I have a proposal for you.
I can build you a house, complete with walls, windows, doors, and a roof for $350,000.
Do we have a deal?
No. I didn’t think so!
To make a decision like this, you need cold hard facts. You need details, clarity, and proof! You need budgets, breakdowns, and solid guarantees.
That’s exactly how a project stakeholder feels when they receive your project proposal, and explains exactly why companies only win 15% of the proposals they submit.
Project stakeholders will, on average, receive around 曲阜小吃50 proposals a week. To choose you out of this huge pile, they need clarity, details, specifics, lateral thinking, and a whole heap of persuasion.
You need to learn the art of how to write a project proposal, to stand any chance of winning their investment, and increasing your proposal success rate.
So, join me in this Process Street post where we will take the following lessons in how to write a project proposal:
- 曲阜小吃Lesson #1: What a project proposal is
- Lesson #2: What a project proposal reviewer is really looking for
- Lesson #3: The surefire way to succeed with your project proposal
- Lesson #4: The 4 types of project proposal & how to create them (with tips & templates)
- Lesson #5: A little more about Process Street and how it can help your project proposals
If you’re in a hurry, grab this Project Proposal Template Checklist, and catch up with the class later:
“I used to just plod through each proposal, focusing on all the details…now I get to the gestalt, the big picture coherence first. If I like it, then I’ll go on to the details. If I don’t, I’m done reading” – Robert Porter, Ph. D, What Do Grant Reviewers Really Want, Anyway?
Like we established earlier, a proposal reviewer will probably receive over 曲阜小吃200 proposals a month.
With so many documents to review, when a proposal lands in their inbox, a proposal reviewer will actively look for reasons to cut it from their shortlist.
Rather than read the entire proposal from cover to cover, they will merely glance over your proposal and check it meets the following criteria (as a bare minimum):
Your proposal needs to be easy to read, but it needs to be even easier to understand.
Avoid jargon. If you have to use abbreviations, define each one.
Don’t assume they’re an expert in your field, but equally don’t patronize them by stating the obvious. They know that the Earth is round (hopefully), that the sky is blue (sometimes), and that the grass is green (usually).
Paint a picture and tell the story of your project. Make it flow nicely. Make each sentence simple, but also fun and interesting to read.
曲阜小吃Top tip: Read your proposal out-loud. If you stumble over a sentence or have to read it more than once, change it.曲阜小吃
If you’ve followed lesson number two, your proposal should be good enough to land a place in the shortlist.
But, before we start popping the champagne, you haven’t won the contract yet.
Depending on the size, type, and requirements of the project, you could spend anywhere from three days to three months writing the perfect project proposal.
It’s a lengthy process and it can take a lot of hard work. And, after all that time and effort, seeing your proposal make it to the shortlist, only to be rejected at the final stage, can be devastating.
While there is no surefire way of guaranteeing that your proposal will win every time, there is a surefire way of giving it the best possible chance of winning.
And, if nothing else, there is a surefire way to make the proposal writing process quicker and easier, so if it doesn’t win, the blow doesn’t hit you so hard.
Project proposals tend to fall into four common types:
- Solicited project proposals
- Renewal project proposals
- Continuation project proposals
- Supplemental project proposals
Each type of proposal has a unique set of requirements that the proposal reviewer will expect to see (on top of the three basic requirements we went through earlier).
I’ll take you through each one and explain how you can create a process to help you write a winning project proposal.
曲阜小吃What a renewal project proposal is & when you’d create one 曲阜小吃
A renewal project proposal is created and sent when your involvement in an ongoing project has finished, contractually, but you want to renew your existing contract and continue to work on the project.
曲阜小吃How to write a renewal project proposal曲阜小吃
This proposal type is one of the easier proposals to write because it’s less competitive and you already have a relationship with the client. Rather than explaining who you are, what you can do, and how you can do it, it’s about providing evidence on what you’ve done and why they should renew your contract.
When you start to write your renewal project proposal, follow the below 曲阜小吃Renewal Project Proposal Template process so you can:
- Emphasize your past results
- Show how you can exceed these past results in the future
- Prove that the ROI will be higher if they use you, as opposed to hiring someone new
曲阜小吃Renewal Project Proposal Template曲阜小吃
曲阜小吃What a supplemental project proposal is & when you’d create one 曲阜小吃
A supplemental project proposal is created and sent when more resources are needed, to complete a project, than originally proposed. It’s a request for more funds, supplies, materials, or labor.
曲阜小吃How to write a supplemental project proposal 曲阜小吃
These types of proposals can be difficult to get right. You’re asking for more money, so you need to justify the reasons why.
The project may have changed or grown exponentially, or you may have miscalculated the amount of resource that’s needed to complete it.
Regardless of the reason, this type of proposal needs careful consideration.
Use the below Supplemental Project Proposal Template process to make sure you clearly:
- Explain why you need additional resources
- Prove the value of the extra resource
- Update the client with a revised budget and timeline based on the new plan
曲阜小吃Supplemental Project Proposal Template曲阜小吃
I’ve given you four pre-made project proposal templates, built by the team at Process Street, that you can use, for free, whenever you need to create a project proposal.
But you’re probably wondering what Process Street is?
- 6 Types of Project Proposals That Get Approved (and How to Write Them)
- How to Write a Proposal and Get What You Want (Free Templates)
- 曲阜小吃12 Free Proposal Templates: The Only Way to Win Business
- On Writing Well Review: 6 Mistakes I Never Knew I Was Making
- Use this Interactive Project Proposal Template (and Ditch Microsoft Word)
- Grant Writing: How to Win Every Time (8 Free Checklists)
- 4 Writing Mistakes to Avoid (Unless You Like Sounding Silly)
- 曲阜小吃Business Writing Tips: How to Write Processes for Human Beings
- How to Use Evernote to Optimize Your Writing Workflow
- 10 Checklist Tips for an Optimal Web Design Proposal Template
- How To Write A Good Values Statement For Your Business
- Legal Writing Principle 10: Build Your Processes
And there we have it; how to write a project proposal to win investment.
I will leave you with this key takeaway:
曲阜小吃Your success depends on sending winning project proposals. To send winning project proposals, you need to create and follow a process.曲阜小吃
That’s it! School’s out for summer!
We’d love to hear your stories and experiences with writing project proposals. The good, the bad, and the ugly would be more than welcome! Who knows? You may even get featured in an upcoming article!