How to Write a Business Proposal –
When approaching a new business partner or a potential client your business proposal is your first opportunity to make an impression.
Step One. Do your research. Learn everything you can about your potential partner or client. How long have they been in business? What is their specialty? Who is their target audience? Who have they partnered with or done business with in the past? What do they care about? This information is important because it will help you create a business proposal that appeals to them specifically.
For example, if your potential client is seeking web design services from you and you’ve created web design for a charity they are passionate about then it would pay to include or mention that relationship in the proposal.
Step Two. What’s in it for them? While it is important to highlight your strengths and what you bring to the table, it’s even more important to word your strengths as benefits to your potential partner or client. Tell them what’s in it for them. If you’re an expert at email marketing and have consistently created high converting campaigns, tell them what that means to them.
How will your expertise improve their life, solve their problems, and help them attain their goals? This is why research is so important; you have to know what their problems and goals are.
Step Three. Don’t skimp on the details. In other words, be specific. Show you’ve done your research. If you say you can achieve a certain sales level, back it up with evidence. If you want to split the profits 60/40 back it up with specific reasons why the split is fair and how the work will be divided. Offer dates, deadlines, and dollars to provide a comprehensive plan.
Step Four. Be personal. There are an abundance of cookie cutter business proposal templates available. These plans may be fine to provide an outline of what to include in your proposal. However, you’ll have a much stronger plan if it is written with the specific business proposal plans and personalities in mind.
Step Five. Let them know how to proceed. Give them a call to action. There are two schools of thought on how to wrap up a business plan. The first is to leave the ball in their court. Give them a way to contact you and perhaps include a deadline. This may work well if there is a sense of urgency or scarcity to your proposal and if you have a number of potential partners.
Conversely, the other possibility is to end the proposal with a time in which you will follow up with them. For example, “I will follow up with you at the end of the week. Please let me know if you have any questions.”
A comprehensive and personal business plan is a great start to a positive and profitable relationship. Approach the plan keeping your potential partner’s needs in mind and always provide a method for them to contact you. Good luck!