Business proposals are documents written and delivered to a potential client to patronize a product or service. A business proposal may be solicited (requested for by the client) or unsolicited (pure marketing strategy). If you plan to secure any contract as a contractor or as a self-employed businessman/woman pushing your business forward, you must write a winning business proposal. Writing a winning proposal is an important attribute for every entrepreneur to learn. Writing a professional business proposal is important because it shows your client your capability and proper knowledge of providing the right service or genuine product.
Here are tips to writing a winning and attractive proposal to get your company that big contract.
STEP 1 STUDY THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL
The Request For Proposal (RFP) is a document sent by a potential client to you, requesting for a business proposal from you. Most corporate organizations and government bodies send out request for proposals when searching for quality services. When you are in a case where a proposal is required of you, you must study the Request For Proposal very carefully to see if you meet the requirements or if you can work with the budget provided. If you meet up with the requirements, proceed. But if you don’t meet up with the requirements, you can withdraw rather than tarnishing your brand’s image.
STEP 2 ASK QUESTIONS
If you meet up with the requirements, the next step is to acquire all the important information you’ll need. Do not rush to deliver a proposal without asking questions from more experienced people. Find out the key things you must include in your proposal in order to get that contract. Some questions you must find answers to are:
· What is the available budget?
· How can I offer solution?
· What is my costing going to be?
· When is the deadline?
· What are the criteria for evaluation of my proposal?
Once you are able to provide answers to questions like this, you are one step closer to completing that business proposal.
STEP 3 STATE THE SCOPE OF THE PROJECT
Also, outline the project step by step in a manner which it will consider the cost and the task ahead. Write down answers to the following questions, such as
· WHO will handle the project? …will be responsible for all actions taken?
· WHAT do I require to successfully execute this project? …is the end product?
· WHEN will the project kick start? …will it finish? …should it be delivered?
· WHERE will the project be delivered?
· HOW will the project be carried out? …will the project be managed? …long will the project go on for?
· WHY should we use this method of approach? …should we be trusted to handle this project?
STEP 4 ESTIMATE YOUR BUDGET
This is the most important part of the proposal. You must create a proper budget after considering labour costs and all other costs so as not to undercharge or overcharge the client. Also give allowance for miscellaneous cost and ensure all of these are fully stated in the business proposal. Budget estimation must be done carefully so as not to miss a potential contract.
STEP 5 WRITING THE PROPOSAL
Now, to the main business. There is a usual format in which proposals follow. A standard business proposal should contain 5 categories. These include:
Firstly, you must introduce your company and also state your vision and mission which should be aligned with the potentials clients need. Also, give an introductory text about your company which should make your client have some trust in you and your ability to handle the task ahead. Your company credentials and awards should also be enlisted in the introductory text.
This is the part of the proposal where you state your reasons to your potential client why your company is the right one for the job ahead. To me, it is the most important part of the business proposal. Try as much as possible to be direct and persuasive, so as to convince your client. Your summary shouldn’t be more than a page.
3. TABLE OF CONTENT
When writing long proposals, it is important to include a table of content. Although, it is more advisable to write short business proposals that are direct and factual.
4. THE BODY
When writing the body of the proposal, all the questions we outlined when talking about the scope of the project must be included. It is also important to talk about your past projects handled and the satisfaction your past clients received. Also, state the pricing and all logistic information pertaining to the project at hand.
In the conclusion, make emphasis on what your client stands to gain by working with your company. Also drop your contact and website information if any to encourage your client to reach you as soon as possible. Make a recap of projects you’ve handled and how successful they had been.
After writing, check for any possible errors in grammar or figures.
STEP 6 DELIVER THE PROPOSAL AND FOLLOW IT UP
After delivering your proposal, it is gravely important to follow it up to know the progress of the proposal. This increases your chances of being picked as your client might be attracted by your enthusiasm.