Writing proposals – it’s in the details

Writing a good proposal can help you win new business. But, if you’re going to have a fighting chance, you need to meet the requirements of the request for proposals (RFP).

How to meet the details of an RFP

  1. Read the request for proposals (RFP) document carefully.
  2. Note the intent, goals, organization,decision-makers and other background information.
  3. Scan carefully for requirements and needs.
  4. Format – check the page size, font, colour, number of copies, and other details required. Do you need to use a binder or any other sort of materials?
  5. Content – are you required to structure your proposal in a certain way? Are section titles given? What information must you include?
  6. Timeline – create a timeline for all dates mentioned and use it as the basis for managing both the proposal and the project
  7. Submission — how must the proposal be submitted? By fax, email, mail, courier or in person? Do you need to provide extra copies?
  8. Create a checklist for requirements. List all the requirements, right down to the letter. Note the status of each. Refer to page numbers. Some consultants incude such a checklist for the client when they submit the proposal, but it’s also a good way to manage your own work.

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