Saturday, March 9, 2019

business proposal

business proposal


A Definitive Guide on How to Write a Business Proposal in 2019 - Business 2 Community

Posted: 08 Mar 2019 01:37 PM PST

You suddenly feel like someone pulled the rug from under your feet. A proposal, again? Alright, you say, hoping to whip up another 10-page essay as soon as possible to close the deal.

The fact is, many people dislike proposals, even though they're a necessary part of the sales process. They take time, which you'd rather spend chasing more leads and closing deals.

Writing great proposals is no rocket science, and there's a way that you can do it quickly, efficiently and with guaranteed results. Here's how to get started.

Some data from previous research

For the most part, proposals didn't receive the attention they deserve in the world of sales and marketing, but the recent report from Better Proposals revealed some interesting facts about the best-performing proposals.

Here are just a few of them:

how to write a business proposal

  • Proposals with a cover convert 44.7% better than those without them
  • If your proposal is printed, it's 45% less likely that it will be signed
  • The best number of pages for your proposal is between 6 and 8
  • The best time to send your proposal is within the first 24 hours from contact with the client: it increases your chances of singing by 25.9%
  • Word choice matters: using the words investment or ROI for the pricing section gets much better results than naming it simply pricing

For more info on best practices in proposals, you can check out the report here.

Come up with a template

Ask some of the most successful businesses out there about their proposals – the majority will tell you that they spend less than half an hour of each. They don't have some superb extraterrestrial talent – they just use templates.

If you consistently offer the same type of service or product, simply create a proposal template which you can re-use, just changing some copy and design elements. That way, you'll spend a fraction of the time on writing compared to before. It doesn't matter if you're writing from scratch or using proposal management software, templates make the job significantly easier.

All great business proposals have similar elements – which we'll discuss in the next chapter. Before that, you need to address your clients' most commonly asked questions and make sure the answers are always there.

If you're an experienced salesman, you know what these questions are since you get them all the time. For example, if you're offering design services, one of the most common questions will be on how many revisions the client gets and what type of collateral is included in the service.

On the other hand, if you build websites, the client might want to know if the service includes maintenance and for how long. In essence, take note of your most frequently asked question and address them in the proposal, before the client even gets a chance to ask them. Let's now move on to the elements of a great business proposal.

The introduction

You may not be aware of it, but this will be the most read part of your proposal. The majority of your clients will read it and head straight to the part where they sign. With this in mind, make sure you write a damn good introduction.

Some things you should include in the intro: who you are, what you do, how you address the client's specific problems.

Here's the kicker — you won't be able to know any of this if you haven't talked to the client. Unless you've had a call or meeting to find out their pain points, needs and desires, your introduction will fall flat and end up unsigned.

To really nail your business proposals every time, make sure to have a meeting beforehand and learn as much as possible about your client. When you know how they breathe, sit down and write the introduction.

If your proposals don't get signed, there could be several reasons, but the introduction is where most people get it wrong. Because they don't know the client and their specific pain points, they write the proposals focusing on the wrong aspect of work. Make sure the sales team is heavily involved in this part of the proposal and you should be good to go.

Detailed specification

By this time, you will likely lose a good chunk of your readership. No reason to start slacking, as this section is where you present exactly how you solve the client's problem. If it's a website design, explain which technologies you'll be using, who will do the framework, design, copy, UX and UI and what the finished website is supposed to look like.

What does this section accomplish? Two things.

First, you'll be able to clear any doubts by being as specific as possible. Second, if things go bad, you can refer to this section and clear any doubts. If you state something in this section – make sure you can own up to it and get the job done. Think of this section as a way to hold yourself accountable, to yourself and the client.

Timeline

This is one of the most important element of a high-converting business proposal, which is also frequently missing. In this section, let the client know when you'll be able to deliver the services or good you're offering. Just like the previous section, both you and the client can refer to this section in case of any problems.

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During your initial call or meeting, pay attention to whether the client has any upcoming events or deadlines and align your timelines with them – and mention it in this section.

Proof

There's no better way of showing your client that you can do or deliver something than by giving an example. In this section, show proof that you've done work similar to that in the project before.

Make sure the proof you're giving is as close to the client as possible. For example, if you're doing a website for a real estate agency, show off specific examples of other realtor websites you've done.

When it comes to the type of proof, sky's the limit. This can be a case study, testimonial, detailed description, social proof, video – anything that comes to mind.

