Four Steps to Creating a Business Proposal That Gets You Noticed and Wins You Clients
Are you a small business owner looking to attract the attention of potential clients? Creating a strong, compelling business proposal is an excellent way of being heard above the noise. It’s a powerful way of getting your business in front of potential clients and showing them that you have the solutions to their challenges.
Here, we’ll break down the basics of how to craft an effective business proposal in four simple steps.
Step 1: Research Your Prospective Client and Their Needs
Before you can even begin writing your proposal, you must first do your research. Take the time to learn as much as possible about the prospective client. This will give you insight into their needs and desires.
The following questions will help you develop a good profile:
- Who are they?
- Who are the key decision-makers?
- What products/services do they offer?
- How long have they been in business?
- Who are their customers/clients?
- Who are their ideal customers/clients?
- What are the company’s values and culture?
- What are their current challenges, and how can you help them with them? (This is the big one!)
- How competitive is their industry? (And who are their competitors?)
- What is their reputation among customers and in the industry?
Researching potential customers will pay off in spades when it comes time to write your proposal.
Step 2: Write Your Proposal
Now that you have an outline, it’s time to write your proposal. Start with a catchy introduction that immediately grabs the reader’s attention. This will help set the tone for the rest of the document.
Try using the following template.
Template: [Address the big pain point, e.g. high bills, low credibility, productivity, need a way to elevate brand, poor image]. [Provide the answer, which is how you can help.]
- “Stop paying big bucks for energy every month! Window tinting saves money and keeps your office more comfortable.”
- “Project a greater image of your business and attract new, higher paying clients.”
- “Onsite, barista-quality coffee at the push of a button will slash the time your staff spend going to the café and keep them well caffeinated too.”
- “Picture your brand on this premium quality pasta sauce made to your recipe! Your customers will love taking a piece of your experience home.”
- “Customers judge businesses by the way they present themselves. Turn your fleet into the shiniest, most impressive, well-maintained fleet in town.”
By outlining the results you can achieve for them, you allow them to get excited about the possibilities.
Step 3: Outline Your Proposal
Next, introduce yourself and your business, and summarise the problem your potential client needs to solve and how you plan on solving it. Demonstrate your understanding of the problem and explain how your products or services have helped others. You might like to include a couple of customer testimonials and perhaps a case study outlining how you have genuinely helped another client.
Examples might look like this:
- How your window tinting has saved XYZ business thousands of dollars a year in energy costs.
- How your graphic design services elevated the client’s image across their brand and gained them new, higher paying clients.
- How your automatic coffee machines have resulted in higher productivity and less time offsite each day for your workforce.
- How your contract food manufacturing business has created new private label products (and a profitable new revenue stream) for hospitality outlets.
- How your mobile car detailing business has vastly improved the image of your fleet of vehicles out on the road.
Finish your outline by outlining the associated costs and benefits of working with you or your company. Make sure each point is clear and concise; don’t be afraid to get creative!
The following template can help you get started.
Template: Hello [potential customer name]. [Your business name] has been helping [location] businesses [how you fix pain points] for [length of time]. We’re [business style] and take great pride in [the value you provide] for our customers by [the actual difference you make], meaning [how the customer tangibly benefits].
Our customers typically find that [outline pricing benefit]. [Outline the benefits of choosing your business, e.g. warranty, no disruption, maintenance agreement, 24/7 customer service, etc.].
Example: Hello, James. Sundown Window Tinting has been helping Brisbane businesses take control of the impact of the hot sun for more than ten years. We’re family owned and take great pride in saving lots of money for our customers by reducing the internal temperature of their premises, meaning their air conditioning costs are significantly lowered.
Our customers typically realise a return on investment for their window tinting within three months. We get the job done without any interference in daily operations, and our customers know that if they have any issues with our product, we will correct them promptly.
Next, dive into the body of your proposal. Make sure each point is well-defined, logical, and easy to understand. Your potential customer should be able to see how each point applies to them so they can assess its real value to their business.
Try the following template for yourself:
Hello [potential customer name]. [Your business name] has been helping [location] businesses [how you fix pain points] for [length of time]. We’re [business style] and take great pride in [the value you provide] for our customers by [the actual difference you make], meaning [how the customer tangibly benefits].
Example: Hello, James. Sundown Window Tinting has been helping Brisbane businesses take control of the impact from the hot sun for more than ten years. We’re family owned and take great pride in saving lots of money for our customers by reducing the internal temperature of their premises, meaning their air conditioning costs are significantly lowered.
Step 4: Write a Conclusion that Makes Them Want to Call You
Finish with a conclusion summarising all key points in an easily digestible format. Remember, keep it simple but engaging!
Don’t forget to include a call to action at the end.
Try the following template for yourself.
Template: [Reiterate what you’ll do and how the customer will benefit.] [Detail how to reach you.]
- Turn down the sun and realise genuine savings. Contact us today on 0411 111 111.
- Elevate your image and attract a new level of clients. Reach out to me today on 0411 111 111 and I can send you other samples of my work.
- For a free, no-obligation demonstration of our automatic coffee machines in our showroom or onsite at your office, call me on 0411 111 111.
- Like to discuss the delicious possibilities further? Call me on 0411 111 111 for a taste.
- It’s time to level up your fleet’s visual appearance. Call me today on 0411 111 111 to arrange an onsite quote.
An Effective Business Proposal is an Opportunity You Create
When you consider the endless marketing forms available to you, a business proposal makes a lot of sense. It’s proactive, it’s targeted, and it has the potential to deliver great bang for buck. In fact, it doesn’t even have to cost you anything! Of course, if writing is not your greatest skill, be sure to reach out to someone who’s good with words. Your business proposal must have polish and it must have credibility. Don’t let an opportunity go to waste.
There’s no getting around the fact that crafting a good business proposal takes time and effort. If done properly, winning a business proposal can hugely benefit small businesses looking to gain new customers or contracts. By following these steps – researching prospective clients, creating an outline for your proposal, writing a compelling document, and leaving them with a definite reason to call you – you can make sure that yours stands out from the crowd!