Everyone makes business proposals. You need to create a business proposal for your employer, an agency, foundation, donor, a bank; an angel investor; and many other funding sources. The good news is that everyone makes proposals – even if they don’t like it. That gives you an advantage. It means the person who makes the best proposal will win the contract, grant, investment, or award.
For some reason, most people think creating a formal business proposal takes too much time and energy to avoid. As a result, they either lose out on opportunities or waste time reapplying for something that’s already been funded (because their first application was so poorly prepared). This article provides you with all the advice and guidance needed to write practical business proposals. It outlines the standard sections and provides examples of good and wrong answers to each section.
Step #1: Know Your Objective In Your Business Proposal Example
When making a business proposal, your number one rule is to know why you are making the proposal. Knowing the reason behind it is critical because it will dictate how you write your proposal or case study. Some of the essential things to consider when determining your objective include:
- Who is your audience? What do they want?
- How will this help them accomplish their goals?
- Do they want money or resources?
The best way to determine ‘why’ you are writing a business proposal is by having an open conversation with whoever has requested that one be made. If you have not been given brief instructions on what’s required, ask! The worst thing you could do is make a proposal to the wrong person.
Step #2: Understand Your Audience and Their Wants in Business Proposal Ideas
Your audience consists of the people or institution that you are making your business proposal to, and they want what’s in it for them. Think about the potential client, funder, donor, etc.… What do they hope to invest their time and/or money in you? Maybe it would be good PR for them if they funded an up-and-coming artist. Of course, this is just one possibility. There are reasons why someone may want to sponsor you, so having a conversation with your contact will clarify what their wants might be.
Once you understand this information, create a list of what you can offer them due to your business proposal. For example, if you provide online video game training courses for kids, explain how their investment in your company will benefit them.
What they want may not always be immediately evident, so don’t be afraid to ask open-ended questions to get clarity on where they stand.
Step #3: Know What You Need To Do To Get There In Writing a Business Proposal
Just like any good sales pitch, the more prepared you are, the better chance you have at getting your proposal accepted. If you know exactly what products or services need to be delivered, then you’ll know just how much money is necessary to complete that work or buy those products/services. The best way to ensure all your bases are covered is to do your research.
Thoroughly investigate what the project entails, who will be responsible for it, and how much everything will cost. It is not uncommon to have a conversation with your contact so you can get clarification on these points and any other questions you may have. You might even want to speak with some of their customers or clients, so you know precisely the level of work expected from you as well as what standards they operate by.
Step #4: Create Your Business Proposal Sample Content
A business proposal usually consists of six key elements that outline what tasks need to be completed and who’s doing them. If done correctly, this will serve as a compelling sales pitch because anyone reading it should be excited about what you’re offering and how you plan to deliver it. Once you have agreed on your basic requirements, it’s time to get down to business.
The six basic elements of any good business proposal are:
- Executive Summary
- Goals & Objectives
- Marketing Plan
- Business Model
- Operations & Management Plan
- Financials (including cost breakdown)
To ensure that all your bases are covered, write out each section carefully to persuade the reader into accepting your proposal. To help you with this, Venngage has created a free template for making an effective business proposal. All the hard work is done for you, so all that’s left to do is fill in the blanks and make it personal!
Step #5: Present Your Investment Proposal Professionally
You’ve done all this hard work, but you still need to get the person or people who will be making the final decision on whether or not they accept your business proposal. You might want to meet with them face-to-face, send a phone call, or even use email just to ensure that they’re clear about what you’re offering and how you plan on getting the job done. If speaking in person is an option, then dress professionally and leave your ego at home. This is not the time for jokes and flirting. Stay away from anything that could come off as unprofessional. Remember, you should be the one who comes off as professional in this situation.
Written communication is another option available to you, but make sure what you write will capture their attention and convince them that your business proposal is worth investing in. Venngage’s “Proposal” template can be used for this purpose too!
Step #6: Follow Up After They’ve Read Your Sales Proposal
It might take a while for someone to read your business proposal, so don’t expect an immediate response. As much as you want to believe that your audience is excited about working with you, it’s best not to get carried away right away. You need to stay calm and wait patiently for their decision, which could come weeks or even months after submitting your business proposal. If they do decide to go with you, then good for you! But if not, don’t be down on yourself because there’s always another opportunity coming up.
A business proposal can be intimidating, and finding the right words to say is never easy. If you want your proposal to stand out from others, take advantage of free online tools like Venngage.