Price

The people who skipped everything except the introduction will most likely land here, as this is the second most important part of your proposal. There are several things to keep in mind here.

First, charge by the value, not by the hour or some other metric. For example, many copywriters charge by the word. Instead, charge by deliverables, i.e. the finished product.

Second, mind the wording. No matter who's on the other line, the word 'price' means that they're spending money. Instead, make them think that they are investing it and getting something in return.

how to write a business proposal

You can achieve this by naming your pricing section something like 'investment' or 'ROI'. These words will let your client know that they are investing instead of wasting their hard-earned cash.

The guarantee

How does the client know that what you're promising in the proposal will actually happen and that you'll fulfill all of your claims? Well, they can take your word for it offer them a guarantee.

The idea of a guarantee is a controversial one, because it means that you're making a calculated risk every time. However, it's another way to nudge the client along into committing and signing the proposal.

There are numerous ways to make a guarantee. For example, if you're an agency that builds websites, you can promise free maintenance for 3 months if you don't complete a website redesign in the timeline given in the proposal. Make sure you are as realistic with your guarantees as you are with your timeline and detailed specification and you're good to go. Just like any business, aim to underpromise and overdeliver and you'll never have to worry about guarantees.

The next steps

Okay, by this point the client knows almost everything about your offer. Unless they have any additional questions, they're ready to seal the deal and you can walk away happily with another new client… That is, if you let them know exactly what to do.

Once the guarantee is done, make sure you give detailed instructions on what the client needs to do to make the next step.

This could be a process similar to this one:

  1. Sign the proposal
  2. Receive an invoice for the deposit payment
  3. First kick-off call with the agency
  4. Etc.

Whichever the case is, don't leave the client hanging and wondering what they need to do next. Spell it out for them so they know which actions to take and what to expect once they do so. In fact, there are proposal software tools that let the client sign and pay directly within the proposal, without leaving it. Needless to say, this increases the chances of signing significantly.

Terms and conditions

You may think that this section is unnecessary after everything that's previously mentioned, but it's the best way to close off an excellent business proposal, so you can clear any doubts that the client may have before finally signing.

If you're new to writing business proposals, you also may think that it will hurt your chances of closing, as the client could get scared away. In fact, this step will make you seem a tad more professional and inspire confidence, even if you're a one-man operation.

… And you're all set

If you've used all of the elements mentioned above, you should be able to write winning proposals over and over again, no matter your industry or what type of services or goods you're selling.

Finally, remember that the first key of writing great proposals is to prepare a great proposal template which you can edit instead of writing new templates for each client.

Instead of writing the proposals out in a text processor, you can also use a proposal management software. If you're looking for a solution that's proven to work, check out Better Proposals so you can spend less time writing proposals and more time finding your ideal clients.

Elizabeth Warren wants to break up Amazon's marketplace - INSIDER

Posted: 08 Mar 2019 09:03 AM PST

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Friday announced a new plan to use existing and new antitrust measures to break up large tech firms.
  • As part of her proposal, Warren said she would use competition laws to keep marketplace operators from also selling directly to customers.
  • Amazon's marketplace is one of the most successful parts of its online retail strategy, accounting for more than half of sales on its website.
  • Warren has made similar comments before.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is gearing up to fight big tech.

The Massachusetts Democrat who is running for president in 2020 on Friday announced a plan to use new and existing antitrust measures to break up large tech firms, reverse mergers, and decouple platforms. She explicitly named Google, Facebook, and Amazon in an open letter published on Medium titled "Here's how we can break up Big Tech."

Warren outlined a plan to use new and existing laws to achieve these goals. The proposal includes passing legislation that would outlaw companies from competing on the platforms they manage. Companies with at least $25 billion in global annual revenue that "offer to the public an online marketplace, an exchange, or a platform for connecting third parties" would be called "platform utilities" under Warren's proposal.

"These companies would be prohibited from owning both the platform utility and any participants on that platform," Warren writes.

"Platform utilities would be required to meet a standard of fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory dealing with users. Platform utilities would not be allowed to transfer or share data with third parties."

Warren explicitly named Amazon and its marketplace platform, saying Amazon could use the data it gathers from selling other companies' products to create its own private-label products, ultimately running smaller companies out of business.

She writes that under her proposal, "Amazon Marketplace and Basics" would "be split apart."

Amazon did not respond to Business Insider's request for comment on Warren's proposal.

