Writing a Business Proposal

If you run your own business you’ll need to know about writing a business proposal.

A business proposal is different from a business plan. A plan is for when you’re first starting your business; but, a proposal would be for when your business is established and you need to attract new clients or get a new job.

Often when you first start to work with a company or individual you’ll need to submit a business proposal so that they can see exactly what you’ll be doing. They’ll use this to decide if they want to hire you or work with you on the project.

What Should be Included when Writing a Business Proposal

Writing a business proposal can help you get work for your business.

A proposal is a unique document that should be tailored to the specific situation. It should be more than your resume, a work plan and a cover letter. Yes include your resume or C.V., and a cover letter but supplement them with additional information.

Everything should be customized to the project or person you need to work with or for. This means you need to customize and emphasise certain parts of your resume.

The actual proposal should include information about:

  • What you’ll achieve – State how you’ll meet the client’s requirements and what they’ll get out of working with you. Explain the benefits they’ll derive from awarding the project to you.
  • The time scale – Explain how long it’ll take you to do the work. Include milestones so that you can demonstrate to the client that you’ll deliver the work on time.
  • What resources you’ll need – If the client needs to supply or pay for resources so you can complete the project include them here.
  • Cost and payment – Give a detailed breakdown of the costs and what the client will be paying for. This includes your time and fees.
  • Why should they choose you – Explain why you’re the best option. Explain why they should have confidence in your abilities. Convince them that you’re the best option and they should choose you.

Depending on the specifics of the job, the proposal will need different information adding. If you’ll be employing staff you’ll need to add a section about that or a part on how your performance can be measured. Also how communication will happen.

Writing a Business Proposal

When you write your business proposal remain focused on the specific client and project.

Start by planning the whole proposal. Decide what sections you need, what information will go in each section and the best order for the information. Focusing on the planning will save time later as when you start to write it’ll be much easier as you won’t need to stop and think too much, just write without interruptions.

The first part of the business proposal should be the introduction. In this part explain what you’ll do and how the client will benefit from it.

After that you should include a work plan of what you’ll do and when. This'll also explain the methods you’ll use, resources you’ll need and the schedule for you to deliver the various project milestones.

Then the next part will be about the pricing and costs of the project. Make sure that you explain to the client how your proposal offers a good return on their investment and what they’ll be getting for the money paid.

The proposal doesn’t need to be a long document. A concise focused document will be better than a long winded rambling one. A short report format might be best, but it could also be in the format of a letter, memo or email.

You’ll probably also need to provide a contract as well when writing a business proposal. This is also something you can write, see the page about business contract writing for advice and help.

Finalizing the Written Business Proposal

Keep the formatting of the proposal as simple as possible. The contents are important so don’t distract from them by being too fussy with the design of the proposal.

The proposal, your resume, business contract and cover letter all reflect on you and your abilities; so, make sure they’re perfect and don’t have any mistakes left in them. You can do this with business proofreading. Reread and carefully check each document before you submit it.

If you need any help with writing a business proposal you can use my proofreading service where I’ll be able to check your proposal and make sure that it’s been written properly. If you’d like to ask me a question come to the Excellent Proofreading and Writing Facebook page or use the contact me form on this site.

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