Success for small businesses is about getting new business. That’s what a business proposal is designed to do. These tips help you to organize, put your best business foot forward and close deals when you get a request for proposal (RFP).
How to Write a Business Proposal
Meet with The Client
To understand what a client is really looking for you need to meet with them before you write the proposal up. This is the best way to get some general information about the business, its management and employees.
Understanding the best approach means brainstorming some options within your small business. Here you’ll need to tackle on some practical items like how much to charge the client to make it worth your while. A good rule of thumb is to multiply the costs by 1.5 to account for any unseen issues.
Your team needs to tackle questions like who will do the work, what needs to be done, how it will be accomplished and what the scheduled milestones are.
Organizing all the information you’ve gathered is easy using digital tools like Evernote.
Once you gone through the previous steps you’re ready to start writing your proposal. Although some of the details might vary, most of these business proposals follow a traditional template.
Create an Introduction for Your Business
Here is where you introduce your company again to the potential client. Include the name of your company, the nature of your business, and a quick industry profile.
Restate the Issue
This is a good place in any business proposal to repeat the problem or issue that prompted your prospect to ask for a proposal in the first place. It’s a good idea to keep in mind that the tone and style make a big difference. Plain language is always better than more colorful words.
Remember the old adage that you don’t need to use a five dollar word when a five cent one will do.
Be Specific About Methods and Goals
Being specific helps when you outline the goals that you hope to accomplish. This is a part of any business proposal that other businesses are listening to closely. Outline the methods you’re going to use here to but remember to be direct and to the point.
Keep in mind you don’t want to leave anything out . It’s very important to go through each and every step in your methods.
Be Clear about Costs and Time to Completion
There’s more meat and potatoes stuff. Transparency is one of the biggest ingredients to landing any deal with a good business proposal. That means you’ll need to be clear about how much time each and every step will take and what it will cost.
Explain Why You’re Qualified
Here’s the part of your business proposal where you sell your company. Again, you want to keep away from flowery language and stick to the facts. Don’t forget to stick with plain English. Keep in mind here that if this is your first business proposal, writing in journalistic simple style might be a challenge.
Hiring a proposal writer can grease the wheels of the whole process so you close the deal quicker. If you’re planning on using graphs and charts, you might want to hire a freelance designer too.
Photo via Shutterstock