Writing for Business Success/Business writing in action/Business proposals

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Read Chapter 9.3 in Business Communication for Success. This reading describes the main goals and common elements of business proposals, and writing strategies to produce effective proposals. The main goals are to inform and persuade, and often involve proposing a solution to a particular problem. Common elements include knowing your target audience, a unique value proposition, traditional organizational categories, and application of the rhetorical elements, and professional writing standards. Effective proposals are brief, particularly when target audiences are culturally diverse. There are two types of business proposals – solicited requests for proposals (RFP), and unsolicited proposals, which your text describes as the cold calls of business writing.

Recommended: Do the four chapter exercises, with the modifications suggested here. First, explore the examples of a business proposal and RFP on the websites provided in your text. Next, prepare a sample proposal of one-two pages in length. In your proposal describe a product or service you would like to offer, its unique value proposition (UVP), and three target companies who may be interested in your product or service. In your proposal, explain the link between your product or service, and the companies’ needs. To complete this exercise, you can describe a real product or service you’d like to offer. Alternatively, you can use the story you created to market a recliner chair in the Effective Message Design topic, or you can choose any object in your own home. Whichever option you choose, think about how you would propose to sell that product. How can you describe its UVP effectively to meet target audience needs?

To get started, you may find it helpful to view the brief video “Business Plan: What are the key elements?” on the Santa Clara University MYOWNBUSINESS Institute website.