Friday, October 27, 2017

When Writing Business Proposals


I have adopted a rule, based on hard experience, that the writing of business proposals is best done with two things: a lessons learned list and at least one day of creative neglect after you think the proposal is "just right."

I've found that the "lessons learned" usually include mistakes which, if not specifically guarded against, are likely to be repeated. By that I mean small items that are easily overlooked but which can be far more important down the road. 

Beware of a new project which seems very similar to an old one. Look for differences between the two and resist the temptation to make minor modifications to an old document without giving the substance the scrutiny it deserves.

The creative neglect period prevents the practice of rushing to make mistakes. Few people like preparing and/or reading proposals. They want to get the submission process out of the way. That eagerness is an enemy. Stay away from the finished document for at least a day and then review it with fresh eyes.

[At least once a year, all purchasing officers should be required to write proposals. I know that won't happen, but it's nice to dream.]

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