Did you know that RFPs have a 30% chance of winning a government contract?
Just about every service business has to create estimates or business proposals. Not every business is successful in creating bids that win.
Professional business proposals and estimates are the difference between winning large contracts with government agencies and corporations and stagnation. Those large companies ensure that your business grows for years to come.
How to Write a Business Proposal in 5 Steps
Writing a business proposal isn’t always easy, but you can create impressive business proposals with the tips below. Read on to discover what they are.
1. Get Your Team Together
Some proposals are incredibly complex and you need to get input from other team members to write them. Look at your notes from the client meeting or read the RFP again.
Have your team members look at the information as well and figure out what’s required to create the bid
If it’s a simple estimate, you can have one person in charge of the estimate and have someone else review it. For lengthy RFPs, you should divide the work among your team, with one person overseeing the final result.
Also read: How to Write an Effective Press Release
2. Address Every Challenge
You’ll often create business proposals in response to an RFP or an at-home appointment. You have to make sure that you understand what the client truly needs before you start to write the proposal.
You should read the RFP several times and write down the key challenges the client wants you to address.
With an RFP, all of the information is in the document. An in-home estimate or other types of business proposals are a little different. You have to listen to a customer very carefully.
You have to read between the lines and find out what they need but might not be saying. Be prepared to ask a lot of follow-up questions so you can address all of the needs and include them in your proposal.
You’ll stand a much better chance at winning the bid by asking pointed questions and including them in your estimate.
3. Use Templates and Tools
Do you find that you’re spending a lot of time writing proposals? Business proposals are important because they enable you to get more business, but that time could be spent elsewhere.
You need to find creative ways to write proposals without sucking up your time.
One way to cut down on the amount of time is to use software. If you go this route, you want to make sure that you get business proposal software for your industry, the way this software is for construction estimates.
Another way to cut down on time is to use a business proposal template. There are some things in proposals that won’t change, such as your company background and information.
You do have to read the template carefully to make sure that you use the latest version of the template. You don’t want information for another job to appear in a proposal for a prospect.
That comes across as unprofessional and won’t get you the job.
4. Don’t Overpromise or Underprice
Do you know why a lot of businesses stay away from writing proposals? They find that the jobs that they do win aren’t profitable.
That’s because they don’t price the job to make money. They assume that they’ll win if they come in with the lowest bid. They will win a lot of work, but they’ll end up hating the job.
Here’s what you need to know about pricing winning bids. The job costs what it costs. You should price every job the same. You should know how much time the job will take, add a contingency line item to the budget, and make sure you’re poised to profit.
At the other end of the spectrum, businesses can fall into the trap of being everything to the client. In this case, they’ll say in the estimate they can deliver something they’re not equipped to do.
As an example, a small marketing agency is writing a business proposal for a large client that needs SEO. The problem is that the agency doesn’t have the expertise to handle SEO.
They might say they have the expertise and figure it out later. Should they get the job, they could end up losing money because they underpriced it and they might not deliver solid results.
You don’t want to fall into a similar trap, even though it’s tempting to get a huge contract. Stick with what you know you can deliver.
Also read: How to Improve Your Writing Skills in 2021
5. Deliver the Estimate Before the Deadline
This may seem pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised to learn how many businesses don’t submit proposals on time.
You don’t want to wait until the last minute to deliver business proposals. If you tell a prospect that you’ll deliver the estimate by a certain date, you have to follow through.
It’s possible to have your bid considered. It’s unlikely that you’ll win because that reflects poorly on your business. People assume that’s how you’ll perform the work, too.
Writing Business Proposals to Grow Your Business
You have to have a good understanding of what goes into writing business proposals. You should always deliver on time and address all of the questions and concerns.
Cut down on the time it takes to write proposals by using software or a business proposal template. That will ensure that your estimate is priced right and you don’t overpromise on the job.
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