Whatever service you provide, making sure you’re courting potential new clients and responding quickly and efficiently to any proposal requests they make is essential to acquiring new business. Locking down new clients and driving revenue forward is what helps you ensure that your business sits on a solid foundation, so you’re not worrying week to week and month to month about long term survival. While every client is different and each submission will be tailored to the client, keeping an easily modifiable template on hand will help you be efficiency and timely with your replies. After all, if you’re able to turn around a submission quickly but still display detail, depth and quality in your work, the client will be more inclined to go with your product and trust your abilities.
In the real world however, putting together a proposal is not as straightforward as putting a few numbers into a spreadsheet and emailing it out. It’s a detailed planning process — you’ll need to map out every action, work out how you’re going to get it done, assign resources and crunch some numbers. You’re also going to need to tell at a glance what kind of timeline you’ll be working on overall, and tell whether that is going to conflict with any other concerns or deadlines. And above all else, you’re going to need to have it all done promptly. To smooth out a complicated process like that, you’re going to need to make good use of Hive’s variety of planning and management tools.
Working with all this in mind, we’ve set up a custom template that you can follow when you’re responding to inquiries and proposal requests. It’s a solid foundation to start from, and is quick and easy to customize to each specific client and their needs. It’s our hope that you’ll take this template, modify it and make it your default framework for building your proposals. That way, working with the powerful tools Hive provides, you’ll see huge efficiency savings on your RFP turnarounds, giving you more time and resources to put into the real work of delivering on those proposals.
Similar to other frameworks, building a request for proposal structure to use in the future takes a certain amount of planning. You’re going to want to establish a basic content outline that you can use to deliver in the future, and that means taking and customizing the template calendar in a way that makes sense to you and your business. Think about how you currently structure submissions, and break them down into stages and milestones. You can then map those out on the calendar for team members to work on. It’s also worth thinking about the process you go through to map out a proposed project for your client — you can break that into stages too and plot them on your project calendar. Then when you need to put a real proposal together in the future, it’s as simple as editing the details, establishing the official timeline, and assigning team members to the specific task.
Don’t forget that when it comes to putting a proposal together you’ll have access to Hives chat function so you can liaise directly with your team in real time. This is great for the creative part of a client submission too — the drag and drop functionality will help you share ideas with everyone on the project so you can talk it all over in one place. That way you have every aspect of your submission at your fingertips, and you’re fostering the kind of creative thinking your clients will love.
Effective use of all the tools you have at your disposal with Hive is the key to turning your submissions around quickly. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of this template:
- The Gantt Chart is great for mapping out any long term goals. When you’re building a proposal, you never want to lose sight of its overall goal. The Gantt Chart gives you the perfect view to map out any major plan segments, establish any dependencies and assign firm deadlines so you never lose control. Being able to look at the proposal as a whole like this is a great way to get a sense of its scope, so you not only get peace of mind on the timeline but you can also present the project meaningfully to any key stakeholders.
- The Kanban Board is your short term lens. This is ideal for a time sensitive project like a proposal response, because you’ll be able to tell at a glance what deadlines and deliverables you’ll be working with on a daily and weekly basis. Proper use of the Kanban Board will mean you’ll never fall behind.
- The Table View gives you an ideal glance at what is going on in real time. Looking at your project on this setting will give you a snap shot of what is happening, when it’s going to happen, and how that slots into the bigger picture.
Don’t forget that with Hive you have access to an analytics tools to help you overcome any problems along the way. Keeping tabs on your productivity with Hive Analytics will give you a broad view of how you’re doing which is key for complicated projects over longer timelines. Ensuring the quality of your work stays high is imperative for the long term health of your business, so proper analysis of your teams performance is essential. Additionally, don’t forget that if you do notice any issues, you can use the team viewer to see what each member of the team is assigned to at a glance, so you can help alleviate any problems you encounter along the way.
Check out some other project templates here: