Many new professionals, even some “seasoned” professionals, struggle with writing formal proposals. Proposals are even more important when owning your own business. They come in handy in various areas such as the office, consulting or selling equipment. I thought this might be helpful for those entrepreneur readers we have frequenting us.
Some Key things to consider:
- Proposals are written offers to solve problems, provide services, or sell equipment as mentioned above.
- A Request For Proposal is most often known as a RFP for short.
- Explain the purpose of the proposal.
- “Hook” them from the get go. Suggest excellent results, low cost, or exclusive resources. If you really want to impress them, identify a problem, address the issue and show them you’re the best person for the job.
- Talk about the importance of the proposal and its goals.
- For unsolicited proposals—convince the reader that a problem exists (I don’t like this method much, but it works).
- For solicited proposals—show that you get the problem and understand its importance to get resolved.
- Present your plan.
- Talk about the implementation and evaluation (evaluation is a hot topic for most companies because they want to make sure your services are working and helping the company).
- Outline a schedule showing dates (this makes clients feel more comfortable as opposed to having no idea when to expect things).
- Explain your expertise on the content being addressed or the project
- Show that your resources are superior than the competition
- Itemize all costs carefully
- Proposals are essentially contracts
- Ask for approval; make it easy for them to reply.
Intro, background, proposal, staffing, budget and authorization; there you have it. A crash course on writing a RFP. Obviously, the final product will be more detailed and more elaborate, but this gives you a good foundation to work with. If you use this as an outline to formulate your next consultation or bid, be sure to send me a link or comment to this post, very much appreciated
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