At the end of 2011, we did a small survey of web design and development professionals, asking them about how they estimate projects and write proposals. As a professional design agency ourselves, the results were enlightening. We write about 8-10 proposals per month and spend roughly 5 hours on each. That is a lot of time (money) being spent on trying to win a client, which is why we started building Evenflow as a way to speed up that process.
We were happy to find out that we aren’t the only ones spending a lot of energy on proposals. Here are the results of the survey:
- 75% write proposals (or at least an estimate) for every single project.
- The average length of time spent writing each proposal: 8.5 hours! That’s a lot of (usually unpaid) time being spent on a single document.
- An overwhelming 95% claim to consult with their designers and developers for at least some of estimates, with 76% consulting them every time. This is a very good thing.
- 88% are tracking their time and 70% are comparing that time against their initial estimates. This is really the only way to get better at estimating.
- 69% use Microsoft Word to write their proposals. InDesign and Pages were the next most popular at 13% and 11% respectively. Only 3 people claimed to be using web-based software such as Freshbooks or Harvest.
To follow up, we’ve created a similar survey, this time focused on freelancers.