A winning business proposal is focused and persuasive, answering basic questions about the product or service you plan to provide, setting a price, and explaining why your proposal is the only solution that the recipient needs to consider. The business proposal template will be correctly formatted and easy to read. It should also be easy for you to edit and amend.
The focus of a successful business proposal must be one that lets your reader understand how you will provide a solution to their problem, in the easiest and clearest way possible. If you’re answering an RFP, this means that you’ll be providing a solution and a quote for the specification they require. You should be able to state the cost of goods, labor, and any other overhead that will be attributed to the pricing you’re setting out.
Make Sure to Include the Following in Your Business Proposal:
- A Clear Solution: A proposal is meant to solve a problem. For businesses, this is usually a tangible problem, such as the need for new mobile technology on the go or a new set of marketing materials designed. Nonprofits, however, answer to a higher calling when they submit a proposal; they need to convince their readers of the social/societal problems they solve, and that they are an organization with a proven track record of this.
- Accurate Pricing Information: If your proposal is accepted, it will be a binding contract; so don’t undercut the competition with a plan to “add hours in” later. Make sure to account for all expenses the project will incur and annotate these expenses on the price page.
- View Sample Business Proposals: Get a feel for what kind of proposals your industry expects. If you are applying for funding, or for a contract from the government, there will likely be online records of past winners, complete with their winning proposals. If not, don’t fear; usually, companies or government organizations that put out requests for proposals will offer a sample proposal. If you can’t find an example readily available on the website, call and ask politely if they have a preferred layout for their business proposal. The government will often offer you a business proposal sample template to help you meet their specifications.
- Become Familiar with Your Competitors: Research your potential client, but also research your competition. There may be other companies vying for the contract you’re trying to get, so it’s important that you compare your services and be able to explain, in simple terms, why your service or products are unique.
- Explain Features and Benefits: Make sure you spell out the features as well as the benefits clearly for your proposal. Features are specifications. For example, if you will be pitching a gluten-free catering service for a special event, “gluten-free” would be considered one of the most important features of the food. However, the benefits of a gluten-free catering would be simple: If you are hosting a party and have food sensitivities, you can still plan a delicious and exciting menu.