It may be necessary, sometimes, to write a business proposal. This is a document that a seller may be required to send to a potential customer. Not every possible client will look for one, of course, but when they do, you need to be ready. And it’s fair to say that this type of request isn’t often met with the greatest enthusiasm (secretly, of course).
“It’s been great chatting business with you.”
“You too, I hope we can help, just let me know.”
“I’m sure you can. Send me a proposal in the next few days.”
It’s with that last line that many hearts sink. The deal looks done, but suddenly it hinges on a business proposal. And it’s you that has to do it!
Of course, big businesses will have personnel dedicated to proposals. But in many smaller operations, that may not be the case. It’s all on you. And you may have never put together an official proposal before.
So how do you go about producing an effective sales or business proposal.
Know Your Potential Customer
Before you put your fingers to the keyboard, you need to know everything there is to know about your potential customer, and exactly what they are looking for. If you are going to provide the solution, then you need to know exactly what is needed. Not understanding the client’s needs at this stage will produce only one result: failure to secure the contract.
Structure Your Business Proposal
Like most formal documents, or indeed any writing at all, a business proposal requires a logical structure which can help the reader access the relevant information quickly.
And there is no need to reinvent the wheel.
In summary, there are three essential components to your proposal, as follows:
- Detail about who you are, and your relevant experience.
- An obvious and clear understanding of what is needed by the client. Offer up your practical solution, detailing how you will achieve this.
- Pricing and delivery details.
These are the three elements to your business proposal that must absolutely be there. Structures may vary, but these are the core elements.
Here, then, is a suggested structure for your business proposal, based on countless previous successful examples:
- Title page
Make it visually engaging.
- Cover letter
Make the approach that little less formal and little more personable by addressing the client directly with a cover letter which effectively introduces the formal proposal. Mention any previous relationship or engagement here.
- Table of contents
Make sure the receiver can follow your proposal and navigate easily between sections with a clear table of contents.
This section sets out what will be found within, touching upon the background of your organization and the offerings provided, directly linking to the requirement. You are setting the scene for the…
Here is the key element to your business proposal. What, exactly, is the problem/challenge/requirement that the customer needs addressing, and how, exactly, will you solve it? Give details of your method (including technical details), personnel (with relevant expertise) and timeframe.
Leave no room for ambiguity. Detail the whys, wheres and whens of costs and delivery schedule.
- About the company
You may (and should) have covered this briefly in the summary, but now you can delve into more detail into the ins and outs of your company, including history, and information about similar solutions you have offered. You could even include a case study here of a previously (successful) delivery.
- Agreement, featuring all terms and conditions
This part is a little more contractual in its content. Get an attorney to help you here if you are unsure.
Use Tools to Help You
When it comes to producing an effective business proposal, you are not alone. Indeed, any writing you need to produce can be supported by using a writing tool, and Linguix has plenty to offer.
As well as providing a number of useful templates that can be availed of to help produce all manner of business, education-related and personal texts, there is the snippets feature which allows you to allocate a shortcode to useful text you have previously written – a click of a button will allow you to insert it whenever and wherever you need.
And of course, with Linguix you can rely upon a powerful writing assistant that will not only identify grammatical, structural and spelling mistakes in your text, but will also offer practical suggestions regarding how to fix these mistakes. By selecting the style and audience for your writing in the Linguix online tool itself, you can also ensure that your text is suitable for your target.
Fear not. Producing an effective business proposal need not be as difficult as you may have at first imagined. Use a clear and established structure, and then let Linguix guide you in all your writing needs.