HOW TO WRITE A BUSINESS PROPOSAL
A business proposal is a sales document that is always targeted towards meeting clients or a client’s problem. A business proposal is always created for a specific purpose or request. A proposal should give a comprehensive must provide solution to clients’ needs at a particular time. Therefore, your business proposal must cater for the needs, concerns and wants of your customers. The proposed solution in your proposal must be effective, valuable and must be without ambiguity. You must also state clearly how you want to make your client’s business great, and not your own business. Thus, your proposal must target how it can satisfy the needs of your clients.
It is pertinent to know that your business proposal will be compared with your competitors, so it is important to articulate, very well, your competitors strategies and know what they can offer will go a long way in improving your submission.
A proposal can offer extra services more the requested ones, if your experience is appealing to the client. It is a privilege to show your knowledge of successful implementation and the potential to increase budget.
What you should include in your business proposal
- Problem Statement: The first thing to do is to getting to the heart of your client through understanding of their needs better than anyone else. A successful proposal must be one that identify the problem of client, these needs must be plain and in a simple manner. Before a client can belief you to provide solution to their problem, you must display to them that you understand their problems.
- Proposed Solution: The main objective of writing a proposal is to provide solution to a problem faced by a prospective client. This solution must be direct and address each problem discovered.
- Information about Price: Information about price is what will make them decide whether they would give the contract to you or not. Writing this depends on the solution you included in the previous section of your writing. You should have a fee segment for longer projects, and have a fees segment for short period.
Contents of a proposal
There is a way you should structure your proposal that will make it appealing to your readers. Below are ways your proposal should be structured:
- Title: Your proposal title should be a line statement, brief, engaging and interesting. It must be the overview of the entire business. If the tile of your proposal is boring, and not giving audience any tangible information, they might lose interest easily. You should note that title of your proposal carries power and it is the first impression about your proposal; it should be client appropriate and persuasive.
If in the process of writing, you could not think of a perfect title, wait, by the time you finish with that body of your proposal, you will have a perfect title for it.
- Executive Summary: here, in your executive summary, you should captured relevant information about the proposal. It should be written without ambiguity and so that the executive can easily understand the proposal with stress. Relevant information should be introduced and highlight how to solve client’s problem. This summary should be clear and introduce concept only in the proposal and identify how to proffer solution to client’s problem(s). Here, you should not have any new information, other than those in your business proposal.
- Identify Opportunity: under this state statement, you should identify client’s problem and the solution you intend proffering. Although some client may have stated out their problems, others might have highlight their goals but they want to meet and unsure of their current barrier. Also, the first thing you should do is indicate your knowledge of the problem and see as opportunity to create value. You must know that clients need to know that their problems are understood for them to be convinced that the proposed solution you make will be successful.
In your proposal, you should clarify how each stage of your proposal would be used to provide adequate solution to client’s problem(s). Your bid should be done neatly and capable of satisfying their needs.
- Do not use colloquial or jargons in your write up: there are words you should not use in your proposal to state your offer. What you have in your proposal must be audience focused and should be accessible, no matter the level of technicality of the work. It is also important to state here, where the solution begins and ends.
- Clearly state what and when: In your proposal, you should clearly state the solution you are providing and when are going to finish the work. The deliverables should be identified as to what the client will expect should be expecting from you. Here, information will give client clue on the time requirements of each item and how fast the work can be done.
When you have a clear and defined realistic timeline, clients will be abreast of what you want to offer and valuable your services/ products are.
- Creating a Budget: in your proposal, you should state the important budget that the client’s would need. Therefore, it should be specific, accurate and easy to understand. The project ypou are proposing should be broken down, no matter how huge and difficult the project is, you ability to break down your budget is a plus. A fixed price bid allows you to estimate the entire project’s cost and clearly compete and value. You also need to separate cost. Separating cost would enable your clients to understand high investment areas.
- Include meaningful graphics and designs: Graphics and designs can make it easy for the readers to understand your proposal. They can help to give positive first impression. In your proposal make sure your graphics and designs are very good. You can give this to graphics specialists to help you with a good one that will attract your readers.
Also, your graphics designs must have visual integrity, maximizing the data-ink ratio; you do more with available resources.
- Communicate your unique value: make sure you convince your reader with your unique values, and this should be displayed in every aspect of your business plan. Communicating your unique starting from your goals, your targeted audience, your management team and marketing plan, e.t.c. for example, you can also communicate your value to your readers in the following ways; excellent graphics, good write up, research and design.
- Be persuasive and Realistic: Your proposal is intend to portray what your business is into, so you need to be persuasive. Your writings should be geared toward providing solution to other people problems. Your positive words are important, because they would convince your readers. And ensure you state only information you can deliver, unclear expression will damage your chances of winning your client’s mind, because they do not provide client with clarity. Failure to meet your target or deliverables might damage the long time relationship with the client and your business reputation is under threat.
- Tone: Your tone should be a professional one. Whether your tone should be formal or not, depends on the type of company your client is. If your client is a new company, it is advisable to use more formal but friendly tone. While if the business is not a new one, then you can use less formal tone.
- Your writing should express, not to impress: ensure you write in a very simplest way, have the audience at heart and stay accessible, use terminologies that you are sure audience can understand. Common terms could be a better way of doing this.
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