The Components of a Rock Solid Business Proposal
Making your first custom proposal for a client or business? Let’s top talk tips to make it a rock solid proposal on your first (or most recent) go!
Create the Custom Proposal: Duh - right? Are you setting la carte pricing or a single or dual package option with exactly what the client needs? Lay out your options for the client and simplify!
Correct Client Information: Do you have the correct client information? Seriously -> don’t underestimate the power of correct names, roles and spellings. There’s nothing worse when your name has been misspelled, yet it’s in your email in 3 locations. Make your life easier, and make the client do the work here; AKA -> use pre-gathered or easy to input information for the client to send you! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve written someone off for getting my information wrong…. because the next question is -> what else will go wrong?!?
Clear Process Structure: If they like what you offer the next question is, what do we do? Seriously, have a clear process structure so the client knows how to glide into each phase of the booking and service process.
Clear Payment Structure: Different packages? No problem - let the client know exactly how much is due today (either a flat dollar amount or specific percentage), and when their next payments will be due and how much those payments will be based on the current proposal.
Easy to Sign Digital Agreement: We’re in the 21st century (or we were, last I checked). Make it a snap for clients to sign your agreement…. digitally. You can do it in person, but make sure you digitize it on the back end too!!! Seriously -> you don’t want to lose a paper because I swear it’s the ONE paper you can’t find when you need it.
Answer the FAQ: Pre-answer the most frequently asked questions you get from potential clients. I know, this seems like a bit of an annoying step, but there are some questions you get ALL.THE.TIME. It’s not that either party is wrong -> sometimes they just want reassurance they understand what you’re saying! Save your sanity and create a mini FAQ PDF, hidden website page, or a canned email with the questions you don’t want to spend your brainpower answering. For added support, link back to your FAQ in the proposal process so clients don’t have to dig around to ask the questions or fill up your inbox when they’re ready to sign and celebrate!
And, my bonus tip - no client logins: I won’t lie, I have too many logins in life. And creating a login to see a proposal is like trying to undress someone before you’ve had that date. If I can get your proposal and follow the booking process from start to finish without having to create a system login, then I’m likely to book. Simple as that.
I highly recommend that no matter what you do, you test your proposal and process on a non-industry friend and yourself before sending off the booking process. Why? It will show you the things you can’t see in a CRM (like maybe the formatting SUCKS) or that they client has to create a login (lame), so you can guide your client on tricky step by step instructions OR look for a solution that will better fit your needs!
Brooke Olsen Consulting is a pricing and business strategist team. We specialize in pricing + profitability, financial education and business strategy for creative business owners and entrepreneurs just like you! We're focused on creating an intentional business and life by breaking down the black box of your financials and system processes. Check out our core values for more of the heart behind our corner!