A great business proposal is a determinant factor of whether your business would secure a deal or not. It describes your brand’s competency in handling a project.
It doesn’t matter whether you offer quality service or products, if your brand sucks in having a great proposal, securing a new client will be pretty difficult. This is the reason why every business must know how to prepare a solid and winning business proposal.
Whether it’s your personally-owned business or you’re just managing a business, this post will provide you with details about how to write a great business proposal. But first…
What's in this guide?
What is a Business Proposal?
A business proposal is a formal document created by a brand and sent to prospective clients to secure a job. It’s a pitch by a brand to get a new project from their client. A business proposal enables a brand to sell its service and builds its reputation.
However, there is a misconception between a business proposal and a business plan, the two are different. A business plan is a comprehensive strategy of how a business operates and makes profits while a business proposal on the other hand is a document that is used to win a job. It also helps to acquire new customers.
Also Read: How to start a thriving business in Africa
Types of business proposals
There are two main types of business proposals:
1. Solicited business proposal
A solicited business proposal is the kind of business proposal requested by prospective clients before sealing a deal together.
When a company needs to solve a problem, they request a business proposal from various brands, and they decide on the one to work with. This is why you need a winning business proposal.
2. Unsolicited business proposal
This is a kind of business proposal sent to a prospective client even though they’ve not requested it.
In this case, you only approach them with the hope of attracting their business and solving their problem. It is synonymous with cold mailing.
How to write a winning business proposal
Regardless of the type of business proposal, the procedures remain the same. When writing a business proposal, three main points must be included. The first is your client’s current problem, followed by the proposed solution, and lastly pricing information. Below is a guide on how to write a winning business proposal for your business.
1. Start with a title page
A good business proposal should always start with a title page where you convey some basic information about your business.
The following information should be on your title page: your name, your company’s name, the name of the client you are submitting the proposal to, and the date of submission.
Ensure you incorporate professionalism when writing your title page, and make it more appealing. For example “Software development proposal. Prepared for: xxx, Created by: XXXX”
2. Table of contents
This should follow immediately after the title page. You need to make your proposal simple and unique for your clients. They need to have an insight into what your business proposal covers and this is what the table of contents does.
Also, if it would be submitted electronically, it’s important to make the table of contents clickable for easy look and navigation by your ideal clients.
3. Executive summary
The executive summary talks about the reason why you are sending the proposal, and why you think you are the best fit for the job. You need to be specific here, no long epistles. Introducing your brand with a great executive summary is very important before you can win any job.
Let them know what your business entails, the benefits of your services, and a clear idea of how you can help them. E.g “ We help landowners connect freely with their buyer……”
4. State the client’s problem or needs
The next after the executive summary is to state the client’s problem, you give a summary of the problem being encountered by your client. This will allow you to present yourself as the only solution to their existing needs.
It’s important to do thorough research here so that you can present the perfect solution to the problem. For instance, if the proposal is for software development, ensure you know and research what they want to get out of it.
5. Present the solution
This is where you present a plan of action for resolving the issue. You must be specific in this stage, as you did in the previous sections.
Make sure your suggested course of action is tailored to the client’s requirements so they are aware that you have written the proposal just for them. Inform them of the deliverables you’ll offer, the techniques you’ll employ, and the deadline for the job to be completed.
6. Share your qualification
This section is solely for the client to trust that you will deliver. Share your qualifications in the proposal, and let them know the skills you possess, your years of experience, certification, relevant education, and even a case study of similar projects.
7. Schedule and benchmark
This is where you tell your clients how long the project will take. Be clear and positive, however, never promise what you know is impossible, it will make them lose their trust in your brand.
If you are offering a product, this section might not apply to you, feel free to omit it.
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8. The pricing option and legal terms
The pricing option is a little bit tricky. It is very important to always refer to your “request for proposal” from the client so that you can have a grasp of how much the client is willing to spend – as you won’t want to under or over-price your products and service.
You can also provide a fee option for your clients with an optional fee table.
Another thing about this aspect is some legal terms and conditions for the project. If there’s any permit or license required, this is where you talk about it. However, you can input this in a separate section if need be.
9. Summary with a conclusion
This is the section where you give the benefit of why you should be chosen. It is a recap of the whole proposal and the way you’d serve as the best choice.
Here, you can put your contact information, for easy follow-up.
10. Space for signature
Include a space for the clients to sign and give a brief explanation of what they are agreeing to when they sign.
A business proposal is very important when you are offering a product or service to another firm. It helps to present you as an expert in the field.
However, drafting a good business proposal is not child’s play and is why many businesses fail to secure a deal. With the guide above, you can be sure to write a great business proposal for any project.