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general advice on how to create a project proposal

How to write a project proposal: general advice

Your project proposal is the foundation for the agreement between you and your customer – you want your customer to be fully aware of the details and understand your process and why it benefits the project in question.  The project proposal is also the foundation for your project plan. Once you’ve done this, the majority of the work for your project plan to use within your company is already done.

The most important note is that a project proposal is also a receipt for you and your customer that proves that you fully understand the peculiarities for this project and how to best serve the customer.

The following points are some general advice in short about creating a project proposal:
  • Express your gratitude and excitement about the project in the proposal.
  • Keep a project proposal short and simple, covering the crucial details.
  • Be transparent and explain your process and why this benefits your customer and end result. Why will your process deliver value to them?
  • In short, you can add why your company/skills fit the customers need.
  • Don’t use complicated language. If so, insert a word index, just in case as a polite gesture. You are being hired by someone that needs your services, that’s why you might need to explain some things in simpler terms that you might usually word things while talking to your industry peers.
  • Try to include visual elements where possible to explain processes/time plan/etc. This helps the customer and you to understand the project better then pages and pages of text to be interpret and understood.
  • Add preliminary timings to your project process.
  • Send your proposal as PDF document.
  • Always state how much time the client has to send feedback if they want to proceed within the preliminary time plan.
  • If possible, deliver the project proposal in person, or send it over and request a meeting or set-up a phone call to answer any questions, to ensure that you understood the customers assignment properly. A follow-up also ensures that you can gather any feedback on your proposal and amend this quickly – to get the final agreement in place.