What Is a Small Business Proposal?

A business proposal is like a sales pitch where you try to persuade and sell yourself or your service to a potential customer or company. It outlines the steps that you will take to resolve the issue or to complete a specific task.

How to Create a Small Business Proposal

how to create a small business proposal

The key elements of an effective business proposal are the executive summary, project details, market analysis, timeline, terms and conditions, budget estimate, and the project disclaimer. Here are a few helpful steps on how you make a business proposal draft.

1. Start Collecting Data

To effectively create an impact with your sample proposal, you need to know what your possible client is looking for. Talking to them is one way of gathering important insights on what they're really after. Visiting one or two of their sites or offices will also give you ideas on how you will formulate the right solution or project that will satisfy the client's demand.

2. Present the Project Scope

Make a thorough comprehension of what the customer is expecting to understand what work or procedure is needed to carry out the project plan. Write down all the tasks including the raw materials and resources needed to complete the project. Mention the people who will comprise your workforce, their expertise, and the field of specialization. Include the timeframe on when the project will start and the estimated schedule of its completion.

3. Estimate the Project Cost

Create an accurate estimate sheet of the total project costs. This includes the costs for materials/equipment, labor expense, professional fees, and others. Multiplying your estimated project work time by 1.5 will provide you a flexible calculation on the total budget.

4. Draft the Proposal

Write a short but concise introduction on why they should choose you for the job. Present your solution to the business demands of your client and incorporate the lists of the workload and deliverables that you intend to apply to the project. The body of your proposal should contain the project breakdown, pricing and budget, the terms and conditions, lists of previous clients and references, payment schedules, and more. It's also advisable to include a caveat or a disclaimer to your proposal to provide a heads up to your readers that you reserve the right to make any changes to the proposal in case there is a need for it.

5. Copyedit the Final Draft

Read over each line and paragraphs on the contract to proofread and correct typos, grammar, and vocabulary errors. Filter out unnecessary words or context that may have double meanings or may sound confusing to your reader. Always remember that a single typo or grammatical error may appear unprofessional and may imply incompetence in your part. Let a colleague review your final draft or, better yet, hire a freelance proofreader.

6. Mail Your Proposal

To start on the right foot with your potential partner, follow the submission guidelines of the company or the client that you wished to work with. You may be asked to send your proposal via email or submit it through the company's portal. Once you've submitted your proposal, allow some time before following up. Make sure that you provided them with your contact details so they will know when and how to contact you if ever they've already made a decision.

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