Writing a business proposal is an integral part of any enterprise at some point in its existence. You have to deal with this aspect not once but several times during your career. So, getting the formula right is essential to avoid common mistakes the first time you provide it to the bigger companies or government programs. It may not be perfect, but it should be a high-quality piece.
Even if you have finished business school, you still might be confused with approaching this task. In a real case scenario, many students and recent graduates find themselves trapped in a “what to say” situation. And it’s even harder for students from majors other than business when they try to send their first-ever project.
Business proposals have a clear structure that should be followed. In addition, you have to put thought into it and spend enough time polishing your first draft before editing it. If you are a student and have a ton of work, you are more concerned with the question “how to write my term paper” than your other tasks. With the help of an academic assistance service, you can easily manage your business project and home assignments without having to sacrifice either.
The most important step in creating a breakthrough plan is to keep your eyes peeled. People who take this seriously know that you start research long before the necessity of writing it. At the same time, don’t push your creativity limits way too hard. Sometimes being extra cautious causes the block you want to avoid.
What is a business proposal and how many types are there?
In essence, a business proposal is a sales pitch that introduces your product or service. It targets a potential client base. However, it is different from business plans, which refer to reaching out to investors rather than customers.
A business proposal is the starting point of your company. Even if you manage to seal the deal by meeting the client, they would ask you for this formal document. Of course, the size of your enterprise affects the project look and content. The goal stays the same: to be as clear and eloquent as possible with your ideas.
Formally solicited proposal
A solicited business proposal is requested by the potential client. It can be a company or a government body looking for services to complete their project or task, so they offer bids for the jobs. Companies and government bodies use a range of different types of formally solicited proposals.
- Request for information (RFI) – this type is designed to offer the client all information about the vendor;
- Request for proposal (RFP) – it is designed to outline what criteria vendors need to meet and whether they best suit the task or project;
- Request for quotation (RFQ) – this type is designed to provide information about availability, delivery deadlines, and other aspects needed to be clarified;
- Invitation for Bid (IFB) – is a request to solicit services based on a price;
Informally solicited proposal
Informally solicited proposals are those that can result after negotiations between a vendor and a potential customer. Usually, this type doesn’t involve competition between enterprises, and the customer expects you to submit the project. It usually also means that your response can be more informal.
Unsolicited proposals are the initiative of the vendor. It is a method of finding clients who are not explicitly interested in your product, but they can become interested if they are introduced to it. This type should be detailed to get the attention of the customer.
This type of proposal is used to expand the customer audience, forge the company with another business, or kickstart your business. Sending unsolicited business proposals is a normal practice in the community.
How to create a successful proposal?
Your goal is to be as clear and precise as possible. A proposal has to explain effectively your product, how it can benefit your client’s business, and the costs of it. Although there’s no specific consensus on what the draft should look like, it should be easy to navigate and read.
Research the market
The first step in your startup journey is researching the current marketing trends. You should also examine a competitive landscape and common challenges. You need to be one step ahead of your competitors and calculate your plan two steps ahead. The more you know about the industry, the more you can contribute to resolving the relevant issues and win the customer.
Create a user-friendly layout
Whether you create standard doc files and attach sheets or use special software – your proposal should be readable for the client. Often an appeal of clear and modern layout can give bonus points for your project.
Begin your proposal with title page
The title page is a tone-setter of your presentation. It provides essential information about you, your business, and your product. You should also include the name of the client.
Don’t try to give too much on the first page. Later, you will elaborate your ideas in your proposal.
Create a table of contents
Speaking of readability and user-friendliness, the client should know what to expect and have access to the contents. It doesn’t require any extra effort to make it easy to navigate.
Always include executive summary
The executive summary is a must in your project. It pinpoints the aspects and relevance of your proposal for the prospective client and it should be as specific as possible. Of course, there can be some poetics in the benefits of your product for the company, yet focus on how it will resolve problems and improve the quality of their businesses.
You should not be vague and give empty promises. That’s why you need to know the industry and how your potential competitors can snatch the opportunity from you.
Create a problem-solution plan
You should know exactly what issues your client might experience. Research, overview, and think about the areas where your customer might need a solution and provide it to them. Don’t be afraid to be precise in this aspect and customize your solution to each potential customer.
You can’t send the proposal out randomly and hope that someone will pick it up. Only a personalized approach will bring you places.
Indicate your qualifications
Describe why you and your enterprise are the ones to resolve the issue. Your experience and expertise provide the needed background for building trust between you and them. Include case studies, client feedback, and awards.
Always state your pricing options
Yes, this aspect can be tricky to research and provide people with affordable options. Yet, you also shouldn’t lose from your projects. Therefore, it is essential to provide a few options for the client (according to their budget). Some proposal apps can create an adjustable table for you, so when the customer looks for the product, the price changes.
Include terms and conditions
It is important to consult with a legal specialist before creating terms and conditions. You should think of every scenario and secure your job and time spent on the project. Things happen, but it is important to discuss them beforehand
Writing your first-ever draft can be a real puzzle. But when you research the topic and know what you can offer, it is easy to polish your presentation to perfection. You have to avoid being too vague and all over the place, the other things will come to you gradually.