BUSINESS AND MARKETING: Business and Marketing Forum Business and Marketing Articles

Can anyone recommend Proposal software for Mac?

COW Forums : Business & Marketing

<< PREVIOUS   •   FAQ   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Ned MillerCan anyone recommend Proposal software for Mac?
by on Sep 8, 2010 at 7:53:42 pm

I am creating a large estimate/proposal for a major corporation to produce three videos and I need to up my game. As a DP I use QuickBooks Pro's estimate form but that looks like a carpenter's estimate to build a porch. When I do producing bids I have used Word's Office 2008 for Mac but it basically looks like well, a Word document, and I'm no expert at Word. So...

Does anyone know of an off-the-shelf program for Mac that can really pimp up (color, timelines, etc.) a proposal? Then I can add impressive covers. It would be great if I can then convert it to a PDF also.

Thanks!


Return to posts index

Mike CohenRe: Can anyone recommend Proposal software for Mac?
by on Sep 8, 2010 at 8:14:35 pm

We do our pricing estimates in Excel - but the client never sees this. Once we do the excel worksheet we know what our actual costs are, and what our minimum price will be. Then we break it down into milestones, deliverables and line items and write our proposal using...wait for it....MS Word.
People don't want a fancy shmancy proposal with colors and pie charts - they want to know how much it will cost them and what they will get and when they will get it. Just be descriptive enough to get the point across and brief enough that they will actually read it. They will first go to the last page and look at the price, then maybe go back and read.
Focus on the message - don't let the tail wag the dog.
Mike Cohen


Return to posts index

Ned MillerRe: Can anyone recommend Proposal software for Mac?
by on Sep 8, 2010 at 11:06:04 pm

This will be going to the C level of a Fortune 500 and I've seen proposals that other industries have presented, sections on bios, timelines, etc. and I would like to have something pro like that.

I can make an "adequate" Word proposal, I've done many before, but it just looks like a plain business letter. I'd like something punchier because I imagine the kind of companies I will be competing against will have something nice. I imagine if a company has a graphic artist on staff they can make Word sing, I can't, that's why I was hoping there's something simple to use for Mac out there.

This bid is too complicated for them to just go to the last page and look up one bottom line price because there are many options being presented, they'd have to read and digest to understand.

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com
http://www.bizvideo.com


Return to posts index


Craig SeemanRe: Can anyone recommend Proposal software for Mac?
by on Sep 9, 2010 at 5:10:20 am

Have a look at what they carry.
http://www.showbizsoftware.com/category_s/4.htm



Return to posts index

Mark SuszkoRe: Can anyone recommend Proposal software for Mac?
by on Sep 9, 2010 at 1:54:14 pm

I think what my wife the graphic artist would tell you is, what you need is not software, but wetware; that is, a trained graphic designer who can take your dry data and present it in the most visually appealing and easy-to-digest manner. There's no "button" for this, any more than there's a button in Maya for "make cool dinosaur".

My wife's job for years was to take dry annual reports and other documents and figure out the right placement and kind of type, the balance of content to white space in a dynamic composition, the use of color, even the kind of paper, all to make the best presentation. Not really different than when a client comes to one of us to figure out how to make the best video of their canned information.

Sure, you can scout around and find and copy some template. And maybe it will work OK. But my gut tells me that the stuff by other companies that impressed you so much was done with more than a free template or software "wizard" from somewhere.

Sometimes, it reallty does take an honest to goodness artist.


Return to posts index

Walter SoykaRe: Can anyone recommend Proposal software for Mac?
by on Sep 9, 2010 at 2:01:03 pm

[Ned Miller] "I can make an "adequate" Word proposal, I've done many before, but it just looks like a plain business letter. I'd like something punchier because I imagine the kind of companies I will be competing against will have something nice. I imagine if a company has a graphic artist on staff they can make Word sing, I can't, that's why I was hoping there's something simple to use for Mac out there."

Like you've said here, design is a discipline just as much or shooting or editing is, and final output is more a function of the talent than the tools. If the look of the proposal is that important, maybe it's worth hiring a print designer to help you put your best foot forward? Have them work with you on an identity and template that you can reuse on future proposals.

That said, Word is a decent word processor, but it's a maddening page layout application. For simplicity, you might look at Apple's Pages. There's a free trial available.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


Return to posts index


Jason JenkinsRe: Can anyone recommend Proposal software for Mac?
by on Sep 9, 2010 at 7:16:44 pm

[Ned Miller] "This will be going to the C level of a Fortune 500 and I've seen proposals that other industries have presented, sections on bios, timelines, etc. and I would like to have something pro like that."

Ned, sometimes I wonder why I spend hours and hours putting together a fabulous proposal when they are just going to pick the one with the lowest price anyway. They always say they love my work, but price is king. Here's hoping you have better potential clients than I do!

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!


Return to posts index

Craig SeemanRe: Can anyone recommend Proposal software for Mac?
by on Sep 9, 2010 at 7:31:42 pm

[Jason Jenkins] "sometimes I wonder why I spend hours and hours putting together a fabulous proposal when they are just going to pick the one with the lowest price anyway. They always say they love my work, but price is king."

While one shouldn't low ball, in the new economy one should anticipate and address the unspoken question in almost any proposal. Bring up ROI (Return on Investment). Sometimes the lowest price can cost them more. One should pitch this in the proposal IMHO. That fact that you've thought of ROI may even get the bean counters to think a moment. "2 might get you 0 but 5 can get you 10" If you can back that up with anything it might help. You have to sell Value over Price and the Value should be Tangible rather than Amorphous.



Return to posts index

Ned MillerRe: Can anyone recommend Proposal software for Mac?
by on Sep 10, 2010 at 2:24:34 am

Problem solved! The writer has agreed to pump up my Word doc since he is an expert at Word, plus if I don't get the job he doesn't either so it's in his best interest.

I feel, a high quality presentation adds subliminal value added so I believe when there's a good budget to be had having a fancier proposal to pass out helps.

Thanks all.

Ned


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]