The most important part of securing a good deal in a business contract emanates from the preparation of an excellent business proposal. If prepared right, this document can take your business to the next level or maintain its position. You have to know how to write the best business proposal as an entrepreneur. This step has equal importance with the business plan, and the business writing skills are necessary to have if you want to make it in this field. You need to originate a business proposal that will be irresistible to any organization.
So what is a business proposal?
Before you delve into writing a business proposal, you need to know that it is a document used to offer goods and services that are specific to a prospective customer at a defined cost. In most cases, B2B companies use these documents to land new business. You can write a solicited or unsolicited business proposal. If you want an effective business proposal, it must have an executive summary and important details pertaining to the project. The client’s signature is also necessary to have here.
Business proposals can also be written as a response to Request for Proposal where government agencies and businesses send out when they have a problem they need to be solved. You need to identify the problem, propose a solution, and explain why you are the best option when it comes to solving the problem at hand. Most importantly, a business proposal is different from a business plan, and that can be seen from any business proposal example you find on the internet.
Beginning your business proposal writing process
Read the request for proposal carefully
If you are writing a business proposal as a response to a request for proposal, you need to read their requirement carefully. This RFP ought to contain information that is mandatory for you to read and understand carefully. This helps a lot especially before you can start your business proposal writing process. Ensure that you meet the minimum requirements stipulated in the RFP. For instance, if you cannot fit in the budget or are unable to meet the set deadlines, do not bother submitting a proposal. You also do not need to provide a business proposal as a response to a request for proposal. You can write it to reach out to a business that you think might need your services.
Be curious and ask the right questions
Since you want your business proposal writing to address the needs of your clients, you have to ask questions. It helps in understanding the client and eliminating any confusion that might come up in the RFP. See the problem from your client’s perspective because it will help you address the following:
- The attempts made in dealing with the problem and why they failed
- The criteria used by the client when evaluating your business proposal
- Concerns of the organization
- The operating policies of the organization to enable you in making your business proposal conform to these policies
Format your document
If you have come across anybusiness proposal example,you will attest that it follows rules of formatting. As such, you ought to make your document readable, which means the font should be in the right size and style that the reader is comfortable reading. You can also use sample proposals within your industry by looking it up from the internet. Use your preferred search engine and type “business proposal example” to see what comes up.
You can also use business proposal templates online to help you in fine-tuning your proposal in a more professional way.
Add the title page
When writing a business proposal,ensure you put a cover page that. In your title page, you ought to have the following information:
- Your name
- Your company’s name
- The name of the individualyou are submitting your proposal to
- The date of proposal submission
Introduce the problem or the need
Remember that business proposal writinginvolves identifying the problem and proposing a solution. As such, you have to start by identifying the problem of the client in a clear and concise manner. Let them know why their current situation is a problem.
If need be, provide context
It is better to explain the context to help the audience in understanding the proposal better. For instance, you can ascertain if previous measures have been attempted and whether they were successful or not, you can make known to them if someone solicited a business proposal from you. Finally, you can let them know how you became involved in the project or aware of the problem.
Define key terms
Even though business proposal writing requires simple and clear language, there are terms that will require definition to help the reader in understanding them. Remember that your business proposal may be directed to a purchasing department that has an understanding of the industry jargon. However, the person who makes the final decision might not be familiar with these terms. The best thing would be to first draft your business proposal and go through it identifying any jargon that might confuse the reader. Make you definitions unique.
Provide a roadmap for your proposal
If your business proposal is long, you have to provide an overview of what follows the introduction. This helps a lot in the reading process, and the audience will not be lost at any point.
This is how you make your proposal
Propose a detailed solution to the problem
In your business proposal writing,once you identify the problem, make to known to the reader how you are going to address the problem. In your solution, provide intimate details as much as possible. Since this is a business, the solution is to offer the right products or services to your potential client. You can use bullet points to make it easier for the client to reads.
