A well-written business proposal provides a great chance to start a new successful business. This document offers a compressed and concentrated version of all the importance that your solution brings to the customer’s issue.
While writing a business proposal, one should consider many aspects, therefore, working on this document requires thorough planning and development. Not only office workers, but also business students are sometimes assigned to compose a business proposal.
It may seem a task that is difficult to deal with, but if one knows some tips of writing, there is a big chance to succeed. In this article, the key stages and content are outlined, as well as some helpful tools that can highly improve your proposal.
What is a Business Proposal?
A business proposal is a document that provides an offer of services tailored to the customer. It must be noted that a proposal significantly differs from the business plan.
Proposal is created for the specific request of the client, where he/she indicates the business’s needs. Therefore, such documents and should not be prepared as cold calls; when you are not acquainted with a specific problem, you are not able to offer a solution.
The first step one should make while learning how to write a business proposal is learning how to prepare for writing. This is the phase that makes or breaks the entire document. If preparation was made carefully and properly, the final proposal identifies why your company is the best choice to serve the customer.
Start with a thorough reading of the client’s request. It will provide you with specific information that has to be fully understood before you come to the drafting stage. You should also ensure you are able to meet the customer requirements, otherwise, you should not submit the proposal.
Keep the audience in mind
The major factor that needs to be considered when preparing a business proposal is its audience. It is necessary to fully understand the reader and keep in mind the client’s role, their main concern, their industry background, their existing supports and resources.
A frequent mistake in writing a proposal is making it generic. You have to realize that a proposal that simply describes your services to anyone will not have a big impact on the reader. To make sure the document you are creating will be maximally efficient, prepare, plan, write, and review it with your reader in mind.
Draft the findings discussion
The writer has to collect all the information about the customer’s problem, goals, and potential solutions. You should consider your writing as a response to their issue. Having full awareness of the problem, you are able to offer a solution. Your company’s aim is presenting an effective and beneficial solution that suits the customer’s requirements better than any of the competitors’. Explain why the client should choose your company among other competitors. Describe where you add value, how your unique solution contributes to the client’s success. Also, mention the aspects that confirm your trustworthiness.
Writing the Content Step by Step
There exist multiple formats and styles as well as tips on how to make a business proposal. Here is an outline with the most efficient content order.
The proposal’s title must be cleverly concise, engaging, and provide a one-line overview of the entire document. Do you still remember the audience’s importance? Now imagine the sort of title that would likely grab their attention.
If you have any doubts about the title, you can compose it when the paper is complete. That may even be a better time for creating a title as you may get inspired during the writing process.
- Executive Summary
In this section, you have to briefly present all of the key information of the document. Make sure to present it in the easily readable way that will evoke the reader’s interest. In the summary, provide the relevant information of the proposal and briefly explain your solution of the client’s problem. This section must be plain, convincing, and consist only of the concepts from the proposal.
Here, the writer must dive into the problem of the customer and present his solution in every detail. The first goal of the writer in this section is indicating his knowledge and understanding of the existing problem. It is important to use specific terminology for outlining the offer. Make sure to provide accessible writing that is concentrated on the audience.
You can use bullet points in the overview to make it easy-readable.
- Deliverables and Timeline
You should clearly identify deliverables and make sure they are specific and not over- or under-promised.
In the timeline, you must indicate when the deliverables will be completed. This section can be strict as well as flexible. However, it is always recommended to provide a clearly defined timeline that demonstrates a better understanding of the project scope and implementation. However, it is important to indicate that the timeline is an estimate and depends on other factors.
- Proposal Budget
Most readers skip through the entire proposal and read the budget first, then read the rest of the document. For this reason, make sure to write this section very carefully and make it easy to understand and precise.
It is usually recommended to use a fixed-price quote where feasible instead of hourly projects, which sometimes are difficult for customers to estimate for overruns. On the contrary, fixed-price bids give an opportunity to estimate the entire project’s cost.
Formatting the Proposal
Make sure the font is in size and style which makes the document comfortable to read. Generally, Times New Roman 12 point is used.
It is also recommended to look through some samples that are used in your specific field.
Furthermore, you can use a business proposal template online that will help make your document look professional.
Set aside the completed writing for a day and then make a thorough revision. Look for any typos, spelling and grammatical mistakes. Attentively look through the numbers and ensure they are accurate.
Short the document, if it is necessary. Ideally, the reader should be able to complete the proposal reading in eight minutes.