September 26, 2013 | In: Proposals

How Business Dictates the Kind of Proposal You Need to Write

Growing up, you probably had bouts of poor timing regarding conversation. Perhaps you used a ‘kid-friendly’ word or phrase, but the issue was when you deployed the lingo. That verbal bomb, once it exploded on those around you, might have induced shock and surprise in your parents and the other adults around you. The aftermath was probably a strong reprimanding from your parents, but you most likely learn an important lesson. Sometimes saying things at the wrong time is worse than saying the wrong thing altogether.

There is a similar concept to adhere to, when it comes to business writing. Business situations and circumstances dictate the kind of proposal you need to write, and understanding this will contribute to the success of a project and reputation of your company. You can acquaint yourself with business writing etiquette by enrolling in proposal writing courses. In addition to training, you can always study examples of proposals online, and see how they are tailored for particular situations. The important thing is that you learn when to use proposals, since they are not intended for the same purpose. Not all business writing is the same. Proposal writing courses help you understand the differences.

Slice of Business: Scenarios That Require Written Proposals

Business, just like life in general, presents us with a variety of situations that we must navigate through. Some are gentle strolls along straight paths, while others are treks through tangled mazes. Since each scenario presents its own unique challenges, you can’t expect to use the same tactics to solve each problem. The same goes for written business proposals. Depending on the task or project you face at a particular time, you will need to write a proposal that suits the occasion.

For Example:

Marketing & Sales – Endeavours that involve marketing and sales tactics typically require written proposals. Since undertakings of this nature require persuasion, a business will make use of a written proposal to provide details about the plan along with clarification of confusion.

Mergers & Acquisitions – The addition, relocation, and/or removal of corporate entities is a major undertaking. Although some individuals may feel that such a manoeuvre is the best move to make, others may need to see the strategy behind such a plan. A written proposal explains the strategic vision behind a merger/acquisition and how it will benefit the company.

There are other situations that can call for a written proposal, and it’s up to you and your staff to figure out how to write them. Writing an appropriate proposal can be tricky, but proposal writing courses can help make the task more manageable.

Fiction, Poetry & Proposals

Before we get into the details of business writing training, here is a crash course on the types of proposals and their forms. Just like a creative writer who needs to understand his medium and genre for success, you need to understand the function of the proposal you are writing. This understanding will narrow your focus to the essentials, cut down the difficulty, and help you write with precision. All proposals are written offers from a seller to potential buyers. There are two basic types: solicited proposals and unsolicited proposals.

Proposal writing courses teach you how to tailor your client’s needs for success. Solicited Proposals

If a particular agency requests a certain service, product, or research from your company, you will need to respond with a solicited proposal. These proposals usually come in the form of a request for proposal (RFP), a Request for Quotation (RFQ), an Invitation for Bid (IFB), or a Request for Information (RFI). Most solicited proposals take on a formal tone since they present important business details. The details that appear on such documents include budgeting, scheduling, technical approaches to project, and an executive summary. Major undertakings such as an acquisition will often require a solicited proposal.

Unsolicited Proposals

These kinds of proposals are somewhat like precursors to solicited proposals. They function like a ‘leave-behind’ brochure and introduce the possibilities of new business opportunities, rather than attempting to close the sale. These proposals usually don’t present the same level of detail that solicited proposals contain, and can therefore take a more casual tone. If your company were to merely introduce a new service to a client, then an unsolicited proposal could be sufficient.

Here’s a Proposal: Take a Course!

No matter what proposal you need to write, there are some basic elements to consider. No client or project is the same, so there is variation in the style of proposals even within the same category. Failing to give these factors thought can misrepresent your company and make future dealings with your client difficult. However, proposal writing courses will teach you what to pay attention to when writing these business materials.

  • Audience – Who will receive and read your proposal? What is the industry? The better you understand who your reader will be, the easier it will be for you to gain their trust and support.

  • Tone/Language – The better you understand your audience, you will know what language and tone to use in your writing. It’s very important that you tailor your word choice to the person who will read the proposal. Remember, just because you have explained the right details, it doesn’t mean you have conveyed them with the right words.

  • Research – Before all else comes research. It helps to know who you are pitching to along with some background information. The use of statistics and facts can show your knowledge and passion for the project. However, research will allow you to understand your audience better and ultimately, win their hearts.

Get Your Timing Right

Like all things in life, knowing when to write a proposal is key. You can compare it to a marriage proposal- one must be mindful of their circumstances before they answer that life-changing question. Likewise, an understanding of a project makes it easier for your business writing to target the right audience and achieve its intended purpose. Most importantly, proposal writing courses improve your business writing skill and help you gain a sensibility for when you should write a proposal. By taking these elements to heart, you will represent your company in a positive light and maybe even acquire a new deal.

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