Elucidate on the benefits of your proposed solution
Problems are solved in many different ways, and as such, you have to let your client know why your solutions are the best. List these benefits using bullet points. The common benefits might include cost-effective measures that allow the business to save more, confidentiality, and professional expertise and so on. When writing your business proposal, you have to justify the benefits with evidence. The best thing can be to rely on the studies that show the benefits of your proposed solutions.
If there were studies available to support your solution, commentaries from prominent in the field would suffice. For instance, a former client can attest to how you saved their business.
Lay out the task of your schedule
In your business proposal writing, you need to explain the timeline that you have to complete different tasks. This information is subject to change, but it is crucial to provide an idea of how you are going tom to execute what you propose. Layout what you target. For instance, if you are remodeling a store, including the starting date and the projected day when the store will be ready for operation.
Most importantly, explain that your timeline is just an estimate and is subject to other factors. For instance in the construction, you might encounter hindrance from obtaining the necessary permits. It could take time to obtain them from local government and so on.
Do not fail to include the budget
The budget is a significant aspect when writing your business proposal. The audience needs to know if they can afford what you are offering and as such, the information about your proposal is important. Choose to be conservative in that the numbers you state are a rough estimate. Depending on the proposal you are writing, these aspects need to be included:
- Startup cost
- Cost of labor
- Supply costs
- Ongoing monthly charges
- Maintenance costs
Description of the terms of the contract
In your business proposal writing, you ought to include important contract terms to enable the reader to understand more about the agreement in which they are entering with you. For instance, you cainclude;
- How much they need to pay on signing. It can be 50% more, or less upon signing
- Penalties or interests accrued for late payments
- Polices of contract cancellation and penalties involved, if any
Finishing your business proposal
Identifying your relevant experiences
The idea of writing a business proposal is to make sure the client understands and is confident of your ability to follow through and implement the business plan. You can identify one or more projects that are similar to what you are doing and then explain the success you achieved in them. You can get limitations as to what you want to share due to client confidentiality agreements
Talk about any expected opposition
Not every business proposal is welcome to whomever they are addressed to. However, if your business proposal wants to assist business through the identification of possible employees for firing, you will face opposition. Also, if you are helping the company in rebranding, some people within the company might also reject the proposal. You have to identify and counter any anticipated opposition to your business proposal writing process.
Summarize the anticipated and discuss the likelihood of it happening opposition. You then raise your counter-arguments about your proposal.
Provide a conclusion
When writing a business proposal, provide a strong conclusion that restates the benefits of your document. You can also include the deadline for the prospective client to contact you. However, some businesses have shifted from deadlines, and as such, it would be prudent of you to look at any business proposal example that you come across. Use the ones in your industry to get a better idea of the current business proposal standards. Include a call to action where the clients can contact you at any time. Let them know if you have a website they can visit to see more information concerning your business.
If you have used other studies or source when writing a business proposal, you have to cite them at the end. You have to format them using the preferred format, like the APA style. When you include a list of your sources, it becomes easy for the client to find the information you are referring to and to double check if the information is accurate.
Making revisions to your business proposal
The process of writing a business proposal is not yet complete if you have not revised the entire document yet. After you are done with the business proposal writing process, take some time off before you can review it. Once you come back, look for typos and any other mistakes that relate to grammar, spelling, and punctuation. You also need to look out for any missing words. For you to identify typos, you can read the business proposal aloud or from the end to the beginning. Read the last sentence and the sentence before that. Work your way towards the beginning identifying any possible mistake.
Pay attention to your numbers because they are supposed to be accurate. On the same note, review the RFP and any other correspondence that you might have to ensure the business proposal does not leave out anything necessary requested by the client. If necessary, shorten your business proposal. The audience should be able to read your business proposal in roughly eight minutes. If it goes beyond that, then you need to move some material into the appendices.
Submit your business proposal
After ensuring everything is in order, you are free to submit your proposal. However, the job does not end there. You need to follow up to ensure your proposal goes through successfully. You can call or make yourself available to answer some few questions. You can also reach out to crucial employees in the organization to know the status of your proposal. This will help you to follow up on its progress and can increase your chances of being successful in the end.
That is how you delve into writing a business proposal that wins your contracts.