Business Proposals: Why It Matters
Business proposals carry great importance regardless of what size, industry or nature of business your company represents. A proposal can make or break a business. Good ones can positively take your company to the next level by landing you that slew of clientele you’ve been aiming to acquire.
The idea of drafting a proposal may seem a tedious and daunting task especially if you don’t know where to start or if you have zero idea what it’s supposed to contain. Even if you have such great ideas in mind, starting from scratch can be very difficult. Good thing that the internet now offers Online Proposal Templates that more or less provides you with information you need to get rolling. This serves as a guide to walk you through the process of proposal writing. These Online Proposal Templates give you a holistic idea of what information needs to be included in your document, how it should be laid out in a cohesive, organized manner and what format works for which type of addressee.
Some providers even give you that jump-off point and leverage where you can automatically create online proposals. There are a lot of providers out there that offer a free trial, you just have to know which one works for you within the industry you operate in. Once you get hold of the proposal sample you think best works for you, use it as a template for your design and format and you’ll surely beat that proposal-writing anxiety you think you have. It’s also beneficial to look at others’ proposals because you can get great ideas from each one to marry into your own.
While business proposals should be unique in terms of content and writing style, there are also a few things that are considered ‘standards’ that make a proposal great. Bear in mind though that business proposals are not created equal. Each one has to be uniquely written targeting a specific market, otherwise it will not be as effective which would be a waste of valuable resources and time.
It is vital for you to understand why you are sending the proposal in the first place. Create online proposals that convey what you need to accomplish and fulfill its purpose for your business – to sell or convince. To start, good business proposals are straightforward — explaining ideas in a simple, logical and organized manner. This should be easy to understand but meaningful to the intended audience. It should contain the appropriate language, must be persuasive and compelling, enough to convince the reader to buy or subscribe to what you are proposing.
While many disregard its importance, good business proposals are essential must-haves of every business, established or startups alike. And Online Proposal Templates allow companies to create persuasive, customized and client-focused sales documents that are geared towards client acquisition and retention. By having such templates and allowing companies to Create Online Proposals on-the-fly, they are empowered to sell more, without spending too much time in preparing one. This allows businesses to focus more on the selling process which ultimately boosts a company’s status. Having a greatly written business proposal could propel your business further faster than you imagined so make it your priority.
Sample Business Proposal – Be Careful!
Every entrepreneur has been there. You need to write a business plan to get your idea off the ground and have no idea how to approach it. The first thing most people do is Google, “Sample business proposal.” Why? Well, it’s quite simple really. They want to get a head start on the process by looking at what someone else has written. It is an understandable position to take if you are under pressure and need a boost. What people don’t realise is that there are inherent dangers in using a sample business proposal.
There are many very good examples of sample business proposals on the Internet, but there are also some scarily bad examples being held up as first class efforts. Having spent the last 20 years as a professional banker and investor I can say this with some degree of confidence.
The bottom line is that even if you do manage to stumble upon a great example it won’t be relevant to your unique business or the market dynamics that pertain to your business idea. The parties who will assess your proposal and decide whether to invest are generally well trained and experienced. They read hundreds of these documents every month and can spot a copy and paste job a mile a way.
Will A Sample Business Proposal Help Me?
Using a sample business proposal is OK if you are just looking for some tips on how to structure your own proposal. Of course this is predicated on the fact that the example aligns well with your business and is a good example. If you are looking around the Internet for sample business proposals it’s a fair bet that you are not sure what is a good example and what is a bad one. For this reason you may borrow heavily from a poor example and this will actually detract from the thrust of your effort.
There are too many people on the Internet these days offering quick fix solutions or shortcuts to preparing business proposals to attract funding. On balance these solutions are not adequate to get you funding. Here’s why:
1. They encourage entrepreneurs to use other people’s business proposals as a template that dilutes the originality and can lead to the inclusion of data that is irrelevant.
2. They lead to entrepreneurs skimming over the research component leading to a proposal that is disjointed and fails to make a cohesive business case.
3. Having a sample business proposal as a guide detracts from the entrepreneur engaging fully in the business planning process in that they will have only a cursory understanding of the finer details of their proposal.
4. It will not prepare the entrepreneur for detailed questioning around their business strategy and by association their financial projections.
We have seen this all too often in presentations for equity finance. It is glaringly obvious when someone does not understand the proposal intimately and this devastates credibility and trust, virtually nullifying your chances of convincing an investor to part with their cash.
So How Should I Use A Sample Business Proposal?
We genuinely believe that using a sample business proposal is not a good idea unless you are only looking for a structural outline. Even in this case you would need to scan a fairly broad cross section of examples to get a representative sample to form an independent opinion. There is nothing more frustrating than a pitch which doesn’t flow and where the entrepreneur is clearly “winging it”. We have rejected more pitches for this reason than any other.
The only time we would recommend using a sample business proposal is if you are approaching a bank for finance and they provide an example of what they would like to see. However, banks don’t provide samples, they provide templates, which is basically them trying to educate entrepreneurs before they apply for finance. In this case this is the bank endorsing a structure for the proposal so it is OK. It still leaves all the blanks to fill in though so it isn’t really a full solution to your problem.
How Will The Audience Know That I have Used A Sample?
This is a common question we get asked and while we cannot speak for the entire investment community we can refer to our own experience as investors and former bankers. Here is a list of the top ten reasons why it is obvious that a sample has been used:
1. Executive Summary is dull and formulaic without communicating why we should invest.
2. Market information doesn’t align with the specific demographics relating to the proposal or is obsolete.
3. Entrepreneur’s knowledge of the market dynamics is sketchy under questioning and it is clear that what they have written in the proposal is the sum total of their knowledge on the subject.
4. Information around target customers is not based in empirical fact, more observational opinion.
5. Competitor Analysis is obsolete and doesn’t track minor competitors or industry trends that could present opportunities.
6. The business strategy doesn’t intuitively line up with the financial projections of the business. Financial anomalies are frequent.
7. The level of analysis in the financial section is low. Elevator analysis (only observational comments) is a glaring sign that no detailed analysis has been undertaken.
8. The language style in the business proposal is inconsistent and in different tenses.
9. The structure of the business proposal in terms of the content lay out does not flow intuitively. Think trying to fit a square peg into a circle!
10. The proposal doesn’t make a definite conclusion or sound argument to invest (or lend). The lack of analysis leads to inadequate risk mitigation leaving many questions unasnwered.
What is The Solution?
This might all seem a little bleak but there is an easy solution to this dilemma and it demands a little more of your time and effort in return for a deeper understanding of your business. You have to learn to write a business proposal rather than using a sample business proposal to take a short cut. Don’t do the latter as it will make the experience of approaching investors and financiers unnecessarily painful and will dilute your experience of creating your vision from scratch and your strategic understanding of your own business. Plus, you will be found out!
The truth is that it is not rocket science. Even a working knowledge of the key focal points will improve your finished product greatly. Writing a business proposal is a logical process which can’t be done is 8 hours or completed in 1 day, at least not if you hope to truly understand it and communicate it effectively to external parties. In actual fact writing a business proposal is a very rewarding experience and if you are serious about starting a business and attracting funding into that business there will be associated pressure to perform well. Going through the business planning process will train you to be a more pro active and strategic business person and will ultimately improve your chances of making your vision a reality by analysing your business properly and consistently.
A sample business proposal cannot and will not prepare you for that.
How to Pick Your Business Proposal Writing Solution
Looking for a solution to help you write business proposals contracts, RFPs or grant applications? There are three main types of proposal writing systems available on the market:
- Desktop software and template-based for PCs and Macs
- Monthly paid subscription web-based services
- Expensive enterprise class solutions
The prices of the various products vary; so do their features and how many add-on services you may have to purchase to make use of the system. How do you know which system is right for you? Here are basic descriptions and pros and cons of each system to help you decide.
Template-based products generally contain a variety of Microsoft Word documents that will work in many platforms and word processors, along with instructions, samples, and sometimes additional software to help manage the assembly or other processing of documents into a final polished proposal. To use a template-based proposal writing product, you simply download the product to your personal computer, and then use the templates with your word processing program to put together a proposal and print it or save it as a PDF for electronic delivery by uploading to a web site or sending via e-mail.
Template-based products are generally the easiest solutions to get started with, because most people already know how to use their word processing software. If you work remotely or while traveling, you can use a template-based product on any laptop or tablet with a word processor, regardless of whether you have an Internet connection at the time.
The license fee for a template-based product is a one-time license fee, and you can use the product as many times as you like, and as often or intermittently as you like without incurring additional costs. There are no ongoing subscription fees to contend with (which will substantially increase your total costs beyond the costs of template-based products within a couple months); you have complete control over the product material and you manage your proposal content (when you deal with trade secrets and confidential data you don’t want to be giving access to all of that material to an unknown entity that may not be able to keep your information secure).
The main issue to consider in template-based products is that the different offerings vary widely in quality, so carefully compare the actual contents of packages to be sure you’re getting the best value and a quality product. Look at packages carefully to avoid the low-quality knock-offs and don’t be afraid to ask questions and review demos.
Web-based proposal writing systems are exactly what they sound like: you type your proposal information into a web site to create your proposal online and your potential clients look at your web based proposal online. Advantages of using a web-based system are that it usually has a low starting cost (but those monthly fees add up quickly and quickly surpass the cost of a PC/Mac template package) and you don’t have to download and install a program to your personal computer, so it may initially seem cheaper and faster to use. Also, after your proposal is posted, you may have access to some analytics, such as the ability to track how many people view your proposal. However it is typically better to simply reach out to your prospects with the personal touch of a phone call or e-mail and you will gather more-or-less the same information.
A big disadvantage to using a web-based system is that the proposal software and your business information are stored on the web. A web-based system is potentially more at risk from hackers, because the data from thousands of businesses presents a high-value target for hackers seeking confidential business information. Also, a web-based solution may not be available when you need it, like those times you can’t log in when you are flying or on the road. You should also consider whether or not you can easily extract your proposal data from a web-based system for use elsewhere. Most web-based solutions are new business ventures without proven track records – and if you read some of their support blogs you will find out which ones have frequent web site outages.
Web-based programs generally offer users less guidance and formatting and styling options than template-based packages. Web programs typically favor more of a “blank slate” approach and are usually much more limited in the amount of actual proposal writing content (templates, samples, etc.) than a template-based package. Current web-based solutions do not offer many basic features or the layout, design, and graphics capabilities of word processing systems available on PCs, Macs, and tablets. You may be very restricted in how you can create, format, and lay out your proposal, so you might not end up with the most polished looking proposal when you use a web-based system (or even a web-based word processor).
Web-based systems are not very well designed for responding to RFP’s or grant requests. Most of the time you have to follow strict guidelines for how proposals are to be written, formatted and submitted that cannot be done with web-based subscription services. While it may seem they offer something “new” in a web-based interface they are typically 10 years or more behind the curve in creating proposal writing content and polished professional proposals versus other solutions.
While a web-based solution may initially seem like the lowest cost product, keep in mind that a web-based business model depends on extracting monthly fees from customers, using a subscription payment plan. Over the course of just two or three months, a web-based solution will generally cost more than a downloaded product – and the costs will keep rising.
Now for the third category: enterprise class proposal solutions. These products are targeted for the use of big businesses. Often you cannot find a price or place an order online to download an enterprise product; you typically have to schedule a talk with a salesperson to get started. Plan on spending thousands of dollars or even tens of thousands of dollars on an enterprise solution, plan on significant setup time, and plan on bringing in consultants to set up and teach your employees how to use the system.
Enterprise proposal systems may be the best solution for large corporations that need widespread collaboration for their proposal projects and large sales teams, but enterprise systems are not designed (or priced) for individuals or small businesses. Even within large corporations, an enterprise proposal system is sometimes not the most efficient choice for doing a quick custom proposal or a small team project. Low-cost template-based solutions are frequently used by individuals or small teams within a large organization for one-off project proposals or to prototype a very complex proposal.
The three types of proposal software systems are not necessarily mutually exclusive; they can also work well together. You may want to pick multiple solutions to cover a wide array of situations and needs. Many users consider a downloaded template-based package a low-risk investment and a great addition to their basic business toolkits.
Most large corporations use template-based solutions alongside other systems for quick one-off proposals and prototyping. A template-based system allows users to work anywhere, view more samples and get more writing assistance, and use formatting tools to create a polished proposal that can be delivered in print or PDF format.
Template-based proposal kit systems are generally more efficient for smaller projects. And the information from these proposal kit template-based systems can often be uploaded to an enterprise system or to a web-based system when you want to use the extra analytics and other tools they offer.
How to Write a Green or Environmental Business Proposal
Does your business promote energy efficiency or protect or clean up the environment? These days, working in an environmentally related business can mean a lot of things. You might be running a janitorial service or a construction cleanup business, where you need to safely handle and dispose of all kinds of waste. Or maybe you’re promoting green energy, like solar and wind power and alternative fuels. Or retrofitting buildings for energy efficiency. Or managing an environmentally friendly recycling program. The list of environmentally related business situations is long.
You know your business inside and out. You know your capabilities and what your clients need from you. You’re also looking for new clients and more business or an investor for the next revolutionary green product. So are all your competitors; these days all businesses are clamoring for attention. Sending out a form letter or posting an ad in the local yellow pages is not usually the best way to stand out in the crowd. The best way to succeed in growing your client list and landing more jobs is to master writing a business proposal.
Never written a proposal before? Don’t sweat it. Basically, all you need to do in a business proposal is:
1) introduce yourself,
2) show that you understand your prospective client’s needs,
3) highlight your goods and services and present your costs and
4) persuade the client that your organization is right for the job. Using pre-designed templates and samples along with some automation software can help you write your proposal quickly and efficiently.
Writing a business proposal for an environmentally related business is actually pretty straightforward. That’s because, no matter what your business is, all proposals follow the basic four-part structure listed in the previous paragraph.
