Proposals & Estimates

How to use proposals and estimates (custom contracts)

Proposals and estimates allow users to craft detailed outlines of services or generate succinct cost agreements. Through a versatile document builder featuring text, images, videos, tables, and more, as well as digital signatures and document state management, this feature continues to serve as a comprehensive solution for professional business communication. Whether sharing a company's background or simply listing products and prices, these documents adapt to various needs, simplifying interactions with potential clients.

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pageHow to Use Proposals & Estimates

What are Proposals and Estimates?


A proposal is a detailed document to convince prospective clients to choose a particular service or product. It outlines the specific problem or need of the client. It provides a comprehensive solution, including how the work will be carried out, the timeline, terms and conditions, and often a cost estimate. Here's what a proposal generally includes:

Introduction: Overview of the problem, need, or goal.

Objective: Detailed explanation of the proposed solution.

Scope of Work: Breakdown of tasks, methods, deliverables, and timeline.

Pricing: A comprehensive cost structure that can include a detailed estimate or fixed price.

Terms and Conditions: Legal and procedural details.

Credentials: Information about the company, past work, testimonials, etc.

Call to Action: Steps for the client to proceed, like a signature.

Proposals are often customized to the client's specific needs and are used to secure a contract or project.


An estimate is a simpler document that gives prospective clients a general idea of the costs of a project or service. Unlike a detailed proposal, an estimate might not include a full breakdown of how the job will be done. Here's what an estimate generally includes:

Description of Service or Product: A brief overview of what's offered.

Breakdown of Costs: This may include labor, materials, and other associated costs.

Total Cost: A summarized total price.

Terms and Conditions: Including validity of the estimate, exclusions, etc.

Optional Details: Such as timeline, brief method description, etc.

Estimates are often used in the early stages of discussions with a client, providing a ballpark figure that helps them gauge whether to proceed.

Comparison Between Proposals and Estimates

Depth: Proposals are more detailed and tailored, whereas estimates are generally shorter and more generic.

Purpose: Proposals are used to win a contract, while estimates give an initial idea of the cost.

Content: Proposals include thorough project details, while estimates focus on cost.

Legal Standing: Proposals can be legally binding once accepted, while estimates are usually not.

Usage Cases:

Usage Cases for Proposals

Project Bidding: For businesses that are responding to RFPs (Request for Proposals), a proposal outlines the complete plan, cost, and commitment to delivering a project.

Launching New Products/Services: When approaching a potential client or partner with a new product or service, a proposal can present the benefits, features, pricing, and terms.

Partnership or Collaboration: Proposals can be used to forge new business partnerships or collaborations by outlining the mutual benefits, roles, responsibilities, and terms of the agreement.

Grant Applications: In academic or research settings, proposals are used to apply for funding grants by detailing the research plan, budget, objectives, and justification.

Investment Attraction: Startups and companies seeking investments may create proposals to showcase the business model, market analysis, financial projections, and terms to potential investors.

Contract Renewal or Modification: A proposal can be used to renegotiate terms or renew contracts with existing clients by presenting updated plans, pricing, or conditions.

Usage Cases for Estimates

Initial Client Engagement: For service providers like contractors, freelancers, or consultants, an estimate offers a prospective client a general idea of the cost, fostering initial engagement.

Budget Planning: Clients often request estimates from multiple vendors to plan their budgets and make initial decisions on whom to approach for a more detailed proposal.

Quick Sales Process: In retail or sales environments, a quick estimate can expedite the sales process by giving customers an immediate understanding of the total cost.

Feasibility Study: In construction, engineering, or manufacturing, an early-stage estimate may be used to assess the financial feasibility of a project before detailed planning.

Event Planning: Event planners can provide estimates to clients for different packages or customizations, allowing them to choose according to their budget.

Insurance Claims: Insurance companies often estimate repairs or replacements covered under a policy, providing the policyholder with a clear understanding of what is covered.

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