How to create winning business proposals

As a copywriter, I’m often contracted to write business proposals for companies large and small, and I’m pleased to say that I’ve got a great success rate in writing winning proposals.

What’s the secret?

There’s only one, and I’m happy to share it, in three words: address the challenge.

What do I mean by that? Simply that the company that’s sent out the RFPs has a problem. They want it solved. If you can show that you know what the problem is, and can offer a solution, you win.

I don’t recommend that you elaborate on the solution in the proposal, however. :-) Reveal just enough information so that the company knows that they need your solution.

Tip: Keep it simple — write in plain English, don’t waffle.

[tags]business proposals, copywriter, write business proposals, winning business proposals[/tags]

You’re your business’s first customer, and that’s all it takes

I’m reading a wonderful book called The Republic Of Tea by Mel and Patricia Ziegler (pub. 1994 ISBN: 0385420579).

Here’s a clip from Publisher’s Weekly about the book:

More than a chronicle of the birth of a new business, this unusual 20-month exchange of faxes between the Zieglers (husband-and-wife founders of Banana Republic) and their partner-to-be, Rosenzweig (future Republic of Tea CEO), records with almost missionary zeal its authors’ determination to convert a stressed-out, coffee-gulping society into serene sippers of tea–and make millions in the process.

A couple of sentences struck me: “I would not think of starting a business unless I was its first customer. And… all it takes to launch a business in which you are the first customer is to find a second customer and sell him the product.”

Great stuff. How about you? Are you your business’s first customer? You should be.

[tags]business book, belief in business[/tags]

Big, bigger, biggest — are you overwhelmed by competition online?

If you’re overwhelmed by competition online, relax. Here’s the best quote I’ve heard all year:

“Selling on the Internet is like fishing in the ocean. There are enough fish out there for a lot of folks. You don’t have to catch all the fish; you just need enough to feed you and yours.”

This point is made by Rob Snell in his book Starting A Yahoo Business For Dummies.

You don’t have to be big to do well online. You don’t even have to have ambitions to become big, in fact many people recommend staying small — less hassle, less angst, less risk.

Whether you’re starting out online, or have been selling online for years, remember that the online world is vast, and expanding every day. As the online business world expands, it creates even more opportunities.

Get fishing! And if you want a bigger net, contact me for marketing and copywriting help. (Smile.)

[tags]online business, online marketing, For Dummies books[/tags]