How to Create a Business Proposal

Do you want to expand your business? Do you want to learn how to create a business proposal and get investors to partner with you? If your answer is yes, then continue reading, because in this post I am going to guide you on how to create a business proposal that will enable you to partner with investors, governments, corporations and conglomerate which will enable you to expand your business.

Writing a good business proposal is the key to expanding your business with quality relationships. However, writing a business proposal can be sometime a little bit tricky. A business proposal helps you to promote your business and source for funds. So, to learn how to create a business proposal you have to pay really attention to this article, because I will be stipulating the various formula and steps to take in writing a business proposal.

While writing a business proposal, you are advised to keep the details honest and be straightforward. Once you have learned how to write a good business proposal, you will then need a system for managing them. So not to waste much of your time, I have stipulated several steps to take on how to create a business proposal and they are as follows;

Gather the Information You Need

The first step on how to create a business proposal is to gather the information you need. When a hot business opportunity becomes available, you may feel pressure to get your proposal sent over as soon as possible. While you certainly want to send it sooner than later, it is very important to take some time to learn about the client and the project first, the information you have gathered about the client and the project will help you to craft a proposal that is more likely to be accepted by investors and potential clients.

Outline the Scope of the Project

The second step on how to create a business proposal is to outline the scope of the project. Before you start typing out the proposal itself, it is very important to take a moment to reflect on the project. In this step you are required to answer some questions which are very essential for the success of your business proposal. In this section you have to answer questions such as “who, what, where, how, when, and why.”

In “Who” ask and answer questions like; who will do the work? Who will manage the work? Who does the customer call if there is a problem?

In “What” ask and answer questions like; what needs to be done? What needs to be delivered? What will be required to do it? What can the customer expect? What will it cost?

In “Where” ask and answer questions like; where will the work be done? Where will it be delivered?

In “When” ask and answer questions like; when will you start? When will key milestones be scheduled? When will the project be complete? When is payment due?

In “How” ask and answer questions like; how will the work be done? How will it be deployed? How will it be managed? How will you achieve quality assurance and customer satisfaction? How will risks be mitigated? How long will it take? How will the work benefit the customer?

In “Why” ask and answer questions like; why have you chosen the approaches and alternatives you have selected? Why should the customer select you?

Your ability to ask and answer those questions is the key to your business proposal success. Writing these questions out and providing the answers will give you a head start on your business proposal, since these answers will give you final confirmation that you have the necessary resources to complete the project or otherwise, will point out any major snags before you get too invested.

After providing answers to the questions above, you should also consider how much the project will cost and also how much to charge the client. Take a mental walk through on each of the project and write down the realistic number of hours it will take for the task for each projects to be completed.

However, if you estimate that the project will take 10 hours, it is advisable to write it down as 15 hours in your business proposal. The reason why you need to overestimate is due to the fact that projects often have unexpected twists and turns. Adding this extra time will help you to account for any potential snags and correct any errors in future.

Start Writing Your Business Proposal

The third step on how to create a business proposal is to start writing your business proposal. This is the section where you start writing the business proposal. Your business proposal needs to follow a unique formula. First, your business proposal needs to start with an introduction that summarizes your business and the project, followed by a body that fleshes out all the details, including a pricing table, photos and charts and a conclusion that tells the customer how to proceed.

However, delving into this part of your business proposal can take some time, because it is where the actual writing of the business proposal commences. If your time is too precious to you, then you can always hire a freelance writer either from Fiverr or anywhere to write out the business proposal for you or if you have the time, then you can write it by yourself.

Below are detailed descriptions of the unique formula you need to follow when writing your business proposal.

Introduction: You are advised to start your business proposal with an introduction. In this section, you start by introducing your company and its mission statement in a way that relates to your potential client’s needs. You can include a brief story that gives your client a feel for you brand’s character and helps build trust. You can highlight what distinguishes your company, your accomplishments, your credentials, and any other awards you have.

The length of your introduction should be a matter of using common sense. If you are writing a business proposal for a one day cleaning job, don’t spend more than few sentences describing your business. But, if you are writing a business proposal for a contract or business funding, then you will probably need to spend a lot of time describing your business core values. Just try as much as you can to always keep your introduction under one page.

