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Writing Business Proposals Using Proven Successful Techniques

Writing business proposals is similar to writing grant proposals. You use the same overall strategy of responding exactly to the bidding requirements, but there's an added, and important, wrinkle.

Grant proposal writing is fairly straightforward (assuming you know the technique of course) because the evaluation process is usually clearly stated by the funding or granting agency.

Organizations that award grants are most likely to be government departments with public accountability. Everything they do is closely scrutinized. So the evaluation process they use to award grants must be clearly stated and fair to all applicants.

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Government granting agencies are subject to public accountability and scrutiny. Foundations less so. Businesses likely not at all.

Foundations, usually private, are not under the same rigid scrutiny. Still, their typically charitable missions make them more likely to be forthright about their evaluation processes.

So if you're applying to a foundation for a grant, you can almost always find out how your applications will be scored.

Writing business proposals is another story.

Writing Business Proposals

When you write a business proposal, you're following the same method as when you write a grant proposal. The difference is that in business it's not always clear how your proposal will be evaluated.

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If you're writing business proposals you MUST be talking to the bid recipient, to avoid getting the door slammed in your face!

Ideally you want the recipient of your proposal to score it fairly and honestly. In fact, unless you get some sort of reassurance of that happening, you could be wasting your time writing a proposal.

The only way to find out how your proposal will be evaluated is to research the process. You might find information online or not. You might have to make a few phone calls and talk to real people.

In fact, in almost all proposal writing situations, and especially in business, you should always be talking to a real person.

In business bid situations, if you're not talking to someone in the organization receiving your proposal, that's a bad sign.

If you're trying to reach someone to talk to and you find the door always closed, that's a really bad sign. It's as bad as having the door slammed in your face.

You MUST know how your proposal is going to be evaluated, so that you can respond properly and winningly. If there's a secret to proposal writing, this is it.

With the Write Winning Proposals Toolkit you learn how to respond properly and winningly. Go to the Proposal Writing Toolkit page for details, including how to get free professional help.

Be sure also to visit our Services/Fees and Writing RFPs pages for added helpful background information.

Proposal Writing Guide
Expert Tip For September 25, 2017
Propose a project that is compatible with the mission and objectives of the funding body. In other words, don't request funding from a computer manufacturer's foundation to purchase hardware from a rival manufacturer.
Source: Proposal Writing Guide