Creating business proposals is an activity you will be required to carry out often as a businessperson. It is one of the most important skills one must master as an entrepreneur.
The first time I stumbled upon the subject of business proposals was in 2002. That was because I needed to create a grant proposal and was trying to read up on the subject. But my first business proposal was written in 2006. Since then, I have created more business proposals than I can remember.
It took me 4 stages to master the art of creating this very important business tool. I want to share that with you.
Stage 1: Using Proposal Writing Templates
This is where I started from. But many people remain here forever. Writing business proposals with the aid of a template is not bad. What is bad is using that template again and again, without employing innovation. One of the main reasons I do not like using proposal writing templates is because they can be limiting. The headings provided by the templates might either be;
- irrelevant to what you are trying to communicate or
- not be enough to effectively communicate your heart.
Are you a rookie at creating a proposal? Go get a template and start creating one.
But read on…
Stage 2: Using my previous proposals as templates
After using proposal writing templates for a while, I stopped using them and started using my previous proposals as templates. That really helped me to begin to question the process, headings and flow of thoughts.
I would never have been bold enough to question the templates. But I questioned my writing, even though it was the proposal templates that led me to write that way in the first place. Questioning my proposal writing technique led me to the next stage.
Stage 3: Writing Proposals from the Blues
At this stage, I got rid of my proposal writing templates and started writing proposals from my heart. I would ask myself “Kingsley, how best will you understand this proposal if you were the one it’s intended for?” That gave me a different approach and soon, I was writing shorter, straight to the point, effective proposals.
But hold on!
If I didn’t use the templates in the first place, I won’t have been bold enough to write from “the blues”. In fact, maybe I won’t know what to write.
Stage 4: Designing Proposals.
Stages 1 to 3 is me creating business proposals with Microsoft Word. At this stage of designing, I began to create proposals with Microsoft PowerPoint. And that turned things around. My first PowerPoint created proposal was done in 2010. At this stage, I create my proposals using images. I also use beautiful and colourful fonts. The advantage of this is that I am able to present what I want to say in the proposal within at least 4 pages. As a result of this, my proposals stand out all the time.
Most people still create proposals using Microsoft Word. Graduating quickly to stage 4 will stand you out if you are submitting your proposal where many other people are also submitting.
Won’t you like that?
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