Mobile App Development

How to write a mobile app development proposal in 3 easy steps

2nd April 2019

So you’ve been in discussions with a potential client about developing a mobile application. Things are looking good and you’re confident you have their attention. So, what’s the next step? How do you increase the probability of them choosing you to develop their mobile app? You can try a moonlight serenade outside their offices, perhaps wine and dine them … Or, you can blow them away with a top-notch mobile app development proposal and close the deal. The preferred method at Waracle HQ!

More often than not, mobile app developers are required at some stage in the sales process to write down their offering. Why is this important? Because it ties together the technical and commercial aspects of the project. It also helps set client expectations from the outset. It’s a great opportunity to show off your track record, and also acts as a ‘call-to-action’ e.g. WORK WITH US NOW – WE’RE BRILLIANT! 

Requirements gathering is of the utmost importance when writing a good mobile app proposal. You need to ask the right questions to understand exactly what the client wants, and then factor all the information into a slick, coherent and compelling proposal.Each mobile app developer is different, and proposals will differ accordingly. However, if you analysed each proposal you’d likely find the fundamental principles to be similar. 

Today, we’re waxing lyrical about how to write a mobile app development proposal in 3 easy steps – and nail it! 


There are three cornerstones to every great mobile app development proposal:

1. Scope

Scope relates to the parameters of the project e.g. what is it that you’ll be developing. With app development, the scope of a project will relate to the features and functionality of the mobile app. How many features are there? What do they do? How does the user get from A-B? 

These are all questions that should be answered in the scope section. Depending on the client, and the complexity of the project, the scope may need to be extremely detailed pre-sale. The customer may want to know exactly what they’re getting from the outset before the sale is made. This can be tricky as it can take a lot of time to produce a detailed scope. What if you invest this time and the client chooses another mobile app developer? 

It’s always a balancing act deciding how much time to spend scoping and much of this comes down to trust. It helps to have a rigorous pre-production process at the start of each project. This helps iron out issues not covered in your proposal’s scope section. Such detailed scoping at the start of the project reassures the client that you know how to plan and execute complex mobile app development projects.

2. Cost

Part of your proposal will include the most important element, and probably the first thing your potential client will look at. When you’re a fledgeling mobile app developer, it’s easy to undervalue your services to win the work. It’s how a lot of mobile app developers build up their track record. This can lead to a lot of stress when you realise the project might be unprofitable, so your costs should be honest and fair, regardless of the client.

You should scope out each project in isolation and try to understand how many man-days it takes to deliver the project. Once you’ve done this, you apply your margin and present the cost to the client. 

It can be really useful for the client to see where the costs come from, so breaking down your costing by development stages (pre-production, full-production, post-production) or by role (designer, iPhone developer, Android developer, web developer) can help provide the clarity the client’s looking for and increasing your chances of success,

It’s also really important to include not just development costs, but ongoing support costs too. Ongoing support costs relate to hosting, maintenance, bug fixing and point revisions. There may be more depending on the scope of the project e.g push notifications or analytics services.

3. Timescale

A lot of clients want things yesterday, whereas some have a pre-determined time scale they want to work to. 

It’s important you gather this information at an early stage so you can confidently say in your mobile app development proposal that you can deliver the project on time. Again, it helps to break your project down into stages and be really clear with the client as to when things will be delivered – setting expectations can never be underestimated, especially at the crucial pre-sale stage. 

Demonstrating a detailed schedule shows your potential client that you’ve done this before, and that you know how to manage the mobile app development process from user interface and user experience elements to design and development, right through the testing, launching, optimisation and support. 

Any mobile app development proposal worth its salt should cover scope, cost and time scale. There’s lot’s of ‘magic dust’ that can be added to help win that lucrative mobile app development project you’ve been courting but we’ll leave that for another day. Happy proposal’ing!


About Waracle

Waracle, part of the Exception Group, is the UK’s leading digital solutions specialist. Since 2008 Waracle have engaged with large UK and international organisations to plan and execute their digital product strategies. Waracle now has offices in Dundee, Glasgow, Edinburgh and London with a rapidly growing team of industry-leading UX designers, scrum-masters, iOS, Android and Hybrid developers, IoT, Voice (we’re Amazon Alexa Skills Approved), QA and App Store Optimisation experts.In addition to the investment in Mozenix (Augmented Reality), Waracle also have investment in Kumulos (Mobile App Performance Software) and Wallet.Services (Blockchain).

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