Mistakes To Avoid When Writing Business Proposals
- Bid Strategy – Your Proposal did not describe your proposed approach to managing the project delivery. Experienced Proposal Writers find ways to show the reader how they will address the core problems by using stories, use cases, business scenarios and other techniques. This paints a picture of how the solution will be delivered and work onsite.
- Quality – Your Proposal was poorly written. The information was not organized in a logical manner difficult to follow with many grammatical mistakes. On large Proposals, you will get documents from different writers, some of whose English may not be perfect. You need to refine these texts so that the bid reads well and has a polished feel about it. Ensure that your Business Proposal is free from all errors, typos, and other grammar mistakes.
- Presentation – Your Proposal looked poor with blank pages, unnumbered pages, smudges, no whitespace. When producing the document, you failed to improve the presentation of the material so that it looks shoddy and unprofessional. One suggestion is to download Business Proposals from the leading consultancies and use these as templates for your Proposal development activities.
- Ideas – Your Proposal repeats or paraphrases the Request For Proposal rather than illustrate any original thinking. Instead of showing that you have an innovation solution or one that provides real value add, you rehash large parts of the Request For Proposal. This suggests to the evaluation team that you lack a clear vision and confidence in your own bid.
- Project Management – Your Proposal does not explain how or the project will be managed, how risks will be addressed, and how issues will be contained. The Project Plan is a core part of the overall bid. This chapter should show how you will manage the delivery of the product or service and the steps you will take to control the project schedule. You can also build on previous experience so that the readers have more confidence in your abilities.
- Background Information – Your Proposal does not contain enough relevant information about your firm, its capabilities, and/or its management and staff. You can resolve this by including a Press Kit and/or Media Kit which shows the reader where you have real expertise, your qualifications, large projects, awards, and other marketing literature that supports your business.
- Financials – Your Costs do not provide any detail or breakdown information for line items. As above, you failed to illustrate how the costs were calculated, for example, the daily rates figure in the Microsoft Project Plan conflicted with the costs in the Microsoft Word document.
Next week, I’ll show you how to resolve these issues with your business proposals and how you can turn problems into opportunities.
About the Author: Ivan Walsh is a Business Proposal Consultant who has worked for IBM, Intel and NEC in the US, UK and China. Get his Free Proposal Writing newsletter and read his Business Proposal Blog here.
- Guy Kawasaki & 6 Mistakes To Avoid When Writing Business Plans
- Proposal Writing Course – Lesson 5 Writing a Request For Proposal
- Proposal Writing Course – Lesson 3 Golden Rules Before Starting Your Proposal
- Proposal Writing Course – Lesson 2 Are you proposing a Solution or a Product?
- 4 Ways to Write Business Proposals That Get Accepted Every Time