Two weeks ago we heard of Bidsketch via the great blog Graphic Design Blender. Bidsketch is a web-based software that helps you create and manage proposals for your clients. While GDB praises the software because it saves time and makes proposals look more professional, we decided to write our own review.
Pros of Bidsketch
First, the good news. The following are reasons why we love Bidsketch so far and why it is such a big time-saver.
Despite the complexibility and multiple options of the software, it is actually quite user-friendly and easy to understand. You can create proposals in a breeze.
Professional designs & reusable content
Suppose you are a beginner and have no clue what a proposal should look like: Bidsketch provides several professional-looking designs and content templates for various services, such as social media, consulting, web design, SEO and so on. All you have to do is simply choose a design and customise the content for your own needs. Depending on the service you provide, there is different content to choose from for sections like “Goals and Objectives,” “Delivering Results,” “Project Timeline,” “Next Steps” or “Why Choose My Company?”. You can also create your own template if you want.
Fast online approval
Your clients can even view your proposal online and accept or decline it. If they accept, they can enter their signature electronically. You can also mark specific fees as optional so that your clients can select them while viewing the proposal. Alternatively, you can export proposals as PDFs.
Appealing user interface
For other people this may not matter, but for us, having a nice-looking interface is important. After all, if you have to work with a tool every day, you want it to be aesthetically pleasing.
Cons of Bidsketch
Speaking from our point of view with our particular needs, Bidsketch does fall short in a few areas.
Limited font choices
There are only five fonts to choose from so far. So if you want to use your own corporate font, you’ll have to export the proposal to another application (such as InDesign) and change the layout to suit your needs.
Limited translation options
Right now the software is not fully translatable. Since most of our clients are German speakers, we have to import our proposals into InDesign to finish the translation. However, Bidsketch support told us that they are planning to expand the software’s translation capacity in the future.
Price table restriction
There is only one price table provided per proposal. So if you need to make an extensive proposal, e.g. containing corporate design, web design and online marketing, and want to give each of these services a separate price table, you’ll have to create three proposals and merge them into one in another application.
Bottom Line: We like it!
All in all we recommend Bidsketch, especially for web and graphic designers and teams who need proposals for English-speaking clients. We think that having a persuasive proposal is very important as potential clients will use it to decide whether or not to hire your services. So it’s always a good investment to focus on making proposals as neat, beautiful and understandable (avoid insider jargon), and Bidsketch got that right.
Admittedly it is not cheap (the least expensive plan is the Starter Plan for $19/month with limited features), but if you write more than one proposal per week, it is worth it to use this software as it is really a time saver. We feel that Bidsketch keeps its promise to make creating proposals faster and more professional, and given the way it is set up so far, we are keen to see what future developments will incorporate. For example the integration of Google fonts would be a big plus.
There is a 14-day free trial for all plans. If you try out Bidsketch, let us know what you think and if you can suggest any alternatives, particularly software designed for German-speaking clients!
At the moment Bidsketch offers their Starter Plan free for one year if you “write an honest review” of the software. As you can see, we chose this option :)