Tips on How to Write a Business Proposal
Finally, you have started that business you have be clamoring and now you want to build your customer base and also you want to reach out to new client and potential clients who might be a direct or indirect beneficiary of your products and services. The big question now is “how can you reach the prospects that might benefit from your product or service?”
You can also read >>> 8 Steps to Starting Your Own Business
For those of us who have been using this for a long time can vividly tell you that with the help of a business plan, you could be bridging the gap between you and your potential clients. You see, in a business plan, you will be outlining your value proposition, and the very most important reason is to persuade a company or organization to do business with you. Simple as ABC.
We have just two types of business plan which is practiced all over the world. And they are solicited and unsolicited business plan.
When we talk about Solicited business proposals, we refer to proposals that are requested by a prospective client. In a solicited business proposal, it is the organization or corporation that asks for a proposal with an RFP (request for proposal). This goes to show that when a company needs particular a problem resolved, they may invite other businesses to submit a proposal which details how these challenges can be resolved. And this is the one reason you should not joke with your proposal. Have a clear and defined business proposal that should define who and what your business is even when you are not there to defend it.
While on the other hand, the unsolicited business proposals refer to the business proposal your potential customer with a proposal, even if they did not request for it. It’s one simple way to get them knowing about your business.
We have seen cases where many people tend to interchange both business plan and business proposal while they address people but the truth is that they are both different. Yeah and I will explain briefly.
When we talk about business proposals, we are mean to say that the proposal’s aim is to sell your product or service, rather than your business itself. That is to say, that you sell your products or services via a proposal. This means that a proposal helps you seek new customers.
But when we talk about a business plan, this detailed document helps in assisting your search for investors to fund your business. Am sure I have used simple terms well enough to explain the difference between the both concepts.
Don’t get bothered whether a proposal is solicited or unsolicited, the good thing here is that both proposals have a similar pattern and steps to creating them. In writing a proposal be in solicited or unsolicited, there are three main points that must be included and these points are as follows:
A statement of the problem which the organization is facing,
Proposed solution, and
These are the three main components that makes up a good proposals.
- Begin with a title page.
- Create a table of contents.
- Explain your why with an executive summary.
- State the problem or need.
- Propose a solution.
- Share your qualifications.
- Include pricing options.
- Clarify your terms and conditions.
- Include a space for signatures to document agreement.
Don’t just a proposal for writing sake. Write with a purpose, write with an understanding of the subject matter. Before you write your business proposal, it is very imperative that you understand the business you are about to into else you will just be writing jargons as though you are making sense whereas you are not making any.. If the organization have sent their RFP to you, please ensure that you diligently study so that you can you know exactly what they’re looking for. It won’t be out of place if you call for a meeting with the new client to ensure you fully understand the problem they’re trying to solve and their objectives. With this, you are sure gonna have a full grip of the situation.
When you are done with your research and analysis, now it’s time to write that which you want to communicate. Remember that this not a business plan but a business proposal. Like I have said before in my previous articles, there is no specific pattern to writing a business proposal but let’s take a look at some universally used pattern of writing a business proposal.
- Begin with a title page.
You are expected to use the title page to introduce yourself and your business in the proposal. Ensure you include your name, the name of your company, the very date you had your business proposal submitted the proposal, and the name of the client or individual you are submitting the said business proposal to. All the aforementioned procedures should be duly followed
2. Create a table of contents.
This is a very key part of the proposal because this will give your clients a clue of what he is expected which are contained in the proposal. Should in case you are going to be sending an electronically business proposal, then ensure you include a clickable table of contents that will jump to the different sections of your proposal for easy reading and navigation.
3. Explain your “why” with an executive summary.
This is where you have to sell your market. Because over in this session, you have to detail exactly why you’re sending the proposal and why you think your solution is the best for the prospective client and also in solving their problems. And again, this actually outlines the benefits of your company’s products or services which they may not know and how they can solve your potential client’s problem with it.
Now, if your executive summary is detailed and articulate enough the prospect shouldn’t have a problem understanding the full article but will have a clear idea and understanding of how you can help them.
4. State the problem or need.
This is where you provide a summary of the issue impacting the potential client. It provides you with the opportunity to show them you have a clear understanding of their needs and the problem they need help solving.
5. Propose a solution.
At this point, you are to explain to them and offer to them your proposed solution and strategy for solving the said problem. You don’t want to bore them with irrelevant issues just ensure that your proposed solution is attuned to the client’s peculiar needs so they know you’ve created this proposal specifically for them and not a random selection solution.
Don’t fail to add that deliverables you will be providing, the methods you will be engaged in, and a timeframe they should be expecting them.
6. Share your qualifications.
Now clients wants to be sure that they are handling situations and problems to qualified persons so at this point you have to show them that you are qualified to solve this problem. You have to explain to them via this session why they should trust you. So this section is to communicate why you’re best person for the job. Now you have to include testimonials of case studies of client success stories. If you have any relevant awards or accreditation, you have to mention them to boost your authority.
7. Include pricing options.
Right here, you have to be very diplomatic and your sense of business has to come into play here. Now you don’t want to either under or over-price your product or services. I will prefer you provide the prospect a few pricing options for their budget then also include an optional fee table. Also we can use the proposal software which does offer responsive pricing tables which actually allow clients to check the products or services they’re interested in, and the price will automatically adjust. This will save you a whole lots of troubles doing pricing.
8. Clarify your terms and conditions.
This session is actually a summary of what you and the client have agreed to and if they accept your proposal or not. At this particular point, you have to go into details about the project timeline, pricing, and payment schedules. One mistake you don’t want to make is not clearing the terms and conditions with your own legal team before you send the proposal to your potential client.
9. Include a space for signatures to document agreement.
You have to include a signature box for the client to sign and do ensure they are aware of what they are agreeing to when they sign. Also, this is another form prompt for the prospect to be able reach out to you should incase they have any unanswered questions you still need to address.
Tips on How to Write a Business Proposal