How to write a business proposal

Putting together a business proposal can appear to be a simple task, but use the wrong template or failing to ask the right questions and it quickly becomes overwhelming.

So savvy entrepreneurs use tips and templates to shorten the process and create a winning proposal.Whether you are creating an unsolicited or solicited business proposal, you can use the process outlined below to draft a business proposal that provides you with the best chance to win a potential client or partner.

Use the RFP, Ask Questions and Take Account of the Client’s Needs

During the first stage, ensure you are familiar with the RFP in case of a solicited proposal and whether or not your company can meet most of the requirements outlined.

While it is not necessary to meet all requirements,the ability to fulfill most plays into the success of a business proposal. Making phone calls to find out requirements, and scheduling meetings with decision makers in the potential client’s company is also vital especially in the case of an unsolicited proposal.

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Based on all this information, the Title or first page can be created with relevant information of your company, the client’s company, and the main purpose of the proposal. In this page, relevant project numbers from the RFP, the date of submission and your contact information should be included.

Draft a Table of Contents and Address the Effectiveness of your Proposal

Creating a table that points to the sections in the proposal, gives you an overview of what needs to be included. At this stage however, the table of contents should only be a rough draft so that it can be modified once the proposal is complete.

Fashion the Executive Summary section to deliver a sales pitch, and showcase how the solution that your company provides is the right fit for the client’s need. This section is helpful as it encourages people to read the whole proposal, and even those who do not have time to do so will have sufficient information to accept it.

Overview of the Client’s needs and Solutions Suggested

Focus on the problem that the client has in this section, and inform them that you understand what they want and why they need it. An in-depth understanding of the client’s needs previous attempts to fulfill them and current concerns all go towards creating an effective solution.

The solution should be outlined in the next section in which a product, service or partnership is offered. While discussing what is going to be delivered as part of the solution, the process and the time frame involved should also be outlined.

Samples, Qualifications and Prices

Provide potential clients access to samples of previous work and your company’s qualifications in this section of the proposal. Once you have demonstrated that you can deliver what is needed, clearly state the prices involved and whether the client will be charged per product or per hour of work.

Detail the terms and conditions that your company’s operates under and any that the client requires in the next section. Finally ask the client to get back to you in case of questions or request them to approve the proposal.

Clear and effective communication, appropriate terms and a trusty template are indispensible elements which put you on the path to creating memorable business proposals.

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