Are you ready to send off your business proposal? Before you do, you’ll want to make sure it’s complete – and there are a number of commonly overlooked components that should be included in the final document. Without them, you may be looking at lost clients or missed deadlines, harming your business and your reputation. It pays to get things right the first time.
To avoid missing out on important business opportunities, complete your proposal in full the first time and include these five key documents. Half measures won’t help you in the business world, so make your opening move with all the pieces of your proposal in order.
Case studies are a valuable part of your business proposal because they provide a detailed look at a complete scenario, demonstrating that you’ve thought through your product from start to finish. But more important than that, your case study is the best way to answer the “why” questions that underlie your proposal: why now; why this solution; why me? Your case study clearly notes the pain point that your solution is meant to address and shows that this is undoubtedly the best way to manage the problem.
Your case study should also demonstrate the expected outcome when your solution is compared to a competitor – if a competing service of product is already on the market. If you can’t demonstrate at least a few key reasons why your proposal is a better answer to the problem than your competitor, you have no business asking investors to support you at this time.
While your case study is unlikely to be entirely positive, it should offer a realistic assessment of what you offer to your target market, and if you can’t speak intelligently about direct competitors, it will quickly become clear that even if you know your product, you don’t know your market as well as you should. Without that foundational knowledge, further marketing and developing insights will be sorely limited.
Spec sheets are one of the most useful aspects of your business proposal, but they’re often overly detailed for the main body of your submission. Certainly your core proposal should highlight the main tech specifications associated with your product, such as what kind of operating system your software uses or the sizes your product comes in, but the spec sheet is where your audience – and eventually your buyers – will turn when they need the entire picture.
You might also consider supplementing your spec sheets with the specs for competing products, because a side-by-side comparison is exactly what fuels most purchasing decisions. If you can’t clearly demonstrate what sets your product apart in a side-by-side comparison, you’re going to have a difficult time converting buyers.
Spec sheets can easily get overwhelming, so spend some time making your sheets visually interesting, creating a format that guides your reader to the pertinent information, clearly indicating how you stand out. Using color check indicators or highlighting can help your reader note what factors they should pay special attention to as they read.
Manufacturer quotes are just one part of the financials that should be included in your business proposal, giving a clear sense that you can provide what you promise at a set price point and make a profit. What’s more, your manufacturer quotes should also demonstrate – at least in a general sense – that your manufacturer can provide your product on the timeline that you lay out.
Be sure that any manufacturer quotes and related sales and profit projections are conservative – a conservative projecting is a smart projection and your reader needs to know that you understand how the competitive marketplace works. You can’t just take one number and extrapolate out; rather, you need to take your numbers, statistics about your competitors’ sales and loyalty rates, and strike a balance.
Awards And Letters
While all your numbers and hard case information should cast a cautiously optimistic light on your proposal, awards and letters of recommendation are great ways to amp up your readers’ confidence in your abilities. Tell them about those design and marketing awards you won or the great entrepreneurs that you worked with, and have those names on hand to back you up.
Just like a great recommendation letter could make or break your college applications all those years ago, recommendation letters tell investors and clients a lot about whether or not they want to work with you, about your character as a professional. Furthermore, when it comes to past accomplishments, there’s no reason to be modest – you’ve done the work.
Staff Or Board Information
In addition to what you’ve accomplished and who you’ve worked with in the past, you should consider sharing your staff or board information in your proposal, even if it’s only a work in progress right now. You should particularly emphasize co-owners and what their share in the company is, as well as what qualifications your board members hold.
A good advisory team can make or break a business, so if you can demonstrate to potential investors or clients that your board is made up of big names with a lot of industry pull or experience, that information may actually help you get further in the business world than your quotes or case studies, even though that information may seem more concrete in value.
The iQuoteXpress Advantage
When it’s time to submit that business proposal, you need to have the right tools and experience on your side – that’s why you need the iQuoteXpress advantage. We specialize in handling the complete proposal process from initial contact to completed pricing, and can help you easily navigate the particularities of your industry. The key to our success? You specialize in the product and we specialize in the process, allowing everyone to bring their expertise to the project.
If you’re preparing to assemble an important proposal, contact iQuoteXpress today. We’re happy to discuss the proposal process with you and help you understand how our services can help you easily move from a proposal to a done deal.
That’s the iQuoteXpress advantage and that’s our guarantee.