A proposal is often a persuasive document. It should have the all the necessary details of the project from understanding the requirements to final step.
The main objective of the proposal should be:
- Requirements or What is the exact work to be done.
- Brief intro on the proposed solution or why this work should be done.
- Technical documentation of the proposed solution.
- Execution Plan.
- Estimated Efforts (Timeline) or Work breakdown Structure.
ESSENTIALS OF AN IMPRESSIVE PROPOSAL
It includes contact information, proposal valid dates, proposal ID and the name of the project.
It is always best to have a NDA signed for the sensitivity of the requirement, it indirectly assures the reader that the project is safe with the company and a trust factor will be created.
Requirement Analysis and Proposed Solution
The first part of the proposal sets the tone for the reader to continue reading the proposal with interest. The customer’s quantitative and qualitative needs should be clear with clear objective design specifications etc. Define the scope of work very clearly and crisply to state the project objectives.
Why Should the Client Choose Us?
It is advisable to give a short intro of the company and the unique strengths we have over the competitors. In a paragraph for each person, establish the team qualifications for the project. Highlight any specific job or course experience s that has been previously handled with ease which has won accolades. Include a one-page resume of each team member in the Appendix.
Although knowing all the details of the project on the initial analysis is not possible, first design or the know-how to approach the solution should be known. For example, let us take an example of preparing a website proposal for a corporate. The technical side of the document shall include the following:
- Suggested Sitemap
- Need for content management system
- Why to go for latest trends like Flat Design
- Importance of user navigation
- Importance of using copyright images
- Site Analytics
- Social Media Integration
- Hosting Needs, etc…
Implementation Issues and Challenges
If there are some challenges that will occur during the project, indicate them in the proposal like “What will be the most difficult issues and challenges in the implementation and how will it be handled and what makes us think that this project will be handled with ease”
Execution Plan & Work Breakdown Structure
The section describes how the project will be managed, including a detailed timetable with milestones. Specific items to include in this section are as follows:
- Task Phases
- Division of responsibilities and duties among team members.
- Timeline with milestones:
- Total Project duration
- Each milestone is to be labeled with a title
- Schedule all tasks not just “Design” or “Testing.” Break this schedule down to specific assignments
- Each task is to be labeled with a title and person or persons assigned to the task
- Subdivide larger items so that no task is longer than about one week
- Link tasks which are dependent on the completion of a previous task
In this section, communicating the price with the following details will avoid any conflicts in future:
- Name of the project.
- To whom the proposal has been addressed.
- Price in Currency according to the country or as needed.
- Is the price inclusive or exclusive of tax or other charges?
- Has the price been differentiated in phases? If so label the phases.
- Duration of the project or phases.
- Inputs checklist.
- Payment Terms – Say upfront, Second Payment etc.
- Who is the client side coordinator? If possible include his contact details.
- Terms & Conditions
Thank you Note
It will be well mannered to thank the reader in the beginning and end of the document by saying thanks for taking time to read the document which has been drafted with so much attention etc. It will always receive good response.
A strong proposal has an attractive and a professional appearance. Wherever possible, it is good to include relevant pictures or screenshots to make the proposal interesting to read. When projects need to define a workflow of the system, it is always best to have the workflow as a flowchart.
An appealing proposal will have clean formatting. The alignment of paragraphs, the space between the words, the space between the lines, the space between the title and the paragraph, the space above and below the images etc should be given enough importance. It adds value to the proposal, as it speaks about the quality of work the client is about to experience.
The proposal gets more appreciation if references are given for similar kind of projects previously handled. But do not encourage giving out the personal number of references. It may spoil your relationship with the existing clients.
Final Step: Presentation to the prospect
Although you have the material in hand, positive attitude and the know-how of the project must be in your mind with clarity to present it to the prospect. Rehearse it before you present, and make sure the body language is good with a positive mindset.
Thanks and Good Luck!