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By Liz Etchison
Creating a proposal means setting out proposal topics in a concise and easy to understand format which clearly defines all aspects of the proposal. If you have never created a proposal before this may seem like a daunting task, but with some advice and assistance it is quite simple and logical to do.
First begin by creating three different categories, namely technical, management and cost. To begin outlining the proposal topics I suggest you start by listing the technical topics. This is where you define the problem that the company is experiencing. Next, you will describe your solution and approach to that problem and how your services will be indispensable to the proper function of the company.
2. Analysis and Training
It is helpful to provide a technical analysis to clarify your standpoint and to point out alternative solutions that may also help to solve the problem. If any testing has been done you may disclose your results at this stage and provide quality assurances. If you have a specific training programme to offer or that you want staff to complete, I would suggest supplying that information at this stage.
Define how you would implement the knowledge gained from the training programme as well as any facilities or equipment that will be needed to provide the service that you are offering. Address any logistics requirements and define a maintenance programme if needed. You are now done with the technical section of your proposal topics and can now shift your focus to management.
Organisation and sub-contracting arrangement and management should be addressed next. Note any corporate qualifications required and define your management approach. Quality is an important factor which needs to be addressed in your proposal topics along with security and risk management. Dedicate a heading to data and configuration management should it factor in to your business needs.
Monitoring and report procedures are another important factor when creating your proposal topics. Include all the information on monitoring procedures in a factual and professional format. Other areas to be discussed include resourcing, schedules and deliverables. Which resources do you have and which do you need? Include all your scheduling information and operating procedures. Experience and references should also be noted. Next we face the topic of cost, a crucial factor in all proposal topics.
Define a cost breakdown structure using spreadsheets and accompany it with a cost narrative to clearly outline all financial aspects of the project. Make a detailed list of cost assumptions and include all possible cost options and you will have a well-rounded proposal touching on all proposal topics. A detailed budget showing fact based research will count highly in your favour as a vague budget could spell disaster with the review board or grant officer. They will need to see realistic projections and research or facts to back up those projections. Stick to this basic outline and you will have covered all your bases by having all the information you need conveniently at hand.
Liz Etchison is a Grant Writing Expert. Visit Grant Writing Secret Tips for more expert advice on proposal topics and other tips you can use right now to write a successful grant proposal.