Before we delve into the subject, what is a business proposal? A business proposal is simply an official document that is used to offer particular services or goods to target consumers at a specific, detailed cost. They’re mostly used by contractual or B2B organizations to win new business contracts and are either unsolicited or solicited. Good business proposals do have an executive summary, specific project details, and the client’s details. Check here for some tips that can be very helpful.
Now, let’s discuss the steps for an effective business proposal.
steps for an effective business proposal
Before starting any Business proposal, make sure you know all about your client. The mode of operation of the client’s business and also all details you can garner for yourself in the limited time you have to submit. With all these pieces of information, your proposal would be much more accepted. This, therefore, makes you place all key elements in the proposal, and in the end, make an effective proposal to strike a major deal. Here are some of the key questions that must be answered by you before you begin to write that proposal;
- Who are the buyers to the company? Always consider, if there are alternative buyers to the company. Most times the people you do meet may not be the people who make the final decisions.
- What is the company’s edge in the market? Make sure you research thoroughly on the company’s competition to know their gaps or their weaknesses. You can do field research and ask the client about their experiences using either the services or goods in a recent time period. Identify the weak points and how it can be solved by including such solutions in the business proposal.
- How much is the budget? Make sure to ask your client if they do have a target budget in mind. With this question answered, the acceptance of your business proposal would be easy.
- Is there any deadline whatsoever? You’ll have to know if there are any end dates for production or services as relative to revenue generation. This would help you out in pinpointing the timeframe.
- What’s the cost of the proposal if it is accepted? Make sure to calculate the cost when you begin production. Also, estimate the total revenue that’ll be generated in a specific period of time.
Explain project goals and scope
All businesses have a goal and this is key for a business proposal. Make sure not to include gibberish or write technical words, keep it simple and articulate. This helps to give a detailed framework when making your proposal. You can state the company’s goals either in the executive summary or introduction of your business proposal.
Know the estimated value of costs and labor
Most times this is what a client would want to see, rather than reading from the beginning of the proposal to the end. 85% of clients who read business proposals would like to know how much the other party is charging his or her company as pertaining the purchase of goods or services. Generally, there is a simple formula that most businesses use to estimate the value of labor costs; for example, if a project is estimated at 12 hours, write it in the business proposal as 18 hours. Now you might ask why the overestimation? This is because most projects have their hindrances and writing this extra time would help you meet up with any fallouts you may experience when the project is being executed.
Draft the business proposal
This is the moment you’ll have to write down all the findings in a document. Most times, business proposals have a loose formula, which starts with an introduction, body, and conclusion.
- Introduction: Explain the company’s mission and introduce the company in a clear language here. You can start by giving a brief story about your company, this would help to create trust.
- Executive summary: here is an important section in a business proposal. This is where you’ll have to win the client, it’s more like giving out your selling points. Make sure to summarize less and giving the concrete facts at the end of this section. Make sure to write in persuasive direct facts.
- Table of contents (this isn’t compulsory): this is very helpful if you have longer proposals.
- Body: All you have to do here is to outline the details of your business proposal. This is where to answer all relevant questions as needed by the client. I call it the “business factors” of the “who, how, when, why and when of a proposal.
- Conclusion: All you have to do here is to write out a call to action that encourages the client to begin the contract as quickly as possible.
- Appendix (this isn’t compulsory): Here, you can include additional graphs, projections, testimonials from customers, and resumes.
To conclude it all, when writing a business proposal, the first thing to have in mind is to think exactly like the client. Have the same psychology as them, especially when it relates to cost and how their company can progress if they did accept your proposal.