Free guide to a software development proposal template

Are you trying to write a software development proposal? things like this takes time. But with the right guidance and resources it doesn’t have to.

This blog will provide you with tips on how to write a software development proposal. This will get the attention of potential clients or employers.

We’ll cover topics such as what information you should include in your proposal. It’ll include best practices for writing persuasive copy, and essential sections that must be present.

By following these guidelines, you can create a successful proposal that will help you land the project! Let’s get started.

What to Include in a Software Development Proposal

Before starting your software development proposal, it is important to understand exactly what information needs to go into the document. Here are the key elements you should include:

1. Introduction

This is where you will introduce yourself and your team to the potential client. It is also a good opportunity to explain why your services are necessary for them and how you can help them meet their goals.

2. Scope of Work

This section should outline the specific tasks and services that you will provide in the software development project. Be sure to include any relevant details such as timelines, milestones, pricing, etc.

3. Qualifications & Experience

Showcase your qualifications by listing any prior experience with similar projects or related technologies. Don’t forget to mention any unique skills or certifications that make you well-suited for the project.

4. Pricing

Include information about the pricing structure for your services and any discounts or payment plans that you may offer. Be sure to clearly present the cost of each service as well as how much is due up front.

5. Deliverables

List out all of the deliverables that you will produce during the software development process. Define when the clients should expect them This helps show potential clients what they can expect from working with you.

6. Timeline

Outline a timeline of when each phase of the project should start and end. Add any deadlines that you need to meet along the way. This section helps set expectations between you and your client and allows them to plan accordingly.

A MacBook with lines of code on its screen on a busy desk
Photo by Christopher Gower on Unsplash

Best Practices for Writing Your Proposal

Now that you know what information needs to be included in your software development proposal, let’s focus on the actual writing process. Here are some best practices for creating an effective and persuasive document:

1. Simplify

Keep your language clear and concise, avoiding overly technical jargon or industry lingo. A good proposal should be easy to read and understand by anyone reading it.

2. Highlight Benefits

Focus on highlighting the benefits of working with you such as cost savings, time efficiency, etc., rather than simply listing features of your services. This helps demonstrate value from a client perspective.

3. Use Visual Elements

Incorporating visuals such as diagrams, charts, or screenshots into your proposal can help break up the text and make it more visually appealing. This will also help illustrate points or concepts that may otherwise be difficult to understand in written form.

Steps on how to write a software development proposal

Once you have the basics of your software development proposal down, it’s time to actually write the document. To make this step easier and more efficient, here are some steps to follow:

1. Start With an Outline

Begin by creating an outline that contains all of the information that needs to be included in your proposal. This will help ensure that none of the important points are left out and also keep your writing organized.

2. Research The Client

Before you start writing, do a bit of research into the potential client or employer. This way, you can mend your language specifically for them. This helps show that you took the time to understand their specific needs and requirements for the project.

3. Write a Draft

Start by writing your proposal in its entirety, focusing on the key elements that were outlined in the previous section. Then, go through and make any relevant adjustments or changes to ensure accuracy and clarity.

4. Proofread & Edit

Once you have written your draft, it’s time to review and edit it for errors. Make sure to check spelling, grammar, syntax, flow, etc., as these can all affect how well your proposal is received.

5. Follow Up

After submitting your software development proposal, be sure to follow up with the client or employer either via email or phone call. This is to demonstrate professionalism and interest in the project. This can help sway their decision if they are having trouble choosing between multiple candidates.

Essential Sections of a Software Development Proposal

1. Contact Information

Include contact information such as your name, address, phone number, website URL, etc.

This way, potential clients know how to reach you should they have any questions.

2. Legal Terms & Conditions

Lay out any legal terms and conditions associated with working with you such as payment methods and timelines, termination policies, intellectual property rights, etc.

3. Portfolio

If you have any relevant work samples that demonstrate your expertise in software development, be sure to include them in the proposal. This will give potential clients a better sense of what you’re capable of.

4. References & Testimonials

Lastly, be sure to provide references or testimonials from previous clients who have worked with you on similar projects. This helps build trust and credibility with potential clients as well.

Sample of a software development proposal


Hello, my name is Sam Earn, and I am a software developer with 10 years of experience in the field. My team and I specialize in developing custom software solutions for businesses across a variety of industries. We have extensive experience creating user-friendly applications that meet the needs of our clients’ specific objectives.


We will provide the following services for this project:

  • Design & development of a custom web application with an intuitive user interface
  • Creation of automated processes to streamline workflow and improve efficiency
  • Integration with existing systems or third-party applications as needed
  • Support during deployment and debugging phases

Qualifications & Experience

My team has prior experience in developing similar applications for multiple clients and industries, as well as extensive knowledge of the latest web technologies. We are knowledgeable in industry-standard development tools such as HTML5, JavaScript, Docker, PHP, SQL and more.


We will be charging a flat fee for this project with the following breakdown:

  • Design & Development – $20,000
  • Deployment & Debugging – $3,000
  • Support Services – $2,500


The completed software application should include the following features and capabilities:

  • Robust user login system with secure authentication protocols
  • Automated workflow processes with customizable parameters
  • Communication tools and reporting features


The timeline for this project is as follows:

  • Design & Development – 8 weeks
  • Deployment & Debugging – 2 weeks
  • Support Services – 4 weeks

Final Note

By following these guidelines, you can create a successful software development proposal. This will help you land the project and make sure that everyone’s expectations are met.

Take the time to research potential clients and tailor your language for their needs and develop a timeline that sets clear milestones with deadlines.

Don’t forget to proofread before finalizing your document, as even small errors can be noticed by potential clients or employers. With the right guidance and resources, you can easily learn how to write a software development proposal.

Good luck!

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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