Mike Vickers' Blog

November 14, 2010

Creating a Proposal – sincere thanks to Anne Farr

Filed under: World Class — derryvickers @ 7:25 pm

Creating a Proposal that will capture the reader’s attention
Notes on short presentation by Anne Farr of the Rothera Group

  1. The potential customer cares only about ‘me’ – you are irrelevant
  2. Follow the three ‘Rs’ Reader, Response, Result
  3. The Proposal must be straight forward – concise
  4. It must have an Executive Summary (this is not a summary of the proposal!)
  5. Must mention Customer name much more than yours – Count!
  6. It must have a Win Theme
    Think about Response by Reader:

    1. Finance Director expects to be told about Cost Savings , ROI
    2. Events Manager expects that proposal will make his life hastle free
    3. HR Director expects that proposal will motivate staff
  7. Positive language – Will not Would.  Write the proposal as though you are already working with the Customer
  8. Make it easy for Customer to say Yes
  9. Attention to detail – Proposal must be professional – anything less indicates sloppiness and if you are sloppy in your proposal your work for the Customer will certainly be sloppy
  10. Reuse material but ensure that it contains only material directly related to This Customer
  11. Get someone else to read the Proposal
  12. If you say you will Follow Up – Follow Up!

Anne can be contacted on 44(o) 7595 168 797 or via email at afarr@rotheragroup.com

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November 1, 2010

A way forward for micro businesses?

Filed under: Business Development — derryvickers @ 4:54 pm

Lesley Riddoch provided a good article to Monday 1 November’s Scotsman titled ‘Small wonder big business is so hated’ in which she expressed the view that executives in large corporations are grossly overpaid and that we in micro businesses are getting tarred with the same brush.  She defined micro to be no more than 10 people.  She suggested that executives’ salaries of large corporations look to be paid more on the number of their employees and less on their accomplishments.  Ha-Joon Chang in his book ’23 Things they don’t tell you about Capitalism’ considers executives are paid in line with shareholder value and that shareholder value has been driven up by raiding a corporation’s assets.

Either way.   

Executives are usually paid by their corporations, unlike us small business owners who do not get paid other than through doing good business with our clients.  For good business, our clients need to feel that they have got good value for their purchases or our services and we need to earn a reasonable fee.  Big businesses don’t appear to need to keep their clients happy or satisfied – in many cases they have little competition or their clients are so constrained that they are unable to go elsewhere.

Our  company, Vickers Projects,  is on the Public Contract distribution list and to me micro companies are at an inherent disadvantage – we are micro – we cannot easily provide glowing balance sheets for the last 3 years, we are unable to go for the larger jobs where Public Contracts generally exclude companies where the job size is > 25%  of the turnover, we don’t have the resources or the time to fill in pages of politically correct statements, know all the legal niceties and we are not all-encompassing.

It is now time for micro businesses to come together in partnerships to tender for such public contracts so that we can present a wider experience base and share the pain to get the rewards. 

No I don’t see us aiming to become large corporations by this means and I would certainly not want to, but at least we could become mighty micros!

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