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11 Reasons Why Your Business Proposal Didn’t Work

Written by Jimmy Rustling

Everyone has a story about how they pitched their business proposal and the response was less than stellar. It’s hard to know what went wrong; we can only guess at reasons for rejection. What we do know is that there are certain things you should avoid in your proposal or risk getting rejected:

1) You didn’t have enough information on who’s going to be reading it.

When you’re pitching to a potential client, you need to have a good understanding of their business and their needs. Failing to do your research will show that you don’t care enough about the potential project or that you’re not competent enough to handle it.

2) Your proposal wasn’t tailored to the client’s needs.

Not taking the time to personalize your sales proposal will make it seem like you’re not interested in their business or that you’re just mass-producing proposals.

3) You didn’t include a budget.

Not including a budget is a sure way to get your company proposal rejected. Your clients need to know how much the project is going to cost and what your estimated timeline is.

4) You didn’t provide a timeline.

Just as important as a budget is a timeline. Your clients need to know how long the project will take and when they can expect to see results.

5) The proposal was poorly written.

If your business plan proposal is difficult to read or has errors, it’s bound to be rejected. Take the time to get a second set of eyes on your proposal before you send it out.

6) There were spelling and grammar mistakes in the proposal.

Spelling and grammar mistakes will only make your clients question whether or not you’re the right fit for them. Make sure everyone proofreads their work and double-check your proposal before sending it out.

7) You didn’t provide any case studies or examples.

If you can’t back up your claims with evidence, your clients will be hesitant to trust you. Case studies and examples are a great way to show that you’re an authority in your field.

8) Your proposal was too long or too short.

If your proposal is either too long or too short, it’s going to seem like you’re not confident in your abilities. Find the right balance between providing enough information and being concise.

9) You didn’t answer all of the client’s questions.

If the client has questions, it’s your responsibility to answer them. Ignoring your client’s questions will make them think that you’re hiding something and don’t care about their needs.

10) Your proposal didn’t include any information on retainer limits or work-for-hire restrictions.

Your clients need to know how long they’ll be on a retainer and when they can expect the retainer to expire. They also need to know if their project is work-for-hire or not.

11) You said you’d do everything but you didn’t include a contract.

Your proposal should be followed by a written non-disclosure agreement (NDA) and a contract before the client spends any money on your services. If you don’t have a contract for your clients, they won’t sign it.

Your proposal was rejected? Don’t stress, there’s always room for improvement. Make sure you avoid these mistakes in future proposals and you’ll be more likely to get a positive result.

Tips on How To Make a Better Business Proposal

Now that you know what not to do in your business proposal, let’s take a look at some tips on how to make a better one:

1) Make sure your proposal is tailored to the client’s needs.

Even though you’re writing a general business proposal, you should still try and get as much information about your potential clients as possible.  This will help you create an ideal customer profile that includes background on their company, services they offer, and pain points they experience.

2) Do your research.

In order to create a proposal that’s tailored to your client’s needs, you need to do your research. This means reading their website, blog, and social media profiles in addition to understanding their business model.

3) Make it easy to read.

Your proposal should be easy to read and understand. Use clear, concise language and break up your proposal into sections with headings.

4) Follow a standard proposal format.

A standard proposal format will make it easier for your clients to understand what you’re proposing. It will also show them that you’re an experienced professional who knows how to write a business proposal.

5) Inject some personality into your proposal.

Your proposal should be professional, but that doesn’t mean you can’t inject some of your personality into it. Be sure to use a friendly tone and make the proposal easy to read.

6) Use visuals.

A picture is worth a thousand words, and the same goes for proposals. Visuals can help you explain your ideas more clearly and make your proposal more engaging.

7) Make sure the proposal is error-free.

Proofreading is an essential part of writing a proposal. Make sure you have several people proofread the proposal before sending it out.

8) Use a business proposal template.

One of the best ways to easily make a business plan proposal is to use templates. Venngage, an online infographic maker, provides a wide range of business proposal templates for everyone. To give you an idea, here are some business proposal examples from their page.

Your business proposal is the first impression you’ll make on a potential client, so it’s important to put in the time and effort necessary to create one that really stands out. If you include these tips and get a little help from Venngage in your next business proposal, you’ll be more likely to get positive results.

f you have an upcoming presentation and you still haven’t started yet, then what are you waiting for? Use these tips and make the best business proposal for your company today!

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About the author

Jimmy Rustling

Born at an early age, Jimmy Rustling has found solace and comfort knowing that his humble actions have made this multiverse a better place for every man, woman and child ever known to exist. Dr. Jimmy Rustling has won many awards for excellence in writing including fourteen Peabody awards and a handful of Pulitzer Prizes. When Jimmies are not being Rustled the kind Dr. enjoys being an amazing husband to his beautiful, soulmate; Anastasia, a Russian mail order bride of almost 2 months. Dr. Rustling also spends 12-15 hours each day teaching their adopted 8-year-old Syrian refugee daughter how to read and write.