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Business Proposals...Learning To Live With Them
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By D.W. "Dave" Gater

Written business proposals are an accepted and growing way to obtain new business. This can be a painful problem for small, growing businesses which are accustomed to dealing only through quotations and personal contact.

Proposals, long the hallmark of giant companies bidding largely to the government and other large companies, have now become the preferred method of selecting contractors and concluding new business contracts.

Also, where primitive forms of proposals were required by local governments such as school districts and city councils, the "full-fledged" proposal is becoming the rule, rather than the exception.

Although writing and preparing a proposal may not be easy, nor instinctive based on your previous business methods, proposal preparation and delivery techniques can be learned and used by you, the small business owner. The results are favorable, because proposals open up new avenues of business or, perhaps, keep up with a trend traditional business practices are now taking!

What is a Business Proposal?

Proposals are different and distinct from just about any other form of business you can imagine--different from advertising, promotion, and descriptions of goods and services. In a nutshell, a proposal is a presentation which answers a need stated by a Request for Proposal
(RFP) issued by the procuring customer.

The proposal responds (in many ways at once) to all the requirements cited in the RFP. Your proposal is rated against similar proposals submitted by other hopeful firms. The winning contractor is selected based on the evaluator's reading of the proposals--the quality, content and scope of your proposal.


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