Steps to Writing a Winning Business Proposal – Ideas
How do you write a proposal? If you are looking for tips on how to write a business proposal and increase your chance of winning that contract, then read this post till the end because I have for you 7 guides on how you can style your business proposal to meet the taste of the person that will be going through the proposal.
A business proposal is different from a business plan so don’t get it twisted. Your ability to write a winning proposal can be the key to the success of your business. A good business proposal should identify the problem that you solve, propose a possible solution, and explain why you are the best person to solve the problem.
Whether you are a freelancer or you run a company, you need to master the skill of how to write a business proposal very well. In this post, I will be carrying you through my 7 guides on how you can write a business proposal effectively.
Without wasting much time, here are 7 steps you need to write a business proposal that make waves for your business.
IDEAS AND GUIDELINES TO WRITE A POWERFUL PROPOSAL FOR BUSINESS IN 5 STEPS
- Study the Requirement
Before you write and submit a business proposal, you need to first understand your client’s requirement. This is very important if you must win that business deal. Ask yourself questions like;
- What is the company’s goals?
- Is my company qualified and have the resources for the project?
- What is my role in achieving these goals?
Studying the requirement also entails that you identify if your prospect goals and objectives match your solution. Make sure that you meet the client’s requirement. If you can’t fit in with the client’s budget, you don’t need to write a business proposal for that deal.
Your business proposal must be written specifically to meet your ideal prospect requirement in terms of finance and other factors.
- Your Business Proposal Format
This is one important guide you also have to put in front of your mind when writing a business proposal for any purpose. Write your business proposal in the correct format and include all necessary attachments.
You must include information about your business, the location and also the services or the products that your company offers to its customers. Use as formal and straightforward language as you want. You can look for samples from the net on how to format your kind of business proposal.
Make sure you use your Title Page as the cover of your business proposal. Keep the introduction line of your proposal simple yet mind-gripping. For this purpose, you need to know your target audience very well. Good understanding of the potential customers leads to the drafting of your proposal.
Create an outline. Having an outline is the best way to keep your thoughts organized. It is a logical framework on which to build your proposal. It also ensures you do not leave out anything important. An outline is the basis for a strong presentation.
- Understand the Client and Know their Problem
If you don’t understand the client problem, you can’t definitely write a business proposal that convert. You want your proposal to answer the client’s actual needs? Then, you need to ask the client questions and get to understand the client.
You need to be able to tell the client through your proposal that you understand the client problems more than anyone else. How can you expect the client to believe that you can help them solve their problems if you don’t even know what those problems are?
This is why you should conduct a market research concerning the area or field you want to be providing solution to.
- Propose a Detailed Solution
After understanding your client and know the problem you want to solve, you will need to state it in your proposal. You should be detailed as possible. It is better to use bullet points in explaining the solution so it will be easier for your client to read.
Explain the benefits of your solution and why your reason is the best with evidence. A common benefit is “saving your client money and increase profits and productivity”. If you have no evidence to show, you can share a testimonial of your past client’s experience.
- State your Pricing Information
From my experience working with client, the pricing information is what they will want to see after going through your proposed solution and benefits. The pricing information is what will make them decide whether they would offer you the contract or not.
How to write this part greatly depends on the solution or solutions you included in the previous segment. If the solution proposed will only entail a short period of time, a ‘Fee Summary’ will suffice.
For longer projects, segment these payments to specific milestones in a ‘Fee Schedule’ list.
How to Remember Details When Writing a Business Proposal
Now that you know the essential on writing a business proposal, there are things you have to keep at the back of your mind when writing a business proposal that commands attention and award you a contract.
- Do your research.
- Put yourself in your customer’s shoes.
- Make sure your proposal outshines that of your competitors.
Once you have completed the business proposal, proof-read it, leave it aside for a day or two, and then apply the final touches.
How To Write a Freelance Proposal for a Project
A good proposal will always make your potential clients want you more than you want and in this post, you will know how to write one. One of the secrets paths in securing a freelance gig is knowing how to write a good freelance proposal.
