Sneha J

July 02, 2021

How to Write a Project Proposal?

How to Write a Project Proposal

When you’re clueless about writing an effective project proposal, you’re more likely to get negative or no feedback from a prospective client. This means wasted hours of documenting and crafting project proposals that are doing little to nothing to upscale your business. 

But on the flip side, knowing how to develop a fantastic project proposal, may help you quickly close deals of the most promising and exciting projects, and that too for the charges you desire.

Before we down to how to write a project proposal, let’s first observe the characteristics of a winning project proposal.

Are you in sync with your audience’s brain?

Mastering sync with your audience is the key to developing a powerhouse project proposal. And with attention span shrinking it’s clear that you have seconds- not minutes to catch your audience’s attention. And for that, you have to understand your audience before you even begin writing any type of project proposal.

I mean for whom you are writing this proposal? Are they regular folks or professional players?

Identifying the psychology of who will read your project proposal will help you choose your writing style. Using too sophisticated industry language/grammar when writing a proposal for those folks who aren’t from the same industry isn’t going to work. 

“I don’t know the rules of grammar. If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language.” – David Ogilvy

Your project proposal is not just about creating something to sell, it’s about giving your audience reasons to trust you in the simplest way possible. 

how to write a project proposal

In the end, people do business with those who understand them.

The right time to use your project proposal

If you look at the investor, sponsor, or potential customer experience funnel, the project proposal is at the line just before the purchase stage.

when to use a project proposal

This is the stage where the potential investor or the client is fully aware of your existence and is considering hiring you for their business or investing in your project. With your project proposal, you give them that nudge and move them down the funnel and convert them.

Read more about the mistakes proposal writers make when developing a project proposal

The three “W’s”

1. What is the problem you’re trying to solve?

The goal of your project proposal is to identify and rectify the challenge your potential customer is facing.  

Begin by describing how the particular process would work if the problem (you identified) didn’t exist at all. And while doing that you should ensure to show them how well you’ve understood their business, their challenges, and their needs, and make them feel assured that you are one with whom they’ll feel most comfortable working.

“A problem well stated is a problem half solved”-  John Dewey

2. Why is this problem important?

You shouldn’t just stop right thereby addressing what the problem is, but you should also explain why the problem is so important. For example, why should we fix this problem? Because doing so will increase the efficiency of X, Y, Z departments and that’ll directly affect your sales revenue. 

Also, consider including the attempts they’ve taken to solve the problem and why they have failed to solve it.

3. What is the proof that you can solve this problem?

Now that you’ve addressed what the problem is and why the problem is so important, it’s time to convey your value proposition.

Rather than explaining who you are, what you do – which can end up being rather a dull reading experience –  think about your values and how will they make a difference to your client. This is where you have to position yourself as a credible supplier of the services you are proposing. 

Share your story

It’s important to clarify how long you’ve been in the industry as evidence that you can produce fantastic results but again be sure to mention your business history very briefly. Make it interesting and easy to read.

Your team

We all know that in this digital age how important it has become to give a little bit more information about your business to create transparency and build trust. Because these are the key components of a business relationship. And letting your prospect know about the people behind your business’s success can help you get them to the point of knowing, liking, and trusting you. The key to a successful business is not the one person but each and every individual behind it. This is why it’s important to introduce your in-house avengers to potential clients.

flaunt your team members

When it comes to fighting massive battles, even superheroes come together as a team to achieve a great victory.

Previous work to prove your credibility

It is one of the brilliant ways to promote your credibility. Because people love reading stories about other people and when you tell them how you’ve helped your previous clients solve a problem.

Your vision for them

Sharing the vision you have for your client’s project development is a key element of your proposal. In this section, give them a rough outline or a sketch of a proposed solution to the problem they are facing. Layout the process that you’ll follow,  state your objectives, explain why this solution will work. your key responsibilities so the client will know what to expect. 

But remember while presenting your vision, be cautious about not sounding over-promising or looking shallow.

Design your financials

The cost of your engagement is the most essential and delicate part of your proposal. The costing must be thorough enough for a potential client to understand your estimates but not so complex that it takes the attention away from the important concerns. 

At this stage, if you go wrong in presenting the prices you may lose your prospect forever. 

The key to getting your “pricing section” right is by using an interactive pricing table. Such interactive price tables offer a variety of pricing options where your prospects can change the quantity, choose the services that best fit their needs. In short, they can create a customized version of your services for them.

Make sure you got everything right

Now your proposal is ready and set, but you really sure you got everything right?

Here are a few considerations to look at before you hit that “send” button.

Have you positioned your solution? Read it through again and make sure that you’ve addressed why the client should invest in your proposed solution than others?

Are you sure you’re not revealing too much with your vision? If yes, then, in that case, take away the extra details and just leave them with the teaser of your vision for them.

Is the price perfect for the proposed services? Do your calculations again and set the right price for your services.

Did I do the proofreading? Typos and proofing errors in your proposal highlight your lack of seriousness. So make sure you correct anything and everything.

Is the project proposal unnecessary long? If yes, trim down all the fat. The key to developing a winning project proposal is to make every word count. 

Now press send

Good job! Now you’ve successfully built a smashing project proposal. You’ve identified the problem, addressed why it needs to be fixed, proposed a solution, and estimate to solve the problem. 

Now you can move ahead and create a scope of work and contract for further engagement. 

Is there any way to make the project proposal writing process easier?

Yes, composing and managing project proposals is challenging and it’s an unavoidable part of the life of every individual who wants to get his/her proposed project approved or funded but it doesn’t have to that painful. You can find many ways to make this much smoother or simpler.

And one of the ways is using the “Project Proposal Templates”.

More than having some ready language the right project proposal template,

  • Enables you to set a clear structure to your proposal that is easy for your prospect to navigate.
  • Sets the right tone that convinces the prospect that you are already involved with him/her to solve the problem.
  • Engages your prospect throughout the proposal with the right visuals.


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