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Organize Your Proposal

How to Organize Your Proposal

“You are mistaken, Mr. Darcy, if you suppose that the mode of your declaration affected me in any other way, than as it spared the concern which I might have felt in refusing you, had you behaved in a more gentlemanlike manner.” (Elizabeth Bennett)”

― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

“The mode of declaration.” Elizabeth had it right, didn’t she? The way a proposal is presented and the tools used to communicate your commitment to the project has a huge bearing on how your proposal is met by the client. Now that entails a lot more than sitting a couple of writers down, handing them the required info and asking them to type away. It needs planning, and organization, and a lot more business intelligence than might appear. So here’s a little help to get you going in the right direction and creating that proposal that cannot be refused.

Capture Planning

Though essentially not a part of the proposal writing process per se, this stage is in fact pivotal in determining the direction you want your proposal to take. In this stage, a written, action-oriented capture plan is formulated and will serve as the guide for further steps to be taken in the proposal Process.

The information you gather as part of the Capture plan is actually about 60% of what you need for the proposal plan. Through a capture plan you lay down all the cards to your team, and those making decisions. Everybody is aware of the opportunity and are in consensus with the direction that the proposal should take.

Detailed Business Plan

Though most of it will be addressed in the Capture Plan, putting it all down as a detailed business plan will give you a proper idea of what all you want to include in the proposal. Make a checklist

  1. Summary – a brief overview of the plan.
  2. Business Description – an idea of what your business is.
  3. Market Analysis – figures, surveys, trend charts, etc.
  4. Competitive Analysis – who else is circling the arena.
  5. Product/Service Advantages – Product Description, Proprietary position, Regulatory requirements for your products, Product extension and future goals for the product
  6. Objectives – quantifiable targets
  7. Marketing Strategy – how do you plan to reach those targets?
  8. Operations – the nitty-gritty about production and how you plan to achieve those promised numbers.
  9. Organization & Management – who will run it?
  10. Timing – when what will happen.
  11. Financial Information – historical, actual, projected numbers.
  12. Exhibits/Appendices – brochures, photos, news clippings, etc.

Writing the Proposal

After all that planning, now you get to it. This is where ORGANIZING is key. What you do with all the raw material you have and how you bring it together as a cohesive whole should be the most important thing at this stage.

Usually, an RFP will already have a specific list of what they want to know; following that is best. If they are not particular on how you ought to present it, then here is a template you could follow:

How XaitPorter helps:

Automated templates that will streamline your proposal, Automated Scheduling and notifications ensure that all processes are in order, The Master Data Management feature which ensures perfect control and has the PM on top of it … these are just a few features from a host of them that will make sure everything will go according to plans. Call us at Xait and we’ll show you.

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