The key to writing a good business proposal is satisfying the needs and requirements from the request for proposal (RFP). The basic structure of your proposal should include an executive summary, followed by all of your supporting/backup information.
When the customer is reading your business proposals they may only get as far as the initial executive summary. Therefore this section needs to be very punchy and include details of the exact approach and delivery techniques you use for executing their new business ideas. You want to make sure it satisfies all the key requirements detailed in their RFP. This is not an opportunity to promote extraneous information which the customer may not be interested in.
The remainder of the document (i.e. the second section) includes all the supporting data and information. It should highlight who will actually perform the work, the management techniques being used, the list of work activities that need to be done, initial costing analysis, delivery expectations, production approaches, reporting techniques and monitoring/evaluation criteria.
It is commonplace these days to include an appendix section for any in-depth data. This is often done for including lists of who will do the work or in-depth cost information. You should always realize that many executives reading the business proposal will only get as far as the executive summary. Therefore each section needs to be lead on from the next and stay as concise as possible.
With an initial draft of the business proposal complete you should then use the evaluation criteria (in the RFP) to establish its current score. This will give you a baseline on which to improve further drafts. With this in mind, you should always be trying to get rid of generalities or global truths. Always focus back on the needs/benefits which the customer is looking for and explain clearly how your company’s the right one for completing this work.
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