Business proposals help in presenting our product or service to others for addressing their problems in a good manner. Today, the business scenarios are very competitive and winning a business deal purely based on your writing skills is highly unlikely. Basic functions of a proposal are to represent your company’s credibility and trustworthiness without a physical presence.
Here we can discuss how to create a business proposal which drives sales and some points to make your proposal stand out from the rest. In the olden days you could bag a business deal with a simple single page proposal, but today the hit rate of such proposals is very low. These days an official format is available for business proposals, which are used by business professionals along with the details required to compete for a business deal.
Usually, business proposals are of two types. One is prepared on the basis of the requests from a client or an organisation. RFPs are proposals commonly prepared for government organisations, and non-profit organisations etc. RFP means that a client is inviting your company or service to solve their problems. Request for Proposal enables your clients to shortlist the competent companies and continue to the next level of selection procedures. The second types of proposals are prepared to provide solutions for a future problem or an existing problem of an organisation.
When you are creating a business proposal on the basis of an RFP, go through all the terms and conditions. If you need more details about the deal, then arrange a meeting with the concerned person before the submission of the proposal.
The second type of proposal has its merits and demerits. The advantage of this proposal is very low competition, but the details of the document should be correct and accurate. First of all, we should be very careful while assessing the particular problem of a client and our competitiveness to provide a clear-cut solution. Create a realistic proposal rather than a fancy one and avoid writing about your company in more than one page.
Now let’s get straight into the matter and learn the step by step process for writing a business proposal. Go through each section of the proposal and change according to your purpose.
Title page, the front page of a proposal and includes your company name, name of the person to whom you are submitting and the submitted date.
An executive summary is the total abstract of the project and which should conclude in one or two paragraphs. From the executive summary, one should understand all about the project, its scope and details. In this section of the proposal, you should briefly describe the problems you are proposing to address and its feasibility.
In the first section you already have given a brief description of the project and here you have to present the details, track record and credibility factors of your company or service. Be genuine and don’t write more than a single page about your company. In most of the cases, a company spends more time on the introduction part of a business proposal before fixing the deal.
The next important step in creating a great business proposal and here you have to convince your client about the problem and your competence to solve it. Describe to your client about the urgency to address this problem and the benefits their business will get. The research you did about your client’s business will help you make this section convincing.
This is the continuation of the previous section. In the opportunity section, you gave more importantance to the problems they are facing, but in the objectives section, you have to be more specific about the results. In this section, you can provide metrics like the number of sales from the new market or the percentage of reduced production cost per units etc. Be more specific and quantitative with numbers.
In this part of the business proposal, you have to address the things you stated in the objective. Give details about the set of actions you are going to take to deliver the results stated in the objective section. Here you can even mention two or three alternatives to deliver the results, but ultimately you have to suggest one best method.
You may think that this section is only meant for human resources, but there are lots more to include in the resources category like financial resources, time resources etc. Give details about the resources which you are allocating for the successful completion of this project and mention the additional reserved resources. In this section, you can project the names of the people, who will be handling and leading your resources in this project.
Sometimes this section of a business proposal directly affects the decision-making process of the deal. A great schedule depends upon the resources of your company; so be realistic. According to the size of the project and the needs of the customer, prepare a proper timetable for the completion of the project. Depending on the project size, it can complete in single or multiple schedules.
Most of the best business deals are decided by the finance section; so be careful and realistic in this section. A perfect business deal should be a win-win situation for all the parties involved in it. In this section, highlight each and every expense that can occur during the completion of the proposed project.
Here you will take the matrix stated in the objective section to establish the success of a project. Every business projects are meant for positive results and this section of the proposal consists of the method to measure the results. Propose a proper evaluation method for the project and make your proposal more attractive to your customers. The results should be in a quantitative form like the number of sales, total additional profits earned, hours of time saved etc.
How to make your business proposal stand out?
Don’t follow the regular practices of every business house like creating a great proposal and using it for all purposes by changing the client details. Create unique and focused proposals for each and every client. Before the preparation of the proposal, gather all the information and current needs of the business. This information will help you identify the real problems and provide solutions that are most suitable for your client. To get the attention of your client, you should have a storytelling appeal for your proposal. Even if you have prepared a great proposal by putting lots of hard work, it may not perform well due to poor readability. So, make your proposal interesting for your client from the beginning till the end. If necessary, you can use pictures and graphs to establish your points.
We hope that this post will help you in preparing a business proposal that drives sales and helps your company go the extra mile.