14 Dos And Don’ts Of Proposal Writing

dos and don'ts of proposal writing

To sell their ideas or credentials, people submit proposals for various projects to their managers, businesses that hire freelancers, publishers, and other audiences. People only have a finite amount of space when writing a proposal to persuade readers to pick their ideas over competing ones. When drafting a proposal for your project, it can be helpful to know what you can do to make one effective.

Therefore, we will share 14 dos and don’ts that you can use as a guide when writing these crucial letters if you intend to submit your proposal.

What Is Proposal Writing?

Writing a proposal is a business action where you try to persuade someone to start or support a project. These are frequently sent to decision-makers so they can read and weigh your recommendations before deciding whether to accept. You might write proposals for various reasons, including:

  • Ideas for improvements: If you work for a company, you might submit a proposal outlining how you might enhance a specific procedure, system, or organizational design to boost operational effectiveness. Your manager or other stakeholders who have the power to make changes may receive these emails.
  • Plans for your business: Prior to drafting a formal business plan that you can present to lenders or investors, you might send a business proposal. Your business proposal can include information on the issue you’re trying to resolve, your proposed solution, the cost, and your credentials.
  • Research proposals: A research proposal is an academic request you can make to universities or labs that explains why you hope to conduct research in a particular area. To demonstrate how you intend to carry out your research, you might include the methods and objectives of your study.
  • Manuscript submissions: If you want publishers to take your book idea seriously, you might send them a manuscript proposal. A sample of your writing, a synopsis, and information on how to market the book can all be included in a manuscript proposal.
  • In order to demonstrate your suitability for the job, you may submit proposals to requestors when working as a freelance writer. You can list your experience, examples of previous work, an estimated schedule, and your hourly rate as a freelancer.

Do’s Of Proposal Writing

Define What Market Gap Your Business Addresses

Opportunities frequently lead to the formation of new businesses. The goal of an entrepreneur is to identify unmet market needs and develop a workable solution for them. Your business proposal should answer the question, “what is the gap that you can fill?”. The microeconomic environment needs to be addressed along the way. Always pay close attention to the factors that affect demand in the market or niche you are targeting.

Get Your Proposal In The Right Format

It is imperative to emphasize this. All investors, regardless of size, will demand a properly formatted, presentable proposal with appropriate fonts, colors, and spacing. Giving your completed proposal a quick once-over to look for spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes, and other things that might give it the appearance of being done by a novice shouldn’t take too long.

The majority of individuals would prefer to utilize a proposal template with cutting-edge, practical features that give them an advantage over the competition. Instead of starting from scratch, this is frequently quicker and more efficient. Additionally, by adding features like interactive pricing, embedded videos, and multi-device compatibility, you’ll only increase your chances of landing the client.

dos and don'ts of proposal writing

Be Realistic And Sensible

A precise forecast or figure within a three-year plan will be seen as weak if it doesn’t account for unforeseen events in the future. Make it an estimate rather than a precise number, and when questioned, say that, given the length of time and potential variables, it is impossible to be more accurate.

While also providing a range with a minimum and maximum, your product and proposal should be realistic. To make the reader’s job easier, include a few graphs, key charts, and growth rates.

Tackle Potential Risks Head-on

Don’t be afraid to include risks in your proposal because they are a normal part of doing business. Give the client the impression that you are aware of the risks, including those related to competition, positioning, market demand, and resource allocation. Then, demonstrate to them how you intend to deal with that with mitigation, insurance, and other doable plans.

Record Common Queries

You can make each proposal better by thinking back on your earlier ones and making a list of the frequently asked questions. The recipients of your proposals may look for particular details that they deem crucial, but you can use this information as inspiration for future proposals. You might get a few more samples ready before submitting fresh proposals, for instance, if several people ask you for more samples.

Define Your Solutions

A strong proposal identifies the issue and outlines your plan to address it. Think about presenting only the pertinent information about the problem and concentrating on how your proposal can bring about change. When describing your ideas for resolving a problem and your anticipated outcomes, be sure to support your claims with facts to convince the decision-maker.

Review Your Proposal Before Submitting

Many proposals have formal formatting requirements that must be followed, such as adding an introduction and summary. To see if there are any rules that can help you formalize your proposals, think about looking up similar proposals online. It can be communicated to stakeholders that you are serious about your request by using formal language and proofreading it before sending.

Review The Request

It’s crucial to read the details of each request carefully before submitting a proposal in order to comprehend the precise problem that the requestor is trying to solve. Even if your suggestions are sound, if they diverge from the specific problem, the requestor may choose another one. Before submitting, think over the specifics, the data they require, and the deadlines to make sure everything is as expected.

Don’ts Of Proposal Writing

Don’t Make It Too Complicated

While it may be tempting to try to stuff your proposal full of information and justifications for why your prospect should buy, the less likely they are to read it all. Consider breaking your points up into manageable and simple-to-read sections rather than stuffing your proposal with paragraph after paragraph of text.

Don’t Avoid Research

Researching the competition and pertinent information can support your argument even though you want to come up with a unique proposal. You might find inspiration for how to make a similar solution work by looking into other ideas that have been successful. Research can assist in making realistic product proposals by enabling you to comprehend pricing and marketability.

Don’t Forget To Proofread Your Materials

If you’re going to send your materials off, make sure you read them through one last time, even though it may sound silly. Grammar mistakes and typos in sales proposals show sloppiness and a lack of attention to detail to your potential client.

dos and don'ts of proposal writing

Always proofread your collateral, including the copy and the numbers, to prevent embarrassing errors. Aside from that, it’s incredibly awkward if you unintentionally pull out-of-date pricing. Do you honor it or admit your error? The good news is that pricing can be retrieved directly from your CRM by proposal software, which reduces errors caused by human error. Additionally, by using a content library, you can guarantee that only up-to-date information is accessible to your reps and regulate whether or not they have the ability to edit it.

Should you discover a typo after you hit “send,” with web-based proposals, it’s not a problem. Since your suggestion is a live web page (as opposed to an email attachment,) you just update your document and your prospective customer is never the wiser. They only see the updated version that has been corrected.

Don’t Forget About Mobile Devices

Over the past five years, the percentage of web traffic coming from mobile devices has steadily increased. In light of this, there is a decent chance that someone will view your proposal on a mobile device. No matter where it is read, don’t take the chance that your proposal will look anything less than stunning. If you’ve ever tried to produce stunning, persuading proposals in PDF format, you know how frustrating and unimpressed a prospect will be when they attempt to open it on a mobile device.

Don’t Delay Proposals

Many times, proposals are answers to urgent needs. Accordingly, as soon as you have an idea, begin putting one in writing. Requesters frequently want to get started right away when they are looking for freelance work. When it comes to business improvement proposals, submitting a prompt proposal can demonstrate your ability to grasp a problem quickly, consider potential solutions, and develop a strategy for resolving it.

Don’t Copy Proposals

Even though you may have created templates for reusing, rewriting proposals in response to the request can demonstrate your interest in a particular project. Specific proposals, as opposed to generic ones that demonstrate your expertise and support your recommendations, may be more likely to be chosen by requestors. Documents for comparable projects can help them better understand your ability to perform the job if you are required to provide samples of your work.