Are you trying to launch a new vending business, expand an existing one, or perhaps even sell your current vending operation to a new owner?
The vending business usually involves multiple partners, because many different entities might own the vending machines, the buildings in which they are placed, the business of servicing and restocking the machines, and the products that go into the machines.
So to close any vending deal, you will need to discuss how all parties will benefit. The odds are that your potential partner is going to ask you for a written proposal before he or she will be willing to join you or invest in your project.
If you're a business owner used to sealing a verbal deal with a handshake, being asked to produce a written business proposal can be a little intimidating. Where do you start? Relax. The odds are that you already have most, if not all, of the information you need. You just need to organize it into the proper form for a business proposal.
Business proposals may be long and complex or short and simple, but all proposals should have four major sections:
- Client/customer-focused section
- Product/service description
- A section about you or your organization.
In the next paragraphs, we'll look at these sections in more depth.
The first part of an introduction should be a Cover Letter, which is not actually part of the proposal but instead introduces the proposal. A Cover Letter should be brief: simply explain who you are and why you are sending this proposal, include a statement of what you'd like the reader to do after reading the proposal, and provide all the necessary contact information so the recipient can easily find you to ask questions or accept your offer. If your offer is valid only for a limited time, be sure to state that in your letter.
Now, at the front of the proposal itself, you need a Title Page, which is exactly what it sounds like. There's no need to get fancy here. Simply choose a descriptive title, like “Proposal to Place Snack Vending Machines in Whatcom Community College Buildings”, "Bottled Beverage Supply Services" or “Proposed Supply Services for QRZ Vending Company.”
If your proposal is short, that's all you need in the way of introduction. If your proposal is lengthy or complex, you may also need an Executive Summary or Client Summary page, which is a list of the most important points you want the reader to understand, and a Table of Contents.
Next is the client/customer-focused section. This is where you prove that you have considered your potential partner's needs and concerns. In other words, why are you pitching your ideas to this particular person or organization? Put yourself in their shoes. Why should they be interested in what you have to offer? You'll need pages like Needs Assessment, Requirements, Deadlines, Limitations, and so forth to explain that you understand their position. The general idea is to demonstrate that your potential clients or partners have a need for your products or services and will benefit from the relationship you are proposing.
After you've explained that there is a need or desire that you can fulfill, it's time to describe in detail exactly what you propose to do, how your ideas will benefit the other party, and what the costs will be. This is the section where you detail exactly what you are proposing, so the topics in this section will vary depending on your business idea.
If you're selling vending machines, you'll describe the specifications of those machines as well as their cost. If you're offering to stock machines with your products, you might include a list of products and a service schedule. If you're asking to place machines in venues owned by other parties, you'll explain the space and electrical requirements and describe how and when the building owners will benefit. If you're selling your vending business, you'll include documents like profit and loss statements for previous years, and earnings projections for the future. Be as specific as possible so that there will be no misunderstandings.
In the final section, you need to explain why the potential partner or client can rely on you to fulfill the promises you've made. Be sure to include topics that discuss your Experience and/or Training, including any relevant Certifications you might have. If you've worked on similar projects, or have a long list of satisfied clients, include those. It's always best to let others praise you, so if you can include Testimonials or Recommendations, or describe Awards you've won, be sure to put them in this section.
That's it - you've written a business proposal! Now, take the time to perfect it before you deliver it. Make sure it's free of grammar and spelling errors, and make sure all the pages look good, too. Remember that the more competitive your business is, the more your proposal needs to stand out from the competition. You want it to represent you at your professional best.
After you have all the information written, focus on ensuring that your proposal is visually appealing. Incorporate your company logo, use colored page borders, and/or add interesting fonts and custom bullets to introduce color and a bit of flair. Learn how to effectively select colors for a winning business proposal.
You might like to know that there's no need to start your proposal writing project by staring at blank pages. Proposal Kit is a product designed specifically to create professional-looking and sounding proposals and reports. It contains thousands of templates you can put together in endless combinations. Each template includes suggestions and examples of content to add to that page, so you'll never feel stuck.
If you need more inspiration, you can check out the dozens of sample proposals in Proposal Kit, too, and get ideas about other types of proposals. Proposal Kit has professionally designed pages that will help keep your reader's interest and increase your success rate, and that's what it's all about, isn't it?