In our post last year, “Your Documents Live or Die by Your Brand” we discussed just how important branding is your business documents. Lets look back at a few key stats from that post:
63% of consumers say they have engaged with disappointing brand content.
While that stat may not be shocking to you, the next one should be.
23% of those said they will never read that brands content again and over 50% said they are unlikely to read that brands content again.
Now those numbers are just for everyday business documents such as whitepapers, case studies and blog posts. You can easily increase those numbers when dealing with a document as important as a proposal. The look and feel of your proposal is a direct reflection of your company’s work ethic and its ability to deliver on your promises within that proposal. Poor design and poor lay out is an immediate red flag. Lets take a look at few key points to remember when thinking about your page and overall document design.
Follow the Design Guidelines and Lay Out From the Prospect
If the prospect who requests the proposal has certain elements listed as to how the proposal needs to look, follow those guidelines. Not being able to follow simple instructions as listed in the RFP will lead to an immediate disqualification.
Set Up and Follow Your Branding Guidelines
You should have a basic understanding of how your document should look. Here are a few things that should remain constant throughout each document you produce:
- Logo and logo placement
- Colors – Specific color numbers. “Blue” and “green” don’t cut it when designing a quality document
- Font, font size and font weight – This should include every possible style of font you use from paragraphs to quotes to your different header styles
- Margins – Margins between words. Margins between lines of text. Margins surrounding the page. Spacing is important.
Appropriate use of Charts, Graphs and Images
For a more in depth use of graphics check out our post “How to Effectively Use Graphics” with that said, be sure to use graphics where appropriate and ensure you are using them to emphasize key points in your proposal. Be consistent in your use of graphics as well. By this we mean, use them in a predictable manner in order for the reviewer to follow the process of the proposal. In the end, everything in your proposal, from the top to the bottom should lead to one logical conclusion, your proposal is the obvious choice.
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