How to Write a Project Proposal

February 26, 2020

Figuring out how to write a project proposal isn’t an easy task. And, while our project proposal template helps sell business projects to a sponsor or stakeholder, there’s also a set of details that can undoubtedly help polish your project proposal slides. For enhanced choices in your upcoming business presentations, let’s go over a few tips on how to write a project proposal. 

What’s a project proposal?

A project proposal is a presentation or document used to present a new project to a client or stakeholder to suit a precise business need. It typically addresses a particular problem, yet it can also focus on a business opportunity of some kind. 

The idea behind learning how to write a project proposal is making the best of details and descriptions to pitch a prospective project to a potential business partner. 

In simpler words, though, it’s also just a way of presenting a type of job before it starts, which is all outlined as a project. It seeks for approval after delivery so that a project can get a green light. 

Moreover, this type of document can also serve as a guide. It helps everyone working on the project aim for the same goals.

What does a project proposal include?

Project proposals commonly entail the following aspects:

  • A description of your startup 
  • Your prospect’s problem or need
  • A proposed solution
  • A set of milestones
  • A definition of the proposed procedures
  • A Timetable and timeframes
  • An approximate budget on overall costs
  • Relevant stakeholders
  • Any endorsements if you have them
  • An outline of action items

Like we said, our project proposal example has pre-formatted slides to meet the above criteria with outstanding design. 

Let’s go deeper into pieces of advice to make the best of your project proposal slides now that we covered our basics in terms of a project proposal description and its corresponding content. 

1. Don’t go too deep, but give out enough.

A project proposal needs to include crucial details, such as precise amounts and figures that make up a well-outlined budget and a defined strategy for a sound project estimation with time frames on delivery. 

However, despite the above, don’t be too meticulous on the specifics. Cut down on the details that make up the project you’re presenting. Include just enough to raise and interest and spark curiosity; don’t bore potential clients with too many tiny areas. 

As a filter on above, think about engagement. If a startup pitch deck is more up your alley, you can use all those strategies on a project proposal the way you would a pitch. A sales pitch can even be a better reference, as well. Just think of what your prospect needs to know, and don’t overload them with minute details. 

2. Don’t think of this as a contract.

A project proposal is different from a contract. Make sure not to confuse the two. 

While both documents follow the same lines, when asked for a project proposal, you’re looking for approval before a contract can be signed. 

Your project proposal will also need a signature as a guarantee for approval and to move ahead with the work, but that also means moving on to a different contract writing along with a project plan and whatever other documents apply. 

3. Make the best of the Triple Constraint.

A model of the constraints that go hand-in-hand with managing a project has to do with cost, scope, and time as the three pillars to successful project management. Therefore, consider the budget, the deadlines you set, and the features you incorporate in your project proposal as the basis for it. 

How much financial freedom you need to reach a goal under which tasks to adhere to which schedule is what you’re looking to fortify through the triple constraint model. These serve as your project’s boundaries, also, in a way establishing the common framework on which you can agree with all parties involved. 

4. Stress your awards

Being humble is a great asset. Yet, in business, pulling out a list of any awards your company has received can only shed a more assuring light on your proposed project. 

If you’ve achieved successful results on any similar project, or your company trajectory can serve as an assurance of a rewarding solution to your stakeholder’s problem, feel free to stress that out. It can help give context to your current project, as well. 

5. Address strategic goals 

Come up with strategic goals for your potential client, or learn what their goals are, and work to serve those efficiently. Moreover, clearly define how your proposal will help reach said objectives. 

On your goals slide, incorporate up to three different objectives. Make them as specific as possible to make your message more compelling. Couple these with action items to which your team will own up and, if possible, tie these in with specific dates. 

All of the above should enhance your proposal’s credibility and its viability in considerable ways. 

6. Tie budget with requirements

Highlight any requirements you might have in terms of materials and resources in the procedures slide. We also title that the “scope of work” slide. As you incorporate any internal or external needs, also take costs into account. 

7. A note on budget breakdowns

Touching upon budgets, let’s cover a bit more info on those. Note that being able to define how and where you’ll spend the potential client’s funds can serve as valid reassurance for project approval. 

In this sense, you can include detailed research results to potential equipment or resource costs along with the number of human hours required to get the job done. Include a good sense of a possible return on investment for your clients if you have one. 

Other kinds of proposals

While we’ve angled this piece today to project proposals that tackle a particular problem, you could potentially be writing a project proposal only as a way to open your startup to new business opportunities. If that’s the case for you, incorporate why your startup’s current interests would be of benefit to your potential stakeholders. 

And remember, if you’re writing software, research, grant, bid, investment, services, or product proposals, it’s best you resort to the respective templates for more accurate help! Fortunately, we’ve not only got those but plenty more here at Slidebean! Just let us know your thoughts and needs. 

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