Business Contracts and Sales Proposals (with Templates)

Research: Risk and Benefits of Contracts

According to IACCM almost 9% of all contracts result in a dispute!

Some industries, like Engineering and Construction, have as much as 21% of their contracts experience some form of legal problem.

With all that to lose, why would anyone do business without a proposal (or contract)?

Most of the reasons fall under one of these categories:

  • Fear of scaring away clients
  • Don't want to seem too formal
  • Fear of signaling mistrust of the other party
  • Fear of signaling mistrust of the other party
  • Don't want to complicate business dealings

The reality is that, if you're strategic about it, you can easily avoid all of these potential downsides.

The first step is ensuring you have the right contract (more on this later).

Next, you'll want to ensure you follow some best practices around contracts and sales proposals.

Luckily, we have some great data-driven insights that can help you.

With Docsketch customers earning over $2 Billion in sales, we have access to lots of interesting data around sales proposals and contracts.

Our research of 25,000 proposals (and sales contracts) worth $270M revealed the following takeaways:

  • Sales proposals have a higher win rate (43%) than invoice style estimates (35%)
  • Proposals with 5 pages or less are 31% more likely to win
  • Making contracts and proposals viewable online increases win rates by 18% and turnaround time by 40%
  • Winning contracts and proposals are sent 26% sooner
  • Bundling fees into a single line item (instead of itemizing) increases win rates by 36%
  • Adding one or two price options increases revenue by 32%

This leads us to the need for using effective templates...

Over the next few weeks we're putting together the ultimate list of business contract templates. Not just any templates, but ones that use all of the learnings from the data above.

Marketing Agreement

Description: A document, signed by all parties involved, that lists the scope of work to be undertaken, and any duties and expectations that the business has of the marketing agency.  

Best for: Marketing professionals looking to engage with clients on one-off projects or ongoing retainer relationships.

Includes: Service fees, timeline, services, and payment terms.

Simple Web Design Contract

Description: This simple website contract clearly provides terms of service for web design projects. It’s a contract that clearly lists what the designer and clients are responsible for, pricing, and timelines relating to the project.

Best for: Those looking for a simple, straightforward, easy-to-digest contract template to build off of.

Includes: A breakdown of services, cost and payment information, timeline, and legal rights of each party.

Painting Contract Template

Description: A contract for use by painting contracts to set customer expectations, clarify scope of the job, and list payment details. This is an easy to customize painting contract that can be used for any type of painting project.

Best For: Anyone in the home services industry that provides painting as a service. 

Includes: Sections detailing payment terms, service details, contract termination, and more.

Coaching Contract

Description: A legally binding document that  will not only help you to easily and professionally negotiate the legal parameters for every agreement, but will establish the expectations and ground rules for both parties, leaving you protected legally.

Best for: Any business professional looking to enter into a coaching relationship over an extended period of time.

Includes: Expenses, timeline, services, and payment terms

    Photography Release Form

    Description: A contract (and photo release) between a photographer and client regarding the services that the photographer will provide in the shoot, as well as the responsibilities the photographer and client agree upon performing. This contract is easily adjustable to fit the needs of the person interested in using the contract.

    Best For: Photographers wanting to inform their clients on what's expected for a photo shoot to gain a successful photographer/client relationship.

    Includes: Scope of work, fees, model release, and more.

    Graphic Design Contract

    Description: This contract is between a Graphic Designer and a client. It maps out the work the designer will provide that's been agreed upon from both the designer and the client. It holds detailed information regarding the number of revisions available for the client to make, along with copyrights.

    Best For: Any graphic designer who wants to cover all of the bases information-wise when it comes to creating a graphic design contract. It's easily changeable to fit your content needs.

    Includes: XHTML/CSS layout template offers, text content, photographs, and legal stuff.

    Commission Agreement

    Description: An easy-to-use agreement that you can quickly update and customize. Includes sections for commission split, compensation structure, terms, and more.

    Event Planning Contract

    Description: A simple contract for Event Planners that's easy-to-understand and use. Outlines specifics around event planning responsibilities, payment terms, and more.

    Independent Contractor Agreement

    About: This template is between an independent contractor and a client. It covers an assortment of categories in reference to qualifications, experience, and abilities that the independent contractor will provide to the client in their services.

    Best For: Those wanting an easy to work with and informative proposal. The written approach is flexible and easily customizable for those who want to use it more than once.

    Includes: It goes over the services, compensation, legal expenses, and more.

    Non Disclosure Agreement Template

    Description: A simple non disclosure agreement to protect (and keep private) sensitive information. Sections for parties involved, agreement duration, and more.

    Remodeling Contract

    Description: A detailed remodeling contracts with protections around payment and job expectations. Outlines payment terms, responsibilities, timelines, and more.

    Retainer Agreement

    Description: A retainer agreement for ongoing client services. Sections for retainer payments, service limits, and other legal protections.

    Service Contract Template

    Description: Easily customized agreement for service between a service provider and customer. Outlines details regarding service, schedule, terms, and more.

    Subcontractor Agreement

    Description: A thorough agreement template between a contractor and subcontractor Sections for expense reimbursement, time and materials, payments, and more.

    Sublease Agreement

    Description: A simple agreement that's flexible to be used on any sublease situation Sections outlining property, pament terms, schedule, and more.

    Sales Contract Template

    About: This is a simple Sales Contract template directed between between two parties that covers a variety of agreements for the seller and buyer to comply with in order to proceed. These contract templates are typically used when you want to sell new goods, services, or items that require delivery. It's a way to go over and finalize between both parties before accepting the contract.

    Best for: This template is best for anyone selling goods as a business and/or to unknown parties. It has an understanding of the warranties regarding the goods sold as is from the seller, as well as the buyer having an opportunity to view the goods before accepting.

    Includes: It determines the payment details, the delivery of the product, cancellations, and more.