The Top 5 Items to Include in a Business Proposal

June 26, 2013

The Top 5 Items to Include in a Business Proposal

If you know that your product/service can be beneficial to another business, then it is important to write out a business proposal to convince that business of this fact. However, a proposal that does not include the following five critical items will likely be ignored. Therefore, when writing your next business proposal make sure to include the following 5 items:

1. A Hook

A good business proposal should catch the reader's attention and then make them want to read more. Many readers will only scan the first quarter of your proposal. If your proposal does not grab their interest, they will put it aside to do more demanding things. In short, you need to grab their attention.

A good hook should explain exactly what you could do for their business. You may want to hint at amazing results you could provide (with details to be revealed shortly). You could make interesting promises, such as low prices or fast results. You could even identify a specific benefit that their business will receive by paying attention to your proposal, such as increased productivity or profit.

2. A Problem

This item is important in a business proposal, because it discusses the whole reason they need to seek your services. This is where you identify an issue in their business and propose that you can help them solve that issue.

However, you need to convince the reader that you really do understand their business. If you don't, then they may decide that you do not really want to solve their problem but, rather, you are just looking to make a few bucks. This means that you need to understand their business and speak in their language. For example, if they are a cleaning business that is having problems with marketing, and you want to offer your marketing services, then you need to show an understanding of the cleaning industry and the language that they use inside of it.

Learn how ClientPoint can help you master the art and science of business proposals by scheduling a FREE 15 minute consultation with one of our proposal experts.

3. A Plan

Now that you have pointed out a problem with their business that you know your product/service can solve, you need to discuss a plan to help them fix that issue. This is where you need to convince them that you know what you are an expert in this area and it would be in their best interest to work with you.

Convincing them of that, however, can be tricky. If you disclose too much information regarding how you plan to help them, then they may be able to simply take your ideas and solve the problem themselves (particularly when selling services). Alternatively, if you don't give enough specifics surrounding your plan, then they may not take you seriously.

4. Your Qualifications

It is important to convince them that your business is the best solution for helping them. If they feel you are not capable, then they may find someone else to provide a solution to the problem that they are having.

There are a few ways you can do this. For example, you can describe past successful business ventures. You can also list out any credentials or awards that you have received. You can even give references from businesses that you have helped in the past.

5. Costs

Including a list of costs in a business proposal can help the reader determine whether or not they would be able to afford your products/services. Since they know that buying from you is obviously going to cost them something, it is important to be upfront about all costs.

You can provide a total cost for the service you are offering. In addition, if you need to tackle several different issues to solve their problem, you can outline the cost for each separate project.

In conclusion, a business proposal needs to convince the reader (your potential client) that they will benefit from doing business with you and your company. In order to convince them of that, make sure you include the 5 critical items discussed in this post.

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