Not all clients and buyers will give you the explicit details of their wants and needs, especially if you’re submitting an unsolicited business proposal. Extend your research to include the competitors of your potential client, and their customers as well. This will ensure that your business proposal will be as comprehensive and as detailed as possible. You can get strategic with this by creating a profile of your ideal customer. How old are they? Where do they live? Where do they hang out online? Personalizing your research like this will help give you clues about what to say (and how to say it) to resonate with someone.
Types of proposalsProposals are produced for many different purposes, but they can be split into two categories: solicited and unsolicited.
- The solicited proposal usually begins with a request for a proposal (RFP). Many companies will use an RFP template to give potential suppliers details of what they are looking for in a bid. It will usually give a timeline of when items are due and what they are looking for in the document.
- The unsolicited proposal is initiated by the person who writes it. The writer usually submits it because they have an idea they want to pitch or they want to sell something.
Every project is different. But every winning proposal follows the same basic structure. Once you understand this structure, you’ll save time and land more clients. Instead of starting from scratch, you can create a proposal template you can customize for every project.
What’s in a business proposal? This document provides you with a free business proposal template. Feel free to adjust it to suit your needs. No two businesses will use exactly the same format, so it’s important that you understand what the purpose of the proposal is. What are you trying to achieve? Does the format help you do that? If not, adjust it so that it does! Ultimately, a business proposal is comprised of three parts:
- A problem statement.
- A proposed solution.
- A pricing estimate. It’s worth noting that a business proposal is not just an estimate. While you will likely touch on costs in the proposal, an estimate is much more informal, and doesn’t take the whole picture into account in the same way a business proposal does.