Last year I discovered a terrific new business tool and I was so thrilled with its potential that I wrote a review article about it to share my discovery with others.

The product was Proposal Kit. My review was called Close the Sale With Proposal Kit and I’ve had a lot of feedback from readers of that article, thanking me for introducing them to the product.

In case you’re not already familiar with the software, Proposal Kit takes the guesswork out of drafting a proposal or contract. It automates the chore of putting together a complex business proposal. Basically, Proposal Kit provides a comprehensive range of templates to suit any business requirement and helps you build a framework for your proposal to match virtually any product or service offering. You then flesh out the templates with your own data and contact details. Templates are particularly suited to online businesses and include documents for the initial sales pitch, the planning stage, estimating, contracting, project timelines, analysis and even invoicing.

I’ve been using Proposal Kit for over 8 months now and I am still as enthusiastic about it as ever. So when developers of the product (Cyber Sea) told me of their latest upgrade this month, I was very excited.

You see, amongst the 28 new contract templates available in the new versions of Proposal Kit Pro and Contract Kit Pro is a Search Engine Optimization Services Contract, designed for SEOs just like me.

More about that later, but first let’s take a look at what’s been upgraded in the latest versions of the product:

Proposal Kit Pro 8.0 / Contract Pack Pro 7.0

  • 28 new contracts, agreements and related documents have been added (consisting of over 100 pages of new material), for example:
    • Software BETA Testers Agreement
    • SEO Services Contract
    • Authorization for Credit Card Charge Signature Form
    • 3rd Party Web Hosting Reseller Agreement
  • PDF versions of all documents are included for comparison purposes (useful if using word processors other than Microsoft Word and you want to check your formatting against the intended formatting).
  • Contract Pack is now supported in more operating systems including Windows, Macintosh and Linux.
  • Contract Pack documents are now supported across many word processors (not just Word). Documents now operate in MS Word (all versions), Word Perfect, Star Office, and Appleworks.
  • All proprietary Word mail merge tags have been replaced with cross-platform compatible plain text tags.
  • More documentation has been included for multi-platform issues, examples of common situations and how to use a variety of Contract Pack documents together as a system and documentation on which documents work best together as a group.
  • HTML organizers have been broken into multiple pages with PDF document links added for each document. Recommended document templates related to each other are now included in the document descriptions to aid in putting together a comprehensive collection of project documents as a full contract management system (from pre-project through to post-project requirements).
  • There are now smoother template importing and integration features between Proposal Pack, Contract Pack and the Proposal Pack Wizard.
  • More graphic template styles / skins have been added to Proposal Packs (sold separately) for you to choose from. See some style examples on this page or view the full range here.

Click Here for details on Proposal Kit pricing, a product comparison chart and information on how to upgrade.

Now, about that SEO Services Contract that I’m so excited about. Having run an SEO business for over five years now, I KNOW how difficult it is to produce a reliable, standard contract to give to SEO clients. Search engine optimization can be such a complex process that it is vitally important your client contract spells out your services, delivery schedule, responsibilities and campaign expectations while addressing all areas of potential client confusion.

Such contracts take time to develop and can be very expensive if drawn up from scratch by a law firm. Many SEOs, especially those just starting out, simply don’t have the time, resources, knowledge or budget to have a high quality, water-tight contract developed for their business. That’s why I see the inclusion of an SEO Services Contract in the latest Proposal Kit upgrade as a boon for SEOs everywhere.

Even if your business already has a contract in place, the purchase price of Proposal Kit Pro or Contract Pack Pro, (both which come with the SEO contract included), is well worth the investment to be able to compare your contract with the detailed sample provided. Something important to keep in mind is that legal contracts in the Contract Pack should not be viewed as binding legal documents until they are reviewed by your lawyer. Because every business has different products, services, clients and operates in different geographical environments, legal requirements vary widely. By all means use the contract templates to draft your contract, but make sure you have the document carefully reviewed by your company law firm to ensure it meets your specific legal requirements. This is emphasized within the templates.

Not all sections of the SEO Contract will apply to every SEO business, particularly those listed under “Services Provided”, but the document is so comprehensive that you can mix and match sections and clauses that are specifically relevant to your business, such as “Delivery Dates and Milestones”, “Web Page Creation, Edits and Custom Programming” and “Keyword Selection”. I’ve already spotted three or four important clauses that our existing client contract overlooks. Not to mention the benefits of having access to hundreds of professional proposal templates from which to pick and choose to match your own business requirements.

For smaller SEOs or those just starting out in the industry, the latest version of Proposal Kit could save you a fortune and give your business a much needed injection of professionalism. Of course that goes for non-SEO businesses too :-)

Discuss this article in the Small Business Ideas forum.
April 15, 2005

Search Engine Marketing Columnist

Search Engine Guide > Kalena Jordan > Latest Proposal Kit Ideal for SEOs - Product Review