Once you start a business the most important thing you need to do is reach your potential customers. To approach your customers the right way, you need to know how to write a business proposal. Asking someone to choose you can be a little intimidating. Business proposals ‘are directed’ to convince your probable clients to work with you. A winning business proposal claims to your client that you are the perfect fit to work with them.
A perfect Business proposal requires you to effectively communicate the reasons you are the best fit. It is one of the ways to communicate with your potential client. In short, clients use business proposals to lay a stronger claim to serve their customers.
Normally writing a business proposal can be very intimidating. You can easily get overwhelmed with so much information that you will get confused about where to start.
In today’s market business proposals hold a very important position as it gives potential customers. Entrepreneurs spend hours trying to figure out the correct combination to unlock more customers. You are in the right place to get you started up and running with writing business proposals.
What is a business proposal?
A business proposal is a document used by B2B companies to secure work. The seller makes the document to persuade buyers in buying their goods and services. Individuals or businesses send out business proposals as a response to a specific job project or service need.
It is sort of like a sales pitch or a sales presentation. You have to explain why you are the best person for the job to the buyer. A good business proposal includes detailed information of the quality of service you are offering. It will also consist of how you will approach and complete the task. Most importantly the business proposal will consist of an estimation of the cost to complete the work.
Types of business proposal
In order to seek any goods or services organizations ask for the submission of bids. It’s called a request for proposal or RFP. The RFP consists of the bidding process, terms and guides. Companies issue RFP’s to get the lowest possible bid to get the job done.
On the basis of RFP’s a business, the proposition can be of two types. Solicited and unsolicited.
A solicited business proposal means the bidder has been individually asked to submit the proposal by the client. Solicited proposals are generally easier to write. Because you know what the customer wants. So you can make your bid that our plays others.
On the other hand, if you are trying to attract clients by sending out business proposals inspite of not no requisition. in this case its called an unsolicited business proposal. Entrepreneurs send these out to generate leads. Likewise, they Create a new customer base for your company. It can be a bit hard to write uncollated business proposals because you have no information to go with. You will have to do your own background research on your client. Then you have to devise your own proposal that will persuade the client is subscribing to your services.
What is the purpose of a business proposal
You may also include Previous experience and success story if applicable. It will help you further extra edge over your competitors.
How to write a business proposal in 6 easy steps
1. Gather all the info you need
Whenever an opportunity of any business is available don’t try to rush. You may become overwhelmed seeing the task if you approach it in a hurry. You got to approach the project with a bit of time in your hands. To craft a business proposal good enough to bag the job you need to do your background research on your potential clients business. Including some key elements will increase your chances of getting accepted.
To make things look easy from a client’s perspective you got to understand their situation first. Imagine yourself from the client’s shoes. Make sure you have a good understanding of their problem. Your business proposal should ensure that you have the appropriate knowledge to carry out the project. Demonstrate your ability and the benchmark you can achieve in your project proposal.
Add your relevant work experience to the project proposal. Pitch your past projects as a benchmark to show evidence of your capabilities. Try to be realistic on what you can mindfully achieve. Keep in mind the costs as it is a very vital role in the project.
Use the 3P’s model to design your business proposal
- Problem statement
- Proposed solution
While you start to brainstorm while gathering information start with these three key sections. You will be able to get done with a structure quickly. Once you got a primary idea in your hand you can proceed forward by going in-depth.
Before you start working on your initial sales pitch we recommend you to schedule a meeting with your team. Make sure both you and your customer are in the same wavelength. If your project proposal doest have enough references that you understand their demands you may get rejected. So answer some key questions before you start working
Who are your buyers?
The person you met maybe an associate of the client or the client himself. Try to get an idea of their decision-making process. Try to get an idea of their expertise level.
What is the pain point?
Ask questions about the experience of the client with similar products or services. Try to identify potential competition as well if possible. Try to identify how choosing you can be a better option for them.
Is there a budget?
You should also try to know if there is a budget for the project. If so you must this after while analysing your cost for the project. If the profit margin is not enough there is no reason to waste your energy.
Is there a deadline?
Many companies have internal deadlines in order to hit production up and running.
What is the best solution to the problem?
Determine which of your offerings will suit the buyer’s problem based on their what they need, their buying schedule, their pain points etc.
What are your costs if the proposal is accepted?
Estimate the costs of labour materials and transport services you might need to offer the buyers upon acceptance of the proposal.
Include a rough estimation of these certain parameters in the first draft of your business proposal.
3. Define Project Objectives & Scope
The scope of a project refers to the work that needs to be completed to satisfy the client’s needs. The first thing to do after outlining your project scope is to define the objective of your business proposal. This way you will never lose your grip on the reason you are writing this proposal.
