Mobile App Development Proposal Template (Includes Sample Content)

What's in This Template?

A great mobile development proposal often includes app goals, project scope, milestones, pricing, and terms. These sections within the proposal give just enough detail to show clients that you understand what they're looking for, and can deliver on their project vision.

This proposal template was crafted by sales experts to help you land your next mobile development project.

What is a Mobile Development Proposal?

As an app developer, the mobile development proposal is your first point of solid contact with potential clients.

It demonstrates your competence in communicating with clients and opening up dialogue about what they need. It also includes references to your own skills and achievements as a developer, and how those qualities will be a boon to the client.

Well-designed mobile app development proposals find the balance between persuading clients to hire you and establishing realistic expectations. This can be a tricky line to walk, but stick through to the end and you’ll find our mobile development proposal template will help you do just that.

The Essential Elements of a Mobile Development Proposal

It takes some back-and-forth to discover exactly what a client needs in their mobile application. But even before you figure that out, you can lay down plenty of convincing reasons why you are the person for the job.

A lot of these reasons will apply to a wide variety of clients and situations. Mobile development is a narrow enough field that you don’t have to do as much proposal customization as you would on, say, a general custom software development proposal. Demonstrating core competencies and a drive for client satisfaction can get you most of the way there.

Here are the basic building blocks of a great mobile development proposal:

  • Background - The client intends to solve a business issue with the development of a mobile app. Show you understand the issue they’re dealing with by referencing their organization’s goals. Describe the app they need, and the functionalities it will require.
  • You and Your Team - Introduce yourself and your agency. Give short bios about your team that will be working with the client. Briefly establish credentials. Give a case study if you can.
  • Services Process and Timeline - Break down the process into time units, identifying milestones and personnel responsible for each. For example:
    • Week 1: Scoping process to establish app specifications with client
    • Week 2: Wireframes
    • Week 3-9: Development
    • Week 10: Testing
    • Week 11: Submit to app store
  • Budget - Your project costs, and the payment schedule. Use a bundled pricing format to make it easy for the client to say yes.
  • Call To Action (Next Steps) - What does the client need to do to get the ball rolling? Include a contact person, plus their email and phone number. Also make it clear that the proposal is not a yes/no proposition—it can be altered to better suit the client’s needs.
  • Terms and Conditions - When creating content or a digital product, ownership can come into play. This is the place to establish the terms of possession over the code, graphics, etc. Usually the client is understood to have ownership, but laying it out explicitly can help avoid legal ambiguities.

What You Need BEFORE Writing A Mobile Development Proposal

There’s a balancing act between finding enough information to make a convincing proposal, and just doing a client’s work for them without getting paid. But you do need some specific insights from the client to put together a really solid proposal.

Here are some specific questions that will help clarify the necessary aspects of the development project:

  • What is the business problem that the app is meant to solve?
  • Who must be involved in this project, and what is their role?
  • Are there pre-existing backend systems that the app would need to interface with?
  • How does the client hope the app will fit into their long-term strategy? What role do they see the app performing in 5 years? 10 years?

Getting this basic information from the client will help establish the core of your proposal, so that it’s built specifically for the client’s needs and not just a generic boilerplate.

What To Avoid When Writing A Mobile Development Proposal

A poorly constructed mobile development proposal can keep you from landing the job.

Worse, it could land a job but turn it into a nightmare, full of vaguely defined parameters, development headaches, and unresolved expectations.

Steer clear of these proposal downfalls, and you should have smooth sailing.

Misreading What the Client Wants Out of the App

Before you begin building a mobile app, you must pinpoint the client’s intent.

Why does the client want an app in the first place? What do they want it to do? Do the Why and the What match?

For an app to be a success, it’s got to have a clear high level purpose. Identify specifically how the app is going to be a solution to a business problem.

Offering Too Much in the App

The most successful apps do one thing, or just a few things, very well.

After identifying the business problem the app is meant to solve, make sure the proposal focuses squarely on conquering that problem. If you leave the door open to adding too many features, you risk making the app clunky and ineffective.

