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Proposals and pricing – getting the practical stuff right

I recently looked over a proposal for one of our newer consultants. It was for a very specific piece of work, and while I did it, it occurred to me that this type of practical help is so important, particularly at the beginning.

If you’re setting up your own business, or contemplating doing so, do you know how to write an effective proposal to a potential client? It’s really exciting getting a good lead and getting to the stage of writing a proposal, especially in the early days, but getting that right is so crucial. It can make the difference between landing the client and missing out.

And it’s not just one piece of work either – landing a client and doing a fantastic job can lead to an extended relationship with that client, bringing in fees over a long period, plus multiple referrals over the years as well. So a really good proposal early on can be worth thousands in the long term.

We provide our consultants with a tried-and-tested proposal template as a starting point, constructed in a format we know works. But obviously when it comes to an individual client, or potential client, the template needs tailoring and information needs putting in about what work will be done and fees charged.

There are all sorts of things you can do with the proposal in terms of the wording, phrases used, structure, detail and emphasis that will go towards making the potential client feel excited about going ahead, and making it a no-brainer for them. So when I’m reviewing a proposal, I’m helping with all of that. I’m making sure the consultant has included everything, written it in the right way, not included unnecessary things, and putting myself in the mindset of a small business owner in terms of what they want to see and how it should be phrased. Little tweaks can make a lot of difference.

As well as the wording and structure I’m also helping with the pricing, which is a difficult thing to get right, again especially at the beginning, and especially with very bespoke pieces of work. We have plenty of examples of fees for project work, so that consultants can refer to those as a guide when pricing a new project, plus they can also talk it through with me in terms of the scope and what will be involved. They can also ask the other consultants whether they’ve done anything similar and how they priced it.

All much better than licking a finger and holding it up to try and work out how to price something right!

If you’d like this kind of really practical help to make sure you get work quickly and make a success of your own HR consultancy, do get in touch for a chat about working with us.