Creating a business proposal is an integral part of selling to new clients or raising money for your company. While it may feel daunting at first, creating a business proposal can be easy and fun! Here are some tips to help you create your very own proposal.
Business proposals play an important role in the sales process. The seller will typically start with a short cover letter that introduces them and their product/service. Then they will include a brief summary of the services being offered and what makes these services better than the competition. This is followed by a detailed cost list and then a longer section talking about how and where the products or services can be used.
The final stage consists of a more elaborate argument as to why people should buy the service or product. These benefits usually focus on improving the subject’s performance in their job, saving time, enhancing quality, etc. A lot of sellers also use parallel arguments, which emphasize the similarities between yourself and the person receiving the offer.
By using this structure, you give a clear picture of what the service is and what it does. You also clearly state whether others are offering similar services and if not, why yours is better. All of this helps promote trust and creates a good feeling for the buyer.
Creating a business proposal is more than just writing about what you are offering and selling. It’s outlining your proposal, putting together a step-by-step process, and then marketing your product or service.
That’s where things can get tricky for some.
Many people start planning their proposal but forget the rest of the steps, particularly the market analysis which is one of the most important parts. Or they launch into the description section without first defining what they will write!
Both of these problems can be avoided if you do your preplanning up front. That way, you’ll know what you need to do next!
So how does that look?
Well, I have put together an easy 5 step plan for you to follow along with as we dive in more deeply tomorrow.
But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let me give you a quick preview so you can take notes now! 🙂
Preview: The Key Components Of A Business Plan
Here are all five components of a business proposal: topic, goal, audience, action, result. You should include at least the topic, goal, and action part in every business proposal you draft.
The result may vary depending on the nature of your proposal, but always include the necessary components to make your message clear and persuasive.
Now, let’s get deeper into each component by talking about exactly what makes up each part.
After you have gathered all of your needed materials, it is time to write and edit your business proposal. The first thing to do is take some time to organize what information you have in order to make sure everything is clear.
You do not need to include every detail about your product or service, but making sure your points are clearly understood can help ensure the reader does not get confused.
Once that is done, start writing!
Most people begin with introductions which describe who you are and what your company offers. Then comes a short summary of your product or service and its benefits. Following this, you must list the steps involved in using your product or service before signing up as a customer.
Your final section should be the cost of the product or service, how much money you will keep for yourself and their return policy.
Even if you’re not very business savvy, you can create a simple proposal that still looks impressive. But before doing so, you must get some formal input or critique.
Getting quality feedback is one of the most important things you can do for your business project.
By having these meetings, you will find out what features look good and why, as well as ways to improve or revamp them.
You should also learn how to address potential criticisms such as “This isn’t elaborate enough” or “The style is too casual.”
Instead of being hard-working and creative, your image could be that of someone who doesn’t take his job seriously. If this makes you feel uncomfortable, then don’t force yourself to do something you don’t want to do.
Instead, ask people about their opinions and see where it takes you.
Between business proposals, negotiations, and closing deals, timing is key! If you are too quick to offer your services, people will feel pressured to accept them. On the other hand, if you take too long to get into details, they will give up because there isn’t much incentive for them to hire you.
Your potential clients may not be as interested in hiring you at this moment, so don’t make it seem like more of an urgent matter than what it really is. Depending on their schedule, you can send off a brief proposal and then follow-up with a longer one or two weeks later.
If possible, try to do some research and determine whether these are good opportunities before investing your time and energy into them. Try reading through their websites and doing some searches to see if anything comes up about complaints or negative reviews.
As mentioned before, proposing is an intimate process that should be done with care. If you are not sure what to do, you can always ask someone for help! There are many ways to create a business proposal, so don’t feel like you need to tackle this piece of work by yourself!
The most important thing about creating a business proposal is choosing your partners wisely. You want to make sure they will support you in this effort, as well as use their own time to ensure it goes smoothly.
Make sure to check out all of the documents they have created before (such as proposals) to see how they structured things. You also want to make sure they aren’t being asked to do something illegal or unethical.
Testing your business proposal is an excellent way to ensure that it contains everything you want it to look like and function well for its audience. Your recipients can be more objective when testing your proposal, as they are not involved in creating it.
Test your proposal by looking at it yourself or having someone else do so. Also, there are many free resources available where you can test your proposal style and format.
Some of these sites have you create an example proposal and then make changes to see what would work best for you. The only cost is accessing the resource which may include viewing one of their proposals or buying a plan package.
Now that you have done some of the hard work, it is time to actually present your business proposal to someone!
When presenting your business proposal, make sure your message is clear and straightforward. Try not to get too flowery or worded unless you are very comfortable writing.
The more concise you are, the better! Sometimes people may find your proposals overly formal or complicated. If this happens, try to be less verbose and simpler in your language.
Remember, if you over-elaborate on your proposal, then no one will take you seriously and will likely choose another option.
After your proposal is finished, the next step should be to follow up with the recipient of the proposal. This can be done in person or via email, depending on how close you feel connected to the other party!
When leaving the meeting, make sure to leave with an action plan and/or ask if there is anything else they need from you. If the answer is “no”, then back out of the meeting gracefully and send them your proposal!
If you are asked about the proposal or what it contained, emphasize the benefits of the product or service and keep it focused on the services or products that they received during the proposal.