“A business proposal? But a good product sells itself”.
As true as it sounds, this statement doesn’t entirely hold fast in the business world. If it did, then we would not consider marketing an integral part of the business world today. No matter how good a product is, businesses still take steps to convince the prospective buyer or investor to invest his money in that product. One of the foremost strategies businesses adopt to carry out product or service promotion is by using a business proposal.
In this article, we will explain what a business proposal is and outline the steps you need to follow to write a business proposal that always wins.
What is a Business Proposal?
A business proposal is a document that a company or individual prepares to secure a business agreement from a prospective investor or client. The major aim of a business proposal is to sell a product or service. There are two major kinds of business proposals which include:
- Unsolicited Business Proposals – For unsolicited business proposals, you approach a potential customer with a proposal, even without their request to gain the business.
- Solicited Business Proposals – Solicited business proposals are requested by a prospective client.
Whether solicited or unsolicited, the steps for creating a proposal are very much the same.
Step 1: Prepare the Preliminary Pages
The beginning of your business proposal gives basic information about you and the company you represent. Information like your name, your company’s name, the date of submission for the proposal, name of the recipient or recipient company should all be contained on the Title Page.
Since this page is the first thing that the receiver sees, it is important to make sure it gives off an impressively proficient, yet formal appeal.
The next thing should be the table of contents showing the business prospect the areas covered in the proposal. It helps make information readily accessible and easy to navigate.
Step 2: The Executive Summary
An Executive Summary, as the name implies offers details on the purpose of the proposal, and what the prospect stands to gain, stating why the contents of your proposal are seemingly the best option for them.
Ideally, you want to start by highlighting the issues at stake – the ones you have the potential to solve. Follow through by suggesting strategies for solving the stated issues by presenting your products and services, their strengths and benefits.
Be as convincing and straight to the point as possible. Your executive summary should communicate clearly how your services are the best fit for the prospective customer’s or client’s problems.
Step 3: State the Issue or Need
At this point, you have to provide a summary of the major issues affecting the client. The aim here is to prove your understanding of the challenge for which they require help.
A lot of research is required for this part to keep yourself abreast of the situation. Your client will feel more relaxed and trusting when they get the sense that you understand the problem they are facing.
Step 4: Proffer Solutions
Well, this part becomes pretty obvious after having expressed clear knowledge of the problem. It is expected that you have a strategy in place to deal with the issue, and this is exactly what needs to be done at this point.
The solutions you propose should not be generic. You should, as much as possible, tailor these solutions to the prospective client’s specific needs and structure them according to a time frame.
Be as professional and concise as possible.
Step 5: Share your Qualifications:
Why should you be trusted with this job? Have you handled similar projects in the past?
What makes you qualified for the job?
To boost your relevance, show why you’re best suited for the job. This could include your success stories, awards or qualifications.
Step 6: State your Terms and Conditions:
What’s left to do?
At this point, you should provide details about your pricing, project timeline and payment schedules. This is essentially you stating your commitments and agreements with the client upon their acceptance of the proposal.
Also, make sure you clear the terms and conditions with your legal representative before sending the proposal to the client.
Step 7: Conclusions and Signatures
Finally, conclude with a signature space for the client to sign as proof of their commitment to the agreement. Also, include your contact information in case of further inquiries.
Make sure you go over your document, again and again, to ensure there are no errors or vague statements.
As long as you follow these steps, keeping your message clear, concise and confident, there you have it… A winning business proposal!
We wish you the best as you begin writing.
Also read: How to Identify your Writing Niche