There are ways to write a business proposal which will lead to success. Let's take a look at the trinity of considerations you must do to win-over a new customer with your business proposal.
Figure-Out the Community
George Harrison of Beatles' fame once wrote, "If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there." Sounds exciting, however, unless you understand your client, it's going to be pretty difficult to become part of his or her community.
Simply speaking, here's a list of considerations that are important before sitting-down at the keyboard and writing the all-important business proposal:
Research the potential client.
What is important to the client?
Have answers at the ready when the client starts asking questions concerning your business.
Think like a news reporter. These individuals always ask Who, What, When, Where, Why and How. That will assist you as you compose your business proposal.
Now that you've assembled the data we've just talked about, it's time to sit down and put pen to paper. Where to begin?
Have we got a template for you!
Step-by-step, organize your business proposal into these six areas:
Don't bury the lead. Get right to the point by explaining your mission -- and don't forget that your undertaking isn't occurring in a vacuum. Include what you learned about the client and how you plan to serve them. Toot your horn in a subtle manner. Keep the introduction at approximately one page.
The Executive Summary.
Frankly, most folks are going to hone-in on this portion and use the remainder of your business proposal when they want to delve deeper. That's why it's vital to get this part right. Be persuasive, direct; giving the reader a clear understanding of what lies ahead. This should also be only around a page in length.
The Table of Contents.
Pretty simple, really. But it's truly an essential map for those writing a long business proposal.
Here's where the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How comes into play. Some content worth including could be testimonials, pricing, logistics and a schedule for meeting your goals.
Wrap it up in this final part. It's somewhat like the Executive Summary, except this portion must include a call to action. Why should the reader contact you? Don't forget, make it easy for them to reach out and touch.
The Appendix is optional. It might consist of value-added content such as graphs, resumes or projections. This one is left to your discretion.
The Style of Your Business Proposal
Steer clear of "inside baseball" language -- industry slang and technical terms. Be concise, clear and make the reader want to turn the page. Feel free to tease a few secrets. Just don't give-away the farm when doing so.
The bottom line to the reader is, well, the bottom line. Make sure, without exaggerating things, to include the financial costs and end result.
The Length of the Proposal
We suggest you keep it down to something an interested party can read in about 8-minutes. Roughly translated, you're looking at around 15-hundred words. For instance, this article you're looking at comes in at about 700 words.
Probably one of the biggest mistakes we see is that some business proposals are poorly edited. Misspelled words, making grammatical mistakes and otherwise unprofessionally composed business proposals will receive low marks from a potential client. With that being said, proofread the document carefully. Let another set of eyes see it, too. That's especially helpful if they are well-versed in the written word.
The takeaway from three things to know when writing a business proposal aren't rocket surgery. The real work comes when the client accepts. Be prepared, they will if this part is done in a no-nonsense manner.
(This article heavily draws upon the information provided in How To Write A Business Proposal)
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