A Swiss Army Knife is a poor substitute for a screwdriver.

Unclear Ownership Terms

Who owns the code?

Do NOT leave this question up to the courts. Establish it from the beginning.

Usually any code, graphics, etc. that are included in an app are owned by the client after a contract is completed. If that’s the case, note it. But if your organization uses any proprietary code, libraries, or the like, make sure those terms are explicitly stated.

Even if the client is going to own the whole package, you’ll probably want to include a clause indicating that you reserve the right to use the app in demonstrating your qualifications to future clients.

Being Too Open During Development

You’ll want to be in near-constant communication with the client in the opening stages.

That’s when you’re establishing intent, nailing down technical specifications, making sure the client is comfortable with the design.

But at a certain point, you’ve got developing to do.

There are very few reasons a client should need to step in during the development phase. The specifications have already been firmly established, and changing them now would steer the project into unclear and unproductive territory.

Present your development period ‘going dark’ as a benefit to the client. They don’t need to spend any work hours on the project during this phase, because you’ll have it all taken care of.

It’s just another reason to hire you, right?

Tools and Resources

The Waracle blog has a good bite-size article on the qualities of a great mobile development proposal. It details the importance of scope, cost, and timeline, and how to present each of them effectively.

Clearbridge Mobile has a write-up detailing the client end of the proposal process, the Request for Proposal (RFP). Acquiring thorough knowledge of the client-side experience will help you tailor your proposals to their needs.

Willow Tree Apps also has an extensive article on the RFP process. The more you understand the client’s intent and construction of an RFP, the more convincing you can make your own proposal.

Preview: Mobile App Development Proposal Template

Mobile App Development Proposal Template Cover Image
General Instructions: Follow the italicized instructions for each section below to create your own persuasive mobile app development proposal. Do your best to limit your proposal to 4-5 pages or less, as this should be all you need to identify the client’s problem, propose your services as the solution to that problem, and help the client understand all the ways your services will benefit the client. Common client concerns are creating an application that matches their vision, having a beautiful design without compromising on ease of use, and ongoing technical support in case there are issues; persuasive proposals will anticipate and address these concerns.

{client_name}’s Goals and Objectives

Instructions: Use the first paragraph to identify the problem or frustration that led the prospective client to offer the app development project in the first place. Then use 3-4 bullet points to break down different services you’ll provide to help the client overcome that problem or frustration. Begin each bullet point with an “action word.” Finally, use the paragraph after the bullet points to talk about the negative consequences that will happen if the client doesn’t fix the problem.

Goals and Objectives

Working in the competitive market, {client_name} can’t afford to release a mobile application that blends in with thousands of others or strays from its vision. The best mobile application developer for {client_name} will:

  • Translate {client_name}'s vision into a valuable end product
  • Pair an intuitive user interface with an irresistible design that fits {client_name}’s brand
  • Use extensive real-world testing to ensure {client_name}’s application works perfectly on a variety of operating systems, devices, and software versions
  • Expose {client_name}’s application to a wide audience and help it stand out from competitors’ applications

If {client_name} doesn’t invest in a mobile application developer dedicated to turning its ideas into a remarkable end product, it will waste time and money on an inferior application that doesn’t motivate people to buy. This could damage {client_name}’s brand and create a loss of market share to its competitors.

Meeting {client_name}’s Mobile Application Need

Instructions: Use 3-4 bulleted sections to describe positive results your services will create for the client. Focus on results you think the client will value and will last after you finish providing your services. Spend a few lines after each result you list to 1) describe why the result is helpful to the client’s business; and 2) break down the actions you’ll take to create that result for the client.

