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Craft a Business Proposal That No One Will Reject

Entrepreneurship
Nov 19, 2016

Craft a Business Proposal That No One Will Reject 

Business proposals are an important part of entrepreneurship and wealth-building. They can clinch business deals and build revenue.

Nowadays, entrepreneurs have become more creative with their business proposals - they use more imagery and better stories to convey what their companies can do for prospective clients.

In this article, I will show you how to create a stellar proposal and win more business... But first let's start with...

Why you need a business proposal

A business proposal is the first piece of communication that goes out to a company looking to use your services. Sometimes, the company clearly knows what it's looking for and asks you to develop a proposal to address a certain problem or service they need. This is called a 'request for proposal' or RFP.

At other times, a proposal can be used to reach out to new companies and look at probable collaborations in the future. Either way, your business proposal reflects your enterprise and everything that it stands for.

But don't confuse a business proposal with a business plan...

The terms business plan and business proposal are sometimes confused and used interchangeably. But the two have completely different meanings.

A business plan is developed to understand a company's future plans and growth trajectory. It includes the current business model, expansion plans, funding needs, and the company's ability to scale and make an impact. It works as a roadmap for employees internally as well as for future investors externally.

You can read more about business plans in the Indipreneur Launchpad Course... A whole lesson has been dedicated to it in the course. In fact, it also has a ready business plan template for you...all you need to do is add your company details to it. To know more about the course, click here.

Business proposals, on the other hand, are used to garner more business and attract new clients. By their very nature, they are expected to talk more about 'what we can do for you' rather than 'what we are doing.' The focus here is always on how your enterprise can make a difference to the client's business.

What a Business Proposal Should Cover

  • Your company's vision-mission: Briefly state your company's goals and values. This will set the tone for what follows.
  • The client's problem statement: Next, describe the client's business problem and your assessment of it. This will show how you plan to address the needs of the client.
  • The proposed solution: Here, highlight your key offerings and explain how each can be used to solve different business issues of the client. For this, research everything about the client, understand the gaps in the organisation, and how your enterprise can help fill those.
  • The differentiator: Bring out what your company does differently, and why the client should consider your proposal over the others. These could be factors like, your company's competitive pricing, advanced technology, timely delivery, employee strength... Basically any information that makes the client more confident about using your services.
  • Testimonials: Mention previous success stories, endorsements or positive feedback from clients, and any awards or recognitions. They are a good way of building credibility, and add more weight to the proposal.
  • Industry best practices: Research on the client's company and the general happenings in that industry. This way you will be able to provide more relevant solutions to the client. For example, if your prospective client is not following certain industry best practices, that his competition is already using effectively, you can recommend those to him.
  • Estimated timeframe for the job: Project certain timelines for the proposed project and its delivery... This shows the client that timely work will take place.
  • Approximate pricing: If the proposal is specific, then a breakup of the costs can be worked out. If the proposal is generic, an approximate costing for the different jobs can be given.
  • Request a call to action: Once all of the above is done, ask the client for a meeting to discuss the proposal further or ask if they have any further queries and need more details.
  • Say thank you: Sign off by thanking the client for taking out time to go through the proposal.
Common Sense Living India

Tips to Keep In Mind While Writing a Proposal

  1. Remember it's about them, not you: You may be tempted to write reams about your company and its achievements, but remember a proposal is always about the client and not about you. It should instead 'sell the benefits' you can offer the client.
  2. Tell a story, not just facts: Storytelling always works. If you have success stories from the past - maybe interesting ways you cracked a solution for another client - bring them out and use them in your proposal effectively.
  3. Customise for every new client: Your proposal should not look like a copy-paste job. If there are no personalized elements for the client's industry or company, be sure he's going to trash it without a second glance.
  4. Reiterate important points: There's a common belief for proposals and presentations that you can't stress the important points enough. So highlight salient features as many times as you can.
  5. Focus on language: The heart of proposal writing is in the writing. Thus, structure your language to suit your client's needs, and bring out how an association with you will only benefit them.
  6. Share your ideas: People hesitate to give too many ideas to a client who is still not on board. But don't refrain from sharing your solutions with the client, as that's the only gauge of your expertise. Whether he partners with you or not, your job is to give the proposal as much innovation as you can.
  7. Keep the size compact: A proposal should be smooth-flowing, easy-to-read and time-efficient. If it's too long, the client may put it away without reading it, and if it's too short, he may think you haven't put enough thought into it. To solve this problem, use one simple philosophy: Give him the size of proposal that you yourself will enjoy reading.

Editor's Note: Did you think this article on business proposals was useful? Did it give you a new perspective on writing your own? Well, I've created a whole course for you to help your business grow. A short course of 21 days only... But by the end of it, you will gain more ideas, more know-how and more confidence to take your business to new heights.

If you're in business already you'll be soaring ahead, if you're just starting out, you'll get clearer strategies on how to launch. Either way, you're going to enjoy the course... And not to mention, it has a full 30-Day refund policy. So test the course for 21 days and if it doesn't work for you, we'll refund the money back, no questions asked. To know more about the Indipreneur Launchpad Course, click here.

Image Source: docstockmedia/Shutterstock.com

 
 

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2 Responses to "Craft a Business Proposal That No One Will Reject"

Alok Kumar Jha

22 Nov, 2016

Business proposals offering win-win situation for partners naturally attract attention.  Your article highlights certain common sense points which so often get missed.  Thanks for thinking over and presenting in a checklist form.  Overall a nice and useful article.

S.K.Mandal.

20 Nov, 2016

The guideline explained is really a great helpful presentation on the cited subject. It is needless to mention that your ideas are very useful & supportive. Regards.

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