Conquering Proposal Writing and Development
Ah, proposals… they are quite the endeavor. An endeavor that can spark creativity while also sparking hair-on-fire moments. It’s indeed a love-hate relationship; at least that’s been my experience.
Proposals are an attempt at an intricate balance between sharing your firm’s message, experience, and passion while relaying requested and sometimes unconventional information. It is a fine line to navigate setting the tone for proposal responses, whether prescribed or given free rein. One wants to sing the praises of their firm but in a humble brag sort of way that captivates the reader without being too much. It is a delicate undertaking. It can also be a feat to marry the ideas and directions of multiple team members with different perspectives into one cohesive story while also trying to guess what the reviewers might want to see and will like.
All the while, there is always the deadline aspect to address. It never seems to matter how much time the proposal deadline gives you; you could always use more. There is the final deadline to turn the proposal in. Still, there are also multiple internal deadlines to track and enforce. Proposals are usually broken down into segments and assigned to the best-suited party to answer. If left on their own, those parties would return their write-ups when they got around to it. Eventually, maybe, but not on the timeline the marketing team needs in order to pull it all together and polish it. Hence the multiple deadlines within one proposal. Not to mention that there may be multiple proposals in-house needing a response with similar deadlines.
Endeavor. Proposals are an endeavor, and you do your best to achieve the best that you can. Creativity is required on all fronts; in writing, in the marrying of the message, in the graphics, and in the solutions to putting out the fires. All in all, experience with proposals is always just that, an experience. One that gets a bit more comfortable, but never without the hair-on-fire moments.