Business Proposal Writing
It’s easy to get submerged in all the factors you have to keep in mind while starting to work. Follow these simple questions to avoid too much confusion:
- 1. Who will do the work?
- 2. What other resources will you need?
- 3. How will you approach the work?
- 4. Why should they hire you?
- 5. When will you finish?
- 6. How much will everything cost?
The answers to these questions will make up the bulk of the proposal. So if you can figure them out, in the beginning, your job will be easier. Here is Business proposal sample
3. Estimate the cost for the project
Once you have figured out the outline and how you will execute the project scope and objectives you have to figure out the estimated cost of the project. First, you must figure out is how much will it cost you to carry out the whole project.
You can add up the cost of all supplies you will need. Also, calculate estimated time and the labour cost that may incur to carry out the whole project. A good method is to multiply the whole costing by 1.5 in case of any unexpected twist.
Once you have done all the calculation of project costing, it’s time to decide your profit margin. Do some markets research on the basis of the industry you are in.
4. What should be included in a business proposal
Business proposals may differ based on types of work and client specification. But these basic elements of a business proposal are necessary for every business proposal regardless of the specifications:
Include a title page in your document that introduces your business to the client. Keep the presentation neat and tidy too, so a good impression is created about your business.
Instead of you approaching directly to the client for business write a cover letter. Introduce your business to the client. Write the cover letter keeping in mind the preference and specifications of the client. Pass your message in a friendly and positive tone.
Make an overview of the whole proposal giving your reader(potential future client) a complete overview of your document that’s easily scalable. It enables readers to easily navigate through and jump to his desired section fast. In case of a PDF try adding links so the reader can directly jump to his desired page.
The proposed solution
This is the part where you show your client what you can do for him. Where is the problem and how you can fill up this gap? Give a somewhat descriptive form of how you are going to solve your customer’s problems so your customer may fully understand from it.
Service and methodology
In this section, you are going to address in fine details how you are going to address your clients needs. You also have to go into details so your potential customer can fully understand what he can get out of you and your organization. Also, draw a timeline of how much time you will need to bring your proposal to life.
Why hire us
Use this section as an opportunity to sell your business to your client. Make it clear to your client why your services and solutions set you apart from your competitors. Include your experiences of working in similar projects. Give them references for a few of your previous customers and people you have worked with. You may also provide positive testimonials you have achieved from you’re previous Experiences.
This section is to let your client know how much will it cost to put your proposal into action and what you expect the return to be. It’s important to keep the cost balanced. Summarize all the costs in a pricing table. Because this single parameter may be responsible whether you get to serve your client or not.
Terms and condition:
This is section represents what your client can expect from you and your business by agreeing to your proposal. Here you also set your expected delivery and payment dates.
Agreement and call to action
Include this section as a gentle call to attention where you can also add a section where the client can formally agree to your proposal.
One of the most important thing about a business proposal is the presentation. Clients are more likely to read a nicely designed document rather than a pain one.
5. Edit and proofread your proposal
Make sure your proposal is as error-free as possible. Read and re-read it for grammatical mistakes and typos. Proofread the document with the help of a second person to look for mistakes. Many plugins are available that can help you make the document mistake-free.
You should also make sure the language of your proposal is simply clear and Concise. Keep your proposal free from jargon and technical terms. Extend the length of the proposal so much that it can
6. Send out your business proposal
Mostly you will have to send your proposal through e-mail. But some businesses have their own submission process. To make sure it’s the winning business proposal make sure who receives it. Make sure everyone has to information about your proposal. Try to gain feedback from the people in charge
Difference between business plan and business proposal
A business plan describes in details how a new business is going to achieve a goal. A business plan includes a detailed written plan for Marketing, financial and operational viewpoint. A business plan’s goal is to attract investment to your idea.
On the other hand, a business proposal is a written document sent to a prospective client to secure a deal with him. It is a sales pitch made by businesses to strike a deal with another business.
The most important difference between a business plan and a business proposal is that a business plan is a written presentation of fact. On the other side, a business proposal is a price quote and a call to action.
How to send an unsolicited proposal
An unsolicited proposal is a written application for a new innovation or idea submitted by an agency to obtain a new contract or orders from potential customers. You can also use the solicited proposal template for the unsolicited document as well. But as it’s a derivative of what he wants to try to use your creativity in creating the document.
If the agency you are offering your innovation is already overwhelmed with proposals you will have to compete. Make the title as attractive as possible so the authority reads and thinks about your proposal.
Include a statement for the client’s problems and the solution for how you can provide them. Include a quotation of how much money it will cost and how much time is needed to provide the solution.
Also, explain in brief how your solution can be a better choice than the existing one the client is availing. Provide facts and concrete evidence in your statement. Keep your document short, clear and concise.