Ten Tips for Creating a Winning Proposal ? Part 1

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If you want your business to grow and attract new clients, you'll have to start creating meaningful proposals. The goal of a proposal is obviously to be awarded new work. It accomplishes this goal by providing answers to the questions of who, what, where, why, how and when.

But many small or home-based business owners have neither the time, knowledge or resources necessary to create proposals that properly relay the pertinent information about the company and its ability to provide the requested services.

If the mere thought of having to create a proposal is keeping you from bidding on jobs you know your business can handle, stop worrying! There are several proposal-building software products available that will help with this task.

Many are template-driven. All you have to do is select the templates that are appropriate to include in the proposal, use your word processor to add text that is specific to your type of business, then sit back and watch a professional-looking proposal emerge from your printer.

Read the following tips for an idea of the components that will help your proposals get the attention they need.

Tip #1 ? Identify the Problem

A proposal must show that the person or company submitting it clearly understands the problem that the prospective client is attempting to remedy. If the proposal cannot show right away, in the Executive Summary section, that you have a clear understanding of the problem, those reviewing it won't feel confident that your company will be capable of properly and effectively dealing with it. They'll see no reason to read beyond the Executive Summary section.

Tip #2 ? Identify the Proposed Solution

The proposal must also clearly outline the manner in which the bidder will address this problem. Include here the personnel you will assign to the project and their resumes. Mention here the estimated timeline for completing the work outlined in the bid. Also show the anticipated costs and how they will be allocated. Don't provide too much information about the proposed solution. You don't want to give the proposed solution away for free!

Tip #3 ? Make the Proposal Easy to Read

If the proposal itself is difficult to comprehend, contains grammar or spelling mistakes or is carelessly prepared, the chance of it being selected are greatly diminished. It will be difficult to convince the reviewers that the proposed work will get done properly if the proposal itself appears thrown together. Remember, the proposal is oftentimes the only chance a business has of making a first impression. Don't waste this valuable opportunity.

Tip #4 ? Prove You Understand the Market

The proposed solution must not be generic. It must take into consideration the nature of the company requesting the proposal. It's important to show in the proposal that you have analyzed the market, the competition, the opportunities that the business is missing by not implementing your proposed solution and the current trends in that market.

Tip #5 - Prove Your Company is The Best Choice

This is really what a proposal is all about. Before you can expect the clients to award the job to your company, they need to be convinced that your company is the best choice. Here you have the opportunity to boast about your company. Briefly describe the company's history including the number of years in business. Explain past projects where you applied similar methods of getting the job done and your results. Include resumes, certificates and other credentials of those who will handle the job.

Read on for five more valuable tips for creating winning proposals!

Copyright ? 2004 Cavyl Stewart. Get more software tips, strategies and recommendations to help you create winning proposals by signing up for my Exclusive 100% free, 100% original content ecourse: "The Secrets To Unlocking The Power In Your Proposals"! To sign up please visit:

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