For Contract Project Managers – Writing a Business Proposal

If you are an independent project manager (or firm) working on a contract basis, you will likely need to write a proposal at some point in time, especially for larger projects.

While there are a number of impressive formats available for business proposal templates, your ability to listen to a potential client’s needs, study his or her challenges, and propose thoughtful solutions will far outweigh an impressive looking business proposal document.

Here are a few things to consider when preparing a business proposal –

  1. Find a Good Fit.  Are you a good fit for this client and/or project?  Perhaps the single biggest selling point will be your familiarity with the type of project being managed.  Not to mention, subject matter familiarity is oftentimes the difference between a smooth running project and a painful experience.  It’s not fun trying to learn the fundamentals of a product, technology, or industry while trying to manage a demanding project.
  2. Understand Client CTQ’s.  Take time to understand client CTQ’s :  Critical to Quality requirements.  Oftentimes these requirements can be found by CAREFULLY reading the Request For Proposal (RFP) or other communication from the client.  Oftentimes a follow-up phone call or email to the client can make big difference here, with well-formulated questions that let the client know you have studied their situation in detail.
  3. Do Your Homework.   Once client CTQ’s are understood, research solutions for your client that will make the project run smoother, and include them in your proposal.  The client will appreciate the extra work you have done, and will likely be impressed with your interest in the project.  People are often too scattered to do this type of research for a prospective client, and doing your homework can give you a tremendous advantage over your competition.