More than a quarter of what makes up the $3.8 trillion global Information Technology market is in the United States with the IT industry accounting for $1.14 trillion of U.S. value-added GDP and 10.5 million jobs. The software industry alone has had a 14.6 percent increase in the number of jobs created directly since 2014. And as the techno brats in Silicon Valley continue to grow in numbers and create larger than life software inventions, web, mobile application and everything else that they may discover technology has yet to offer, international companies in the industry also keeps showing a keen interest in investing in the U.S. IT market because of its iron clad intellectual property rights laws and enforcement.
The industry truly has a wide market that IT professionals and enthusiasts can rely on, when it comes to doing business. However, success in an IT business means more than just being tech savvy. You also need to know how to score a steady stream of clients if you have an IT business that you want to expand in the near future.
The tools and the market are already there. All you need to do is to learn how to take advantage of it, enough to gain profit and show or prove your expertise in the industry which could be crucial in developing a brand of your own when you’re just starting as a small business out of the thousands in the market. You’re no Steve Jobs, Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg. But you can try adapting some of their strategies to build a legacy of your own, no matter how big of a dream that sounds right now.
Without a doubt, like most businesses, a company that offers IT services would be looking for more clients or if it’s just starting, build a good client base which would take effort, planning and writing a wining proposal to seal deals especially if it’s not yet tasked with completing internal projects. If you have never written a business proposal before, fret not. Writing a proposal doesn’t have to be a complicated process and after successfully writing one, the rest will be so much easier.
When a good opportunity becomes available in any form from companies who are looking for an IT firm’s services, it’s so easy to feel the pressure of getting your proposal written as soon as possible and send it to those who have opened bids and requested for proposals. Of course you have to send it sooner rather than later but it is more important to take the time and effort to get to know the client or company and the project at hand because this is what could help you build a proposal that has a higher chance of getting their attention and being accepted. Generally, a business proposal follows the structure below, and writing one for your IT business shouldn’t be any different. You just have to tailor it to who the client, or what the project is:
If you want to speed up the writing process for the proposal, you can take advantage of pre-designed templates available on the internet, although it’s wiser to develop your own since you would learn so much more about writing proposals if you write your very first one on your own. You can also choose to use the template as a guide or you might want to start off by writing an outline first.
Include the details of your products or certain services, or some of your experience in the business specific or relevant to what the client and their project requires. For example, web designers can include details about widgets, tell the client about templates or online shopping and free shipping technologies; app developers might want to include different apps for entertainment and network experts may want to share specifications for internet cables, modems, and third party routers they can recommend for better internet connection; IT trainers can include helpful online courses and free tutorials as well as certifications being offered.
The most important thing to remember about proposals is the ultimate goal to convince prospect clients to do business with you and award your company the contracts to do the project with, persuade your manager to give up on your proposed project and let you handle it or if possible, to acquire funding for a new IT venture. In convincing them, you have to prove and show that you have the ability to deliver the kind of products and services they need or want. Under no circumstances should you send the client just a price quote or estimates unless they asked for it because it would leave a bad impression when they haven’t even got to look at your proposal yet.
The proposal you write should of course be based on what your client needs and it is important to indicate that you understand those needs and that it is your every intention to fulfill them and do more if you can. This means that your proposal shouldn’t just be a copy of a dozen previous proposals no matter how good they are, because you have to customize it. Every project is unique and so a uniform proposal won’t do for more than one client. Different clients have different needs and different requirements, thus you need to tailor your proposal to what they are requiring, otherwise you’ll risk not being trusted to get the job done and you’ll lose the client to the competitor.
Start your proposal with a cover and title page. Write a short personal introduction and provide your updated contact details so the client can easily reach you if they need more information or certain clarifications. The title page is a page with the title of your proposal. For example, you can write down “Proposal for General Technical Services for Linwood Firm” or “Web Design Services” etc.
After writing your introduction, make a description of the prospective client’s needs. For lengthy proposals involving complex projects, there should be a summary before the detailed pages. Proposals for corporations usually have this summary as Executive Summary. For other less corporate but still complex proposals, the summary is oftentimes referred to as Client Summary. You should be able to describe the client’s needs and your goals on the summary page. You also have too discuss restrictions and limitations of your services relevant to the project or task.
The final parts of your proposal will be a great opportunity for you to promote the project as well as your company’s products and services. This section will typically include a few pages describing exactly what you can offer and the corresponding figures. You can indicate general headings in the pages such as Services Provided, Features, Benefits, and a quote summary of the costs or breakdown and combine other detailed pages with a complete description of products and services. Explain how you plan to fulfill the task required as to the client’s needs and provide a list of associated costs. You can make use of topics like Equipment, Software or Hardware, Options, Limitations, Scale, Specifications, etc.
The specific services that you offer will be the determining factor for specific topics and pages that you need to have in your proposal. You can also determine how much detail would be required in presenting your proposal if you now the scope and size of the project or task that the client needs.
After completing the aforementioned steps, you can now print or save the proposal in PDF format and mail or deliver it to the client through your secretary or any representative. The modern business world would dictate you to email your PDF files but getting it printed and delivered by hand or personally with a personal signature rather than scanned, would always leave a better and bigger impression. It would tell the client that you and your company are willing to sweat it out and make extra effort to get their business.