//Bidsketch review: proposal software for the creative industry

Review: Bidsketch proposal software

If you know Halo Media, then you know we’re all about processes. Processes that work. If you have a system in place, it saves you time and money, and we continually look at ways to further build on our systems.

THE PROBLEM:

Lately, we’ve been looking for a solution for quoting and proposals. Writing up proposals can be very time consuming, especially as the nature of our work is not black and white. Writing up full proposal can take days. So, we set ourselves a task, and this was our brief to ourselves:

  1. Find a proposal software which cuts down our time and influences sales.
  2. Has templated line items – ie. We could have a task, description and price.
  3. Be affordable… the exchange rate of Dollar to Rand in South Africa is not in our favour, and we already spend a fortune in subscriptions.
  4. Desktop integration for Mac is king (I’ve learned this is also the unicorn – doesn’t appear to exist!)

THE COMPETITORS

We started trialling software. I have signed up for 13 different quoting software solutions (yes, thirteen. I’ve been saving passwords left, right and centre!). But they weren’t sitting right. The list of wrongs includes:

  • Over designed: Documents which are too “designy” – they look pretty, but can’t cover a meaty 30 line item costing. This was a repeat offender in the reviews.
  • Too expensive: A top contender is $75 per month. As a small company, we have to watch our overheads, and this one can’t make it through the net.
  • Ugly interface: As creatives, whilst we’d prefer something to look pretty, it isn’t a necessity. But we absolutely can’t work with something ugly.
  • No pricing on the site: I didn’t bother to even try it out or contact them – they made it too hard for me.
  • Too complicated: It’s pricing software, not rocket science. So I needed something simple.
  • Too simple: Whilst primarily we needed a costing software, with solutions like Bidsketch offering proposals, notifications and custom domains, they simply weren’t competitive enough.

The competitive software we reviewed included: Qwilr; Proposful; Proposify; Quotengine; Connectwise; Workflow Max; 17 Hats; Dubsado; Wave; Quotient; Nifty Quote.

THE SOLUTION: BIDSKETCH

We chose Bidsketch. The above covers the reasons why we didn’t choose the other solutions, let’s look at why we chose Bidsketch:

  • Pricing: starting from $23 per month it’s in our price bracket.
  • Templates: We can make our own custom templates. You have the option of customising an existing template or editing your own – the latter appears to be complicated, but I haven’t tried it yet.
  • Line items: These are in the fees section of Bidsketch. The fees section is really great – you can choose between products / services; bill by the hour, or flat fees; custom fees, quantities and hours. I like the level of detail you can go into here – it also means that it’s open to most types of businesses, whether service or product orientated.
  • Optional items: This allows us to suggest additional services on the estimate – great as a cross / upselling option.
  • Text sections: We’re able to give a write-up about the service and save it as a reusable text content. Great for service estimates which have repeat elements.
  • Notifications and monitoring: This is interesting. Now there is no more wondering if they have read the quote, we can see when they opened it. They can also accept or decline the quote online.
  • Commenting: The client can make comments on the proposal – this allows for dialogue, which is a great way to engage.
  • Custom domain: We’re able to integrate the software to our domain which allows for seamless integration into our brand.

Their user interface isn’t inspirational, but we are able to customise it to our company colours etc. so this helps. (haha Bidsketch if you read this, let’s chat about giving the UI the Halo Effect!)

THE VERDICT:

All in all, we’re enjoying Bidsketch thoroughly and it ticks all of the boxes we needed it to tick. I think it’s going to be a good tool in our sales arsenal and am looking forward to an increased conversion rate!

Are you looking for creative solutions for your business? Get in touch with us today and let us put forward a proposal for your requirements!

2017-12-05T07:15:41+00:00