Your ability to write a winning business proposal could depend on the success or failure of your business. When small businesses and large corporations want to purchase BrandMe Products or services, they often give you a Request for Proposal (RFP), which is a document demonstrating the need for the project. In order to bid on the job, you must write a business proposal that explains how you will meet your client’s needs. You don’t want your business’s success left on the cutting room floor. Here are seven steps to writing an effective business proposal.
Learn the Requirements
Writing an effective business proposal requires having a clear understanding of your client’s requirements. What are the organization’s goals? What is your role in helping them achieve these goals? Is the budget, scope, and time frame reasonable according to the work that’s required? If you’re awarded the contract, do you have the expertise, time, and resources to complete it?
Determine how you want to proceed with your proposal. This can help you prepare your proposal and make the best decision for you and your client. Since preparing your proposal takes up most of your time, it’s best not to send every client who asks for one. Instead, look for contracts that provide ongoing relationships, excellent networking opportunities, and projects that offer the potential for growth.
Get to Know Your Client
If you can’t figure out your client and their problems, then you won’t be able to write an effective business proposal. During the research phase, you find out that they were looking for something else. One way to determine what your client needs are to talk to them. Ask them about their concerns, their management philosophy, and their operating policies.
Find out if any previous attempts were made to achieve these goals and why it didn’t work out. Ask them what they liked and didn’t like about that client. If you can’t speak with the company’s employees, do some additional research at a local library. Or, you can speak with clients who may have worked with this company.
This research can help you from working on a task that’s already been done or is not acceptable to the client. You may also find some other problems that didn’t arise and should be considered.
Determine a Methodology
Once you determine your client’s goals, it’s time to come up with a strong methodology. If you’re having trouble with this step, then set up a series of brainstorming sessions with your client. Discuss what your client needs and how they want them done. Analyze the benefits and costs, as well as the resources and deadline. This will help you ensure that your methodology includes everything that’s required.
Come Up With a Solution
Once you developed your methodology, it’s time to find another solution. You need to understand your client’s decision-making process. Take a look into their background, and how they addressed this work. For example, you can find out if their business is focused on finances or operations.
Then describe the advantages of your solution that will elicit a favorable response from your client. You should also compare your solution according to the criteria provided by your client. For example, if your business proposal is based on price and time length, then an expensive solution isn’t going to be favored by your client.
Stand Out Among Your Competitors
It’s time to win your client over. A business proposal is like a sales document, which persuades your client to hire you instead of your competitors. Make sure that your proposal addresses your strengths as well as any potential uncertainties the client might have. If you’re up against a corporation, then you’ll need to showcase your strengths.
Maybe you can focus on the client’s needs or find out how you can solve their problem. To amplify your strengths, you should check out your competition. The client may drop your competitors’ names, explain what they’re looking to work with, and give an honest review of your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses.
Write the Proposal
Now it’s time to write your proposal. After you went through the first five steps, you need to assemble that information into a proposal. Include the following headlines in your proposal:
Current Situation: Address your client’s problem.
Goals: Explain the goals behind this proposal.
Methodology: Explain each of the steps in detail that will allow you to meet your client’s goals.
Time and Cost: Explain the budget and time constraints for each of the steps based on your methodology. Also, explain how you will bill services and when payment is due.
Qualifications: Describe why you’re the best candidate for the job. Display your strengths based on your evaluation criteria.
Benefits: Describe the benefits your client will receive by using your services.
Adding the Finishing Touches
Look over your proposal to make sure it fits your client’s needs and requirements. Make sure that everything is properly assembled and it addresses each of your client’s concerns. Ask someone else to proofread it to look out for any grammatical or spelling errors that you may have missed. Most proposals are based on the quality, so don’t let careless mistakes, sloppy writing, or lazy editing ruin an otherwise terrific deal.
Print your proposal on high-quality printer paper. Consider having the final copy bound by a professional service. This will ensure that your final copy looks professional. Now you’re ready to bring your proposal to your client.