Amazon's marketplace business has been outpacing Amazon's direct sales for years. The sector now accounts for more than half of Amazon's total sales on its website.

The online retailer isn't the only one that operates a marketplace while directly selling goods. Walmart also has a similar model.

And, this isn't the first time Warren has talked about splitting up third-party marketplace platforms from companies that sell directly to customers.

Read more: Elizabeth Warren accuses Amazon of using a 'special information advantage' for 'anti-competitive' practices

Speaking with The New York Times' Andrew Ross Sorkin in September, Warren criticized Amazon for the fact that it is both a marketplace — essentially, a platform for other sellers — and a direct retailer.

Warren said that, ultimately, Amazon should not be in both businesses.

"You got to pick one business or the other, baby," Warren said. "You want to be a competitor, be a competitor. That's great. You want to be the platform provider that is a different function. If you're getting a huge competitive advantage from being a platform provider because of all this information you keep scraping off, then we no longer have competition going on."

Local News Business owners push back on tax proposal Alani Letang 10:52 PM, Mar 07 - WSYM-TV

Posted: 07 Mar 2019 07:52 PM PST

LANSING, Mich. — Small-business owners were sounding off Thursday afternoon, expressing opposition to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's plan to raise their taxes.

The governor's plan calls for all businesses to pay the 6 percent corporate income tax.

Right now, small businesses pay 4.25 percent.

FOX 47 News's Alani Letang talked with some owners on Thursday afternoon in Mason. They said that, hopefully, the state goes back to the drawing board and think of a different way, and listens to the business community.

"Personally as a business owner, I'm very concerned about any sort of tax increase that could impact our hiring plan. Increased taxes on small-business owners impacts jobs. I think, personally, that's a bad idea. The gas tax increase is interesting, taking job creators is a step in the wrong direction," said Ian Richardson, of Doberman Technologies.

The business community has an ally in the National Federation of Independent Business Owners.

The head of the group's Michigan chapter testified before the state Legislature Thursday morning.

He told us raising taxes on small businesses could ruin Michigan's economy.

"We want to continue our economic development; we want to continue that progress. We're very concerned about the proposals the governor's put forth to create a new small business tax. That will take us backwards. So we're not supportive of that at all," said Charlie Owens, of the NFIB.

FOX 47 News talked with some small-business owners who said they aren't concerned about the possibility of a tax hike and that they felt confident they'd be able to make up for it.

Whitmer wants to use the money raised by expanding the corporate income tax to cover the cost of repealing the pension tax put in place under Gov. Rick Snyder.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, of Jackson County, said that would be "doubling down on stupid."

We will, of course, keep you updated if anything moves forward.

Proposal to bottle water outside Waitsburg dropped | Business - Walla Walla Union-Bulletin

Posted: 07 Mar 2019 11:31 AM PST

JavaScript is used in a variety of ways to improve your browsing experience, such as validating and executing form submissions and allowing interactive content. Below, we have provided simple instructions for enabling JavaScript in the most popular web browsers. To determine your browser version, click on Help in the menu bar of your browser and then select About.

Once you have enabled Javascript on your browser, click here to return to union-bulletin-com.newyork1.cms.townnews-staging.com.

The following instructions describe how to enable JavaScript for:

Internet Explorer, Firefox, Netscape, Opera, Safari, Chrome, Mozilla and AOL browsers.


Internet Explorer 5 and above

  1. Select Internet Options from the Tools menu.
  2. In Internet Options dialog box select the Security tab.
  3. Select the earth(Internet) icon.
  4. Click the Custom Level... button. The Security Settings dialog box will pop up.
  5. Under Active Scripting category select Enable.
  6. Click OK twice to close out.
  7. Finally, Refresh your browser.
Internet Explorer 5.X for Mac OS X
  1. Select Preferences from the Explorer menu.
  2. Click the arrow next to Web Browser.
  3. Click Web Content.
  4. Under Active Content check Enable Scripting.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Finally, Refresh your browser.
Internet Explorer 5 for Mac OS 9
  1. Select Preferences from the Edit menu.
  2. Click the arrow next to Web Browser.
  3. Click Web Content.
  4. Under Active Content check Enable Scripting.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Finally, Refresh your browser.
Internet Explorer 4.X
  1. Select Internet Options from the View menu.
  2. Click the Security tab.
  3. Click Custom.
  4. Click Settings.
  5. Scroll down to locate Scripting.
  6. Click Enable for Active Scripting.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Finally, Refresh your browser.

