While commercial proposals may be used in a variety of situations, they tend to follow a similar format. The proposal leads with an executive summary which succinctly presents the business case. There then follows a problem statement, solution statement and detailed pricing information.
A well-written commercial proposal can mean the difference between an excellent business idea becoming a reality or remaining a fantasy. An effective proposal can act as a tool to obtain a bank loan, entice potential investors and refine the entrepreneur's vision for the business. A strong proposal also functions as one of the first marketing tools a business creates, because it shows what the business can do for its customers and how it solves problems in its industry.
Present the Business Case
The executive summary is the first section of the commercial proposal. It is also the part of the proposal where the business owners present their case for a business relationship. The executive summary contains the essential information of the proposal in clear, specific language. An effective executive summary should be short and easy to read, without overly technical jargon or cliche-ridden marketing-speak, because the decision-makers who read it will often have limited time to examine it.
Describe the Problem
The problem statement shows the reader the issue the business proposal aims to solve. This section also shows the decision-maker that the entrepreneur understands the industry, the problems the industry faces and the impact that these problems have on productivity and profitability. For instance, a marketing company can examine the widespread use of social media, show how companies are failing to take advantage of advertising in social media and demonstrate how these missed opportunities are impacting their bottom lines.
Showcase Your Solution
Once the proposal has shown the impact of the problem, the next step lies in showing how the proposal will solve those problems. This is your commercial offer. While the executive summary section outlines the potential solutions, the bulk of the proposal will show these plans in more detail. An effective proposal will also show the reasons why the proposal writer is uniquely qualified to solve these issues. This section will demonstrate the proposal writer's experience, innovation or other distinct advantages over the competition.
Give Clear and Accurate Pricing
The pricing information section will detail the amount of cash the proposal writer needs to solve the issues presented in the proposal. This section breaks down the costs of any technology, training, materials or other resources the company needs to start work on the project. This section should also include a call to action, which encourages the reader to consider the proposal, review the writer's qualifications and contact the writer with her decision.
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