Perhaps you’re planning to start a new business, or you’ve just started one and wondering whether you need a business proposal. Well, according to studies, writing a business proposal is one of the most important steps for anyone willing to run a successful business. Of course, every business has its own set of challenges, especially with today’s tough economic times. However, with a well-crafted proposal, you will always be in a position to win your clients and secure funds for your business growth.
What is a business proposal?
A business proposal refers to a document that is sent to potential customers, convincing them why your products or services are the best and more beneficial than the competitors. In other words, it helps persuade and convince individuals, businesses, or companies to do business with you. More than often, a business proposal has been known to be effective in bridging the gap between a business person and their potential clients.
Two types of business proposals
A business proposal can either exists as formally solicited or unsolicited.
This is a type of business proposal where an individual (business owner) receives a request from a prospective client. In such cases, the business owner knows all the requirements and information about the buyer. Therefore, he/she simply writes the proposal in an attempt to respond to the client’s official request for a proposal.
2. Unsolicited business proposal
Unlike the solicited proposal, where the client approaches the business owner, the unsolicited proposal works the other way round. Here, the business person approaches a client with hopes of attracting him/her to their business. Note that with the unsolicited proposal, there is no explicit RFP from the client.
From the two comparisons, the solicited proposals are easy to sell than the unsolicited. This is because the client already has a decision that they want to make a purchase or use your service. Therefore, they only want you to send your proposal just to reaffirm their thoughts.
How to write an engaging business proposal
Well, you might have the entire business proposal conceptualized in your mind, but putting it down in writing can be easier said than done. If you find yourself wondering where to start with your proposal, the following guide will help you through it.
Begin with a title page
While it sounds pretty obvious for any write-up to begin with a title, a business proposal not only need a basic title but rather a compelling one. By introducing your proposal with a compelling title, you allow your clients to open and read the entire document. Some of the most crucial elements that shouldn’t miss in your title page include your name and that of your company/business, date of proposal submission, and name of your prospective client.
Create a table of content
After the introductory page, you now need to create a table of the content page. This page lets your reader understand precisely what’s included in the proposal. It’s also advisable to write a clickable table of content should you send your proposal electronically. This improves not only readability but also navigation.
Add an executive summary
An executive summary highlights in detail the contents of your business proposal. Further, it explains the value of the products or services you are offering, stating why you are the best in the region. Alongside this, the executive summary also explains to your clients how your products/services will offer a perfect solution to their problems. Make this part easy to read and to understand as it plays a crucial role in convincing your clients. Lastly, make sure you include other relevant information that might be of interest to your clients. These may include your objectives, visions, future plans, among others.
Here, you’ll have to convince your clients that you are aware of the problems they are facing and ready to address them. Therefore, ensure you do your research and identify common issues impacting your potential clients. As a golden rule, be precise with the problems; otherwise, you risk being irrelevant. The good thing with understanding your client’s problems is that they’ll gain trust in you. This eventually will lead to the growth of your business.
Propose a solution
Despite the problems faced by your clients, they are often hopeful that through your business, some light will finally be seen at the end of the tunnel. They need somebody that will offer a ray of hope. Therefore, having this in mind, after identifying some issues facing your clients, you need to go the extra mile to find solutions. Look for better strategies that will provide a customized solution to your clients’ needs. Let them know you created the solution only for them. And in so doing, your business proposal will be effective on its objectives.
Share your qualifications
In as much as you may have the solution at hand, some clients may be reluctant to buy your ideas. They may want more proof of trust. Because it’s your job to convince them that you are the rightful person to fix their problems, it’s important you share your qualifications. For instance, you can show them previous case studies of satisfied clients or any accreditations, awards, or certificates relating to the proposal.
Indicate pricing options
Here, you need to indicate the prices of your products or services to your clients. Plus, indicate the payment terms, schedules, and methods accepted. Avoid overpricing as it may scare off your clients. At the same time, don’t underprice your commodities.
Clarify your terms and conditions
Here, you need to make it clear to your clients about the project timeline, payments, and any other legal agreements binding your business. If possible, you can contact a lawyer to help you out in these sections.
Free business proposal templates
If you want a quick and easier way of writing your business proposal, please go ahead and download our free templates. While this article provides you with an in-depth understanding of what’s needed for a business proposal, our templates make it easier for you to understand the format of a business proposal. Remember, a business proposal can either make or break the chances of getting your new clients. Therefore, you have to do everything possible to make your business relevant and attractive to customers.
Writing a compelling business proposal majorly depends on how well you understand your buyers as well as how you position yourself as someone who can address their problems. Once you’ve kept these two at the back of your mind, be assured that everything will work as planned. Therefore, if you want to upgrade your business to new heights, start now by downloading our free business proposal templates.