Executive Summary: After the introduction, the next formula you need to follow is the executive summary. The executive summary is one of the most important sections in your business proposal. Because, this is where you will try to convince your clients and investors why you are the right company or person for the job. You should not try to summarize every aspect of the proposal, but rather focus on the conclusions you want the reader to reach after reading it. Always use direct and factual language that is objective and persuasive. This section should also appear on the first page of your business proposal.

Table of Contents (optional): After the executive summary, the next formula you need to follow is the table of contents. This section is optional, but a table of contents can be helpful for longer proposals with lots of details. In this section, you are advised to list each section and subsection with their corresponding page number. In general, I recommend you keep your business proposal short and straight forward.

Body: Once you have presented your overall case in the executive summary and you have stipulated your table of contents if you wish, then you can outline the specifics of your proposal. This is where you can answer the “who, what, when, where, how, and why” questions that you identified in step 2. In this section, you have to include information on scheduling, logistics, and pricing. You can use data charts to illustrate some key concepts in your proposal and finally, you can also include testimonials from past clients and a link to your website.

It is very important to know that the body of your business proposal is also where you include disclaimers about the type of work you can deliver. However, this is one of the most important parts of your business proposal and one of the trickiest arts to master while writing a business proposal. It is very important to write a disclaimer about the type of work you offer and the pricing to avoid taking responsibility of what you cannot do.

Conclusion: Once you have outlined the details of your business proposal on the body section and have re-emphasized on the exceptional results your company can provide, then the next step you should take is to conclude with a call to action that encourages the reader to contact you or visit your website for more information.

Appendix: Once you have included your conclusion in your business proposal, the next step is to include the appendix. The appendix is an optional section that you can use to include information that might not fit well in the body of your proposal. For example, you can include resumes or additional graphs, projections and customer testimonials in the appendix.

Some may be wondering if they should set a deadline. However, it is not advisable to set deadline, unless there is an actual time limitation, a deadline is just an arbitrary statement. All it does is put pressure on your client to sign the deal quickly. Including a deadline will give an impression that reveals your focus is more on the contract itself and not on the client’s needs and long-term well being. The only time you should use a deadline is when your resources are limited depending on the time frame.

Edit Your Business Proposal

The fourth step on how to create a business proposal is to edit your business proposal. After writing your business proposal following the format I listed above, the next step is to edit and proofread your business proposal. However, you can send your business proposal to somebody else to read it over and over again. If you were not able to find any grammatical errors after proofreading it, a second set of eyes can catch errors you may not notice.

While proofreading your business proposal, you need to pay attention to the tone and length of your proposal. In particular, make sure your proposal is short enough to read in a single sitting, and contains language that is professional and very clear to understand.

You are advised to make your business proposal to be as short as possible without missing any key information, so that your client doesn’t pass it onto somebody else. However, if your business proposal is too long and filled with grammatical errors and your recipient can’t read and digest your proposal in a single sitting, chance are your business proposal may be forwarded to another employee. This will prolong the process and worst scenario your business proposal may end up in a dustbin.

To make your business proposal shorter, any superfluous information, like testimonials, graphs and charts can be moved to the appendix. Proofread your business proposal very well and remove any irrelevant content. Make sure you use clear, concise, and simple language that avoids industry jargon and technical terms. At the same time, avoid using hyperbole that exaggerates your company or service, as this may undermine the trust you are trying to establish with your potential client.

Do not include jokes and also avoid humor in your business proposal, this is because you never know who is reading the proposal. Often it gets passed from a business owner to other employees, spouses, and even friends. A joke that lands well with your client may fall flat with somebody else. So be wise and be careful.

Send Out Your Business Proposal and Follow Up

Once you have finished proofreading your business proposal and making all the necessary correction, the next step is to send out your business proposal to your potential client and follow up. Following up with a client to give them a reminder and to answer questions is a key part of the business proposal process.

Since most businesses send their proposals via email, it is fairly easy to decide when to follow up. You can use email tracking software, which you will use to receive a notification when the recipient opens your message. Then, you can follow up the next morning to see if they have any questions. Following up with your client will make the proposal fresh on their mind and will give you a chance of winning the contract and getting your business proposal accepted. With this information I sincerely believe you have learned how to create a business proposal.

If you have other procedure on how to create a business proposal so as to attract investors and get your business funded, your comments is highly appreciated. If you love this post please take few minutes and share it to your social media accounts.

Austine Ikeru
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