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Writing an RFP (Request for Proposal)
A while back, a potential client provided me with some general details of the writing work he wanted me to do for his company. Then he asked me to send him a proposal.
Proposal?! I panicked as I tried to confirm with him what he meant by that since I had never done one before, at least not as a freelancer.
I must've not really wanted to pursue this opportunity since I didn't bother to do research or follow up with the company after submitting a contract instead of a proposal. A little time passed, I came across an article on writing RFPs (Request for Proposal). Ding! The light bulb went on. This guy verbally gave me his RFP and wanted a written response.
My situation was an informal version of all this. The client gave me a high level overview of what I might do for him. If I knew then what I know now, I would've written up a description of the client's needs and how I would complete the work in meeting those needs.
Small businesses would likely do a proposal in between the one I got and the complex government required ones. Most small businesses will be prompted to write a proposal when approaching a client. The client may ask you to submit a proposal outlining what you can do for them. In this case, write a proposal including the elements of a typical proposal and keep it short and to the point especially if the client is not a large company.
Meryl K. Evans, Content Maven, is Editor-in-Chief of eNewsletter Journal and The Remediator Security Digest. She's a slave to a MarketingProfs weekly column and a Web design reference guide at InformIT. She is the author of the popular e-report, How to Start a Business Blog and Build Traffic. Visit her site at http://www.meryl.net/blog/ for free newsletters, articles, and tips.
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