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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Creating Your Own Business Proposal Using A Sample Business Proposal

By Robert Murray

On the lookout for new clients? In today's economic climate, there's no reason to improvise when you must write business proposals. Try picking up a sample business proposal or template, and flesh out your sample until you have an attention getting document that will win over your clients and earn you some business when you most need it.

The first step of any writing endeavor should always be pre-writing. Don't be concerned about the quality of your writing -- what you are going to be writing now is purely for your benefit; they're not going to see this, so relax and do it your own way. Through pre-writing we can start to see exactly what services we want to offer, what goals you can realistically achieve, and what qualifies you for this position more than the next worker.

Consider your business proposal and what you're offering. Cut your goals into numerous steps, writing down what will be needed to win each step. Organize your steps so that your reader is led to believe that by following your proposal, they will without question be led to success by way of that goal you wrote about in the pre-writing phase.

Start off the writing process with a simple cover letter. Make sure to use two or three paragraphs to summarize your goals -- for instance, you could write: "Our company will help you by doing x, y, and z. X number of businesses in this region do regular business with us." There's nothing wrong with elaborating on your successes. Don't ruin your chances with an exaggerating cover letter.

Write your business proposal. Most of the time, proposals follow a very clearly defined structure: an executive summary that says what services you will provide and what you will do to win your goal, a statement of work offers that outline what you plan on doing, steps that will take your client from problem to solution, qualifications that set you apart from the pack, and lastly the boring payment arrangements and contract terms.

Keep in mind that this is still just a first draft, so don't freak out -- stay calm and write what you want your client to know. Imagine potential customers sitting across from you right now. What would you say to them that would make them want to invest in your services?

Since this is the first draft, quality is not overly crucial at this stage. Realistically, the only thing you need to worry about here is finishing your proposal and fitting your information into the well defined structure of a proposal. If there's anything you want to change -- spelling, grammar, anything else -- it can be done later.

Take a look at the prices you're offering and the terms of your contract. Try searching the web for businesses that are similar so you can be sure to offer competitive prices. If it turns out you are overcharging, it is far better to discover this now than when you are sitting across from your future client.

With that first draft in the can, it's time to rewrite your business proposal as is necessary. Try asking a friend to look over your proposal to catch any typo's you may have passed. If you would like to fix, change, or add, do it now, and then re-read your work.

When you believe you've got your proposal in a finished state, try a little role-playing to head off troublesome customers. Why not try putting on your customer's shoes for a little while? Consider how they'll see your proposal. Is there anything that might hang them up? Brainstorm as many reasons for the client not to buy from you as possible, and then create counterarguments to squash their anxiety.

Though it's hard work, writing a business proposal is far from impossible. By taking the time to run through the above steps with your sample business proposal in hand, you'll save tons of time and deliver a quality piece of work that will satisfy not just clients, but your company also. - 23208

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