- Is this project worth my time?
- Do I want to put in the time and effort into researching, analyzing, and writing up a detailed proposal for this bid?
- Does my company have the time, expertise, and resources to complete the project?
- Brainstorm, brainstorm, brainstorm. Bouncing off ideas by yourself and with others will help to get your creative juices flowing.
- Create a clear direction of where you want your proposal to go: Nothing is worse than rambling or misdirection. Before you begin even a rough draft, make sure you have a clear direction of where you would like your proposal to go. When creating direction for your proposal, ask yourself the following questions:
What is your ultimate goal?
What do you want out of the proposal?
- Gather data and conduct research: This is the time to read that RFP thoroughly. Make sure you understand all of your client’s requirements. If you aren’t 100% sure what your potential client is asking, now is the time to clarify.
- Methods (timetable, projection evaluation)
- Make it simple: Use plain words and short sentences throughout your proposal.
- Make the bid about the potential client, not you: Explain to the client what you can do for them instead of rambling on about why you are such a great company.
- Make it error-free: proofread, proofread, proofread.
- Cover letter: The cover letter is the very first thing your potential client will see and the opener to your proposal. Your cover letter should include answers to these three most important questions your client will have:
What can they expect from your proposal?
How will they benefit from the proposal?
Why should they hire you?
- Proofread: One final time!
- Have it professionally printed & spiral bound: Yes, this will cost you a little time and money, but if it lands you your next client then it is well worth it.