Will They Say Yes?
Crossing your fingers and wishing for luck to favor you is not the way to get your proposals accepted. If you really want to hear a ‘yes’, it all comes down to how clear and creative you can get.
There is so much hope and opportunity waiting for you out there. And here you are, locking yourself up because preparing a proposal is hard work and tricky too. Actually it doesn’t have to be. Use the beginner’s check list below to take care of some basics and to calm your anxiety.
First things first!
Don’t overlap or miss out on the four main stages: Pre-writing, Writing, Re-writing and Finalizing, that you undergo while preparing a proposal. Pre-writing is the stage where you need to spend most of your time (at least 50%). Gather as much information as you can during this time so that it is easier for you to address your issues in a clear way. But make sure you don’t spend too much time. Instead, take some time to re-write and re-read your proposal. Don’t finalize straight away; chances are you might miss out on important ideas. If you have followed these steps, finalizing it is no big deal.
So, what do you do in pre-writing stage?
In some ways writing a proposal is similar to writing an article for a magazine. How? That’s because before writing, research and leg work is crucial. As long as you don’t have enough information, you cannot start writing. So, in the pre-writing stage, get to know the sponsor and the kind of projects they have supported in the past really well. Read through their website carefully and try to meet in person. Being able to put a face to a name is generally helpful. This is also the stage where you decide what you need to include in the proposal.
How to prioritise?
Remember how we (as students) used to begin report writing with a long background about something unimportant and include the necessary information somewhere in between? Well, don’t do that anymore. If they want a summary, send them a summary, don’t send them a novel. Don’t beat around the bush, get to the main points, the basic yet very important elements –the objectives and the audience.
Remember the format of your proposal totally relies on your audience/reader. So, make sure you have a clear idea of who your reader is and target your proposal to them in a clear manner.If that doesn’t happen then your proposal is nothing but sheets of paper.
What do you aim for?
What is the main motive of the proposal? What are its objectives? The answers to these questions must be the main priority of the proposal. The best way to make them read your proposal is by mentioning the objectives and ideas neatly.
Formats and formulas
There are no universal formats for writing proposals. There’s just one way out; design unique outlooks and contents. Style the write ups and the layouts in creative and eye catching ways. If you are filling the sheets with bulky paragraphs, chances arethey’ll get bored. Include visual elements, great headlines, anything that might stick to memory.
Think out of the box and spill it
The best way is to surprise them with ideas they might not have expected. Since companies who are in search of proposals like yours tend to think with no fixed parameters, you have lots of scope to amaze them; make the most out of this opportunity.
It is only when you imagine that you think differently and impress the reader. Suppose there is a problem with implementing a project. To solve it, state as many solutions as possible. You not only invent a backup plan but also make them believe that you are serious about your proposal. Don’t be afraid to include risk factors and mention the best way to get out of it too.