Whether you are new in the world of freelancing or you are into freelance full-time, convincing potential client that you are the best for the job is always sometimes a difficult task.
Writing a strong freelance proposal is the only sure way to get a gig and outsmart inexperience competitors. If you can write good freelance proposal as a freelancer, then you will make your potential client want you more, even more than you want them.
Nevertheless, you will also win more gigs to your side. Sometimes, potential client may advertise that they need your freelance kind of service but because you don’t know how to write a good proposal that will win the client heart, you are afraid to pitch the employer.
In this post, I will be helping you out with writing one of the best freelance proposal you have ever thought about.
Decide the Formality of your Proposal
Before you even approach your potential client, you should have an idea of what they want and why they should hire you so you can position your proposal in that direction.
This will make you think more about the project and understand it as well as how to deliver it.
A good proposal should demonstrate your understanding of the project, your experience in the niche/field and how you can be of help and your fee.
Make a Strong Proposal
A very captivating introduction will easily win the client interest and attention to want to read your proposal. It shows that you have done your home-work very well to know what the client really want.
If you are a freelance writer, you can easily catch the attention of your potential client to reading the body of your email by using a subject line like, “5 Steps to Generate Organic Traffic Using Content.”
In the body of the email, you will touch on each of the steps and continue to tell how working with you can make them achieve that goal.
Starting a freelance proposal with a strong entrance increase your chance of getting the job.
Streamline the Process
It is not necessary to always change some part of your proposal. There are some parts of a proposal that should remain the same irrespective of if it is a big client or not.
You can have a flexible template which will always allow you to use whenever you want to pitch a particular client on that same nature of job.
Sometimes, you might even get a job that you have once written a proposal in before, all you have to do is just to edit it and use.
Anticipating and Answering Questions
Unfortunately, not every potential client give details on what they actually want done in a project.
While the employer may fail to give description, you should capitalize on these kinds of opportunities by displaying your experience and expertise.
Telling a client that you can identify and provide solution gives you an edge in closing the deal.
But, the big question is how do you do this. Very simple! Put yourself in the employer’s shoe. What are the unspoken problems they might have been experiencing?
If the employer is a blogger that needs a freelance writer and he or she uses a term, “unique content”.
You should know that he or she knows the bad side of plagiarism and you should know that providing unique content is the solution.
If you are experience in your niche, figuring out employers problems and providing solutions won’t be a problem.
Including Relevant Samples
It is very essential that you always include samples of previous projects whenever you are writing a good proposal. Pick the best and relevant ones.
Employers are eager to see that you have worked on such project before and it went well.
Drop links of great samples in your freelance proposal email and state how your contribution helped your formal client.
If you are new to freelancing and you don’t have any sample, kindly create a portfolio website or a blog where you can display your work and use the link whenever you pitch clients.
Selling your Strength
Whenever you are writing a proposal, it is to your own benefit to always sell your area of strength to your potential client. Don’t make the mistake in focusing on irrelevant things.
Always try to keep your proposal short. Attempting to write everything that you know about the project is just a shortcut to being rejected. Consider listing one or two areas your strength can carry.
How to Write a Business Proposal for Sponsorship
Do you want to learn how to write a simple business proposal letter using the techniques that big businesses use?
Are you among the number of people looking for how to write a business proposal? Writing a good business proposal can be all that stands between you getting the contract that you so desire.
The problem, however, is that you don’t know how to write a business proposal to a company or organization. Writing a good business proposal is an essential step that needs to be taken for you to secure a contract with any company that needs a proposal.
When the proposal is written well, it can put you in a position to be in the front foot in the race for who will win the contract, and even if you don’t win, the contractors will definitely have you in mind next time.
As an entrepreneur with a company that provides a service, you need to learn how to write business proposals to an investor as it is an important skill.
