Knowing how to write a business proposal is a crucial aspect for those business owners that want to make the best out of their companies. But, how to write a business proposal that is convincing and enticing enough to obtain new clients or make new business partners?
First things first: What is a business proposal? A business proposal is a document that simply outlines your company’s mission statement or summary, project details, terms of the agreement, costs of the proposed project and timelines, as well as a conclusion and signature field for proposed clients and sellers.
These proposals can be solicited (asked for by a seller or potential customer) or unsolicited (sent to a potential client or seller in order to convince them to buy from or sell to you).
Be mindful that a business proposal is different from a business plan. A business plan is a general document describing a company and the way it operates, intended to be used not only internally but also by potential associates, investors, and lenders. A business proposal, on the other hand, focuses more on sales and is intended to be used by your potential clients.
We are going to go through the steps of how to write a good business proposal, and how this document can benefit you and your business.
How to Write a Business Proposal? Step-by-step guide
- Gather the Necessary Information. In order to write a business proposal, you have to know the information you need. Did the client request certain information like timelines and costs of the project? You want to be sure to hash those out to give them concrete numbers in the proposals. You also want to know as much about the client as you can in order to give them a proposal that best fits their needs. The client may have other projects going on or a big announced project in the near future. You should take this all into account when planning your proposal.
- Once you’ve gathered enough information, be sure to double check if you have enough to answer the potential questions that potential clients might want to know. For example, how would working with you benefit them or their business? (research any weaknesses they have that you could help with). You also need to be able to answer any questions regarding a budget, deadlines, or manpower required for the project.
- Begin Drafting the Proposal. Now you can start writing the proposal. Consider the following format that most business proposals follow:
- Title- Your proposal should have a title that is eye-catching but formal enough in a business setting.
- Table of Contents- You should include a table of contents to outline what you are including in the proposal.
- Executive Summary- This should summarize the most important aspects of your business practices.
- Problem and Proposal- State what you believe the weakness is in the client’s current business dealings and describe how working with you could fix that weakness.
- Services and Methodology- Dive into some of the specifics on the services you would be providing and methods you would use during the project. Be as specific as possible, a client is going to want to leave nothing to the imagination when it comes to important projects.
- Qualifications- Why should the client hire you? List any qualifications you have and, if possible, give some examples of similar projects you completed or assisted with. Again, be specific on what you bring to the table.
- Schedule and Benchmarks- A good timeline includes much more than a start and end date. You should have a concrete schedule and includes benchmarks that the client can look at in order to figure out how much progress has been made by certain dates. This gives clients a better way to gauge how the project is going.
- Pricing- Be upfront with how you expect to be compensated. Nothing frustrates a potential client more than hiding costs or reimbursements. Include any costs that you expect them to pay. You can always negotiate with the client later.
- Terms and Conditions- Outline any terms and conditions of your proposed partnership. You want to be careful and not include more terms and conditions that are necessary. If a client reads through a proposal with a ton of conditions, they might end up looking elsewhere. However, you should still be upfront about what you expect and need from the client, don’t go back and ask for something, not on the proposal (if you can help it).
- Agreement and Call to Action- You should end by including a signature page for the client to sign if they agree to your proposal. Be sure to include a short paragraph letting the client know what they are agreeing to.
The Benefits of a Good Business Proposal
Now that you know how to write a business proposal, it may seem like a lot of work to create a good one, but there are a lot of benefits in knowing how to write a business proposal:
- More Clients- Good business proposals can get you new partnerships and access to new connections and projects. This can do wonders for your growth and profitability.
- Gets Everyone on the Same Page- The worst thing to happen during an important project is a miscommunication or misunderstanding between partners. This can completely derail the project and lead to a loss of everyone’s time and money. Letting your partner know what to expect reduces the risk of the project being interrupted by simple miscommunication issues.
- Keeps you Covered- Business proposals can also help if your partners accuse you of wrongdoing or try to do something fraudulent themselves. A good business proposal can be used to show what the partner is doing goes against the agreement or proves that your supposed wrongdoing was not in the original agreement (this is especially useful if you and your partner go into arbitration).
- Inspires Confidence in the Client- Giving a great business proposal gives the client more confidence in your ability to get the job done. This can make it much easier to get recurring contracts and strengthen commercial relationships that can help your business down the road.
We hope this article has given you the information and steps you need on how to write a business proposal you can use in future business dealings. We also know that sometimes, as much as we want to give the best business proposals, we don’t have the money to be able to hold our end of the bargain, so we decide not to. But for those unfortunate moments, a business loan could provide the much-needed funds to offer the services we want to offer.
Camino Financial has many small business loans and funding options compatible with your business (and business proposal) needs. After approval, it’s even possible to receive funding within 4-10 days, so that the business proposal you want to send to that special client doesn’t take too long. Start the application process today and get more clients than you ever thought possible.
Contact us now and talk to a Camino Financial specialist that will help you explore what type of loan works best for you.