The length of your proposal will vary depending on the size and needs of the client as well as your type of business. The average proposal is five to ten pages long, but a complex proposal could have dozens of pages, and a very short one might include only an introductory Cover Letter, a Work Order, and a Price List. A government RFP response could be 30 pages long or more.
The key to a successful proposal is to tailor it to the party who will receive it. Put yourself in the other party’s shoes. If you don’t know them well, you may need to do some research about their business and history, but this effort will pay off in creating a customized proposal that is much more likely to succeed than any form letter or price list.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t reuse a lot of the same pages for multiple proposals; it simply means that you need to target each proposal to the specific client’s needs. A proposal is a sales document meant to persuade potential clients to give you their business. To do that, you must instill trust that you can deliver the goods, research or services they need.
So, following the general order described above, you should start your proposal by introducing yourself with a Cover Letter and Title Page. The Cover Letter should be a brief; just explain who you are and include your company contact information. You should print your Cover Letter on your company letterhead. The Title Page is exactly what it sounds like: a page that introduces your proposal and names the specific project you are discussing. Some examples might be “Cleanup Services for the Ryleston Building Construction Project”, “Proposal to Construct Wind Turbines in the North Valley”, “Proposed Conversion of Corporate Fleet to Alternative Fuels”, and so forth.
After the introduction comes the client-centered section. Add topics that show that you understand the needs of your client. Depending on the complexity of the project you are proposing, you may or may not need to start off with a detailed summary (called an Executive Summary for corporate clients, or a Client Summary for a less formal project). In this client-centered section, demonstrate that you understand the prospective client’s requirements, needs, and concerns. For example, you might want to include pages that discuss issues generated by the specific project workspace or by the hazardous materials to be handled. This is not yet the place where you talk about your goods or services. The client’s concerns come first.
After the client-centered section comes your turn to shine. Add pages that describe how you can provide solutions for the client with your goods or services. You’ll add pages with titles like Products, Services Provided, Benefits, Price List, Services Cost Summary, Warranty, Guarantee and so forth-include all topics you need to describe exactly what you will provide and how much it will cost.
Depending on your business or the project you’re proposing, you may need specialized topics, such as pages that address specific concerns such as your employees’ training in safety or hazardous waste handling, etc. Add pages with details the client will want to know, such as descriptions of your Personnel, Training Plan, Safety Plan, Insurance, Equipment, Security, Quality Control, Certifications, Environmental issues, and so on.
A building retrofitting company may have to deal with many different topics at once, such as selling both services and products as well as servicing multiple locations for a client, along with all the associated equipment and logistical needs.
A recycling company may need to discuss Transportation and Facilities issues as well as Handing input, output, and waste.
Specialized cleaning services such as accident, crime scene, fire, or flood cleanup companies should include topics to discuss hazardous or biological waste handling and environmental protection issues.
A company selling “green” products may want to list materials or describe special features of their products, certifications, discuss how their products compare to competitors, or list special bundling deals or volume discounts.
After you’ve described what you are proposing to do comes the final section, where you provide your company details. Your goal is to conclude your proposal by convincing your client that you can be trusted to deliver the goods or services you have promised. Here, you’ll add pages like Testimonials, References, Awards, About Us / Company History, Capabilities, Qualifications, Our Clients, Customer Service, and so forth-all the topics you need to persuade the client that you have credibility and can be trusted.
There! You’ve written a proposal. But you’re not quite finished. Take a little time to make your proposal visually appealing; remember, you want to stand out from competing proposals. Add color and graphics by incorporating your company logo, using colored borders, and/or selecting custom bullet points and fonts that match your business’s style.
Carefully proofread and spell-check all the pages. It’s difficult to catch errors in your own work, so it’s always a good idea to have someone who is unfamiliar with your proposal do a final proof. Spell check will not catch correctly spelled but misused words.
Save your proposal as a PDF file or print it, and then deliver it to your potential client. Emailing PDF files to clients is very common; however, keep in mind that a printed, signed, and hand-delivered proposal may impress the client more. If the new business is especially valuable to you and your competition is tight, you should put more personal effort into the proposal and delivery.
As you can see, a proposal for an environmentally related business will mean something different to everyone who needs to write one. Each organization’s specific proposal pages will be different, and for maximum success, each proposal should be customized for the party receiving it.
The good news is that all proposals follow a similar format and structure, and you don’t need to start from scratch-you can find templates for all the pages mentioned in this article in Proposal Kit. The templates include instructions and examples of information that should be included on each page. The product also includes a wide variety of sample proposals, including samples for all sorts of environmentally related businesses. Using the templates and studying these samples will spark your imagination and make it easy to create your own winning business proposal.
How to Write a Healthcare or Medical Business Proposal
Are you in the healthcare field? That category covers many different types of businesses. You might be a physician or the manager of a medical group; you might provide rehabilitation services for the injured or care for the disabled; you might sell medical insurance, provide pharmaceutical supplies, or specialize in records management. The list of medicine-related businesses is endless.
The healthcare business is growing exponentially, and your competition is, too. You’re no doubt seeking to grow your business and attract new clients, or perhaps you’re looking for funding to start up or expand your business. How are you going to attract the clients you need, or secure your funding so your business can succeed? You could send out form letters. You could pay for an ad in a paper or magazine. That might get results. But to improve your chances of landing new contracts or getting that funding, sooner or later you will need to write a business proposal.
Don’t panic! Writing a proposal is not as hard as it may sound. No matter what sort of business you’re representing, there is a basic four-part structure to every proposal. You start by 1) introducing yourself, and then 2) demonstrate that you understand your prospective client’s needs. Next, you 3) describe your goods and services and list your costs, and finally, you 4) convince the client or grant committee that you are the best pick to provide the solutions you’ve proposed. There’s no need to begin by staring at a blank computer screen, either. Using products with pre-designed templates, samples, and automation software can give you a big head start.
Let’s break it down a bit further. As described above, all service proposals follow the basic four-part structure. The length of your proposal will depend on three things: the needs of the client, the complexity of the project, and your type of business. Five to ten pages is an average proposal length, but a complex proposal might include dozens (or even hundreds) of pages. A very short proposal might contain only a Cover Letter, a list of Products or Services Provided, and a Price List.
The secret to creating a successful proposal is to tailor it for the party who will make the decision on whether or not to accept your proposal. This means that you need to put yourself in that party’s shoes. What do they need and want? What are their concerns? The effort you put into researching your potential clients will pay off in creating a customized proposal that is much more likely to beat the competition.
Customizing a proposal won’t prevent you from using a lot of the same pages in multiple proposals. Of course you’ll do that, because much of the information you provide about your products and services will be of interest to all your potential clients. Creating a customized proposal simply means that you target each proposal to a specific client’s needs. Always keep this in mind: a proposal is a sales document intended to convince clients to give you their business or persuade grant committees to award the funding you seek.
The introduction section in a proposal usually consists of a Cover Letter and a Title Page. Print your Cover Letter on your company letterhead, and keep it concise; just explain who you are and provide your contact information. A Title Page is precisely that: a page that introduces your proposal and names the specific project you are discussing. Some examples might be “Proposed Health Insurance Policies for XYX Corporation,” “Traveling Medical Screening Services for Rural Areas,” or “Proposal to Set Up an Emergency Medical Clinic in Maxus County.”
If you are writing a complex proposal, you may need to preface the rest of the proposal with a detailed summary (often called an Executive Summary or a Client Summary)-that’s basically a summary list of your most important points. Next, you’ll write a section focused on the client. Here you will show your understanding of your client’s needs and concerns. In this section, your goal is to describe your prospective client’s requirements, needs, and concerns. You will include pages that discuss issues of interest to that particular client, such as Privacy, Insurance, Cost Management, Protocols, Conditions, Special Needs, and so forth. This section is all about your client.
After this client-centered section comes the section that’s focused on what you can do for the client. In this section, you will show that you have the solutions to the needs described in the previous section. You’ll add pages with titles like Diagnosis, Treatment, Therapies, Screening, Intervention, Products, Services Provided, Safety, Price List, Services Cost Summary, and so forth-include all the topics you need to describe exactly what you propose to provide and what the cost will be. You may need specialized topics that address your employees’ education or experience in specific medical conditions or practices. Add pages with details the client will want to know, such as descriptions of your Personnel, your Training Plan, Certifications, Insurance, Facilities, Safety Plan, Security, and so on.
Your individual proposal pages will vary according to your business. A records management company may have to deal with selling both services and hardware and software products. A rehabilitation center would need to talk about Coordination with other medical organizations, interacting with Insurance companies, and developing an individual care program for each patient. A medical supply company would need to describe specific products and address how to train employees in the proper usage of those products.
A charity delivering hospice services to homebound patients would need to discuss Privacy and Legal Considerations, Personnel, Religion, Teamwork with family and other care providers, End of Life issues, and so forth.
Next, after the section describing how you can provide solutions to the client’s needs comes the final section, where you provide data about your organization and your experience. Your goal is to conclude your proposal by persuading the readers that you have credibility and will deliver the goods and services you have promised. Here, you’ll add pages like Our Clients, Benefits, Testimonials, Awards, About Us / Company History, References, Qualifications, Case Studies, and so forth-all the topics you need to persuade your potential clients that you are worthy of their trust and deserve their business.
After you have included all the pages you need, spend some time to make your proposal visually appealing. Your goal is to stand out from your competition. Consider selecting fonts and custom bullet points that match your business style, using pages with colored borders, and incorporating your organization’s logo to add interest.
Be sure to proofread and spell-check every page. Overlooking mistakes in your own work is easy to do, so it’s best to recruit someone who is unfamiliar with the project to do the final proof.
Finally, save your proposal as a PDF file or print and bind it, then deliver the proposal to the potential client. It’s common to email PDF files to clients these days, but keep in mind that a printed, hand-delivered proposal could be more impressive. If the new contract or funding that you seeking is especially valuable, you might want to put more effort into the final proposal and delivery to beat out the competition.
You can now see that each proposal written for a healthcare/medical business will be a bit different. The specific proposal pages will vary by project and type of business and, as discussed above, each proposal should be customized for the party receiving it.
But you also see that all business proposals have a similar structure. And, as mentioned earlier, you don’t need to start from scratch-you can find templates for all the pages mentioned in this article in a proposal kit of documents. The templates in a good proposal kit include instructions and examples of information to include on each page. A proposal kit will also include a wide variety of sample proposals, including samples for medical records management, for insurance policies, and for occupational therapy services. By starting with a pre-designed proposal kit of templates and samples, you will be able to quickly and efficiently create your own winning business proposal.
How to Write a Real Estate or Property Business Proposal
If you work in the field of real estate, knowing how to write a business proposal will help you compete and close more deals. You might be a realtor, a property investor, a developer, work in property management with commercial leasing or property rentals, or work for an agency that deals with housing issues. Or perhaps you want to write a proposal to apply for a government grant for housing. To be successful at any of these jobs, sooner or later you’re going to need to write a proposal.
You’ve no doubt written business letters, and maybe even advertising fliers and brochures-those are all big starts on writing a proposal. So don’t be intimidated by the idea-proposal writing can be easier than you might think. That’s because every proposal has some standard sections and a standard structure. Basically, you will introduce yourself, explain what you’re proposing and why, describe any costs involved, and convince your boss, investor, prospective client or grant committee that you can be trusted to fulfill the promises you make. Using a proposal package will speed up your process because instead of starting with a blank screen on your computer, you begin with pre-designed templates and lots of samples to emulate.
If you want to pitch your ideas, properties, or services to multiple parties, you may be tempted to send out a batch of form letters along with some brochures or fliers. That would be easier, but that approach is not as likely to succeed as creating customized proposals. The goal of a proposal is to persuade the client, boss, investor, or grant committee to endorse your idea and give you the business or the money. That means that you need to gain their trust and demonstrate that you know what you’re talking about and can deliver on your promises.
To get started in any sort of proposal writing, your first step should be to gather information about the party who will judge your proposal. You want to present a proposal tailored to that party’s specific needs, situation, and knowledge level. In other words, try to put yourself in the other party’s shoes and study the situation from that party’s point of view. If your proposal is aimed at your boss or your company executives, you may already understand their concerns and attitudes. But if you are pitching to people at another organization, then you will need to do a bit of work researching who they are, what they do, and what their needs are. If you are responding to an RFP, then of course you need to study the RFP’s written requirements carefully. Yes, all this research can take some effort and time, but putting in that effort will make your proposal much more likely to succeed, and that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?
So, first collect the basic facts about the party you are pitching to, and from then on, writing the proposal will be a fairly straightforward process. Proposals generally follow a four-part structure:
1) an introduction of yourself and your proposal,
2) a summary of the situation and needs, followed by
3) descriptions of the ideas or the properties or services you are offering, including all the important details and associated costs. Finally, the proposal should conclude with
4) information that will persuade the proposal reader to trust you. This might include your Experience, Credentials, Education, Capabilities, Awards, and so forth.
The introduction is the shortest section, with just a Cover Letter and a Title Page. In the Cover Letter, write a brief personal introduction to explain who you are and provide your contact information, including a website URL if you’d like the reader to go there for more details. The Title Page should be exactly what it sounds like: a page with a title that states what you are pitching. Some examples might be “Proposal to Develop the Windlass Division”, “New Office Buildings Available for the Madelain Corporation”, “Proposed Property Management Services for the Kartiss Buildings”, “Investment Proposal for the Ridge Highlands” or “Funding Proposal for Low Income Housing in Casco County”.
Following the Cover Letter and Title Page comes the client-centered part of the proposal. Here you’ll write topic pages to demonstrate that you understand the position and needs of your proposal reader. If your proposal is complex, you might need to begin this section with a brief summary highlighting the most important points you will describe in detail in the following pages. This summary is generally called a Client Summary in a fairly casual proposal, or an Executive Summary if your proposal is targeted to corporate clients. Include all the topics you need to describe the needs, goals, and desires of your client (i.e., the party who will make the decision about whether or not to accept your proposal). Don’t describe anything about yourself or your offerings yet; in this section, you must show that you understand the other party’s position and needs.
