proposals

How to Structure a Business Proposal

September 25, 2013

The ability to structure and write a business proposal that gets you the business requires some creativity and preparation. The most common mistake when presenting a business proposal is not fully understanding the potential client\'s business or challenges. The most important thing to consider is not taking any short cuts when constructing your business proposal because it will most likely be read by many people within the company who all have different positions and will most likely read the portion of the proposal that pertains to their area within the company. Structuring the proposal correctly will ensure your efforts are not wasted and that the person in the position to make the decision has a clear and concise understanding of what your proposal offers. Here is the correct way to structure your business proposal so the client understands clearly what your intentions are.

The first part of the proposal will be the executive summary. This is a brief paragraph and is a short overview of the entire project. The summary should be written clearly enough so that the executive making the final decision can simply read this paragraph and have all the information that they will need to make the decision on whether to accept or reject the proposal.

The introduction is the next part of the business proposal and is basically a short paragraph that is an overview of the proposal. It lays out what you intend to cover in the proposal and it describes how you have not only identified the problem that needs to be addressed, but that your company has the experience and the skills to take the job on and complete it in a timely manner.

The next part of the proposal is probably the most important piece of information that you will be presenting to the client. The statement of problem or opportunity is where you state that not only you and your team understand the magnitude of the problem, but that you are qualified and capable to take on the project and solve the problem for the client. You are trying to position yourself as an authority in this area, and giving the client a sense of urgency that the issue needed to be addressed as soon as possible.

The objectives are the next step in the business proposal, and this is where you will show the client exactly what the company will look like after the problem has been addressed and corrected by your company. You will detail some metrics showing detailed solutions to the problem and how much better they will be after the solution has been implemented. The methods or activities should go next on the proposal that shows alternative ways that you can address the issue and is your implementation of the plan.

The next few sections of the proposal are basically where you would show more details on how your company is going to solve the problem. Resources would show people and computer time needed to complete the job. Then you can place a schedule in the proposal laying out the time and man power needed to finish the job.

The budget is the next to last piece of the business proposal. All costs involved with the project need to be clearly laid out here so that there are no surprises to the client when the project is completed.

The measurement is the final piece of the proposal and it basically shows the decision makers in the company how they can measure that the solution you proposed has made progress. It is vital they see the problem has been solved by showing them metrics such as before and after customer surveys or dollars values in how the bottom line has increased. If you can structure your business proposal following these steps, you are sure to have put your best foot forward in getting the proposal accepted.

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