Meeting Mobile Application Need

{my_company}’s mobile application development services will deliver the following results for {client_name}:

  • Developed your vision into an irresistible application – You have the vision; it’s our job to turn it into a reality. We’ll sit down with your team, listen to your ideas, and turn those ideas into a workable concept for a mobile application. Then our designers and developers will work together to give your concept life. You’ll get to watch as we transform your idea into a beautiful application, asking questions and offering feedback along the way. We won’t finish development until we test to make sure your application works perfectly on a wide variety of devices, operating systems, and software versions.
  • Launched your application and marketed it for maximum visibility – A lot of application developers just create products and move on; they leave it up to the clients to figure out what to do next. We’ll leverage our extensive experience to make sure your application name is available in the App Store, launch your application, and help it reach as many people as possible.
  • Provided ongoing maintenance and support – The application we develop for you should be functional and profitable for the long haul. That’s why our team, already intimately familiar with your application, will stick around for six months to help with maintenance, upgrades, and support. We’ll also train your team to take over these tasks at the end of the six-month period.

Recommended Services

Instructions: Use this section to talk about the specific combination of services you believe will solve the client’s problem. Under each recommendation, talk about: 1) what actions you will take to execute it; and 2) how those actions will benefit the client. Don’t be afraid to recommend related services like marketing, maintenance and support, and special testing if you believe the services will help the client fix their problem.

To meet {client_name}’s needs, as outlined above, we recommend the following services as part of this project:

Mobile Application Concepting and Development

{my_company} will meet with {client_name}'s team to hear its vision for a mobile application. Then, relying on its expertise and outside perspective, {my_company} will architect a plan to execute {client_name}’s vision within the capabilities of current technology. {my_company} will offer {client_name} input how to achieve its vision effectively without sacrificing functionality or a beautiful design.

Extensive Mobile Application Testing

{my_company} will put the prototype of {client_name}’s application through a battery of tests. Instead of relying on the pristine conditions of lab testing, {my_company} takes its tests into the real world and performs them on real devices instead of emulators. {my_company}’s testing ensures the application works on both iOS and Android platforms, on a range of devices, and even on outdated software so every user can enjoy a seamless experience.

Mobile Application Launch and Marketing

{my_company} will prepare {client_name}’s application for launch, handling all the necessary work to get the application onto the App Store and approved on that platform. Then {my_company} will offer actionable advice {client_name} can use to reach as many potential users as possible in a marketing plan that fits its budget.

Application Maintenance, Training, and Support

Relying on its expertise and familiarity with {client_name}’s application, {my_company}’s developers will offer application maintenance, minor upgrades, and support for a six-month period following the launch. {my_company} will train {client_name}’s team to prepare it to handle these tasks at the conclusion of the six-month period.

Instructions: Estimate the price for your service package and come up with a label for it that describes a clear benefit to the client. Breaking down your service package into 3 or 4 chronological phases (if applicable) will help the client understand what will happen when, as well as make your solution appear valuable. But keep the breakdown at a high level and don’t break down your price; it’s crucial your price is easy to understand.
Creating a Beautiful and Functional Mobile Application Solution
  • Application strategy – We’ll sit down with you to get a clear idea of your vision, offer input along the way, and develop a workable strategy to achieve your vision in a beautiful, functional application.
  • Design, development, testing, and launch – Our designers and developers will work together to turn your vision into a viable application. You’ll be able to watch the progress and offer real-time feedback to ensure the end product matches your expectations perfectly. After we test to make sure your application works perfectly in the real world and on a variety of different platforms, we’ll help you get it onto the App Store to reach as many people as possible.
  • Maintenance and support – We’ll handle all necessary maintenance, technical support, and minor upgrades for six months after we help you launch your application. This lets you focus on marketing your application and getting it into as many people’s hands as possible while we handle the technical details. We'll also prepare your team to take over these tasks when the six-month period ends.

Why Choose {my_company}?

Instructions: Use this section to talk about the special value you can add to the client’s business that no other app developer can. In the first paragraph, describe what the client will save or get (a product that matches their vision, functionality on a range of platforms and devices, and plenty of happy users are all good options) if they hire you. Break down your company’s most compelling assets into bullet points and emphasize why those assets are important for the client’s business.

