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Learn How to Start a Business Proposal – Part – II

Business proposals are classified into three segments. The first part covers the concepts of how to start a business proposal, and the later part covers making our Proposal, and the final section covers how to conclude the Business Proposal. We have already discussed part I in our previous blog. Let us now discuss Part II which clearly explains how to make our business proposal more effective.


Making our Business Proposal

Before writing any business proposal, research plays a major role. “Research and analyze your product, your market, and your objective expertise, consider spending twice as much time researching, evaluating and thinking as you spend writing the business plan.” As a proposal writer, we must be clear in determining the purpose of our plan and try to create a Company Profile. Document all the aspects of our business. Try to have a strategic marketing plan in place. To write the perfect plan, we must know our company, our product, our competition, and the market intimately. Make sure that it is adaptable based on our audience.

  • Suggest a detailed solution. Once we identify the problem, we must tell the reader how we propose a solution to solve the problem. Try to be as transparent as possible. Ideally, our solution would be to provide our goods or services to the Customer. For instance, we could present it as: “Acme Accounting concentrates mainly on Accounting and Payroll Services for future minor and mid-sized businesses. We can offer complete service in the following areas such as inventory account balancing, year-end tax calculations and statements, ledger maintenance and summaries, and finally, standard pay period checks origination.” Ideally. That would be better to represent bullet points so that this information is readable.
  • Explicate the benefits of our solution. There may be various procedures to solve the problem. Hence, we need to explain precisely why our solution is the best. We can represent in bullet points to list out the benefits. The most common benefits include cost savings to the business, professional expertise, and confidentiality.
    • Make sure that we justify our expected benefits with proper evidence. For example, we may rely on previous studies that represent the benefits of following our solution that is proposed.
    • If there are no previous studies, then we need to depend on the observation by prominent people from the industry. For example, a former Customer could testify that we saved their business money.
  • Outline our task schedule properly. We need to explain the timeline for the tasks that are completed. This is essential information that could alter in the future, but it plays a vital role if the reader gets some idea of how we will go about executing our proposal.
    • We can summarize certain milestones. For example, if we suggest remodeling any store, then we should include the date that we start and when the store is ready for reopening.
    • Constantly try to explain that our timeline is an estimate and is liable on other factors too.
  • Include our budget appropriately. For any Customer, a budget may be the most critical part of the business proposal. The reader needs to know if they can afford our services, so we should include information about pricing. Be conventional. For instance, we may need to add up the predicted budget and then multiply by 1.5 to account for any unanticipated circumstances. Ensure to mention that the numbers are only sample estimates. Based on the proposal, we need to include the following information such as initial set-up costs, labor costs, supply costs, ongoing monthly charges and maintenance charges.
  • Label the contract terms. We should also include essential contract terms so that the reader will understand more about the contract they are entering. We could include information such as the following for instance such as:
    • How much is being paid on the date of signing?
    • Penalties or interests calculated for late payment.
    • Cancellation policies, for instance, there are no pre-payment penalties.

Zbizlink is a cloud-based software that helps in streamlining the proposal management in the RFP response process. The solution automates import and export functions, centralizes content, and enables collaboration among shareholders. One-stop solution, enhanced by an intelligent recommendation engine, provides centralized content and a collaboration hub. The integration of Technology allows all the teams to connect instantly to the people and content. Dashboards give evident reflectivity into RFP progress. Get in touch for prominent services. 

Zbizlink helps you be more productive when locating, creating, collaborating on and managing business-critical documents like pitches, proposals, contracts, RFP responses and more. Let’s take a Demo and explore more about ZBL.

Learn How to Start a Business Proposal – Part – I

A business proposal is a black and white agreement from a vendor to a prospective customer. Business proposals are the key documents in the complex sales process.

A proposal puts the Customer’s requirements in a context that favors the vendor’s products and services and informs the Customer about the abilities of the vendor in satisfying their demands. We need to draft a business proposal before we offer products or services to another business. We need to write a proposal in response to a Request for Proposal (RFP), which companies or government organizations send out when they have a problem which they need assistance with. Hence a business proposal should identify the Problem Statement, Proposed Solution and explain why you are the best vendor to solve the problem. A business proposal is never a business plan, which is a different document.

Our current blog is classified into three segments. The first part covers the concepts of how to start a business proposal, and the latter part covers making our Proposal, and the final section covers how to conclude the Business Proposal. Let us discuss Part-I in detail.


Starting the Business Proposal

  • Starting the Business Proposal
    • Go through the given Request for Proposal (RFP) carefully. We need to submit a response to a business proposal to receive an RFP. Large businesses and public sector agencies send out RFPs when they require, for instance, an industry that is being charged may send out RFPs to different companies related to law asking for a business proposal. In turn, the public agency may also send out RFP if they need to buy supplies of a product. The proposed RFP should contain the required information which we must understand carefully before writing our business proposal.
      • Ensure that we can meet the Customer’s requirements as mentioned in the given RFP. For instance, if we cannot come in under the detailed budget or given a timeline, then we should not submit the proposal. Instead, we can reach out to a business which we think could use our services.
    • Ask proper questions. We need our business proposal to respond to the Customer’s actual needs. Which means we need to understand the Customer clearly and clearing up all the confusions in the RFP by asking proper questions. We always need to step into the Customer’s shoes and try to analyze the problems from their perspective. To help this process, you need to talk to the Customers and get answers to the following questions
      • If there were any prior attempts made to address the issue. If yes, why did they fail?
      • What are the criteria that the Customer will use while evaluating a business proposal?
      • If there are any concerns about the current vendor.
      • If the Customer wants to make sure whether their proposal is consistent with existing operating policies.
    • Format the document properly. We need our business proposal readable. The font that we follow should be in a size and style that the reader is comfortable with consistency throughout. For this, we have to use the font that is asked by the Customer, if not mentioned, we ideally use Times New Roman 12 point.
      • We can also go through sample proposals used in the industry. We can also find business proposal templates online. Using one of these templates can make our business proposal look professional.
    • Add a suitable title page. We need to have a title page as the cover page to our business proposal. The title page should comprise of the following information such as our name, our company’s name, the name of the person we are submitting the proposal to, and finally the date we are providing the proposal.
    • Introduce the problem carefully. A business proposal recognizes the problem and recommends a solution. Hence, we should start by identifying the problem in simple and clear language and try to explicate why the present situation is a problem for the Customer.
    • Provide the context if required. We need to explain the background so that the reader understands the proposal.
    • Define critical terms if any. Though our proposal should be simple and clear, there may be some terminology that we need to define for the reader. Note that we might submit our business proposal to an industry that understands industry jargon. However, the person who makes the final decision might not be familiar with industry terms.
    • Suggest a roadmap for the proposal. If we have a lengthy business proposal, then we need to offer an overview of what follows the introduction. For instance, we could write, “This business proposal has four parts. Part I covers Introduction, Part II, we offer the proposed solution, timetable, and an explanation of benefits in detail. We offer an itemized budget and a set of standard contract terms in Part III. Finally, in Part IV, we summarize our experiences and approve that our proposed solution is the correct course of conduct.”

Zbizlink is such Proposal Software and RFP management solution that enables sales, proposal and bid teams to generate, collaborate on and share all opportunity related content without leaving the familiar world of Microsoft Office and CRM. Bid, Sales and Marketing Teams globally, use Zbizlink.

Zbizlink helps you be more productive when locating, creating, collaborating on and managing business-critical documents like pitches, proposals, contracts, RFP responses and more. Let’s take a Demo and explore more about ZBL.