Next comes the all-about-you part, where you describe your ideas, what you are offering, and why you can do the job. You might need to add pages with titles like Location Analysis, Properties, Amenities, Renovation, Facilities, Rentals, Services Provided, Cost Summary, Return on Investment-the topics you select for this section will depend on what you are proposing. Include all the data you need to describe your properties, ideas, and/or services, along with all the associated costs and benefits. Finally, at the end of this all-about-you section, it’s time to convince your proposal readers that you can deliver what you’ve promised. To do this, you add pages like References, Credentials, Experience, Testimonials, Company History or About Us, Our Clients, Awards and Achievements, and so forth. Your goal is to conclude your proposal by persuading your readers that you have credibility and can be trusted.
Now you’ve got all your proposal text written and structured. You’re close to finishing, but you’re still not quite done. Take a little time to make your proposal look good. Consider incorporating your company logo, using colored borders, or introducing special bullet points and fonts. Keep it professional, though-any graphic elements should match your style and the tone of your proposal.
It’s crucial to spell-check and proofread every page. It’s very easy to overlook errors in your own writing, so it always a good idea to use a proofreader who hasn’t read your proposal before.
Congratulations! The proposal is done, and all you need to do is deliver it. Print it out, or save the proposal in a PDF file, or both. The best delivery method will depend on your relationship with the party who will receive your proposal. You may want to attach a PDF to an email message for a long distance client, send a printed proposal via delivery service, or even personally hand off a printed, signed proposal.
To sum up, you can see how the specialized topics in a real-estate-related proposal will vary depending on what you’re offering, your goals, and the needs of your prospective client, boss, investor, or proposal committee. But now you also know that all business proposals follow a similar format and structure. And remember: you don’t need to start from scratch. No matter what your proposal is about, you can find all the elements you’ll need in a proposal package of templates and samples. The templates in a good package will include explanations and examples of the information that specific topic pages should contain; they will guide you in writing and formatting all parts of your proposal.
How to Write a Telecommunications Business Proposal
The telecommunications industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world today. The field includes a wide variety of organizations that do everything from telecom infrastructure, designing and manufacturing tablet computers to selling service plans to cell phone users.
Whether you specialize in building and maintaining wireless networks, satellite communications, or in creating the latest Wi-Fi reading application, you always want to grow your market share or get your new projects approved or funded.
These days, when competition is fast and global, it’s vital to constantly increase your client list or customer base, secure new projects, and form new partnerships.
After you identify a potential new project or beneficial relationship, how do you go about convincing the other party? The telecommunications business is complex: a brochure, phone call, or handshake is not likely to seal a new deal. You almost always need to spell out a lot of details, which means you need to write a business proposal.
If you’ve never written anything other than memos or in-house reports, the prospect of writing a proposal may sound like a monumental task. But it doesn’t have to be. All business proposals have the same goal–persuading the reader to agree to your ideas–and the best proposals share a common structure, too.
The first thing you should know is that a good proposal should always be customized for your potential customer or partner. Of course you’ll talk about your products and your organization, but you should describe them in terms of how they will meet the needs of the other party. To start, gather all the information you can find about the people who will be reading your proposal. What, precisely, is their business? What is their organization’s history? What do they care about? What do they already know about you, your project, or your products? What questions will they have? As you may have guessed, the biggest question most organizations have is “What’s in it for us?” So keep the benefits to your potential customer or partner first and foremost in your mind as you create your proposal.
A proposal has four basic parts: introduction, description of needs and requirements, description of project or goods or services offered, and description of your organization’s expertise.
When your reader opens your proposal packet, the first thing he or she should see is a Cover Letter introducing your proposal. Keep this short–just introduce yourself, explain why you are sending your proposal at this time, state what you would like the reader to do after considering the proposal (call you, sign the enclosed contract, set up a meeting, etc.), and provide all your contact information.
The next page should be a Title Page for your proposal. Simply give it a descriptive name. Some examples might be “Proposed Expansion of Transmission Network to Expand Wireless Coverage Area” or “Proposal by Smith Company to Provide Cell Phone and Internet Services to Jones Corporation.” If your proposal is long or complex, next you’ll want to include a Table of Contents and an Executive Summary–a list of the most important points. But you will need to create them after you’re done with the body of the proposal.
On to the next section: the description of needs and requirements. Put yourself in your potential client’s or partner’s position. What do they want or need? If you are responding to an RFP, that will be spelled out in detail in the RFP and you can simply repeat that information here. In other cases, you have to describe it for the reader. For example, one company’s traveling sales reps might need reliable, long lasting cell phones that can easily share information with company computers; another company might require cutting edge security software to encrypt their sensitive global transmissions. As well as describing the needs in this section, describe any requirements or limitations you know about. These might be costs, deadlines, or specific details such as devices, operating platforms, download speed, ability to interface with multiple networks in multiple countries, etc. In this section, you’ll have pages with titles like Problem Statement, Needs Assessment, or Goals and Objectives, as well as Requirements, Specifications, Performance Requirements, Interface Requirements, Limitations, Deadlines, Schedule, Market Demand and any other topic pages you need to describe the current situation.
Next up is the section where you describe exactly what you have in mind, taking care to explain how your project, products, or services will meet the needs and requirements of your potential client or partner. Include as many topics as necessary to fully describe your proposal–you want to show that you have a well thought out, detailed plan for success. The pages in this section can include a wide variety of topics, depending on your business and the project you have in mind. Most proposals will use general pages with titles like Intent, Project Plan, Products or Services Offered, Options, Cost Summary, Schedule, Benefits, and so forth. If you’re proposing to upgrade telecommunications equipment or software, you might want pages like Legacy Systems, Hardware, Software, Integration Plan, Training, and so forth. If you’re proposing a joint venture to develop a new device, you might want pages like Design, Prototyping, Collaboration, Investment, Responsibilities, Timeline, etc. In this section, try to anticipate questions the proposal reader might have, and provide answers in advance to show your ability to plan for all eventualities.
In the final section of your proposal, it’s time to explain why the proposal reader should pick you as a partner or supplier. Here, you’ll provide information about your Company History and Clients Served, similar Projects you’ve worked on, your Expertise, any special Certifications or Training you have, and perhaps information about your Team Members or company Personnel who will work on the project. If you have Awards, Achievements, Referrals, or Testimonials, include them in this section.
Now you have a first draft of your proposal. Take the time to proofread it carefully and make every page look and sound as professional as possible. Consider using special fonts or splashes of color to make it look attractive. Visual appeal is especially important in competitive situations where you need your proposal to stand out.
The more proposals you write, the easier the process will become, because you’ll reuse information and some topic pages will be the same in every proposal. However, always remember that customization is the best key to success–be sure to tailor each proposal to the specific organization and readers you are targeting, and explain how your ideas will benefit them and meet their needs.
You might also like to know that you can get a jump start on any proposal writing project with pre-designed proposal kit. A proposal kit will come with sample proposals you can look at to get ideas, and pre-designed topic templates. Each template in a proposal kit will have instructions and suggestions to prompt you for information on that topic, so you’ll never sit and stare at a blank screen. Using a proposal kit can help you efficiently create great-looking business proposals.
How to Write a Sports Industry Business Proposal
If you’re in the business of sports, the odds are that you are perpetually seeking new clients. In days past, you could get by with a phone book listing, maybe a newspaper ad, and word-of-mouth recommendations. Those days are long gone. These days, the competition is fierce.
Whether you are opening a new franchise, recommending an employee health program, starting a youth sports program, or engaged in adventure tourism, you need to know how to write a proposal to pitch your idea or services.
You’re probably more into action than writing. Never written a proposal before? Don’t worry. Crafting a business proposal might seem like a formidable task, but it doesn’t have to be. Resources right in front of you can show you how to introduce yourself, highlight your services or project, outline your costs, and help your clients understand you are the person who will make it happen. Here’s the key: you don’t have to start from scratch, staring a blank page on your computer. You’ll find it more efficient to begin with pre-written topics and similar sample proposals to help you write your own winning proposal as quickly as possible.
Thinking of sending out a one-size-fits-all cover letter, along with a list of services and associated prices? That’s a mistake commonly made by inexperienced proposal writers. Don’t do it. A proposal is not a brochure. A proposal is a document intended to persuade someone to give you their business or funds. To be successful, you must gain their trust and make them understand that you can deliver the services to those who need them. A price list cannot substitute for a real proposal.
As a general rule to prepare for writing any kind of proposal, your first step should be to consider who will be reading your proposal. Gather information about the organization you’re pitching to so that you can present a proposal tailored to your readers. Yes, that might take more effort than writing a generic version, but you will be rewarded by crafting a tailored proposal that is much more likely to be accepted.
After you have the information in hand, writing the proposal will be reasonably straightforward. That’s because proposals that offer services, regardless of the type of services, follow a similar structure: first comes the introduction, then a summary of the needs, followed by descriptions of the services offered, as well as details and costs. Then the proposal concludes with information about the service provider, such as relevant experience, credentials, and capabilities.
The introduction should include a Cover Letter and a Title Page. In the Cover Letter, deliver a personal introduction, provide your company contact information, and include a call to action-a request for whatever you want the reader to do next. The Title Page is pretty obvious. It’s a page that introduces your proposal and highlights the project or services you are pitching. Some examples might be “New Shoreline Youth Soccer League Program,” “Improving Employee Performance with an In-House Exercise Center,” “Opening a Yoga for Life Franchise,” or “Aquatic Sports Partnership with Seashore Hotels.”
Next, add topic pages that show you understand the needs of your client or the program. Depending on how large the proposed scope of work is, you may or may not need to precede the detailed pages with a brief summary. This summary section (often just a page or two) is normally called an Executive Summary for corporate clients, or a Client Summary for a less formal project. Now, proceed to describe the specific prospective client’s requirements, goals, and desires. This is not yet the place where you talk about yourself. This section is all about the client or community to be served (such as when asking for funding for a community project). Use templates such as Needs Assessment, Goals and Objectives, Benefits, and Community.
The next section of the proposal focuses on the details of the services or project you are proposing. Describe the goods and services you are offering, how a project will be built and managed, the costs and benefits, and so on.
If you are pitching your health club or gym services, include topics such as Services Provided, Services Cost Summary, Options, Packages, Classes, Facilities, Equipment and so on.
If you are asking for funding or support for a youth sports program, you’ll want topics such as Funding Request, Use of Funds, Facilities, Equipment, Programs and Activities, Approach, Coaching, Training Plan, and so on.
To propose a partnership with another company for a mutually beneficial business arrangement, show how the partnership will benefit both parties (mostly focusing on the partner). Use templates such as Amenities, Cost/Benefit Analysis, Strategic Position, Competitive Analysis, and so on. A good example of a partnership would be an adventure tour service provider pitching an arrangement with a local hotel.
Marketing a sports company or team? Then you’ll include topic pages with titles like Marketing Plan, Market and Audience, Sales Plan, and so on.
If you are writing a business plan to start or expand a business, include financial details with topics like Funding Request, Repayment Plan, Location Analysis, Competitive Analysis, Budget, Cash Flow, Balance Sheet, Company Operations, etc.
To pitch a project such as a public center or putting a gym inside your business, you’ll want pages with titles like Benefits, Features, Recommendations, and Installation Schedule.
Are you pitching the next hot health product, trying to persuade a company to carry it in their inventory? Show how they will benefit from carrying your new product by including pages explaining Benefits, Features, Return on Investment, and your Wholesale Price List.
Maybe you are trying to license your new product idea for someone else to produce. If that’s the case, you should include topics like Market Share, Patents, Trademarks, Licensing, Manufacturing, and Distribution.
Finally, to wrap up your proposal, persuade your client or funder that you are the right choice for the job by adding pages like About Us / Company History, Capabilities, Our Clients, References, Credentials, Awards, and Testimonials. Include everything you need to convince your client or funder that you can be trusted to deliver on your promises. Conclude your proposal with a call to action: ask for the client’s business or support, tell the customer where to subscribe or purchase your goods or services, or request a meeting for further discussion.
After you have all the writing done, it’s time to focus on making your proposal look good with some color and graphics. You can use colored page borders, use custom bullet points or distinctive fonts, and include your company logo. Don’t go overboard or get too fancy, though, or your message may get lost among the visual distractions.
Don’t send your proposal out before you proofread all the pages. Remember that spell check cannot catch words that are correctly spelled but misused. It’s always a good idea to enlist someone who doesn’t know your work to do a final proofing pass, because all writers miss errors in their own work.
Finally, save your proposal and then deliver it to your potential client or funder. The best delivery method will depend on your relationship with the recipient. It’s common to email a PDF file to a client, but you may want to make a personal effort and hand deliver a printed proposal to show you’re willing to go that extra mile.
As you can see, the contents of sports-related proposals will vary, depending on organizations, projects, and the scope of services and products involved.
The good news is that the format and structure of all sports related proposals will be similar. You can find all the templates you need in a proposal kit package. The templates (also called topic pages) will contain explanations and examples of what those particular pages should contain. Using them will make it easy to write and format your proposal sections. The best proposal kits also contain a wide variety of sample service sales proposals, product sales proposals, and other project proposals that will give you great ideas. In no time, you will have finished your own winning sports proposal.
How to Write a Manufacturing Business Proposal
If you are in charge of or dealing with a factory, then you know how important it is to keep your production schedule filled with projects. That most likely means that you must continually seek new clients for your services. To win a new contract, the odds are that you will need to write a business proposal.
If you’ve never written a proposal before, that may sound like a difficult project. It doesn’t need to be intimidating, though, because you already know your business and how to sell it, so you’re halfway to the finish line. The other half is learning what goes into a business proposal, and that’s what this article is about.
