Proposals can seem tricky to write. You need to be persuasive and make people see why your idea is worthwhile, but at the same time you don’t want people to think you are forcing them to agree with you. Follow these simple guidelines to make your proposals effective without being too pushy.
Start with a summary. That sounds strange, doesn’t it? Actually, what we call an ‘executive summary’ is the first part of a proposal. Like a topic sentence, it should give an idea of what the proposal is without giving too much detailed information. The function of this section is to make the reader want to read the rest of the proposal.
Identify a problem or need and state it clearly. A good proposal solves a real problem. If there’s no problem or need, why are you proposing to do something? If you don’t state what problem you are going to solve, the reader has no reason to continue reading.
Now for the fun part: explain how you will solve the problem. When explaining your solution, relate each part of it to how it will solve the problem. This will help show how effective your solution will be. Demonstrate your expected result using clear figures and explain how you predicted these results. Also be prepared to explain the contingency plan you have if something goes wrong.
Next, clearly outline the resources you will need in terms of money, people and time. Relate this back to the problem and show how the value of your solution to the problem is higher than the costs involved with your solution. For example:
“My new system will cost £10,000 to develop but it will save the company £100,000 over the next three years.”
It’s time for a conclusion now. Quickly go over the main points of the problem, how you will solve it, and why your solution is worth the cost.
Remember: be honest. Show the value of your plan and people will happily accept your proposals.