Business proposals

These can take many shapes or forms, but there are some key features that produce winning outcomes

There are three main areas which are common to proposals and they can be tailored to meet the intended audience

  • create a need or identify an opportunity
  • Provide the solution to fulfilling the need/leveraging the opportunity
  • provide assurance on risk and mitigation of potential losses

There are many templates available but a successful plan should encompass all three criteria noted above

There are a few things additionally which will help

1 Know your intended audience and understand what constraints they are working under and what would interest them- identify their needs and speak their language- have a strong opening/exec summary. – remember, people’s time are limited and it therefore directly proportional to their attention span

2 differentiate between a top level proposal and a detailed plan- start off at a high level and then drill down into the detail as you work through the presentation/document, relegate any detailed research or data ( i.e month by month profit-cash flow forecasts/market research data ) to the appendix- make sure they are consistent with  your proposition in the main body of the report .

3 Be clear about the time frame in which you will measure success and clearly state how you will monitor progress as the plan unfolds

4 clearly identify the resources you require to make the plan a success. This will not just include finance but suitably qualified personnel and IT systems that are required to enable progress and reporting

5 make sure you have full cost implications of 4 above and is included in the revenue/cost analysis with budgeted time frames

6 Clearly state your assumptions to your projections

Conclusion-Some pointers

Believe in your product/service and be passionate in presenting -take ownership of your proposal

Use  factual and informative points and don’t be overly opinionated and persuasive  but do leave  the intended audience with a difficulty in saying no