Firefox (Windows)
  1. Select Options from the Tools menu.
  2. Click the Content icon/tab at the top of the window.
  3. Check Enable JavaScript.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Finally, Refresh your browser.
Firefox (MAC)
  1. Select the Firefox menu item from the Apple/System bar at the top of the screen.
  2. From the drop-down menu, select Preferences...
  3. Select the Security icon/tab at the top of the window.
  4. Check the Enable Javascript checkbox under the Web Content category.
  5. Close the Options window to save your changes.
  6. Finally, Refresh your browser.

Netscape 7.X
  1. Select Preferences from the Edit menu.
  2. Click the arrow next to Advanced.
  3. Click Scripts & Plugins.
  4. Check Navigator beneath "Enable Javascript for".
  5. Click OK.
  6. Finally, Refresh your browser.
Netscape 6.X
  1. Select Preferences from the Edit menu.
  2. Click Advanced
  3. Check Enable JavaScript for Navigator
  4. Click OK.
  5. Finally, Refresh your browser.
Netscape 4.X
  1. Select Preferences from the Edit menu.
  2. Click Advanced.
  3. Check Enable JavaScript
  4. Check Enable style sheets
  5. Click OK.
  6. Finally, Refresh your browser.
Netscape 4.X for Mac OS 9
  1. Select Preferences from the Edit menu.
  2. Click Advanced.
  3. Check Enable JavaScript
  4. Click OK.
  5. Finally, Refresh your browser.

Opera (Windows)
  1. In the Tools drop-down menu at the top of the window, select Preferences...
  2. Select the Advanced tab at the top on the Preferences window.
  3. Find the Content item in the list on the left-side of the window and select it.
  4. Check the Enable JavaScript checkbox.
  5. Click OK to save your changes and close the Preferences window.
  6. Finally, Refresh your browser.
Opera (MAC)
  1. Select the Safari menu item from the Apple/System bar at the top of the screen.
  2. From the drop-down menu, select Preferences.
  3. Select the Content icon/tab at the top of the Preferences window.
  4. Check the Enable JavaScript checkbox.
  5. Click OK to save your changes and close the Preferences window.
  6. Finally, Refresh your browser.

Safari (MAC)
  1. Select the Safari menu item from the Apple/System bar at the top of the screen.
  2. From the drop-down menu, select Preferences.
  3. Click Security icon/tab at the top of the window.
  4. Check the Enable JavaScript checkbox.
  5. Close the window to save your changes.
  6. Finally, Refresh your browser.
Safari (Windows)
  1. In the Edit drop-down menu at the top of the window, select Preferences...
  2. Select the Security icon/tab at the top on the window.
  3. Check the Enable Javascript checkbox.
  4. Close the window to save your changes.
  5. Finally, Refresh your browser.

Chrome (Windows)
  1. Select Customize and control Google Chrome (wrench Icon) to the right of the address bar.
  2. From the drop-down menu, select Options.
  3. Select the Under the Hood tab at the top of the window.
  4. Under the Privacy heading, select the Content settings button.
  5. On the left, under the features heading, select JavaScript.
  6. Select the Allow all sites to run JavaScript radio button.
  7. Finally, close both preference windows, and refresh the browser.
Chrome (MAC)
  1. Select the Chrome menu item from the Apple/System bar at the top of the screen.
  2. From the drop-down menu, select Options.
  3. Select the Under the Hood tab at the top of the window.
  4. Under the Privacy heading, select the Content settings button.
  5. On the left, under the features heading, select JavaScript.
  6. Select the Allow all sites to run JavaScript radio button.
  7. Finally, close both preference windows, and refresh the browser.

Mozilla 1.X
  1. Select Preferences from the Edit menu.
  2. Click the arrow next to Advanced.
  3. Click Scripts & Plugins.
  4. Check Navigator beneath "Enable Javascript for".
  5. Click OK.
  6. Finally, Refresh your browser.

AOL 7.0 and above
  1. Select Preferences from the Settings menu.
  2. Click Internet Properties (WWW) under Organization.
  3. Click the Security tab.
  4. Check the Custom Level button.
  5. Scroll down to locate Scripting.
  6. For Active Scripting click Enable.
  7. Click OK, and then OK again to close all dialogs.
  8. Close the Preferences window, and then Reload the page.

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