Updated October 27, 2020:

Writing a Contract Proposal

Writing a contract proposal can be confusing and time consuming for those with no understanding as to how it should be written and the importance it has on the parties involved. The actual proposal has different meanings to different people. For a salesperson, the contract proposal is used to close a deal. For an attorney, it’s just an offer to enter into a deal. For a business owner, it’s reflective of a business strategy.

The proposal should always include specific elements, including the timeframe and costs associated with the work you can do for your potential client. Therefore, the proposal is your opportunity to show the potential client that it should choose your business to do work with.

Elements of a Contract Proposal

There are several elements to a contract proposal, which include:

  1. The situation at hand
  2. Project goals
  3. Recommended methodology
  4. Project time
  5. Project cost
  6. Company qualification
  7. Project benefits

The situation at hand is the issue that you want to help the business address. It could be a problem, such as needing to increase a business’s customer base by enhancing its marketing strategy. Therefore, the business (potential client) might be more willing to enter into a contract with your business (marketing company) if you can help the potential client increase and expand its brand and sales.

There should be goals that are addressed in the proposal. For example, taking the same example of a marketing company wanting to help a business enhance its products and customer base, let’s assume that your marketing company wants to help a potential client reach certain goals, your marketing company should work to address project goals that the potential client will be happy with.

The recommended methodology is what you know the potential client might expect from your marketing company. For example, if the potential client needs help marketing a certain product or line of products, then you as the marketing company should include information that clearly specifies what you recommend for the potential client and how you will help that business achieve its goals.

The project time is the period of time that it will take your marketing company to finish the project(s). While there is always room for negotiation in this area when it comes to entering into an actual contract, it is important that the potential client understand the length of time it might take your marketing company to complete its job. Similarly, the cost of the project is another key item to include in the proposal. The main issue could be whether or not additional costs will be incurred if the project time exceeds the expected timeframe that is noted in the proposal.

Next, you’ll want to include your marketing company’s qualifications. This will really help you sell yourself by identifying the reasons as to why the potential client should choose your marketing company to work with.

Last, you’ll want to include information on the benefits of the project itself. This is when you should indicate the benefits of working with your marketing company and the short-term and long-term objectives of the overall project. Be sure to include benefits that the potential client will be happy with, and those advantages that are important to the business.

How to Write a Contract Proposal

You can easily find a contract template online that will suit your needs. Once you download it, you can either print it out or begin typing directly within the template. You might want to first print it out and draft your ideas on how to write it. Be sure to indicate that the proposal is merely a “draft” as all parties involved should be aware of the fact that it is really just a contract under negotiation and not a final, legally binding agreement.

If the potential client agrees to enter into a contract with your business, then you should ensure that adjustments are made to the contract, particularly if the parties don’t agree to the initial terms of the proposal.

If all items are agreed upon, then you can simply remove the “Draft” watermark and indicate that the contract is a final draft.

If you need help writing a contract proposal or drafting a contract, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel’s marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law, and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.