If you are responding to a Request for Proposal (RFP), then of course you need to provide all the information asked for, in the order specified in the RFP. But if it’s up to you to decide the content and format for your proposal, you should know that all business proposals have a basic four-part sequence.
Part 1 is the introduction, which consists of a Cover Letter, a Title Page, and (optionally) an Executive Summary and a Table of Contents. In the Cover Letter, simply explain succinctly who you are, why you are presenting this proposal, and what you’d like the reader to do after considering the proposal information (set up a meeting with you, collaborate on a contract, call for estimates, etc.). Be sure to provide all your contact information, too–phone number, email, website, physical address, and so forth. The Title Page is simply a descriptive name for your proposal–something like “Proposed Manufacturing Process for QRT Widgets” or “Fabrication Proposal for HJK Corporation.” An Executive Summary (also called a Client Summary) is a list of the most important points in a complex proposal, and it’s provided for busy execs who may not have time to read the rest of the pages. The Table of Contents is simply a navigation aid and will be needed only if the proposal is long and complex.
Part 2 is a very important section, and one that is often neglected. Many proposals start off with a lot of marketing information about why the company proposing the project is so great to work with. That’s not a good strategy for a winning proposal. Instead, Part 2 should be all about the potential client. Put yourself in your client’s shoes. Write down that organization’s needs, desires, and limitations. At a minimum, you’ll want a Requirements or Needs page. You may also need more specifics, like a Schedule page and a Budget page. Maybe Specifications and Materials and Packaging pages, too–include all the topics you need to describe your understanding of what the client wants and needs, as well as any Restrictions and Limitations on the project. You might need to include diagrams or blueprints. Your goal is to prove that you understand what the client needs from you.
After you’ve explained what the needs are, it’s time to describe how you propose to fill those needs in Part 3. This is the section where you describe in detail what you propose to do, how it will benefit the client, and how much it will cost. The pages in this section vary tremendously from project to project, but this section should at least contain a Services Offered page, a Benefits page, and a Cost Summary page. You might also want to include some of the following topics: Solutions, Efficiency, Design, Schedule, Options, Quality Control, Guarantee, Equipment, Prototype, Packaging, Shipping, Safety, Sampling, Testing, and/or Labeling. Include as many topics as you need to describe your proposed manufacturing process in detail, and make sure to talk about how your process meets or exceeds the needs you detailed in Part 2.
After you have thoroughly described what you propose to do, it’s time to explain why your company is the best choice for the job–that’s Part 4, the final part of the proposal. It’s always best to use facts, statistics, or recommendations from others to sell a client on your reputation, so you’ll want to include pages like About Us, Company History, Experience, Client List, Projects, Staff, Certifications, Facilities, and so forth to demonstrate that you have plenty of experience with similar projects and you have the capability to carry out this manufacturing process. If you have won Awards, have gathered Testimonials from other clients, or offer a Guarantee or Warranty, be sure to include all those, too.
Now you understand the basic structure for a proposal: Introduction, Client-Centered Section, Description of Proposed Services section, and Manufacturer-Centered section. After writing all these sections, you have the first draft for your proposal, and you’re nearly done.
There are two steps left. First, find a dynamite proofreader or editor to scan the entire proposal, correct any spelling or grammatical mistakes, ask questions about any confusing wording or information that is lacking, and make sure each page looks professional. Then print out the proposal or package it into a PDF file and deliver it to the client by whatever method makes the most sense for the client.
Although you can use any word processing program to create your entire proposal from scratch, you might want to start with a pre-designed proposal kit, which is specially designed for writing proposals. A proposal kit will include hundreds of template pages (including all those topics mentioned above) with instructions and examples for writing about nearly any sort of topic. Also included in proposal kits are sample proposals, so you can see how finished proposals for all sorts of projects might look. There are even contracts you can change for your own use, as well as all sorts of help should you need any guidance in using the product. You’ll find using a pre-designed proposal kit will make you look like a pro, even if you’re writing your first proposal.
How to Write a Fashion Business Proposal
The world of fashion is huge and international, and it includes many different types of businesses.
There’s the design group: businesses that design patterns, fabrics, notions, accessories, makeup, and lines of clothing.
There’s the manufacturing group: businesses that create and package all those items. All those goods have to move around the planet, so there are specialists in importing or exporting clothes and accessories.
And then there are specialists in showcasing and marketing fashions, such as catalog companies, modeling agencies, fashion show production professionals, fashion experts at magazines and on television, photographers, makeup artists, and hair stylists. Even a few niche businesses are included in the fashion realm, such as costume design and makeup for movies, collectors of vintage clothing, and even doll clothes and accessories. The list is endless.
The competition is endless in the fashion world, too. So if you’re in charge of one of these businesses, you’re always looking for new clients and new projects. How can you beat the competition and land those contracts? You need to learn how to write a business proposal. This is true whether you need to impress a potential client, secure funding to grow your business, or even sell your business or find a partner.
Writing a business proposal doesn’t need to be a daunting project. After you understand the standard structure and focus of a proposal, you’ll be able to fill in the pages pretty quickly. And when your first proposal is complete, you’ll find it much easier to write the next one, and the next.
The first and most basic idea you need to master is that a good proposal is not focused on you. It should be focused on your prospective client or partner–the person who will read your proposal. That reader might be the loan officer at the bank where you’re applying for a business loan, the designer whose clothing line you want to manufacture, the production company you are pitching your services to, or the retail chain you want to sell clothing to. Throughout the proposal writing process, put yourself in that party’s shoes and consider what they want from you at each step.
All good proposals follow this structure: introduction, client-centered section, description of proposed goods and/or services, and supplier-centered section. The pages in the last three sections will differ depending on your business and what you are proposing, but this sequence of sections should remain the same whether your proposal is four pages long or twenty.
What would you, as a prospective client, want to see as an introduction to a proposal? A Cover Letter, of course. When writing your cover letter, be sure to answer these four questions for the reader: Who are you? Why are you sending this proposal now? What do you want the reader to do next? How can the reader contact you to get more information or accept the proposal?
Next, provide a Title Page, which is precisely what it sounds like. Just give your proposal a logical descriptive name, like “Fashion Show Proposal for QRX Design Company” or “Fabrication and Shipping Services Proposed for West Coast Shops” or “Proposal to Establish a New Consignment Clothing Boutique.”
If your proposal has a lot of pages and details, next you might want to include a Client Summary (a one-page summary of the most crucial details you want even the busiest reader to absorb) and a Table of Contents. That’s all you need for the Introduction section.
On to the client-centered section: this is where you need to prove that you understand your potential client. Provide all the information you know about their needs and requirements for this project. If you’re writing a proposal to get a loan, this section could be as simple as a list of requirements you know you must meet. But if you’re writing a complex proposal, this section could be much longer. For example, if you’re producing a proposal to stage a fashion event, you might write pages about the client’s need for a venue of a certain size and type, the need to hire models, makeup and hairstyling experts, specialists in lighting and sound, possibly videographers and photographers, the need to notify and invite the media, and so forth. If you’re proposing to sell your clothing line to a store, you might discuss their sales seasons, advertising needs, packaging and shipping concerns, and so forth. As well as detailing all the desires of the client, write down any constraints you’re aware of–budget, special needs of any kind, deadlines that must be met, etc. The goal of this section is to prove you understand what the client needs. At the very least, you’ll need a topic page labeled something like Needs or Requirements or Specifications. But if the project has many different aspects, you’ll need many more topic pages to cover what the client is looking for.
After the client-centered section, write your description of exactly what you are proposing and what it will cost. Do you plan to open a new hair salon? Are you selling jewelry to compliment a clothing line? Are you providing marketing services for a product launch? Are you proposing to design unique evening wear for the wealthiest clients? At a bare minimum, this section should contain a list of Products or Services Provided, a description of Benefits, and a Cost Summary. But the odds are that you will need many more topics, such as Style, Trends, Lifestyle, Concepts, Aesthetics, Accessories, Materials, Venue, Personnel, Schedule, Equipment, Options, Specials, etc.–include all the topics you need to explain about the goods or services you propose to provide. At each step of the way, describe how what you are offering will meet or exceed the client’s requirements that were described in the previous section–in other words, how your goods and/or services will benefit the client. If you offer a Guarantee of satisfaction or a Warranty on your products, include that information, too.
Now, in the final supplier-centered section, it’s time to persuade the client that you are the best choice for the project. This section should have at least one page explaining Company History or Experience. If you are the star, this section might even include your Resume. Keep in mind that it’s always more persuasive to let facts or third parties demonstrate your qualities, so if you have lists of Clients Served or similar Projects you’ve done, special Training or Certifications, Awards, or Testimonials from satisfied customers, by all means add those. If you have helpful Alliances or Contacts that would be useful, include those, too.
If you need appendices, such as sketches, maps, photographs, charts, or lists of suppliers, etc., those will go at the end, but otherwise, you’re finished writing your proposal.
But you’re not quite done. This is the fashion world, and you have competition, so take the time to be sure your proposal is error-free and looks good, too. This means careful proofreading and formatting. Special fonts, colored titles or borders, logos, and unusual bullet points can add visual appeal. Remember that you want your proposal to represent you at your professional best.
After every page has been perfected, print the proposal or create a PDF file and deliver it to your prospective client in whatever way is likely to impress that party (email, upload to your web site, print and mail, etc.). It might be worthwhile to hand-deliver a proposal package or pay for a special delivery to make your offering stand out above the competition.
While your first proposal might take awhile to create, you’ll learn that all subsequent proposals will be faster, and you can re-use some of the same information in each. But remember that a good proposal should always be client-centered, and this means that each proposal will be customized to the particular client and project.
It’s possible to create a business proposal with any word processing system, but to speed up the process, you should consider using a pre-designed proposal kit. A kit will come with hundreds of topic templates including all of the those mentioned above, scores of sample proposals, and even contracts you can adapt for your use. Each template has instructions and examples to guide you as you write, and the sample proposals will show you what a finished proposal might look like and include. You can find kits in a variety of graphic designs to represent your organization’s style, or you can use your own company logo. A ready-made kit will give you a big head start on writing your proposals, and a big jump on your competition in the fashion world.
How to Write an Import/Export Business Proposal
Even more business is global these days, and all sorts of companies are looking for import and export services to move products across borders.
If you’re in the import/export business, you need to let potential clients know how valuable your services can be to them. Of course, you’ll want a dynamite website and maybe some paper advertising as well to attract attention, but to get work contracts, you need to understand how to create a business proposal.
A business proposal is more than just a price quote or a brochure. Each proposal should be targeted to the specific client’s needs and should explain in detail what you have to offer and how it will benefit the client.
All service proposals have a definite structure that you should follow for maximum success. Here’s the basic four-part structure:
2) Client-centered section
3) Description of products, services, and costs
4) A section that’s all about you.
Now, each of these parts could have dozens of pages, or only a few. The length of the proposal depends on the complexity of the project and the services you are offering.
Let’s look at the sections in more detail. The introduction is the simplest. Start off your proposal packet with a Cover Letter. Keep it short–just explain who you are, why you’re sending this proposal, and include all your important contact information. The letter should include a “call to action” statement saying what you’d like the reader to do after considering your proposal. Most likely, you’ll want them to call you to set up a meeting or contract for your services.
The Cover Letter should accompany your proposal, but the first page of your proposal should be a Title page that simply states what the proposal is about: for example, “Import and Shipping Services from China for GTG Corporation” or “Import/Export Services Proposed for Baker Manufacturing Services.”
That’s all you need for an introduction if your proposal is short and simple. If it’s longer, you may want to include a Table of Contents and an Executive Summary or Client Summary page–this is a page for busy readers who may not read all the details, and it should contain a list of the most important points you want to get across.
Now for the client-centered portion of the proposal. This is what truly differentiates a proposal from a sales brochure, and doing a good job on this section can make the difference between a proposal that gets tossed into the pile and a proposal that results in a contract. Why? Because all organizations are necessarily self-centered; they want to know how your offerings will benefit them. So, in this client-centered section, you need to prove that you understand the potential client’s business, needs, and concerns.
If you don’t feel that you already have that knowledge, then you’ll need to do a little work to get it, but it will be worth the time. Put yourself in your potential client’s shoes. Is the company branching out to markets in new countries, or considering importing goods from manufacturers in other countries? Do they have difficulties with shipping, transportation, or customs issues? Do they have limitations on budgets or schedules? At a minimum, you’ll want a Needs page in this section that lists the client’s needs. Depending on the client’s size and type of business, you might also need to discuss Restrictions, Limitations, Schedule, or Budget, or include a Requirements page that sets forth their criteria for import/export services.
After you’ve written down everything you know about your client’s needs and concerns, it’s time to explain how you can meet those needs with solutions in the services description section. Include all the pages necessary to describe your services and what those services will cost. Be sure to match your discussion with the client’s needs. At the very least, you’ll want a Services page and a Cost Summary page. You may also need specialized pages to discuss Global issues, to separate out your Imports and Exports services, describe Strategic Alliances you have formed, or to describe any Shipping services you also provide.
After you have described what you have to offer, you will write the section that describes why you are the best choice for the job. In this all-about-you section, you should include your Company History and Experience, any Certifications or Training you might have, any Awards you’ve won or Testimonials that clients have written about you, and so forth. In other words, include any information that will persuade the potential client that you will deliver on your promises.
After you’ve written these four basic parts in your proposal, you’re done with your rough draft. Now, be sure to carefully proofread every page and make sure each page looks good, too, because mistakes here might make potential clients assume your business practices are sloppy, too. You want your proposal to represent you at your professional best, so if you need to hire a professional proofreader or editor, it’s worthwhile to do that.
After all the pages look and sound great, then print your proposal and cover letter and deliver them by mail or by hand, or package them into a PDF file for email delivery. Be sure to use whichever method is likely to most impress your potential client–remember, this is all about beating the competition and sealing the deal. Then, if you don’t hear from that client within a week or so, follow up with a phone call. Ask if they received your proposal and if they have any questions for you, and odds are that you’ll be on your way to securing that contract.
