How To Write The Proposal: The Ultimate Guide

Ok, so you’ve been tasked with writing a proposal. Maybe you don’t know how to write one or maybe you’ve written them but you’re just not happy with the outcome. Don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place. That’s because I’m going to give you some tips on proposal writing.

This series of posts is aimed at helping people who have limited to no experience with writing proposals. but at the same time, I think there are a few good nuggets in here for those experienced proposal writers.

It provides you with enough information so you will know how to write a proposal (whether you are writing a letter or something much more substantial). I wanted to write something you can read through within an hour.

Just a note, we’re talking specifically about writing business proposals. This is a resource for business people (not necessarily researchers or academics).

If you want to write a grant proposal (to get money), you are in the wrong place. Try this link.

If you want to write a thesis proposal, sorry, still in the wrong place. Try this link.

Still here? Good! Let’s get started.

How To Use This Ultimate Proposal Writing Guide

Listen, writing a proposal doesn’t have to be hard. It doesn’t have to be painful. It can actually be fairly easy and quite rewarding. And I’m here to help you through the process.

Like I said, this should be a short and easy read. Read this guide section by section. You can refer back to it as you put your proposal together.

Again, the purpose of this guide is to teach you how to write a proposal. There are many different aspects of proposal development, but this guide just focuses how to write one.

In my experience, writing is the most challenging aspect of proposal development. With the information provided in this guide, you’ll be able to hit the ground running and develop a proposal that will persuasively make your case and win the contract.

The parts are:

Part One: Proposal Writing Basics

This section explains what you want your business proposal to achieve and how it should go about doing that. These things may seem pretty obvious, but losing sight of them will likely result in failure.

Read Part One Proposal Writing Basics Here

Part Two: The Proposal Structure

Your proposal, whether in a letter or a three-ring binder, will contain distinct sections. I’ll explain these different sections and why they are important. I will also go into how you should write each section.

Cover Letter/Executive Summary

This is where you make your case.

Project Understanding

Here we describe the problem and prove to the reader that we have a complete understanding of it.

Relevant Experience

Hopefully, you’ve done it before. This is the section where you outline how you’ve done it and who you’ve done it for.

Team Resumes

Somebody has to do the work. So, in this section you’ll introduce them to your team.

Technical Approach

They will want to know how you will do the work. In this section, we describe how we will do it and why we will do it that way.

Management Plan

Next, we’ll explain how we are going to manage this assignment. People often skip over this proposal section. But really, it is very important.

Pricing

Oh, the dreaded pricing. In this section, we’ll tell them how much this is going to cost.

Read Part Two: The Proposal Format Here

Part Three: The Proposal Writing Formula

Writing a proposal is not like writing a news article, research paper, or novel. We’ll go over the formula to use and how to apply this formula to different circumstances.

Read Part Three: The Proposal Writing Formula Here

Part Four: The 3 Golden Rules Of Proposal Design

You’ll want your proposal to look professional and be easy for your client to read. If you follow these three “golden rules” of proposal design, you’ll be just fine.

Read Part Four: The 3 Golden Rules Of Proposal Design Here

Part Five: Proposal Templates: What You Need To Know

Yes, I know you came here looking for an easy way out. 🙂 So I’ve scoured the internet to find you the best templates money can’t buy (meaning most of them are free). You can find them here.

But not all proposal templates are created equal. Therefore, I’m going to show you what elements should be in every proposal template.

Read Part Five: Proposal Templates: What You Need To Know Here

Part Six: Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Proposals: How To Write Them

Because my expertise is writing proposals for architecture, engineering and construction firms, I’ve created an entire section on how to write them.

I dive into the differences and nuances you need to be aware of when writing architecture, engineering, and construction proposals.

Read Part Six: Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Proposals: How To Write Them Here

Combined, these different sections cover the basics. I hope you enjoy this guide and find the information useful.

Comments

  1. agha naqi says:

    please can u make proposal based on education

    • Matt Handal says:

      Dude,

      I have no idea what you are asking. This community talks about proposals (marketing, BD, etc.) primarily in the construction world.

      I think you are in the wrong place. Sorry.

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