Customers need documentation with details of what they are purchasing (e.g. scope, warranty, payment terms, etc). Salespeople & Freelancers have a tremendous amount of draw on their time to manage their business relationships and the work they already have, more paperwork just means less sales and more tasks to juggle. Non-Technical people get easily intimidated by all of the different features and controls in document publishing applications and the complexity they sometimes require to make simple formatting changes.
To build a professional looking business proposal, before FlowProsal, you normally have to start with some kind of Word document or Template. Then you search for, add, copy, edit all of the text you want in there. Next, you have to make some kind of cost estimate to make sure you make money on the deal, so you jump over to Excel and work up an estimate. Print the line-item estimate to PDF, then normally take your total and go back over to the Word document and plug it in over there. Review the Word document one more time to make sure you didn't copy the wrong thing somewhere along the way then print it to PDF. You take your two PDFs and combine them into one document. Next you go hunt for some examples/photos of previous work to attach to the end of the proposal. If it's not already, you have to find a way to make it compatible with your PDF document. To finish your business proposal you have to combine everything together and make sure everything ties together correctly. Finally, you're as ready as your gonna be to present it to your customer.
I have been a freelance Consultant, Designer, and Developer in a variety of businesses over the last 10 years. My experience is in Management Consulting, Web Development, Branding, Construction Contracting, and Freelance work. Over this time, and in each of these different industries, I have always found myself in the situation above and have been forced to just find ways to optimize that method. There is only so much you can do and it typically comes down to a tradeoff between how professional you want to represent yourself and how much skill and time you have to make a clean and professional document. Now that I've learned how to build web-apps, I've decided it's time to fix this problem. The Launch Hackathon has given me the time to get it started.
FlowProsal allows you to centralize the variety of proposal elements for easy tracking & future use. When you create a new proposal, you pull your content from the database of elements and literally just 'Tap, Tap, Tap' to create classy & professional proposals. You can easily make new content on the fly that gets automatically added to your current proposal and your database. FlowProsal also allows you to grab similar elements from your database and make some quick edits before/as you add them to your proposal. Once you have added your content elements, you can easily arrange them with a tap up/down or indent in/out as desired. When you're finished arranging your content, click "Create PDF" and next thing you know, you're looking at a fancy PDF Proposal ready to send to your client via email or print and take to your presentation. With FlowProsal, there are no more loose ends in the sales cycle... You can take 2 minutes, while you're finishing your client meeting, to tap in the desired content elements, modify the scope for the specific client, tap/click "CREATE PDF" then give it to them on the spot! No more promising to pull everything together once you're back to the office. No more having to decipher all of the copy/paste nightmares.
FlowProsal works for businesses and users of all sizes... It's really not limited to Business Proposals and could be used for any recurring document generation that only requires periodic updates/changes (e.g. investor reports, status repots, etc).
FlowProsal gives freelancers the ability to focus their time on their work instead of having to get caught up in lengthy processes and only make getting more work more frustrating and difficult.
FlowProsal gives Salespeople the ability to focus on building their business relationships and thereby their sales pipeline by avoiding extensive time sucks and technical frustration just to create proposals.
I plan to build FlowProsal into a legitimate business around this opportunity. I think one of the closest parodies of my vision is what MailChip has done in the Email Newsletter space. I believe FlowProsal can blow up the document management world in a very similar way.
There are a number of things that are obvious next features to me:
- Add 'Mad-Libs' style user/company signup flow to collect information and build a part of the company bio in the same step.
Additional Base Elements
- Add Images/Photos (to build portfolio)
- Add Templates (incl. different styles: Professional, technical, creative, funny, etc)
- Add Price Element
- Add Terms Element
- Add Signature/Acceptance Element
- Search Elements
- Relevant Integrations (e.g. CRM, lead management sys, LinkedIn, etc...) Additionally, as the product evolves and develops I expect we will identify a number of additional features. My focus is to keep focused on the core essence of this problem/solution set and ensure that things maintain the quality and the benefit necessary to make this a success.