A business proposal is probably one of the most comprehensive documents you will ever learn how to write. According to Ben Mulholland, there are 06 types of business proposals, but first the basics.
Business Proposal: The Basics
Before start writing any business proposal, one must first understand what the proposal is all about and learn the basics of that proposal.
Any business proposal is a written document that offers a specific product or service to a potential customer. According to Ben Mulholland, in his article: 06 Types of Project Proposals that Get Approved, there are 06 types of business proposals.
- Formally solicited
- Informally solicited
Solicited business proposals are submitted in response to a client-issued announcement and unsolicited proposals are presented to potential customers even though unrequested. These are the primary types of business proposals.
A formally solicited business proposal is prepared in response to an official request for proposal (RFP). This is the easiest way of creating a proposal for any new project since the request for proposal document will usually tell us exactly what the customer is expecting and at times, it also provides directions in preparing the proposal. RFP forms are not to be confused with the project request forms though the former is a way to react to the needs directions and desires, whereas the latter one is a way for the management to request for a project of their teams.
Hence, for formally solicited proposals we should opt for a structured approach to respond directly to the RFP details with the right subject matter experts and the best proposal management software.
Informally solicited project proposals are the same as formally solicited proposals, except the information they are based on is not specific in any written document. Because of this, responding may be harder and more research is involved in analyzing such opportunities, but we at least have a little-jagged starting point. It’s much simpler than a piece of small information that separates formal from informal, that is formal proposal requests have prior details, goals, deliverables, and potentially even methods, while informal proposals are based on any conversation.
If we are asked for a proposal but are not given any specifications, then it is an informally solicited one. The approach for this is not much different from a formally solicited one, but we will have to put some extra work in illustrating the details like the objectives and method, and in evaluating how practical the whole thing is.
Unsolicited project proposals are cold deals. No one asks for this; still, it can provide tons of value for our business. These are the proposals that are thought of by a person who is submitting them and can be inspired by anything like a moment in the employee’s daily work to a casual conversation with the Customer. Perhaps these are called as the hardest proposals to present, as you will have to be extra credible as no one asked for the proposal. Hence we have to be little extra prodding. This means gathering more confirmations than the normal to prove the proposal’s standards. One should take extra care while writing to make sure that it’s more convincing.
Planning for Proposal
Once you are comfortable with what kind of proposal we are presenting, we need to research and prepare for the document content to make sure that we do not miss out on vital information. Though what you write will differ based on the type of proposal we are submitting and the format it is using. In any of the proposal, we must concentrate on the below headers mainly. We have to
- Define our audience
- Know what problem the proposal handles
- Research on the current state of the issue
- Define the proposal clearly
- Forecast the effect this would hold
- Calculate the time and resources that would opt for
- Moreover, finally, create an outline of the document
Focus on understanding the base facts and covering ourselves for any questions that might counter our proposal. Zbizlink’s proposal management software automates the business proposal process for small to corporate proposal teams.