Tech Edit - Australian Specialist Editing and Proofreading Services

 - Australian Specialist Editing and Proofreading Services



How to Write a Business Proposal or Tender in Response to a Request for Tender (RFT), Request for Proposal (RFP) or Request for Quote (RFQ)   

If a client asked you to provide them with a business proposal in response to a Request for Quote (RFQ), Request for Proposal (RFP) or Request for Tender (RFT), would you know how to start writing this important document? If you have never written a business proposal, this can be a confronting task. To help and aid your business proposal writing, Tech Edit has drawn on its skills and years of experience dealing with, and writing tenders and proposals. This has resulted in Tech Edit providing you with some guidance on the form, layout and content areas that you should address.


The Aim of Your Business Proposal or Tender

Prior to writing any business proposal or tender, you should consider why you are writing it – your aim is to win business by selling your goods and/ or services. With this in mind, your proposal needs to answer the two major questions asked by your client in deciding whether to accept your proposal:

  • Do you understand their business needs?
  • Are you capable of delivering what you offer?

You must keep these questions in mind when you write your business proposal as it helps you to determine the contents of your document.


The Contents of Your Business Proposal or Tender

Equipped with the key questions above, you are now ready to write your business proposal. To make the task of writing your business proposal easier, you can approach it systematically and logically by breaking down your document into relevant sections. This allows you to focus on the all-important technical content, which should include the following:

  • Scope of Work - your client has probably described their business requirements via a written document such as a brief, specification or in the least, a verbal request. You must firstly demonstrate that you understand their requirements by describing how your goods or services will meet their needs.
  • Project Approach - you need to describe how you will approach or perform the work. This provides your client with more confidence as they can see that you have actually considered and planned the work.
  • Previous Experience - you must provide examples and references from previous contracts or projects for which you have provided similar products or services. This information will provide your client with reassurance that you are experienced in delivering the services or products you are offering.
  • Project Team – your client will benefit from knowing details of the people you intend to provide the services. This is best presented in the form of a résumé or CV for a person that details their background, skills and experience.
  • Timeline and Milestones – you must indicate the dates when the deliverables, tasks or products will be provided. These dates can also be used as checkpoints for the client or payment points for you. You can present a timeline in a table or a Gantt chart.
  • Progress Reports and Meetings - to enable good communication with your client, you should suggest the form of meetings and progress reports. For example, this could include frequency of email updates, telephone discussions, written reports or meetings.
  • Resources and Materials Provided by the Client - if you expect or need your client to provide you with any facilities or resources for your use, you need to detail them. Examples could be access to computer systems, or key staff throughout your engagement.
  • Assumptions or Exclusions- any exclusions or assumptions that you have made in writing your proposal should be included here. This will minimise any misunderstandings between you and your client.
  • Cost and Payment Schedule – the cost of your proposal can be presented as a lump sum or as a time and materials fee. If doing the latter, you will need to provide details of your hourly rates. If appropriate, you can suggest to be paid in instalments in line with selected project deliverables. If the engagement is on a time and materials basis, you can either align payments with deliverables or request they be made periodically such as fortnightly or monthly.
  • Terms or Conditions - if you want to apply any specific terms or conditions, they should be written here. Examples could include a range of things from IP ownership or payment terms.

Adopting this structured and logical document format will help you develop and write your next business proposal. When writing a business proposal, always keep in mind that you are trying to provide your client with confidence that your products and services will meet their needs, and you have experience in providing them. Using this information will help you to develop high quality tenders and proposals, and maximise your chances of winning new business.

Tech Edit has skills and experience dealing with business proposal writing, editing and reviewing across all industries. So if you need advice or assistance in any of these aspects – whether it is to begin the writing of your business proposal, to determine the form and layout of your business proposal, to apply the final changes to your proposal, or provide an independent review of your proposal, please contact Tech Edit for an obligation-free quote.

Samantha Yee
Tech Edit - About Us
30 July 09