Writing a business proposal may sound like a big investment of time and energy, but you’ll discover that you can reuse a lot of the information you provide from proposal to proposal, changing only the first client-centered section to make each proposal a customized presentation.
You can also speed up the process by using a pre-designed proposal kit, which is designed expressly for producing proposals, reports, and other business documents. A good proposal kit will include hundreds of templates that you can use in any proposal, including all the topics mentioned above. The templates include instructions and examples, so you’ll never feel bewildered about what sort of information to include. Make sure to use a professionally designed kit, too, so your proposal will look great.
Also, make sure your kit includes a wide variety of sample proposals, so you can see what finished proposals look like for a variety of businesses. A well designed proposal kit will give you a big head start on creating a winning business proposal.
How to Write a Faith-Based Business Proposal
A faith-based proposal, typically written by a church or church council, is essentially the same as a non-profit proposal. However, faith-based proposals tend to be for targeted situations related to helping those in need either locally or abroad.
You probably know your church’s operations inside and out, but you might be new to proposal writing. The task of creating a faith-based business proposal might seem daunting, but don’t panic: there are ways to make your job easier. Plenty of resources exist that will show you how to introduce yourself, highlight your organization, outline your needs, and help potential supporters and funders understand that you and your cause deserve their support. Here’s the key: you don’t have to start from nothing, staring at a blank computer screen. Beginning with pre-written topics and reviewing similar sample proposals can help you write your own winning proposal quickly and efficiently.
It doesn’t matter if you are involved in education, helping the homeless, providing shelter, improving medical access, or gathering food and toys for the holidays. The general structure of a faith-based proposal will always remain the same.
If you are taking the time to write a detailed proposal, it’s a good bet that the funding or support request is for a substantial amount and your proposal will be delivered to a foundation or other large organization. So your proposal should appear professional and business-like.
New proposal writers sometimes make the mistake of talking too much about themselves and not focusing enough on the organization they are requesting support from. Don’t do that. Simply asking for support or talking about your organization is only one part of a proposal. Keep in mind that the purpose of a non-profit proposal is to persuade another party to give you their money or material support. To succeed, you must gain the trust of the decision makers and make them understand that you can effectively deliver the goods and services to those in need.
One benefit that a faith-based non-profit organization comes with is an implicit sense of trust. Building trust is a key component (if not the most important) of a business deal. While you will still need to include topics to instill that sense of trust in your project and organization, this task will be easier for a faith-based organization.
A few foundations and companies will provide support and funding without any strings attached or expectations of anything in return, but with others, you may need to think in terms of asking for support or funding as a marketing avenue. In other words, your proposal will be more persuasive when you describe benefits you can bring to the supporting organization.
To describe those benefits, you would include topics such as your Constituency, Community, Demographics, and so on. Combine these with topics showing a Marketing Plan and Benefits, and show how the funding organization would benefit from giving you their support. Consider adding topics such as Social Responsibility and Philanthropy to outline how supporting your organization will raise the visibility of that organization in the community and give their reputation a positive boost. You not only want to show off your organization and sing the praises of what you have to offer, but also demonstrate how beneficial the association would be to the funding company.
As a general rule to prepare for writing a non-profit proposal, your first step should be to collect enough information about the potential funding organization to present a proposal that is tailored to that funder. Yes, this research might take some extra work, but that work is much more likely to pay off in crafting a winning proposal. You are in this to get the support your program needs, and you must show that money or material support will be effectively used. Established organizations that provide funding usually have an organizational culture, a donation strategy, and selection and participation rules already in place. If you know how they operate and the types of projects and needs they prefer to support, you can tailor your support request accordingly.
Consider the interests of the funding organization you are approaching. Small local businesses are more likely to be willing to provide support for a local community project. A multi-national company will be more likely to support an international outreach program. A medical supply company will be more likely to support a project to provide medical care. A construction company will be more likely to support a project to build a shelter. Learning about the backgrounds of the funding companies will help you align the message in your proposal to the values and mission statements of those you approach for support.
After you’ve gathered information on your prospective supporter, writing the proposal is a reasonably straightforward process. That’s because most proposals seeking funding or support follow a similar structure: first comes your introduction, then a summary of the needs that you are addressing, followed by descriptions of the services you will provide or the project you are proposing, as well as all the associated details and costs. Provide information to help the funder understand how they would benefit from supporting your cause and what you can provide to them in exchange. Then, conclude the proposal with information about your organization, such as History, relevant Experience, Credentials, and Capabilities, Vision, Mission Statement and so on.
The introduction section should include a Cover Letter and a Title Page. In the Cover Letter, simply deliver a personal introduction, provide your organization’s contact information, and state your request. The Title Page should introduce your tailored proposal and give a clear message about the project or scope of services you are proposing. Some examples might be “Christmas Toy and Food Drive Needs Your Help,” “Send a Student Abroad for the Summer,” “Rosemont Church Needs Support for Homeless Shelter,” or “Support for Children’s Vaccination Program in Guatemala.”
After your Cover Letter and Title Page, add topic pages that detail the issues faced by the cause you support and explain the support needed. In this section, add topics like Executive Summary, Needs Assessment, Goals and Objectives, Implementation Plan, and Project Background.
After you’ve described your cause, add pages to show that you understand the organization you are requesting support or funding from. This is where you would outline what they would receive for supporting you, using topics such as Benefits, Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and so on.
After the sections for the needs and the funder comes your turn to explain what you will do. Include topics like Project Management, Project Methods, and Personnel. Then include topics to generate trust in your organization, using topics such as Evaluation, Resources, Sources of Funds, Use of Funds, Sustainability, Future Potential, Supporters, Partnerships, Mission Statement, Tax Status, Legal Structure, Experience, Credentials, Capabilities, Programs and Activities, and Awards and Achievements. In other words, include all the topics you need to convince the supporter that you can be trusted to effectively deliver the services and make the best use of their support, that you have the resources to deliver on your promises, and (if needed) that you have a plan for the longevity of the program. Wrap up your proposal with a call to action: include a Funding Request, ask for other support, or request a meeting for further discussion.
After you have all the information written for your proposal, focus on making your proposal look good. Add a splash of color and graphics by incorporating your church’s or organization’s logo and a matching title page cover. Consider using colored borders and selecting custom bullet points and fonts that match your organization’s style.
Proofread and spell-check every page. You should have someone who is unfamiliar with your proposal proof it as well, because it’s all too easy to overlook your own mistakes.
Finally, save your proposal as a PDF file or print it, and then deliver it to the potential supporter. The best delivery method will depend on your organization and your relationship with the funder. Emailing PDF files to others is common but a nicely printed, hand-delivered proposal may impress the receiving party more, because it shows you’re willing to make a personal effort.
Obviously, each faith-based proposal will vary in details because of variations in organizations and projects. The good news is that faith-based proposals follow a similar format and structure, and you can find all the pre-written topic pages you need in a proposal kit. A kit of templates contain explanations of details those particular pages should contain; they will guide you to write and format appropriate information for your proposal sections. A proposal kit will also contain a wide variety of sample non-profit proposals, including faith-based proposals. These samples will give you great ideas and help you get a jump start on writing your own winning proposal.
How to Write a General Contractor Business Proposal
Do you need to write a proposal to promote your contractor or remodeling service business to a prospective client? Don’t sweat it! It doesn’t have to be an intimidating process. The goals for any service business proposal are the same: introduce your organization, highlight your services, describe the costs, and convince the client that you are the right choice for the job. To speed up the proposal writing process, you may want to use pre-designed templates and get ideas from sample proposals.
Whether you are describing plumbing services, bidding a construction project, promoting your house painting services, quoting an HVAC installation, pitching your plan for a remodel, or even asking for funding to start up or expand a contractor business, your proposal structure will be similar. Here’s the basic structure to follow: introduce yourself, summarize the prospective client’s needs, then describe your services and costs, and finally, provide information about your organization, your credentials, and your capabilities.
For a contractor business, you will also need to include some detailed information about your services and history that is pertinent to the client’s specific project. For example, painting contractors might need to include information about the paints, stains, and equipment they typically use; remodeling contractors may want to include descriptions and photos of similar remodels they have successfully completed; and a general contractor would definitely want to include information about the experience and training of company personnel, safety records, bonding, insurance and so forth.
Always keep in mind that the purpose of a proposal is to persuade your potential clients to give you their business. You must prove that you can deliver the services they need. A simple quote or price list can never substitute for a real proposal.
Proposals should be targeted to a specific client. This means you need to gather information about your client so that you can present a proposal tailored to that individual client’s needs. It’s never a good idea to send all prospective clients the same sales letter especially when there are competing bids. Clients are much more likely to accept a proposal tailored just for them.
So, let’s get back to the order described above. Start your proposal with a Cover Letter and a Title Page. The Cover Letter should deliver a brief personal introduction and contain your company contact information. The Title Page is just what it sounds like: the name of your specific proposal (for example, “Proposal for the Munson Kitchen Remodel”, “Proposal to Construct the New Technical Institute Science Building” or “Installation of Your New HVAC System”).
After this introduction section, add topics that describe the needs of your client. If you are presenting a proposal for a complex project, you may need to write a summary to precede the detail pages. In a proposal for a corporate client, this is normally called an Executive Summary. For a less formal but still complex proposal, it’s more often called a Client Summary. In this summary and the following detail pages, you should demonstrate your understanding of the client’s requirements, goals, and desires, as well as discussing any restrictions or limitations you are aware of. This section should be all about the client.
Next is your chance to advertise yourself. Follow your introduction section and the client section with pages that describe what you are offering. These pages might have general headings like Services Provided, Features, Benefits, and Services Cost Summary, as well as more specific pages that detail the products and/or services you can provide and explain the associated costs.
Your specific business will determine the specialized topics and pages you need to include in your proposal.
A general contractor might need to include topics like Services Provided, Cost Summary or Estimate, Work Order, Insurance and Bonding Documents to start with. Once you get the basics the topics you include will depend on many factors such as the size and scope of the project and the needs of the client.
A plumbing, HVAC or electrical service company might also want pages such as Permits and Licenses, Certifications, Specifications, Standards Compliance.
A house painting company or flooring company might include topics for their Materials, Preparation, Products and Warranty.
A disaster or accident recovery specialize contractor may use extra topics such as Recovery, Repairs, Disposal and Environmental (for hazardous waste management).
A home or office remodel job may require additional topics such as a Statement of Work, Permits and Licenses, Inspection, Certifications, Insurance, Architecture, Renovation, Installation Schedule, Blueprints, and so on.
A full-scale construction project may require additional topics such as the Master Plan, Site Planning, Preparation, Location Analysis, Impact Statement, Project Management, Time Line, Community, Subcontracts, Scheduling, Materials, Construction, and so on.
If an architectural design needs to be done you might use specialty topics such as Concepts, Blueprints, Architecture, Environmental, Specifications, Alternatives, Special Needs (for designing handicap access) and Samples.
A specialty contractor such as a network cabling installer might use extra topics such as an Installation Schedule, Specifications, Equipment, Standards Compliance and Hardware and Software.
If you’re asking for funding to start a contractor business, you’ll want to add pages such as a Competitive Analysis, Industry Trends, Market and Audience, Marketing Plan, Insurance, Liability, Time Line, Funding Request, Services Provided, Products, Company Operations, Balance Sheet, Income Projection, Sources of Funds, Uses of Funds, Personnel, Legal Structure and any other topics required by the lender.
In your last proposal section, provide your company details, including pages such as Company History or About Us, Capabilities, Testimonials, Our Clients, or References. Your goal in this section is to convince the prospective client that you can be trusted to deliver the goods and/or services they need and want.
Those are the basic steps for organizing and writing your proposal. But you’re not quite finished yet. After you have all the information down on the pages, focus on ensuring that your proposal is visually appealing. Incorporate your company logo, use colored page borders, and/or add interesting fonts and custom bullets to introduce color and flair. One note of caution: be sure to match your business style when making these selections.
To finalize your proposal, it’s essential to proofread and spell-check every page. It’s always a good idea to get someone other than the proposal writer to do a final proof, because it’s very common to overlook mistakes in your own work.
When the proposal is perfect, print it or save it as a PDF file, and then deliver it to the client. The delivery method you should use will depend on your relationship with your potential client. While it’s common to email PDF files to clients, a nicely printed, personally signed, and hand-delivered proposal may make more of an impression: it demonstrates that you’re willing to make an extra effort for the client.
So, to sum up, a contractor proposal can vary widely in content depending on the nature of your business and the project you propose to undertake. Each company’s proposal contents will need to be a bit different. But all these proposals will have a similar format and follow a similar structure.
You can get a jump-start with pre-designed templates, simple instructions and tons of suggestions for content, by using a proposal kit. In a kit you’ll also find many sample contractor business proposals that will give you great ideas and help you quickly create your own successful proposal.
How To Write A Business Proposal That Sells B2B
Many of my small business marketing clients want to know how to prepare a winning business proposal – especially a BIG BUSINESS proposal – one that is going to win a contract with Corporate Clients!
My whole philosophy of being a Client Magnet is all about attracting clients – so they call you. So you don’t have to do all the time-consuming client chasing. My philosophy is to eliminate cold-calling scripts and have the client pick up the phone and say “will you partner with me”… BUT there will be times when you need to submit a proposal. Especially when you’re dealing with Corporate Clients.
You can access many of my successful proposal samples and effective example proposals. They are the very proposals that have worked for me to secure corporate contracts with organizations like Aviva, Sony and AIG. But firstly, let me share a few of my top marketing tips to remember when you are preparing your corporate client business proposal.
Consider this your business proposal sample guideline:
1. Your sales business proposal needs to be a selling document
Make sure you’re not relying on a skimpy one page document with a price and overview as a sales proposal, you should be offering much more than that. The proposal needs to be a selling document that takes someone through the whole process and establishes you as the logical choice to assist them with a particular problem or issue.
