Tutorials and resources for proposal writing and business development

How to Make Better Proposal Templates and Structure Reuse Files

People often assume that because the topic of a proposal is similar to an earlier proposal it can be easily recycled just by "changing a few words." This is hardly ever true. Unfortunately, the level of effort required to transform the focus, goals, win strategies, themes, results, keywords, and points of emphasis in a template or sample into another document can easily exceed what it would have taken to write it from scratch. That's okay because there are better approaches than templates or reuse files to provide inspriation, guidance, and acceleration for your proposals.

How to Determine Whether Templates Will Help or Hurt Your ProposalsSometimes after you make all the changes needed to customize boilerplate proposal files, it ends up taking longer than it would have to write it in the first place. It sure would be nice to know if that is going to be the case before you start. We have developed a model that shows the factors that determine the extent of the changes needed, so you can determine whether boilerplate is really an option for the type of proposals that you do.

How To Prepare Proposal Content For Reuse If your proposal material is a good candidate for reuse, this article walks you through what you should do to prepare for recycling the content.

Boilerplate Alternative: Proposal CookbooksIf you understand why people seek proposal templates, you can give them something that actually meets their needs better. A Proposal Cookbook can adjust to the idiosyncrasies of RFPs in ways that boilerplate can't. With a Proposal Cookbook, you get a speed boost and a quality boost, without exposing the proposal to the risks of using templates.

Faster Than a Proposal Template and More Powerful Than a Proposal Sample People who are looking for proposal templates are balancing their desire to win against their desire to save time. But the truth is often that they don't know what to say and rationalize that a template will help them figure it out quicker, thus saving time. Find out what you can do to provide better inspiration and speed up proposal writing.

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