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How to follow up on a written proposal


Introduction

A written proposal is similar to a contract in that it outlines the job or project that you are going to do. In a way, once the proposal is approved the "real work" begins because now you have to actually do what you said you were going to do. This is not always as easy as it sounds, particularly if you are new at writing proposals or new to the business in general.

Instructions


Difficulty: medium hard

Steps

Step 1: Get input on the proposal. Before you even get to the point where you are trying to follow up on a proposal, you should have someone else look at the proposal. If you are a novice, your first proposal can be a bad experience. If you are a veteran, you already know what a bad experience following up on a proposal can be. Avoid "painting yourself into a corner" by having an expert look at you proposal. You want to make sure that what you say you will do is doable. More important, you want to make sure that the budget you wrote up is reasonable. Most proposals include a budget; an inexperienced proposal writer might underestimate the money needed to complete the project. After the proposal has been accepted, it is too late to realize that you made a mistake and ask for more money. Get input from several different experts before submitting your proposal.

Step 2: Have a game plan. If you have written the proposal you already have a game plan, but you might not yet have the uniforms designed and the roster made out. These are (figuratively) the things that you must figure out before the proposal is accepted. If you have proposed that you will take orders through a web site you need to have an idea of how to build an interactive web site or who you can hire to build on for you. After receiving the grant or the funding, it is time for action. Prior to that, you should have a plan of action. The trick here is that you don't want to invest much time or money before you find out if your proposal will be accepted. Most of this planning stage will be limit to sending out "feelers" and getting your head around what will need to happen as soon as the award is made.

Step 3: Stick with the plan. Once the proposal is accepted and you have the finances you need for whatever it is that you are doing, get to work. You should have a great outline for what that work entails; after all, that's what a proposal is. You should also have a decent idea of the details because in step 2 your were working these things out. It is likely that there will be more than just you involved in the follow-up of the proposal. If this is the case, you should have a meeting as soon as the proposal is accepted. Give every member of the team a copy of the proposal so that they understand exactly what it is that you have proposed to do. With the team, work out a schedule of events. Outline the steps to completing the project, make assignments, and set deadlines. Everybody should leave the meeting understanding what the team's objective is and what his or her individual objective is. Agree to meet on a regular basis to discuss progress and pitfalls of the project.

Tips and Warning

When working on a proposal you must stay on track and stay under budget. Monitor the budget carefully, you want to make money on the project, not lose money. If you estimated badly or use money unwisely, your may end up losing money. Try setting up the budget using computer software so that you can monitor the money situation easily and accurately.

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