How to write a top quality business proposal!
You started your business and are doing well in the market. But you still want your business to grow to its potential. There are a lot of possibilities out there that you haven’t yet explored. This is where a business proposal comes in. A business proposal can bridge the gap between you and your potential clients.
A business proposal is a formal document which is formulated by the company with the purpose of securing a business agreement. A good business proposal will outline your value proposition and persuade a client or organisation to do business with you.
When you are in the process of securing a client, a business proposal is the last and final arrow in your quiver. If you fail to persuade the client with the proposal, all your previous efforts in procuring that client would go in vain. Therefore, you have to make sure that it hits the right target.
There are two types of business proposals:
- Solicited – Where the client requests a business proposal from you
- Unsolicited – Where you approach prospects with a business proposal, even when they haven’t requested one.
Like every formal document, a business proposal also has a format. And like every other formal document, it too has many different formats provided by different people and organisations. You need to choose the one that fits the best for you and your business organization.
Here’s a format that works for most business organizations:
- Start with a title page – As people often say, first impressions is the last. With that in mind, create a title page that is aesthetically pleasing and resonates with the brand of your business organisation. You have to provide basic information in the title page such as the name of your organisation, your name, name of the client you are providing the proposal to and the date of submitting the proposal. There are a lot of things you can do to attract the client through your title page. But while creating the title page in an attractive manner, try not to overdo stuff. Keep it clean and organized. Do not provide unnecessary information on the title page. Remember, it is not the cover page of a magazine, so just keep it formal and elegant.
- Create a table of contents – By creating a table of content, you ensure that your client would find the information he is most interested in from your business proposal. Table of content also helps you to keep the information organised. A table of content will also let the client know exactly what information would be covered in the proposal. While sending the proposal virtually, make sure that the table is clickable so that your client can jump to the page with a single click. The aim behind creating a table should be to make the information provided in the proposal easily accessible.
- Executive Summary – On this page, you have to answer why your client needs you. Here you have to tell the client what you can offer them that they need. Push the pain point. Talk about how you are the best possible solution to their problems. Mention your products and services and their USPs. Be specific about their problems and provide the solution.
- State the problem and the need – This is where you provide the summary of the problem. Make sure that you make them believe that you clearly understand the problem they are having. Go into the details. Do your homework on the problems of the client and use it to write a compelling matter to seek their approval.
- The Solution –The next step is to provide the solution to their specific problem and how you can solve it better. Expertise is the key here. Make the prospective client believe that you are the expert at what you are providing them. Be personal. Provide them with a strategy and a plan to solve their problem. Customize your solution to the needs of the prospective client. Give details about what products you will provide, what methods you will use and the timeframe in which they should expect them.
- Mention your Qualifications and Accolades – Telling your prospects about your qualifications would help build trust. Mentioning your accolades and achievements in the field would help in further increasing the trust. People love stories. Include case studies or success stories of your clients that you helped them achieve. Use this section to boost your authority.
- Pricing options – Price is one of the essential aspects in the decision process. Provide details about the pricing of your products and services. As price is a tricky thing, you do not want to over or under price your offerings. Some organisations provide a responsive price table, where the prices of their services change with the choice of their prospective clients.
- Terms and Conditions – In terms and conditions, you provide details regarding how the work would be done, the timeline, pricing and payment schedules acceptable to you. Make sure to take the help of your legal team for creating terms and conditions. It is essential for your business that the prospective client knows and agrees to the terms and conditions of your organization for a smooth conduct of business. Avoid unnecessary terms or conditions that might drive your prospective client away.
- Space for signature to document agreement – In the end, provide some space where your client could note any additional query or concerns they may have. Provide a place or a box for your prospective client to sign, agreeing to your terms and conditions.
To make your proposal stand out, follow some of the below points:
- Use the same colours and fonts throughout the proposal to help prospective clients resonate with your brand. Use your logo, if you have one.
- Use pictures to make it attractive.
- Make use of infographics to present things in a short and attractive manner, especially while writing about the problems and the solution.
- Use a call to action. A call to action is said to have a positive effect on the minds of the prospective clients.
- As the client is interested in your products or services, use the opportunity and mention additional products and services, in order to up-sell.
- Try to create a sense of urgency. It might get your client to take the desired action. But be careful when doing this and do not use any unnecessary offers.
- Provide the information in appropriate amount. Don’t leave questions unanswered. Also, don’t provide unnecessary details that might bore your client and make them lose interest.
- Be professional while writing the proposal. Do not sound sloppy or unprofessional. Be precise and don’t provide irrelevant secondary information.
- While sending proposals virtually, you can also make use of videos that are appropriate and provide information regarding your company, products or services.
- If you are a creative organisation, you can experiment with it and use videos, gifs, graphics, etc. to show your expertise in the field.