Writing an effective business plan isn’t hard as long as you know what goes into a business proposal. If you think you don’t need one, think again. Business is naturally competitive (sorry, it’s true), and if you can write a great proposal, it could really make or break your business.
Even if you’re not at the point in your business where you’re taking on large-scale clients, start practicing now. When large companies or even government agencies are looking for sources to buy from, they will most likely post a document that outlines what they want. If you want to get the job, you need to submit a proposal.
At its core, what goes into a business proposal is easy: explain how your company will deliver what the client needs. Of course, writing one that can convince the client to hire is another.
Don’t risk losing out on potential business because your business proposal sucks.
In other words, truly understand the client and what the problem is. If you don’t take the time to do that, how on earth are you going to solve their problem?
Just because the client thinks they have a certain problem, you find out it’s actually something else. Point that out in your business proposal and letting them know you’ve actually taken the time to learn about the company will really set you apart. Sure, it may take you a bit more time to do so but the payoff will be worth it.
Doing research is as simple as talking with the potential client. Ask them questions about their current systems and how they manage the company. Even go as far as asking what they concerns are and their goals for the future of the company. Even better, see if they’re willing to talk about previous people they’ve worked with and why it didn’t work out.
Goes without saying, you also want to find out about the company and its industry, as well as some of their competitors. You can incorporate those into a proposal by showing them how you can set the client apart in their niche.
Understand What You Need
If you truly want to know what goes into a business proposal that wins a client every time, it’s making sure you know what the client requires of you. After talking with the client, review the requirements and see what the company’s goals are and how are you going to help them.
Once you’ve got that figured out, see if their timeframe and scope of work is something you can take in. If it is, think about the resources you’ll need to make it happen. If it all looks good and you are ready to take this on, now you can structure the proposal so you’ll get the job.
Writing Out the Proposal
Here’s a quick template to use to write it all out:
Company’s current situation: Write out the problem they currently have they have and what motivated them to see outside help. Use your research to help you.
Company Goals: Explain what the goals are for the company. This part will mean writing out your understanding of the company and what they really need help with.
Proposed Solution: This is where you will outline in detail the steps that you will help the company with to meet their goals. In other words, the solution.
Time and Cost: Add in this section separately to show the breakdown of a timeline and how much it’ll cost at each stage of the job. You should also add in how you will bill your client and when you expect to be paid.
Your Qualifications: Take this time to describe why you are the best person/company for the potential client. Outline what your strengths are and how you differ from others. Also, write in detail how that matches up with the client’s criteria.
How They’ll Benefit: Include here how your solutions will ultimately benefit the client.
Once you’re done writing out, make sure you check it for errors and that you’ve done everything that the client asked for and then some. This is your opportunity for a good first impression and many companies make their hires based on how good a proposal is.
That’s it. Follow the simple steps above and you’ll have more clients than you know what to do with.