What is in a business proposal? How do I write a business proposal for sponsorship? How do you write a proposal? What is the format of a proposal?
In this article, you will learn how to write a business proposal that your competitors wish they wrote. Here are the steps to follow;
STEP 1: Gather as Much Information as Possible
When you are about to bid for a project, you need to fully understand what is required of you. It would be pointless to submit a proposal for a project that you do not have the technical or financial ability to handle.
STEP 2: Ask Enough Questions
Your business proposal should answer the needs of your clients. For you to be able to do this, you need to understand what the client needs. Put yourself in the shoes of the client and see the problems they face from their perspective. Contact the client so as to clear up any misunderstanding that might come up or that you might have.
You could call to find answers to questions like these:
- Have there been any previous attempts to solve the problem?
- Why did these attempts fail?
- What is the timeline for the project?
- Is the budget for the project fixed?
STEP 3: Outline the Scope of the Project
Outlining the scope of the project means that you take into consideration every angle that the project will take. It means answering the questions of “who, what, where, how, and when.”
Who: Who will handle the work, who will manage the work, who will answer the customers’ queries?
What: What tools or processes will be required do it, what is the expected outcome of this service?
Where: Where will the work be carried out, where will it be delivered?
When: When is the project to start, when will key milestones be set, when is the project due to be completed, when will you get paid?
How: How will be work be executed, how will it be deployed, how would you achieve customer satisfaction, how will risks be minimized, how would the customer gain from the work?
STEP 4: Write the Business Proposal
All the previous steps have been leading to this one. After you have fully understood what the clients want and you have also prepared ways to answer their needs, you are now ready to write the business proposal.
Writing a business proposal usually follows these format:
- Title Page
This usually includes basic information, like the name of your company and also your contact information. You could also include your company logo if you have one, the date of the submission and also the title of the proposal (this is usually the service that your company wants to provide).
- Cover Letter/Introduction
A cover letter acts like your introduction. Introduce your company and mission statement in a way that concerns the need of your client. The cover letter gives a brief information about how your company was formed and also mentions attributes that make your company different from the rest. Make sure your introduction is clear and concise.
- Table of contents
This is not necessary if your business proposal is a short one. However, if your proposal is long, it would be necessary for you to provide a table of contents. The table if content should list the contents of the pages and also the page numbers. This would make the proposal neater and also allow your clients to find the pages with ease.
This is the most important section of your proposal. In this section, you highlight why you are the right company for the job. You should be careful when writing the summary because it can either make or break you.
In the executive summary, you should be persuasive and write in such a way that the clients will get the message that you want to get across. Your language and use of words also depend on the type of company you are submitting the proposal to.
For example, submitting a business proposal to a law will mean that you need to be formal, while you might want to be less formal when submitting to a startup run by young entrepreneurs.
The important thing here is that you present your company in a way that makes the client want to hire you already.
- The body
This section gives a summary of the answers to the questions that were asked in the scope of the project. Pricing, size of workforce, sourcing of materials and other issues are discussed in this section. How the project will be handled and managed, what will be done to make the project be completed within the scheduled time should also be documented.
This is your last shot to make the client consider you. In the conclusion, make your client remember what you are going to offer them if they hire you. Make mention of previous outstanding projects that you have worked on.
STEP 5: Follow Up
After submitting the proposal, you need to follow up. Call the company to check if they got the proposal assuming you sent it by mail. Also, make yourself available for questions or clarifications that might come up.
Contact someone in the company to follow up, be careful when doing this, so it does not seem like you are trying to bribe your way to win the contract.
Sample Business Proposal Outline Template
How do you write a business proposal? Do you need ideas on developing a business proposal outline?
Are you looking for funding for your new or existing business? Then you need a business plan. Other words for a business proposal are a business plan. Your business plan is a document that gives investors and lenders the information they need to know to about your business in order for them to if it is worth investing in or not.
Your business plan is the first step in putting together and organizing your thoughts. You will have to follow the following guidelines if you really want investors and lenders to get interested in your business. To organize your thoughts you will need to make a business plan outline.
