Like most businesses these days, your information technology (IT) business is no doubt looking for more clients or is tasked with internal projects. To land a new client or get a project accepted, you will need to write a business proposal.
Never written one? Don’t panic—writing a proposal doesn’t have to be a daunting process, and after you’ve written your first proposal, all others will come much easier.
That’s because the goals and structure for any business proposal are the same: 1) introduce yourself, 2) highlight the services you offer, 3) describe the costs, and 4) persuade your prospective client that you are the perfect choice for the project. You can also speed up the proposal writing process by using pre-designed templates and studying sample proposals.
The basic proposal structure is the same whether your business is network cabling, building and hosting websites, coding software, designing hardware, running a data center, optimizing internal processes, doing IT training, or even asking for funding to create or grow an IT business. Here’s the order your proposal sections should follow: 1) introduce yourself, 2) summarize the prospective client’s needs, 3) describe your products, services and costs, and finally, 4) provide information about your organization, your credentials, and your capabilities.
You will want to include details about your particular products, services and business experience that are relevant to your client’s specific project. For example, website designers might need to include information about templates, widgets, or shopping cart technologies; network specialists may want to include specifications for cables and routers they recommend; IT trainers might include lists of courses and certifications offered; and so forth.
The most important idea to keep in mind is that the goal of any proposal is to convince potential clients to award you their contracts, convince your boss to sign-off on your proposed project, or possibly secure funding for a new venture. To persuade them, you must demonstrate that you can deliver the products and services they want. It’s never a good idea to send your clients only a price list; that will not substitute for a real proposal.