How to Write a Winning Business Proposal

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Written by: Mitch De Guzman

Having a good negotiating team can help you seal the deal. However, obtaining the client’s approval will be difficult if you don’t have a well-written business proposal. You lack context without it. Hence, it’s a must because it’s how you and your client get started working together. Furthermore, research shows that it’s the most effective strategy for closing business-to-business transactions. 

Don’t worry. There are a lot of business proposal examples available online. All you need to ensure is that you have a fast internet connection. And all will be smooth if you choose a reliable fiber internet in the Philippines.

EXACTLY, WHAT IS A BUSINESS PROPOSAL?

A business proposal is an official document that explains why your company would be an excellent partner to another organization.  It’s a way to show how working together on specific projects or initiatives would benefit them.

Additionally, a business proposal should convince your potential clients that you are the best solution for their problems. In short, a business proposal is a formal document that a company creates and sends to a potential client to secure a business agreement.

business proposal vs plan - streamtech fiber internet
Photo by Sari Business Proposal on Flickr

BUSINESS PROPOSALS versus BUSINESS PLANS

Most people mix up business proposals and business plans. While their goals may appear to be similar, they are not.

The primary purpose of the business proposal is to sell your product or service rather than your company. It’s a targeted sales document describing how a company will approach a project by clearly stating its value to solicit the client’s business. 

On the contrary, a business plan is a detailed description of a company’s operations and prospects. Its goal is to provide a quick but comprehensive understanding of what your company does and its potential for success. In a nutshell, it is a written synopsis of the company’s information.

Simply put, a business proposal is about your potential clients, while a business plan is all about your company.

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OVERVIEW OF AN EFFECTIVE BUSINESS PROPOSAL

Business proposals provide an opportunity to highlight the following characteristics of your organization. 

  • Expertise – your potential role in resolving the problem
  • Confidence – shows why you are the best fit for the job and that you can keep your promises
  • Capabilities – your ability to complete the task at hand

Hence, it is critical to understand the type of proposal you are developing to highlight your characteristics. Before you start writing, you should be able to answer these critical questions.

• What information do you need to include in the proposal?

• Is this a win for the client? Why?

• What makes your company an excellent solution for this project?

A better idea is to have a list of questions that you’d like the client to answer to avoid surprises.

guidelines in writing a business proposal - streamtech fiber internet
Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

GUIDELINES IN WRITING A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS PROPOSAL

  1. Before you begin writing the business proposal, you must first understand the organization for which you are writing it. If it’s a response to an RFP (request for proposal), make sure to read the instructions thoroughly to understand the proposal process. It can also be beneficial to have an initial call or meeting with the new client to ensure you fully understand the prospect’s problem they’re attempting to solve and their goals.
  2. Make your business proposal easier to understand for a business owner by avoiding confusing terms and industry jargon. After all, you want them to quickly get a sense of the type of product or service they will be receiving.
  3. A business owner’s philosophy always aids in determining what type of business they want to start. Thus, your cover letter (also called the title page) should be clear, concise, and simple to understand for business owners to see how they can benefit from it. 
  4. Always put the name of your potential client at the top of your letter. Doing this will help with clarity and understanding as well as prevent any confusion later on during reading. 
  5. The target audience, philosophy, and proposition should always be listed first when writing a business proposal. This format clarifies the business’s purpose and goals. 
  6. Include background information about your organization to make it easier for them to understand why they should choose you over someone else. 
  7. Lastly, be sure that your tone is professional yet persuasive enough for them to want what you offer.

BUSINESS PROPOSAL TYPES

There are two kinds of business proposals, but the steps in creating them are the same. 

Unsolicited Proposal

As the name implies, you send unsolicited business proposals to prospective customers even if they haven’t requested one. You send them at random, much like cold calling, in the hopes of gaining the business of a potential client.

Solicited Proposal

In contrast, solicited business proposals are responses to your prospective client requests. Usually, when a company needs a problem solution, it sends invites for proposal submissions. Often, it goes through a bidding process; hence, you should follow the proposal process indicated in the request. 

Whether it’s a solicited or unsolicited business proposal, always make sure to contain these three main points: a problem statement, a proposed solution, and pricing information.

BUSINESS PROPOSAL TEMPLATE

There is no standard method for writing a well-written business proposal. However, it will be beneficial to use the free business proposal business templates available on the internet to get you started. In any case, you can constantly modify it to meet your needs.

Here are the key business proposal elements to include:

Title page

The title page sets the tone, so it must be both engaging and professional. Otherwise known as the cover page, it includes your company logo and name, contact information, the date of submission, and the client’s name or person to whom you submit the proposal.

Table of contents

One thing you shouldn’t forget is a concise and understandable outline to aid prospects in quickly grasping the offer. A table of contents will provide your prospective client with information about the topics covered in the business proposal. Create bullet points to keep things simple and accessible for those receiving them. In addition, if you’re submitting via email, make each bullet point clickable so that your customer can easily navigate to the various sections for reading and evaluating.