We are going to consider 10 sections and 23 sub sections in the business plan outline below. So in the first section we will discuss the following.
HOW TO DRAW AN OUTLINE OF A BUSINESS PROPOSAL
Section 1: Executive Summary
The most important part of your business plan is your executive summary. This is the section where if not properly presented will not get any investor to read through the rest of your business plan. Start your summary with a concise explanation of what your company does. Next your have to explain what uniquely qualifies you to succeed.
Furthermore include in your executive summary a synopsis of your financial projections for the next five years. This will include your expected revenue, expenditure and revenue and annual profits. Explain why you seek funding and what you intend to use it for.
Section 2: Company overview
In this section as the phrase implies, you are expected to present a brief history of your company. This should answer the questions, how and where your company was formed and what type of legal entity are you and what you have accomplished to date. Also all key milestones your company has achieved should also be stated.
Section 3: Industry Analysis
Your industry analysis should be divided into two sub sections. These are market overview and relevant market size.
This section describes and discusses the size and characteristics of your target market. For example if you want to start a waste management business. You should discuss the size of the waste management market and also describe other players of the waste management business such as recycling businesses in your market, government intervention, and how these players affect your market share.
4-Relevant Market Size
The relevant market size can be described as a more specific detail of the size of your market. It is the annual total number of customers who would acquire your product or services assuming you have a one hundred percent market share.
Section 4– Consumer Analysis
Your consumer analysis section is divided into two sections sub-sections described as follows.
These are the group of people you intend to market your product or services to. This group consists of both your current and prospective customers.
This section describes the value you are adding or the customer needs you are addressing for people to patronize you.
Section 5– Competitive analysis
This section outlines the list of companies who provide the same solution or fill the same customer need as you.
8- Indirect competitors
Indirect competitors are companies that provide the same solution you provide or fill the same customer need as you but in a different way.
9- Competitive Advantage
This is where you present that unique value or character you have that gives you the edge or unfair advantage over your competitors.
Section 6– Marketing plan
Your marketing plan has the following sub headings.
10- Products and Services
You will have to clearly define and give details of what product and what services you are selling.
Detail your pricing strategy here. In this section you will have to describe how your pricing relates to the competition.
This details the strategy you will use to attract new customers to use your product or services.
13- Distribution Plan
This section outlines how your customers will get access to your products or services. This could be through direct sales, online or through designated distribution locations.
Section7– Operations Plan
Your operations plan has the following sub sections.
14- Key Operational Processes
The daily routines your business has to go through are your key operational processes. In this section you will detail your typical day at work.
This is the section where you list targets you aspire to achieve and the set time frame for which you intend to achieve those set goals.
Section 8– Management Team
This is the section where you give the details of your management team members and their back grounds.
16- Management Team Spaces
Particularly if you are a startup, this is the section where you indicate gaps or spaces in your management team that need to be filled in future. Identify those positions and qualifications of personnel required to fill them.
18- Board Members
Detail your board of directors or Advisors if you have any.
Section 9– Financial Plan
Your financial plan has the following sub sections.
19- Revenue Model
In simple terms, this section details how you make money as a company, Your company’s different revenue streams should be clearly indicated.
20- Financial Indicators
In this section you will indicate the highlights of your income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statements. The details you leave for your appendix.
21- Funding Requirement and Use of Funds
To get funding for your company you have to specify how much you need and what you will use it for.
22- Exit Strategy
In particular if you are seeking for equity funding you have to detail your exit strategy. The most common exit strategy is to sell your company to a larger company. If so you will have to detail the types of companies who will be interested in buying your company.
Section 10– Appendix
As stated earlier your detailed financial documentation and other documents of interest are presented here. By the above format your business proposal outline has all it takes to get you the funding you seek for your business.
Follow these guidelines just explained above and you will be heading to writing the best freelance proposal that can never get rejected.