The ideal business proposal is the one that will be accepted. But how do you know what will work? What are some effective strategies for getting your idea to come across in the best possible light? The following list of ten ideas can help you get started.
1) Be specific about what you’re proposing.
Sure, your proposal is about your company’s great new computerized order-tracking system. But what does that mean? How would it work? Provide details to show that you’ve thought things through and understand the customer’s needs.
2) Show why it’s needed.
Your proposal is an opportunity to sell yourself, your company, and your product. Show why the customer needs it. Is there a problem that needs fixing? Use real-life examples of other customers who have successfully used your service or products. This provides proof that you know what you’re talking about — and credibility for your business proposal.
3) Show that it’s not too expensive or difficult to implement.
Show how your product can be quickly and efficiently put into action. High-cost proposals will be rejected. Low-cost recommendations may get low priority, so you might want to offer different options with different costs. Be sure to show the time frame for results that will justify the investment in equipment or changes in policy or procedure made necessary by your proposal.
4) Give the person who is considering your proposal something to hold onto — a specific action plan or work schedule.
Be sure you include all the details of what’s involved in implementing the changes, costs, etc. Include deadlines and milestones for necessary steps during implementation. This will give the decision-makers a clear idea of how the project is laid out. It makes it easy for them to visualize how it will happen, all the steps involved. They will be less likely to have questions or concerns if they can see everything in front of them — in writing.
5) Use data and facts to back up your claims.
A company’s reputation is often based on hard numbers — facts and figures that illustrate what it has done for others. Statistics about your past success, samples of work you’ve done for other customers similar to this one — all these things demonstrate your competence. They show that you’re serious about your business. Your business proposal needs the same kind of factual support.
6) Make sure everyone who needs to approve the project knows about it ahead of time.
Proper approvals are essential. Everyone who needs to approve the project should be expecting your company proposal and know why you’re bringing it to them. A well-organized, complete business proposal is a selling tool. If your submission is turned down, you’ll want that rejection letter (or email or phone call) to tell you exactly what went wrong.
If you can get all the questions and concerns out in advance, it won’t be necessary to go back later with revised proposals. The person will know exactly what’s needed at that time. They may never even need to read your submission because the issues have already been addressed.
7) Demonstrate how this project would benefit them personally or professionally (if they have a stake).
Show the decision-maker how your sales proposal makes their job easier — or saves money, time (and maybe even headaches). You’ll need to know something about the person you’re making your proposal to. How does this project benefit him? Or would she rather see it help her department? Would he prefer to show that this will reduce costs for the company? Or is it more important to establish a positive impact on the reputation of her department or school?
8 ) Clarify how the benefits would be realized.
This is a chance to make your business plan proposal more interesting. Show how the project will solve a specific problem or benefit the company, department, or school. Ensure they know exactly what results in they can expect before they approve it. And be sure you include deadlines and milestones.
9) Consider all your options before you suggest or accept any particular approach.
Decision-makers, especially school administrators, may want to make their suggestions. Make sure the working relationship with your customer is good enough to suggest alternatives if needed. Be flexible, but stand your ground if necessary. Your reputation as a professional will be at stake.
10) Make sure everyone involved knows about the deadline for making a decision.
You’ll want to make sure your proposal is never held up by a slow response from someone who needs to approve it. If you ask for input, be sure there’s a deadline for that input. Be sure everyone knows about any additional paperwork required. Send them all the information they may need in advance, if at all possible. When you and your customers and everyone else involved understanding the process, you’ll be able to work together more effectively.
SPECIAL BONUS: Use Venngage To Make Engaging Business Proposals.
Venngage is an online graphic editing platform that provides various business proposal templates for everyone to use. All you need to do is create an account using your email, browse through their template page, customize the template to your liking, and download. Sounds easy? Because it is! Here are some business proposal examples from their website to give you a better idea.
It is important to remember why you are making this proposal. You want the person reading it to see how your organization can help them solve their problem or take advantage of an opportunity that they may not have known about before. Please prove that you know what he needs and show him exactly how his life will change for the better because of it.
Make sure, too, that everyone who has a stake in this project knows everything they need to decide on whether or not this is worth pursuing. Be flexible with deadlines if necessary, but always stay organized and professional when presenting anything like a business proposal.
If you’re still confused about how you can make an exciting and engaging proposal, go to Venngage — your one-stop template shop. So what are you waiting for? Create your very own business proposal and get that client’s yes today!