The art of developing proposals is a vital skill in writing. It is vast and features in the Academia, Business and Scientific areas of study. The primary goal of composing a proposal is to express ideas in writing. The best project plans are written in a clear, concise and persuasive tone. In the academic field, they are commonly done as Science or Research Proposals. Although the writing objectives may differ, proposals adhere to the same standard guidelines.
How do you write a good proposal?
Before composing any proposal, it is wise to understand the goal(s). You should be able to answer the following questions:
- What motivates you to write it?
- Who are you addressing in your proposal?
- Is the project plan a scholarly or a business-based idea?
Well, once you identify and acknowledge the purpose of writing, it is good to go! The following steps will guide you on how to write a compelling proposal.
- Create a Cover Page
An award-winning proposal looks neat from the start. The cover page can easily sell you out by triggering the reader’s urge to engagement. The cover page may include the name of your organization, contact information, logo, the title of the proposal, and your basic information. That may include your full names.
- A Cover Letter
The cover letter is another vital component that can boost up your proposal. It introduces you to the reader. Start the cover letter with a salutation like, Dear Sir Edward, if you know the name of the reader. The body of your letter should follow with a polite tone. Normally, you can start by thanking or appreciating the client for that opportunity. Briefly touch on the proposed project. That will prepare the reader’s mind to engage with your document. A typical cover letter should not exceed a page. Finally, you can end up the cover letter with some closing remarks as indicated below.
Illustration: Cover Letter Closing End
- A Table of Contents
Proposals may differ in length. They may be too short or very lengthy and characterized by multiple pages. If your document is voluminous, please include the table of content. Thanks to the modern word processors that facilitate clickable links. That approach is ideal especially if it will be sharable in a digital format. The table of content helps the reader to easily track and maneuver through the pages.
- Executive Summary
Ideally, your mission is to grab the reader’s attention. Ensure that your proposal contains a brief statement of the problem. You can proceed by indicating the background of the project. Shed some light on how you can handle the assignment, and wind up with the main conclusion. Most managers focus on his section for decision-making purposes. Make it clear and catchy to capture their attention.
- Proposal Solutions (Methodology/Services)
This section is the most important part of the writing. It outlines the solutions that you are intending to provide to solve the problem. If you are given the chance, explain how you will tackle the task. The ideas should flow in details as per the problem statement. This phase is characterized by the anticipated outcomes. It also includes the project schedules, otherwise termed as the time-frame.
In a nutshell, the managers expect you to indicate the methodology that you will use during the implementation stage. A nice proposal will contain some timetables and other visual illustrations. That aids the reader to digest the written concepts.
- Project Budget
Managers are always keen on the pricing section of a proposal. Make sure your project has a reasonable budget. Do not under-estimate or over-estimate the financial costs. Under-estimated projects never end up successfully. An over-estimated project, on the other hand, burdens the client. Try to convince the readers why the project is worth their time and money. You can make use of a pricing table as illustrated below. Remember to calculate and counter-check the total costs of each deliverable.
The final bit is to summarize your proposal with a closing mood. Business proposals have a terms and conditions section. An agreement form is normally attached and signed up by both parties. If the proposal writer or the client violates the agreement, it may lead to the termination of a contract. The client may also resort to a legal decision.
If you have any other additional content, you can include it at the appendix. Wow! It is time to try your next proposal. Remember to proofread and edit the proposal before submission. Are you stranded writing up your next proposal? Contact an expert at AceMyTask.