recovery Plan.
- Added Expense Report Spreadsheet.
Visit the Proposal Kit website for details on pricing, a product comparison chart and information on how to upgrade.
SEO Proposal Template
Now, about that SEO Services Contract that I’m so excited about. Having run an SEO business for over ten years now, I KNOW how difficult it is to produce a reliable, standard contract to give to SEO clients. Search engine optimization can be such a complex process that it is vitally important your client contract spells out your services, delivery schedule, responsibilities and campaign expectations while addressing all areas of potential client confusion.
Such contracts take time to develop and can be very expensive if drawn up from scratch by a law firm. Many SEOs, especially those just starting out, simply don’t have the time, resources, knowledge or budget to have a high quality, water-tight contract developed for their business. That’s why I see the inclusion of an SEO Services Contract in the latest Proposal Kit upgrade as a boon for SEOs everywhere.
Even if your business already has a contract in place, the purchase price of Proposal Kit Pro or Contract Pack Pro, (both which come with the SEO contract included), is well worth the investment to be able to compare your contract with the detailed sample provided. Something important to keep in mind is that legal contracts in the Contract Pack should not be viewed as binding legal documents until they are reviewed by your lawyer. Because every business has different products, services, clients and operates in different geographical environments, legal requirements vary widely. By all means use the contract templates to draft your contract, but make sure you have the document carefully reviewed by your company law firm to ensure it meets your specific legal requirements. This is emphasized within the templates.
Not all sections of the SEO Contract will apply to every SEO business, particularly those listed under “Services Provided”, but the document is so comprehensive that you can mix and match sections and clauses that are specifically relevant to your business, such as “Delivery Dates and Milestones”, “Web Page Creation, Edits and Custom Programming” and “Keyword Selection”. I’ve already spotted three or four important clauses that our existing client contract overlooks. Not to mention the benefits of having access to hundreds of professional proposal templates from which to pick and choose to match your own business requirements.
For smaller SEOs or those just starting out in the industry, the latest version of Proposal Kit could save you a fortune and give your business a much needed injection of professionalism.
Of course that goes for non-SEO businesses too!