Some weeks ago I received a call from a friend of mine, asking me how he should go about writing a business proposal. I giggled a bit before responding, because I felt he ought to be able to draft a proposal by himself at this stage of his business, but then it dawned on me, one can’t know it all. Most times in life we aspire and crave for the bigger things, forgetting the fact that the bits and pieces make the greater things in life. Now, let’s go back to the business proposal.
The essence of a business proposal, the focal point of a business proposal leans more towards your client than to you as a person. In business proposal writing, 99.9% of the opinion that counts is that of the clients (customer). A good business proposal should answer the client’s questions and explain in details the benefits of your approach and enunciate with vital reasons why the customer should select yours or why yours should be first amongst equal. A business proposal is more of an art; it’s the art of perfecting your understanding of your client, putting down words from a client’s perspective.
Proposals should have a clear description of what service the client expects you to perform, a clear description of your own pricing and other vital guidelines. You should provide the background of the business and a history of its evolution, include the vision and mission statement, and provide a thorough description of the products and services offered. Proposals should look professional compared to spoken agreements.
Here are simple tips that cover all the bases in writing a business proposal:
Make It Brief (Keep It Short)
Long proposals can be boring and tiring; in the business world time is of the essence so nobody wants to read lengthy proposals. Keep your writing style short to the point of being crisp. Make your points brief and concise. The length of a business proposal is not the major ingredient; the key here is answering all the client’s questions.
Use An Appendix
Appendixes are supplementary materials that are collected and appended at the back of an article or document. If you must support your proposal with additional documents put it in an appendix.
In your business proposal describing the business operations is a vital part that cannot be overlooked. It comes in two forms, products or services. If you are into product, describe how your products are sold and if you render services, describe how your services are delivered. This enables the client to have a precise description of the business, how it is run and what you can offer.
A business description is an essential part in a business proposal; it shows the workflow, the blueprint and the development of the business. It provides a concrete description of the business, its legal structure (if it’s a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or a joint venture), location, date of establishment and any other necessary information which will give the client a clear picture of the business.
Write Your Terms
This is a major part of any business proposal, because this area covers a list of all the things you charge extra for, like cargo, taxes and other services. You should also add any guarantees, refund options, payment due dates (time of delivery) and timelines. In this section you have to be detailed as possible, just in case the need arises for these terms and guarantees to be enforced. Terms are viable because they can be used as legal reference.
Well this is a show flow or format on how a business proposal should look; make sure you have sufficient information on your client and can answer in your proposal all the questions he might have, and that proposal will become a tool that will take you to your expected end.