Executive summary

Photo by Sassi on rawpixel

A good executive summary describes how your company’s products or services solve a specific problem for a target audience. It must convince your clients that you are the best solution for their problems. Even if it’s a short executive summary or they don’t read the rest of your proposal, the potential customer should have a clear understanding of how you can assist them. 

Problem statement

In essence, it is a summary of the prospect’s problem, including the project details. It should demonstrate your understanding of the potential client’s needs. 

Value Proposition

It’s the part where you propose a custom solution to the problem, including the project timeline, the deliverables, and how you’ll provide them.

Qualifications

This section explains why you are the best candidate for the project. Include social proof such as case studies of client success stories, client testimonials, and any relevant awards or accreditations to strengthen your authority.

Pricing alternatives

Here’s where you get down to business. The framework of this section, however, will vary depending on the project or service. You will have to consider any legal requirements, such as permits or licensing, in this section. Still, it should show the pricing table and payment schedule.

Terms and conditions 

Transparency in your parameters will help both parties understand what they are getting into before signing and agreeing. Hence, you must include a detailed summary of what you and the client agree to if your proposal is accepted – from the project’s timeline, pricing table, payment schedule, and responsibilities of both parties. Make sure to double-check the terms and conditions with your legal team before sending the proposal to the client. 

Conforme or signature area 

A signature box invites the final decision maker to contact you if they have any additional questions. It’s a call to action, so they’ll be more likely to respond to your idea instead of leaving it in the pending box.

BUSINESS PROPOSAL TIPS

Here are additional pointers to help you write a great business proposal.

Make it simple to read and understand

While customers expect to see all the details in your bid, they prefer that you get right to the point. Make your business proposal easier to read and understand. Use bullet points to emphasize crucial points. 

Re-read and review

Since business proposals are formal communications, anything that could lead to confusion or misunderstandings can derail them. Get someone to proofread your business proposal language to ensure that it is clear, concise, and precise.

Customize your business proposals

Business proposals are only as good as the business that you are applying them to. Using the proposed solution for past clients will be useless to new potential customers. Most significantly, if the entire proposal does not consider the new potential client’s problem and all of their business requirements. Create a different one for your next business proposal. It must be a tailored fit for each business.

Use infographics 

Supporting materials in visuals such as charts and graphs is an excellent way to demonstrate your expertise and capabilities. Find relevant and compelling statistics that highlight what you have to offer to establish authority and credibility.

Create a video

Videos are undeniably a powerful tool for spreading knowledge. They are preferred by most business owners and the general public, especially if you are presenting online.

call to action - business proposal - streamtech fiber internet
Photo by MCCAIG on iStock

Add a Clear Call to Action

Define and emphasize what they should do in response to the interest generated by your proposal. Thus, you must ensure that the reader knows what to do next. And the best way to get there is with a clear call to action.

Showcase your Brand 

brand showcsae - business proposal - streamtech fiber internet
Photo from rawpixel

It’s your moment to shine. So, don’t be afraid to flaunt your company’s personality and abilities in your proposal. Nonetheless, you should maintain your brand integrity and demonstrate what sets you apart from your competitors to the potential client. 

Include Client Testimonials

When you’re personally extolling the virtues of your company, you can only go so far. Elements such as customer quotes and testimonials can be highly beneficial because it shows your customer relationship management skills. Including social proof in your business proposal increases your credibility. 

KEY TAKEAWAY

To summarize, the key elements you should consider when writing a business proposal are research, purpose, and course of action. If you have sufficient information, you can develop a valuable solution to your prospective clients’ needs. Furthermore, you can be clear with your approach. Then, you can demonstrate why you are the most qualified candidate for the project. Don’t be afraid to show them what you’ve got. You need to prove to them that you can do it.

Finally, make your business proposal visually appealing while remaining precise, concise, and straightforward.

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ON THE SAME PAGE IN BUSINESS 

Today, most business owners require constant speed and performance to help them compete with the big players in the industry. With the proliferation of e-commerce, online sales, and digital services, you can’t take your eye off the ball for one second, or you’ll run the risk of missing opportunities for growth.

Streamtech, the newest fiber internet in the Philippines, helps enterprises nationwide thrive in the changing economy by offering blazingly fast internet service. With high-speed and reliable fiber internet, you can keep abreast of business trends. In addition, it gives you easy access to numerous business resources such as business proposal templates. Additionally, if you are cutting on costs, you can always find a free business proposal template on the internet. It also allows you to download proposal software like Proposify and PandaDoc quickly.

With so many online options and your fast internet, you can undoubtedly find the most suitable business template to help you write winning business proposals. 

You should now have sufficient knowledge in writing an amazing business proposal. With this skill, you can directly follow up with your prospective customers. If you need additional information, please subscribe to our newsletter to receive the most recent news and updates about business and Streamtech.

Visit our official Facebook page to learn more about our products and services. You may also check out our local Facebook pages in your area. SAM – Support and Assistance Mate, is also available on our various customer care channels to assist and answer your questions. Just search for “SAM by Streamtech Internet” on Viber.

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