2. Build Relationships Within The Corporate Organization BEFORE submitting your proposal
Take EVERY opportunity to build relationships with people within the corporate organization before submitting your business proposal. I suggest you make a visit to the organization to… observe people at work, meet people informally or conduct interviews. That’s your opportunity to start winning friends. You’ll also get a feel for the internal politics of the organization.
Another benefit of this contact is that it is going to give you an idea of concerns and issues within the organization and you will have the opportunity to address within the proposal. That’s a good way to avoid delays and stalls while your business proposal makes its rounds.
3. Anticipate the type of questions your corporate client will ask AND address the questions in your proposal
After you’ve done your organizational research it’s time to put yourself in your client’s shoes. Make a list of questions your prospect is likely to ask you. Then, as you prepare your proposal – business to business, include an answer to all the questions and objections that may come up. Be sure to make a good offense in your proposal – it will certainly avoid you having the difficult task of defending your business proposal as it’s making its way through the corporate hierarchy.
4. Avoid complacency – You Want Your Business Proposal To Reach The Decision Makers
Even if you have a wonderful contact within a corporate organization and they seem ready to hire you, there’s more than one person in the larger companies that make the decision. Make sure your proposal doesn’t rest on the laurels of your cozy contact relationship. Use your proposal to sell yourself to every single person within the organization.
5. Don’t promote big change
Now I know that sounds odd, but what frightens clients is the very product that you are offering, and that’s change. Who wouldn’t want the change your service is offering, improved customer relations or increased sales?
I’ve done a lot of research in the psychological outlook of managers at both the senior and middle level, and one thing that really stands out is how fearful they are of change. So how do you get past this Catch 22? Avoid using words that signal a big change on the horizon, words such as transformation or dramatic results. Use more moderate terminology to show how your product will fit seamlessly within their organization.
How To Access Business Proposal Samples, Templates and Examples – That Work In Real Life!
So now I’ve covered a few basics, I really recommend that you look at some real life business proposal samples. I’ve gone through my files and collated all my winning sales proposals to give you real life example business proposals that can be modified to suit your own business. They are all included in my Attracting Corporate Clients system. In addition to the business proposal examples, you’ll access to templates and loads of other important tips to help you win more business to business! I’ve put together not only specific tips, such as ways to bind your business proposal to improve your response rate, you’ll discover the best methods to submit your business proposal to your prospective corporate client.
Take a look and you’ll see exactly what it takes to write a winning business proposal that makes selling b2b easy!
How to Write an Effective Business Proposal
A business proposal is a formal suggestion or plan from one party to another to buy, sell, partner with another or supply goods and services to them. To this end, a business proposal can be a sales proposal, marketing proposal, and partnership proposal involving joint cooperative strategies, a business formation proposal or even a funding request. A business proposal is quite different from a business plan. Whilst a business plan is primarily put together to guide the formation and establishment of a new business, new business idea, business unit, strategic business expansion or extension, a business proposal on the other hand is designed to attract another party to get involved in the execution of a business plan, the business itself or the product and services the business has to offer. A business plan focuses more on the business itself whilst a business proposal focuses more on the expectations of the party to whom the proposal is being addressed. I would like to refer to this party as “the customer”. The following steps are instrumental towards the writing of an effective business proposal:
1. Clearly Identify and Itemize the Proposals objective: The first step towards an effective proposal is to clearly identify and itemize its objectives so as to ensure the purpose of the proposal is not derailed. Specifying early the objectives of the proposal tells the customer exactly what you intend to achieve and whether or not they can identify with this objective. This objective should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and properly timed.
2. Source All the Information You Will Need before Starting: Gather all information you can before starting. For instance, if you are preparing a marketing proposal, you will need to gather all necessary information about the market, your competitors, the product, suppliers and distribution information, customer demographics, consumer buying patterns, government policies affecting the market or the product etc. Having adequate information will help you address issues or potential concerns beforehand in your proposal. Having sourced this information, you will need to eliminate all unnecessary and irrelevant information to ensure that only information relevant to know and for decision making in included in your proposal. You must also be careful not to overburden the customer with too much information.
3. Validate the Information: The validity of the information you present to the customer portrays your level of integrity and attention to detail. This is often the first step towards building customer loyalty and trust. Every figure, ratio, analysis and material upon which decision is based must be examined for accuracy and dependability. Information provided must also be balanced and comparable where necessary to known facts.
4. Sort and Group Your Information: Sort and group your information under relevant headings, titles and sub titles. A proposal will typically be grouped and assembled to represent:
a. An Introduction and Overview
b. Aims and Objectives
c. Customer Needs Being Addressed
d. Details of solution
e. Any Relevant Additional Information
f. Pricing Details
g. Conclusion; Steps required from the customer for the proposal to progress
5. Assemble the Grouped Information into a Presentable Document: This is the final step in preparing the proposal. At this point, you assemble the sub titled document under the appropriate titles and headings. You should also check your fonts, cover color and designs, proof read for spelling errors and repetitions, check for improper wordings, punctuation errors, and proper referencing. Titles and sub titles must also proceed in a logical sequence.
The Importance of Writing a Professional Business Proposal
A business proposal is written with the objective of conveying an idea or a business proposition to the reader. It is indeed a complex task to write a business proposal that conveys complex business propositions in a simple and clear manner. The crux of writing a good proposal is to understand the idea or proposition and structure it in a format that is easy to understand. It should broadly include the following sections:
• An executive summary
• The business proposition
• Financial aspects (if there is one)
• Value propositions
• Convincing the reader
A professional business proposal should clearly outline the proposition completely without making the document too lengthy. Unlike a Business Plan, Grant application or a RFP response document, a business proposal is comparatively shorter and submitted as a prelude to a more comprehensive document. It is generally followed by multiple rounds of discussion, elaborate documentation and negotiation before the proposition is accepted or rejected.
It is very important that only a professional takes up the challenge to write the proposal. The writer has to understand the concept, break it down to a micro level, start constructing the document, get the document reviewed by the proposal owner, make the necessary changes and finally drive the document to completion. If these stages are followed, success can be guaranteed.
A business proposal should be written in a professional manner so that the reader gets interested in the proposal and agrees to move to the next stage of discussion. It is a serious business document and the proposal owner should take no chances when hiring a business proposal writer. The writer should always be one who has knowledge of the subject, experience in writing business proposals successfully and also be able to add value to the entire process. Just as a Grant writing process can be a complex exercise, similarly a business proposal writing exercise can be complex exercise which needs to be handled with utmost professionalism. Many a times the proposal owner can only provide a high level idea of the concept and not much insight as to how to manage the process. It is for the writer to step in and suggest what should be best for the proposal.
The writer should create the structure of the proposal and write a gist and share it with the proposal owner. If the proposal owner thinks that it is on the right track, then the process can continue. Otherwise there needs to be a round of deliberation between the proposal owner and writer to decide on the best way forward. The ultimate objective to convince the reader should always be the cornerstone of every proposal. For proposal owners, selecting the best writer is of utmost importance. They need to take time, evaluate the applicants and finally shortlist the best writer. In this way they will be assured of a business proposal that meets the stringent quality standards of professional business
How to Write a Services Sales Business Proposal
If you’re in the business of selling services, the odds are that you are perpetually seeking new clients. Decades ago, you might be able to get by with a phone book listing, maybe a newspaper ad, and word-of-mouth recommendations. Those days are long gone. These days, the competition is fierce. This means that you need to know how to write a proposal to pitch your services to new clients.
Not a writer? Never written a proposal before? Don’t panic. Creating a business proposal might seem like a formidable task, but it doesn’t have to be. Plenty of resources are available that will show you how to introduce yourself, highlight your services, outline your costs, and help your clients understand you are the right person for the job. Here’s the key: you don’t have to start from scratch, staring a blank page on your computer. Using pre-designed templates and reviewing similar sample proposals can help you write your own winning proposal quickly and efficiently.
New proposal writers sometimes make the mistake of sending out only a cover letter along with a list of services and associated prices. Don’t do that. A price list can never substitute for a real proposal. A proposal is a document intended to persuade potential clients to give you their business. To be successful, you must gain the clients’ trust and make them understand that you can deliver the services they need.
As a general rule to prepare for writing any kind of proposal, your first step should be to gather enough information about the client to present a proposal that is tailored to that client’s specific needs. Yes, it might take a bit of work, but that work is much more likely to pay off. It’s never a good idea to send every potential client an identical sales letter. A client is much more likely to accept a tailored proposal.
After you’ve collected information on your potential client, writing the proposal is a reasonably straightforward process. That’s because proposals that offer services, regardless of the type of services, follow a similar structure: first comes the introduction, then a summary of the client’s needs, followed by descriptions of the services offered, as well as details and costs. Then the proposal should conclude with information about the service provider, such as relevant experience, credentials, and capabilities.
So, for the introduction section, start out with a Cover Letter and a Title Page. The Cover Letter should be brief: simply deliver a personal introduction and provide your company contact information. The Title Page is just what it sounds like: it should introduce your tailored proposal and give a clear message about the project or scope of services you are pitching. Some examples might be “Proposal to Provide Window Cleaning Services for The Beaker Building”, “Proposed Payroll Services for Morgan Corporation”, or “Landscape Care Plan for North Community College Campus”. Don’t forget to add a call to action and ask for the clients business or schedule a meeting.
After the Cover Letter and the Title Page, add topic pages to show that you understand the needs of your client. Depending on how large the proposed scope of work is, you may or may not need to precede the detailed pages with a brief summary. For a complex project or variable scope of work that needs a summary, this summary section (often just a page or two) is normally called an Executive Summary for corporate clients, or a Client Summary for a less formal project. In the pages of this client-centered section, describe the needs of the specific prospective client and demonstrate your understanding of that client’s requirements, goals, and desires. Be sure to mention any restrictions or limitations you are aware of. This is not yet the place where you talk about yourself. This section is all about the client.
After the client-centered section comes your turn to shine. The next section should be all about how you can satisfy the client’s needs and desires. You’ll add pages about your services and costs, with titles like Services Provided, Benefits, and Services Cost Summary. Include all the topics you need to describe exactly what you propose to provide and how much your services will cost. Finally, you need to persuade your client that you are the best choice for the job, so add pages like About Us / Company History, Capabilities, Our Clients, References, Credentials, Awards, and Testimonials; in other words, include everything you need to convince your client that you can be trusted to deliver the services needed.
After you have all the information written for your proposal, it’s time to focus on making your proposal visually appealing. Add some color and graphics by incorporating your company logo. Consider using colored borders and selecting custom bullet points and fonts that match your business style.
Once you feel your proposal is complete, carefully proofread and spell-check all the pages. You should have someone who is unfamiliar with your proposal proof it as well, because it’s very common to miss mistakes in your own work.
Finally, save your proposal as a PDF file or print it and then deliver it to your potential client. The best delivery method will depend on your business and your relationship with your potential client. Emailing PDF files to clients is very common; however, there are times when a nicely printed, signed and hand-delivered proposal will be more impressive, because it shows you value that potential client enough to put in some extra personal effort.
As you can see, a services sales proposal can mean something different to everyone who needs to write one, and everyone’s needs for what to include will vary, depending on organizations, projects, and the scope of services involved.
The good news is that all services sales proposals follow a similar format and structure, and you can find all the templates (and contracts) you need in Proposal Kit. The templates contain explanations of what those particular pages should contain, and they will guide you in writing and formatting appropriate information for your proposal sections. Proposal Kit also contains a wide variety of sample services proposals that will give you great ideas and help you get a jump start on writing your own winning proposal.
How to Write a Hospitality Business Proposal
If you’re in the hospitality business, you’re always looking to fill your hotel, conference center, restaurant or tour with new clients who will take advantage of all the amenities and services you have to offer. Hospitality businesses of all sizes want to sell room space and seats to prospective guests. If your hotel includes meeting rooms or conference facilities as well as guest rooms, then you also want to market to groups looking for venues for meetings, conferences, parties, and other large gatherings. If your restaurant also caters events your market will be expanded. If you offer tours you can market yourself as a corporate retreat destination.
Odds are that you have a lot of competition in your area and you can’t rely on clients finding you in the phone book or on the Internet. So, how do you persuade those new guests to book with you or land that contract to host the big convention? After you have identified the prospective clients you want to do business with, you need to write a proposal for them.
Don’t panic. Creating a business proposal doesn’t have to be a formidable task. Simply put, you want to introduce yourself, highlight your venues and services, explain your costs, and help your prospective clients understand that you are the right choice for their special event or visit. That doesn’t sound so intimidating, does it? And you don’t have to start by staring at a blank page on your computer. Using pre-designed templates and gleaning ideas from similar proposals will give you a head start on writing a winning proposal.
Inexperienced proposal writers sometimes make the mistake of sending out a form letter along with a brochure or a list of services and prices. Don’t do that. A standard brochure or price list will never substitute for a real proposal. The goal of a proposal is to persuade potential clients to give you their business. To succeed at that goal, you need to gain the clients’ trust and convince them that you can deliver exactly what they’re looking for.
As a general rule, your first step in preparing to write any kind of proposal should be to gather information about your prospective client. That’s because you want to present a proposal tailored to that client’s specific needs. Yes, gathering the information might be a bit of work, but putting in that effort makes your proposal more likely to succeed. Nobody likes to receive a form letter; all clients are much more likely to accept a proposal tailored just for them.
Once you have collected some basic facts about your potential client, writing the proposal will be a fairly straightforward process. That’s because all proposals follow a similar structure: first comes the introduction, then a summary of the client’s needs, followed by descriptions of the goods or services offered, as well as details and costs. The conclusion of a proposal should be all the relevant information that helps promote your company, such as your staff’s experience, credentials, and capabilities.
