Entrepreneurs Want To Write A Small Proposal or Quotation?

A proposal is a document written to outline work that will be done at a set price in response to receiving a request for proposal, or more formally a RFP (Request For Proposal), ITT (Invitation To Tender) or RFT (Request For Tender). A quotation is a less formal document that is a document that outlines the work to be done and a reasonably accurate price for its completion.

You should note the difference. The former is considered to be a formal and legal document. The latter, the quotation, is considered to be a set price by recipient that will need some considerable reasons for its change – although it is not a legally binding document.

So what do they look like and when do you use them? Well a quotation is normally used by trades people and service providers for “one-off” jobs. It is quite a short document and consists of:
• Company contact details – use headed paper where possible.
• Short company overview – often only a few lines.
• Details of the job to be done –as detailed as possible, bulleted format for clarity.
• Cost – either time and materials or fixed price.
• Terms and conditions – when payment due, conditions when prices may change, responsibilities of each party.

A proposal is, as mentioned above, a much more formal document and great care must be taken that you understand as to what you are committing your company and yourself. As for the quotation, it consists of the following, but with some subtle differences:
• Company contact details – use headed paper where possible.
• Company overview – the more complex the proposal, the more details you provide.
• Details of the work to be done – as detailed as possible but try to paint a picture of the solution you are providing. You should also provide details of your products and services. The more the proposal is for, the more details you provide.
• Cost – this time a fixed price only and is the price that you will receive for your work undertaken.
• Terms and Conditions – these are part of a legal document so care must be taken. Include payment terms, each parties responsibilities and what happens under Force Majeure.

In both documents the following factors should be remembered:
• Ensure the document is accurate and that you can actually undertake and complete the project if you win.
• Spell and grammar check, use a professional font and colours.
• Reflect your brand with the document design.
• Don’t go overboard and put too much information in the document so that it is boring or gives away company secrets.

If you follow these guidelines when you write your proposal or quotation you have a good chance of winning that new business and that is the goal of every every successful company!

© Copyright 2009 Biz Guru Ltd

Lee Lister writes as The Biz Guru, for a number of web sites where she provides advice and assistance for the business entrepreneur. She is known as the Bid Manager and is a recognized bid management expert.

If you would like more help and assistance in tendering for work then visit: www.TenderWriting.com or read <i>Proposal Writing For Smaller Businesses </i> which can be found on Amazon and other major book sites.

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