{client_name} only has a limited budget to turn its vision for an application into a reality, and it only gets one chance to make an unforgettable first impression with users. That’s why you want a company like {my_company} to help you turn that vision into an irresistible application. Our expertise, resources, and deep commitment to our craft make us the ideal choice to meet {client_name}’s development needs. We’ll bring the following strengths to our work for {client_name}:

  • {my_company} works in development sprints so you can see the progress in real-time and offer feedback – We want to make sure you get exactly what you want. That’s why we work in short development “sprints.” You’ll be able to see the progress at the end of each two-week period to offer your feedback and make sure the product matches your vision.
  • {my_company} helps with application launch and marketing – Our team doesn't just hand off your application to you and disappear. We’ll use our experience to guide you through the common pitfalls of launching and marketing an application, and we’ll offer time-tested advice to get the most marketing bang for your buck.
  • {my_company}’s approach balances functionality and design – We hire designers and developers because we understand the importance of both of those elements. Our team has a lot of experience in working together to deliver beautiful, functional applications; we’ll make these factors work together for you instead of forcing you to choose one over the other.

Statement of Work

Instructions: Use this chart to break down your app development services into chronological phases. Describe what each phase entails in the “activities” section and give an estimated completion date for each phase. This is useful to set the client’s expectations about what will happen when, and mentioning points where they’ll be able to offer feedback makes the client feel included in the project.

Should {client_name} choose {my_company} to execute this solution as proposed, our timeline for this project is as follows:

Phase Activities Completion
Application Concepting and Strategy Meeting with {client_name}’s team to understand its vision and development of a customized strategy to turn that vision in an application. 01/31/XX
Application Design and Development Design and development of {client_name}’s application done in biweekly “sprints”; ongoing progress assessment and feedback from {client_name}. 04/15/XX
Application Testing Extensive real-world testing of the application prototype to ensure perfect functionality on different operating systems, devices, and software versions. 05/01/XX
Application Launch Launch of {client_name}’s application and marketing support by {my_company}. 05/15/XX
Maintenance, Training, and Support Six months of ongoing maintenance and technical support of {client_name}’s application; training of {client_name}’s team by {my_company} to handle those activities moving forward. 11/15/XX

Next Steps

Instructions: This is your “call to action” section. Make a limited offer that expires on a certain date, which motivates the client to act. Use bullet points to specify exactly what the client has to do to accept your offer. Finally, tell the client what will happen immediately after they accept the offer to set expectations.

To take advantage of this proposal and proceed with the project as outlined, {client_name}’s next steps must be to:

  • Accept the proposal as-is
  • Discuss desired changes with {my_company}
  • Finalize and sign the contract
  • Submit an initial payment of 50 percent of total project fee

Next Steps

Once completed, {my_company} will contact {client_name} to schedule a project launch meeting to make introductions and gather information before beginning the work.

We’re happy to make changes to project scope on {client_name}’s request at any time, but may be subject to additional billing.

Terms and Conditions

Instructions: This section protects you from potential legal liability. Use it to talk about who owns your work product, whether you’ll be able to use portions of it on your website as examples, and how legal proceedings will go down if something goes wrong. Have an attorney look it over to give you guidance on how to apply it to your specific business.

Once project fee is paid in full to {my_company}, any elements of text, graphics, photos, contents, trademarks, or other artwork furnished to {client_name} for inclusion in website are owned by {client_name}.

{my_company} assumes {client_name} has permission from the rightful owner to use any code, scripts, data, and reports are provided by {client_name} for inclusion in its materials, and will hold harmless, protect, and defend {my_company} from any claim or suit arising from the use of such work.

{my_company} retains the right to display graphics and other web content elements as examples of their work in their portfolio and as content features in other projects.

This agreement becomes effective only when signed by agents of {client_name} and {my_company}. Regardless of the place of signing of this agreement, {client_name} agrees that for purposes of venue, this contract was entered into in [STATE] and any dispute will be litigated or arbitrated in [STATE].

The agreement contained in this contract constitutes the sole agreement between {client_name} and the {my_company} regarding all items included in this agreement.