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Clear Purpose Starts Winning Proposals

Clear Purpose Starts Winning Proposals

Author: Soma Jurgensen

Start your proposal with a reader focused message.

Show critical thinking and problem solving.

Show that you can "do your homework."

Business students often jump to the solution in a proposal, but until the reader is convinced you understand their problem the solution will not persuade them to take action.

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Start your Proposal with a Clear Purpose

It's time to start crafting your proposal and if you’re wondering where to start I’ve included some tips here on getting over your writer's block.

What should your proposal be?

  • Organized under subheadings to guide the reader: Purpose Statement, Problem Statement, Solution Statement, Plan-Costs-Schedules, Conclusion
  • Persuasive
  • Well organized
  • Well researched

The first part of your proposal will be the introduction, or the purpose statement. Using this outline will give you a strong start on making sure you connect with the reader right away.

1) Introduction
a) Short summary
b) BRIEFLY touch on the problem, why you’re writing the proposal, and what your solution is. Think of this as the summary you’d read about an article before you decide to read further.

What this means is that your proposal should start with your objectives, the reasons you are making the proposal. It’s essentially like a move trailer. You get a sense of the whole movie, it’s engaging, and you want to learn more because the details are not all there.

One way to draft your purpose is to fill in blanks for the following statement:

I propose to _____________ because of _____________ challenges/opportunities in order for your company to realize _____________ benefits.

Let’s look at an example. I’d like to propose that our Rasmussen Campus include more healthy choices in the vending machines. I’d like fruit and milk and sandwiches. My purpose or introduction might look something like this:


I propose that Rasmussen’s Brooklyn Park campus include a vending machine with healthy lunch options in the student lounge in order to support the health and wellness of its students. Healthy, high fiber and energy rich foods support longer attention and focus in the classroom resulting is greater student learning. Rasmussen will ultimately realize the benefits of healthy food options through greater retention of focused and successful students.

You’ll notice I did enough research to know what business impact my proposal would have on Rasmussen. I could have stopped at happy, successful, students. Instead, I went right to heart of the business problem or opportunity that my proposal would support. Essentially, I told Rasmussen how my proposal would help them be better at business.

Stay tuned for the next installment…what to do about the problem statement.


Here's a link to an article with 38 words to avoid when writing a proposal.