For the introduction section, you’ll start out with a Cover Letter and a Title Page. Keep the Cover Letter brief: simply write a personal introduction and provide your contact information. The Title Page should be just what it sounds like: a title that introduces your proposal and provides a clear message about the project or scope of services you are pitching. Some examples might be “Proposal to Host the Science Education Conference”, “Proposed Venue and Services for the September Investigators Seminar”, “Eco Tour Packages for your Retreat”, or “Hosting Plan for the Benson Wedding Guests.”
After the Cover Letter and the Title Page, add topic pages to show that you understand the needs of your client. Depending on how large or complex your proposal is, you may or may not need to precede the detailed pages with a brief summary-a page or two with statements of your most important points. For corporate clients, this summary is called an Executive Summary; in a less formal proposal, it’s often called a Client Summary. After the summary, you’ll flesh out this client-centered section by describing the needs of the prospective client and demonstrating your understanding of that client’s requirements, goals, and desires. Be sure to mention any restrictions or limitations you are aware of, such as budgets or accessibility requirements. This is not yet the place to talk about what you want to offer. This section should be all about the client.
After the client-centered section, it’s your turn to describe how you can satisfy the client’s needs and desires. You’ll add pages about your hotel, tours, packages, destinations, services, and costs, with titles like Facilities, Tours, Destinations, Activities, Schedule of Events, Services Provided, and Cost Summary or Discounts. Include all the topics you need to describe exactly what you propose to provide and how much your services will cost. For example, you might need specialized pages to describe aspects like Amenities, Recreation, Accommodations, Venue, Events, Conferences, Special Needs, Accessibility, Equipment, Transportation, Map, and so forth. Finally, at the end of this all-about-you section, you will persuade your client that you are the best choice for the job by adding pages like About Us / Company History, Capabilities, Our Clients, References, Credentials, Awards, and Testimonials. Your goal here is to close by convincing your client that you can be trusted to deliver everything you’ve proposed.
After you have all the text written for your proposal, spend some time making your proposal visually appealing. Incorporate your company logo. Consider using colored borders, or selecting custom bullet points and fonts that match your business style.
After you feel your proposal is complete, proofread and spell-check every page. It’s a good idea to enlist someone who is unfamiliar with your proposal to do a final proof, because it’s easy to overlook mistakes in your own work.
Save your final proposal in a PDF file or print it, and then deliver it. The best delivery method will depend on your relationship with your prospective client. It’s common to email PDF files to clients nowadays; however, a nicely printed, signed and hand-delivered proposal might be more impressive, because it shows you value that potential client enough to expend some extra effort.
To sum up, the specialized topics in a hospitality sales proposal will differ, depending on your goal, your prospective clients’ needs, and on what you propose to offer them.
The good news is that all sales proposals follow a similar format and structure, and you can find all the templates (and contracts) you need in Proposal Kit. The templates contain explanations of what those particular pages should contain, and they will guide you in writing and formatting appropriate information for your proposal sections. Proposal Kit also contains a wide variety of sample proposals that will give you great ideas and give you a jump start on writing your own winning proposal.
How to Write a Ranching Business Proposal
Do you run an eco-friendly, humane, free-range animal ranch and want to use that fact to help sell your beef, chicken, or buffalo? Or maybe you’re running a nonprofit international organization and you want to help the poor in other countries start a piggery or raise goats or turkeys. Perhaps you are working in the research or veterinary field and need to get a project approved or funded.
Whether you’re already running a ranch and seeking new outlets for your livestock or meat, or whether you are seeking funding to start a ranch, expand a livestock operation, or fund a research project, sooner or later you will need to master the art of writing a business proposal.
If you can run a ranch, you can certainly write a proposal. You know ranching. You know what you want to do with your business. So you’ve already got a good start on the content for a proposal. Now, you need to add one vital element: knowledge of your potential customer or funding organization. You need to keep that person or organization in mind while you write your proposal.
Successful proposals are custom tailored for their recipients. So before you start writing, not only should you gather all the facts and figures and internet links you need to describe your organization and explain what you propose to do, but you should also gather some data on your proposal readers. For example, what’s the history of the organization you are pitching to? Have they approved projects like yours in the past? Do they have a particular interest, such as organic farming or humane treatment of animals? What do they already know about you? What questions are they likely to have? Knowing your prospective customers or partners will help you include the right sort of information that will persuade them to support you.
After you have all your information in hand, how do you begin a proposal project? By writing a Cover Letter. It simply needs to introduce your organization and your proposal, explain what you’d like the recipient to do after reading the proposal, and provide all your contact information. Next, create a Title Page. Choose a name that describes your proposal, like “Funding Request to Help African Villages Set Up Pig Farms,” “Plan to Add Buffalo and Ostriches to the High Country Ranch Operations,” “Pilot Program to Study Livestock Disease Resistance,” or “Proposal to Deliver Fresh Free-Range Beef and Chicken to Cindy’s Down Home Restaurants.” The Cover Letter plus the Title Page, plus an optional Table of Contents and/or Client Summary (list of important points), makes up the first and shortest section of a proposal–the introduction.
The pages in the second section should describe what your potential customer or funding organization needs and wants from you, as well as any limitations, deadlines, or restrictions you know about. This section could also mention any opportunities that the readers may not yet have thought of. For example, local ranchers may not be supplying the demand for goats for traditional Greek Orthodox, Jewish, Hindu, or Muslim holiday meals in your area. Or perhaps you see a future need for more lean meat like beefalo, turkey, or ostrich. Or maybe you want to describe the need for milk, meat, and eggs in the diet of poor people, as well as the opportunity to make families self-sufficient with rapidly reproducing livestock. Pages in this section will have titles like Problem Statement, Needs Assessment, Market Demand, Opportunities, Requirements, and so forth.
If you are applying for funding or responding to an RFP, you probably have a checklist of information you need to provide, and you can insert your RFP Cross Reference and Compliance Matrix here, along with any other thoughts you have about future needs or challenges not addressed in the checklist.
The third section should be a detailed description of what you propose to do. This section could have any number of pages and topics, depending on your plans, projects, services, products and ideas. For example, if you plan to sell meat and poultry to restaurants or stores, you’ll want to include pages describing your Products and a Wholesale Price List, and include Purchasing and Delivery Details. Be sure to include any details that help your plan stand out from your competitors, such as Organic or Environmental practices, your plan for Future Sustainability, and so forth. If you are starting a ranching operation, you should describe your Project Plan and Budget as well as your existing or needed Equipment, Personnel, and Real Estate. You might need to include a Return on Investment page.
If you plan to offer a service to existing ranchers, such as inspection, insemination, inoculation, castration, branding, transportation, butchery, veterinary, auctioneering or even bookkeeping services, then you’ll want to describe all the tasks you will do. Each topic should describe how your project will meet a need or fulfill a demand and thus benefit all parties. Make sure you address all the needs, requirements, and opportunities mentioned earlier.
The fourth and final proposal section should explain why the reader can trust that you will fulfill your promises. This is your opportunity to brag about yourself, but remember that credibility comes from facts and recommendations from others, not from you simply saying you’re the best. In the final proposal section, you should have pages like About Us or Company History, Experience and Expertise, Team Members, and so forth. If you have successfully completed similar Projects, list them. Include pages describing any special Training or Credentials that would help to persuade the reader, and add Testimonials, Referrals, Awards, and recognition of Achievements from others.
That’s it–now you can see that the basic structure of a business proposal is introduce yourself and your proposal, describe the needs, opportunities, and requirements, describe in detail your plans and how they will meet the needs and requirements and take advantage of the opportunities, and finally explain why the proposal reader should have confidence in your ability to successfully carry out your plans.
After you have all the information, facts, and figures in place, take the time to proofread each page. Simply running a spell check program is not enough. Polish the wording and the appearance of all the pages. You want the proposal to represent you at your professional best, especially if you have competition for contracts or funding.
Want to get a big head start on writing your proposal? Then consider using a pre-designed proposal kit, which comes with professionally designed topic pages, including all those mentioned above. Each topic page contains instructions and examples of information to place on that page, so you’ll never sit looking at a blank screen. A good proposal kit will include completed sample proposals you can review to see which topics might go into a proposal and how the finished product could look. Using a proposal kit will make even your very first proposal look and sound like it came from an expert.
How to Write a Vending Business Proposal
Are you trying to launch a new vending business, expand an existing one, or perhaps even sell your current vending operation to a new owner? The vending business usually involves multiple partners, because many different entities might own the vending machines, the buildings in which they are placed, the business of servicing and restocking the machines, and the products that go into the machines.
So to close any vending deal, you will need to discuss how all parties will benefit. The odds are that your potential partner is going to ask you for a written proposal before he or she will be willing to join you or invest in your project.
If you’re a business owner used to sealing a verbal deal with a handshake, being asked to produce a written business proposal can be a little intimidating. Where do you start? Relax. The odds are that you already have most, if not all, of the information you need. You just need to organize it into the proper form for a business proposal.
Business proposals may be long and complex or short and simple, but all proposals should have four major sections:
2) Client/customer-focused section
3) Product/service description
4) a section about you or your organization
In the next paragraphs, we’ll look at these sections in more depth.
The first part of an introduction should be a cover letter, which is not actually part of the proposal but instead introduces the proposal. A cover letter should be brief: simply explain who you are and why you are sending this proposal, include a statement of what you’d like the reader to do after reading the proposal, and provide all the necessary contact information so the recipient can easily find you to ask questions or accept your offer. If your offer is valid only for a limited time, be sure to state that in your letter.
Now, at the front of the proposal itself, you need a Title Page, which is exactly what it sounds like. There’s no need to get fancy here. Simply choose a descriptive title, like “Proposal to Place Snack Vending Machines in Whatcom Community College Buildings” or “Proposed Supply Services for QRZ Vending Company.” If your proposal is short, that’s all you need in the way of introduction. If your proposal is lengthy or complex, you may also need an Executive Summary or Client Summary page, which is a list of the most important points you want the reader to understand, and a Table of Contents.
Next is the client/customer-focused section. This is where you prove that you have considered your potential partner’s needs and concerns. In other words, why are you pitching your ideas to this particular person or organization? Put yourself in their shoes. Why should they be interested in what you have to offer? You’ll need pages like Needs Assessment, Requirements, Deadlines, Limitations, and so forth to explain that you understand their position. The general idea is to demonstrate that your potential clients or partners have a need for your products or services and will benefit from the relationship you are proposing.
After you’ve explained that there is a need or desire that you can fulfill, it’s time to describe in detail exactly what you propose to do, how your ideas will benefit the other party, and what the costs will be. This is the section where you detail exactly what you are proposing, so the topics in this section will vary depending on your business idea. If you’re selling vending machines, you’ll describe the specifications of those machines as well as their cost.
If you’re offering to stock machines with your products, you might include a list of products and a service schedule. If you’re asking to place machines in venues owned by other parties, you’ll explain the space and electrical requirements and describe how and when the building owners will benefit. If you’re selling your vending business, you’ll include documents like profit and loss statements for previous years, and earnings projections for the future. Be as specific as possible so that there will be no misunderstandings.
In the final section, you need to explain why the potential partner or client can rely on you to fulfill the promises you’ve made. Be sure to include topics that discuss your Experience and/or Training, including any relevant Certifications you might have. If you’ve worked on similar projects, or have a long list of satisfied clients, include those. It’s always best to let others praise you, so if you can include Testimonials or Recommendations, or describe Awards you’ve won, be sure to put them in this section.
That’s it–you’ve written a business proposal! Now, take the time to perfect it before you deliver it. Make sure it’s free of grammar and spelling errors, and make sure all the pages look good, too. Remember that the more competitive your business is, the more your proposal needs to stand out from the competition. You want it to represent you at your professional best.
You might like to know that there’s no need to start your proposal writing project by staring at blank pages. A pre-designed proposal kit designed specifically to create professional-looking and sounding proposals and reports will give you a big head start. A good proposal kit contains hundreds of templates you can put together in endless combinations. Templates in a proposal kit will include suggestions and examples of content to add to that page, so you’ll never feel stuck. If you need more inspiration, use a proposal kit that includes a large library of completed samples, and get ideas about other types of proposals.
How to Write an Insurance Business Proposal
If you are in the business of selling insurance, then you know that many clients are looking for customized insurance packages. Mass-mailing brochures that list every product and service you have to offer might seem like an efficient way to go about attracting new clients, but it’s not an effective way to close the deal. Sure, you might want to use a strategy like a mass mailing or an advertisement to get people to call you for more information. However, after you’ve identified potential customers, the best way to secure them as new clients is to identify their needs and then write a business proposal that describes how you can meet those needs and why you are the best choice to buy insurance from.
The field of insurance covers a wide range of offerings and customer types. You might specialize in insurance for realtors or for building contractors, homeowners and auto insurance for families, or in insurance offerings for corporations, which could include life insurance, liability insurance, bonding, health care coverage, and disability insurance, as well as insurance for all corporate assets such as buildings, vehicles, and equipment. But no matter what sort of insurance services and packages you offer, the basics of writing an insurance business proposal remain the same.
How do you get started writing a proposal? First of all, you will research your potential clients, most likely by chatting with them on the phone or in person. It’s vital to be able to put yourself in their position, to understand what their needs and wants and concerns are, because, for best success, you want to write a proposal that is customized for each client. Of course you’ll use a lot of the same information in all your proposals, but each proposal should be specific enough to show that you are responding to the particular needs of that client. The key to winning new contracts is proving that you understand your customers as well you know as your business.
After you have a good grasp of your customer’s situation, you’re ready to sit down and write the proposal. All business proposals follow a basic structure: introduction, description of needs, explanation of how you will meet those needs, and then a description of why you can be trusted to do the job. That doesn’t sound so hard, does it? You know your business, and after you’ve researched your potential client, it shouldn’t be difficult to write a proposal. You can also make the process easier and faster by using a pre-designed proposal kit, which is designed especially for writing proposals and other business documents. The templates in any good kit provide instructions and examples to help you get the right information on each page.
