Your business success and income always depends on having a regular stable of clients, but sometimes, old clients may not throw you as much business as usual. That’s why being able to submit high-quality and persuasive proposals on a regular basis to various prospects is the key to always keeping your doors open as a small business.
A business proposal is perhaps one of the most critical documents you need to learn how to write. It is what spells the difference between success and failure, whether you’re a freelancer or you have a company of your own.
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.
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.