Let’s get started, working from the top page of a proposal to the last. Naturally, the first page you’ll need is a Cover Letter that briefly explains who you are, why you are writing, and provides all your contact information. Following the Cover Letter, you should create a Title page, which is simply a name for your proposal, like “Proposed Insurance Package for PQR Corporation” or “Homeowners and Automobile Insurance for the Martinez Family.” If you are creating a complex document that many people are likely to read (as for a corporation), then you might want to insert an Executive Summary or Client Summary page next – this is simply a list of the major points you want to make. A page like this may be scanned by top-level readers, who are likely to pass your proposal on to lower-level decision makers for a complete evaluation. This completes the introduction section of the proposal.
Next comes the client-centered portion, or the description of needs. Here you will prove that you understand your potential customer, by including pages like Needs Analysis, Client Background, Risk Assessment, Considerations, Requirements, and so forth. Depending on the type of insurance you’re proposing, you may also need to include pages that describe the items – Assets or Personnel to be insured – so you can be sure that you and your potential client agree on the range of coverage you are discussing.
After you have described your understanding of your client’s needs and concerns, then proceed to describe how you propose to meet those needs, and what it will cost. You’ll most likely include pages with titles like Recommendations, Options, Comparison, Policy, Premiums, Contract and Terms, Claims, Exclusions, Reliability, Bonding, and so forth, to spell out exactly what you are offering.
In the final proposal section, you will provide proof that you are the best choice to supply the insurance coverage needed. To do this, you’ll include information about your company such as a Company History, About Us, and/or Experience page, and pages that mention your customer base, such as Our Clients or Clients Served. If you have special Certifications or Training, have won Awards in your industry, or have Testimonials from clients to recommend your services, you’ll want to include those, too.
The final page in your proposal should be a call to action or Next Steps page, where you state what you want the client to do next, such as signing the enclosed contract or calling you to set up a meeting for further discussion.
Be sure to double-check every page to make sure spelling and grammar are correct and that everything looks professional. It’s always a good idea to employ a professional proofreader or editor, or at least get someone who is unfamiliar with your proposal to scrutinize it. If you present a proposal that is full of grammatical errors, your readers may conclude that you are likely to be just as error-prone in your business dealings.
Before you deliver your proposal via mail, email, or by hand, make sure your proposal looks good, too. Use a professional design that adds graphic elements and dashes of color to enhance the visual appeal of your proposal and works with your company logo.
How to Write a Logistics Business Proposal
Do you work in the field of supply chain management, ensuring that goods move efficiently from the manufacturer to the buyer? Or perhaps you oversee just one part of a logistics chain, running a packaging or warehousing or transportation business.
No matter whether you’re in charge of the whole chain or just one link in it, the success of your business depends on a steady flow of goods and a list of dependable, steady clients. Which means that, sooner or later, you will need to secure new contracts to maintain or–even better–to grow your business.
You can probably attract the attention of potential clients with basic brochures and a good website. But to actually land a contract or pitch a project, especially a big one, you will need to write a business proposal explaining how your operations can benefit the client or your company.
Writing a proposal is not difficult. You have one goal–to persuade your potential customer or partner that you can fulfill their needs or help them take advantage of an opportunity. The best way to do that is not to start off by bragging about yourself, but to frame the discussion in terms of your client’s needs or goals, and explain how you can meet them for everyone’s benefit.
Let’s work from the front to the back of a typical proposal. First, you need a Cover Letter to introduce yourself and explain why you’re sending a proposal now, and to provide your contact information. Then you need a Title Page to go on top of your proposal. Choose a descriptive name, like “Warehousing Opportunities for FGH Corporation,” “Proposal to Streamline Supply Chain Operations,” or “Efficient Packing and Shipping with ABT Services.” Next, you may need a Table of Contents or an Executive Summary (a list of your most important points), but you can come back and insert these after you’ve written the first draft if you like. These few pages form the introduction section of the proposal.
In the next section, you should describe the needs or the opportunity, as well as any requirements. To do this, put yourself in your potential client or partner’s position. What do they want or need? The ability to move goods from manufacturers to customers without intermediate warehousing? An efficient inventory control system that automatically orders products as they are sold? What are their goals or their problems? Do they have a backlog of orders they can’t fill fast enough? Do products get damaged in shipping because of shoddy packaging or incompetent handling? Or are they missing an opportunity to make operations more efficient or to expand their product line?
Whatever your potential client’s problems, needs, or opportunities, state them up front. Do a little research if you need to; it will pay off with a more successful proposal. Pages in this section will have titles like Needs Assessment, Opportunities, Challenges, Goals, and so forth.
After you’ve described the needs, goals, and/or opportunities, you’ll write a section explaining how you propose to satisfy those needs, help the client meet those goals, and take advantage of those opportunities. Topics included in this section will be specific to the project you have in mind. You may want general topic pages, like Process Summary or Project Plan, as well as a Cost Summary and a page describing the Benefits of using your plan.
If you’re in the shipping business, you might need more specific pages with titles like Handling, Shipping, Import/Export, Global, Transportation, Routes, Warehousing, Logistics, Supply Chain, Channels, Vessels, Reverse Logistics, Delivery Details, and so forth. If you’re in the warehousing business, you might have pages describing your Facilities or your Inventory Management system. Others might need topics like Purchasing, Procurement, Receiving, Requisitions, Returns, Customer Service, or Scheduling. Just pick all the topics you need to explain in detail what you propose to do and how it will benefit your client.
After you’ve described what you can do for the client, you need to convince the client that you are the right party to do for the job. In the final proposal section, you’ll describe your Company History or provide an About Us page, highlight your Experience and other Clients Served, explain any special Certifications or Training that are important, and include any Awards or Referrals or Testimonials you have received from others. If you offer a Guarantee of satisfaction, add that, too. Your goal is to conclude your proposal by convincing the reader that you can be trusted to follow through on all the promises you made in the earlier section.
So now you can see the structure of a business proposal–introduction; statement of needs, problems, or opportunities; description of how your services will meet those needs, solve those problems, or take advantage of those opportunities; and a description of why you are the best pick for the job.
After you’ve written the first draft, hire someone to proofread each page. If your proposal contains a lot of punctuation and spelling errors, the reader may conclude that you are just as sloppy in your business practices. Take the time to make the pages look attractive, too. Consider using splashes of color in page borders or logos, and/or using special fonts or bullet points. These graphic touches can help a proposal stand out from the competition. When your proposal is perfect, send it out, and then be sure to follow up in a few days to make sure your potential client received that package and ask if there are any questions.
Using a pre-designed proposal kit can make your proposal writing project go much more smoothly. A proposal kit will come with pre-written and formatted topic pages, including all those mentioned above. Each topic page in a good proposal kit will have suggestions and examples of information to include for that topic–that’s a big head start over a blank page, and it helps to ensure that your proposal will be thorough. Make sure to use a proposal kit with comprehensive sample proposals too–these are great for giving you ideas about the contents and the look of a finished proposal.
An Effective Business Proposal Format
A typical business proposal format has the purpose to address the common grounds of a proposal. Whenever you set out to compose a proposal, you may choose to write it in a standard format, for example if the client you are proposing to didn’t provide you with a particular plan to follow.
The most effective business proposal format establishes a dialogue with its readers, and that’s why the winning proposal structure is based upon it.
Generally the proposal format is presented with six sections, each responding to key aspects.
The first section contains information on who will carry out the job, the name of a contact person, and finally the person in charge for the set tasks.
The next section draws out what is needed to be done. The first thing you certainly need to clarify for your client is that you perfectly understand his pains and requirements. Actually this section is to convince your prospect that you have a good command of what he is willing to achieve.
The typical business proposal format also outlines the way in which you can meet these requirements – present your solution. This is the most essential point of your proposal.
Furthermore goes an action plan. It includes the set of actions which are to be performed, monitoring and evaluation of the costs and outcomes, and the most important – benefits to the customer. Business often views a risk factor, so the standard business proposal format also highlights how the possible risks will be lessened.
The next part of the business proposal format includes time frameworks – when the project will get started, when the task will be fulfilled, and when the expenses are expected.
In the end, remember that the main concept of any proposal is to explain to the client that the proposing company perfectly understands all his needs and requirements, as well as to persuade him to accept the proposal. The format is not accomplished unless it outlines the reasons why the potential client should go for proposed solutions.
At any rate, a successful business proposal format starts with a compelling structure for your proposal that actually sells your ideas and solutions. Thus by following the above mentioned tips, your business proposal is halfway from a success. Nowadays there are many services that help you to optimize the process of making proposals. But the knowledge of how to write it should always be with you.
How to Write an Employment or Human Resources Business Proposal
If you work in a Human Resources/Personnel department at a large corporation, or work for a small agency that sells temporary labor or executive search services, then you’re in the business of evaluating personnel needs and pitching people and their skills. You may need to convince your boss or a new client of the need to create one or more new job positions, or persuade the boss or client to fill existing positions with personnel you recommend. Perhaps you are persuasive enough to do that with a phone call or casual conversation in the hallway, but odds are better that you will need to write a proposal to pitch your ideas and persuade the client or upper management.
Now you may be thinking: Uh-oh, I’ve written business letters, but I’ve never written a business proposal. Don’t fret! Proposal writing is simpler than you think. Basically, you need to introduce yourself, explain what you’re proposing and why, describe any costs involved, and convince that boss or prospective client that you can be trusted to fulfill the promises you make. You can find lots of advice on the Internet and in special proposal writing packages like Proposal Kit. Starting with a proposal product like this can speed up the process by giving you pre-designed templates and lots of samples you can learn from to create your own winning proposal.
If you are pitching your idea or services to multiple parties, the one thing you do not want to do is send out a general form letter along with a standard brochure or stack of resumes. That sort of ‘one size fits all’ approach cannot substitute for a real proposal. The goal of a proposal is to persuade the client or boss to endorse your idea and let you do the job. To succeed at convincing them, you need to focus your message to a specific situation, gain their trust and show them that you know what you’re talking about and can deliver what they need.
In proposal writing, your first step should always be to gather information about the party who will judge your proposal. That’s because you want to present a proposal tailored to that party’s specific needs and knowledge level. In other words, you need to put yourself in the other party’s shoes and look at the situation from that party’s point of view. If you are pitching to your boss or your company executives, you might already understand their positions and their concerns. But if you are pitching to people at another company, then you will need to do a bit of work researching who they are, what they do, and what their needs are. Yes, that research can take a bit of effort, but putting in that effort makes your proposal much more likely to succeed.
After you collect the basic facts about the party you are pitching to, writing the proposal will be a fairly straightforward process. All proposals follow a similar four-section structure: 1) introduction, 2) summary of the situation and needs, followed by 3) descriptions of the idea or the goods, personnel, or services you are offering, including relevant details and costs. Then you conclude with 4) all the information you need to persuade the proposal reader to trust you, such as your experience, credentials, and capabilities.
The introduction section is the shortest. Start out with a Cover Letter and a Title Page. Keep the Cover Letter brief: simply write a personal introduction to explain who you are and provide your contact information. The Title Page should be exactly what it sounds like: a title that introduces your proposal and provides a clear message about the ideas and/or services you are pitching. Some examples might be “Proposal to Create a New Executive Assistant Position”, “Proposed Temporary Services to Benefit the Stuart Corporation”, “Executive Search Services Proposed for Jameson Company”, or “Suggested Candidates for the Vice President Position”.
After the Cover Letter and Title Page, add topic pages to show that you understand the position and needs of your boss or prospective client. If your proposal is complex, you might need to begin this section with a brief summary-a page or two that states the most important points you will describe in detail in the following pages. This sort of summary is called an Executive Summary for corporate clients or a Client Summary in a less formal proposal. Your goal in this section is to describe the needs, goals, and desires of your client (i.e., the person who will make the decision about whether or not to accept your proposal). This is not yet the place to talk about what you want to offer. In this section, you must demonstrate that you understand the other party’s position and requirements.
Following the client-centered section, it’s your turn to describe your ideas and what you are offering. You might need to add pages with titles like Resume, Compensation Package, Salary, Bonuses, Services Provided, Human Resources, Job Description, Cost Summary, Job Creation, Personnel, Key Positions, Competitiveness-the topics you select for this section will depend on what you are proposing. Include everything you need to describe your ideas and/or services and any associated costs and benefits. Finally, at the end of this all-about-your-ideas section, you must convince your proposal readers that you can deliver everything you’ve promised. To do this, you can add pages like Experience, Testimonials, References, Company History or About Us, Our Clients, Awards, References, Credentials, and so forth. Your goal here is to wrap up your proposal by persuading your readers that you have absolute credibility and are trustworthy.
Okay, now you’ve written the proposal. The finish line is in sight, but you’re still not quite done. Take some time to make your proposal visually appealing. You might want to incorporate your company logo, use colored borders, or employ special bullet points and fonts. Just make sure that any added graphic touches match your style and the tone of your proposal.
Don’t forget to spell-check and proofread every page. For the final check, it’s a good idea to recruit a proofreader who hasn’t read your proposal before. It’s way too easy to miss errors in your own work.
Then, deliver your polished proposal. Save it in a PDF file or print it out, or both. The best delivery method for you depends on your relationship with the party who will receive your proposal. It’s common to attach PDF files to email these days, but for your situation, it might be most impressive to hand-deliver a nicely printed and signed proposal.
In summary, you can see that the specialized topics in an employment-related proposal will vary depending on the situation, your goal, and the needs of your boss or prospective client. But now you know that all proposals follow a similar format and structure. And remember that you don’t have to start from scratch: you can find all the templates you need in Proposal Kit. The templates contain explanations and examples of the information specific pages should contain; they will guide you in writing and formatting your proposal sections.
In addition to hundreds of templates, Proposal Kit includes a wide variety of sample proposals, many of which are employment-related. For example, there’s a sample proposal for temporary services, a sample that pitches the idea of opening a new sales office with new staff, and a sample proposing a job-share situation, just to name a few. The sample proposals in Proposal Kit will spark your imagination and help you efficiently create your own winning proposal.