How to Write an Aerospace Industry Business Proposal
When many people hear the word “aerospace” for the first time, they think of jets and rockets, but the aerospace business is much more diverse.
Specialized companies maintain aircraft, design and manufacture interior trim or aircraft navigation systems, supply aircraft engine parts, program monitoring and guidance systems, etc. It’s a long list.
When you work in one of these businesses, you know that each business is different because your product or service needs to be customized for a particular customer or aircraft. Unlike other companies, you can not just publish your catalog or send your brochures to thousands of customers. To complete the deal, you must write a business proposal.
If you have the chance to write your first suggestion, you may feel overwhelmed. Relax. You already have most if not all the information you need, knowing your business and knowing what you have to offer. A business proposal is written step-by-step, with a specific four-part sequence to follow. The next few paragraphs show how this works.
Your very first task in preparation is to put yourself in the position of your potential customer. Consider the needs, requirements, limitations, and concerns of this party. In other words, what questions should you ask your potential customer to answer? If you need to research to find out more about the client’s history or the goals for the proposed project, you should do so in advance. Often, you have a Request for Proposal (RFP) in your hand, or sometimes you can find the information you need on the prospect’s corporate website. If you need clarification, do not guess – call the prospect and ask.
After you feel the customer’s position, it’s time to start the introductory section for your offer. You start with a cover letter in which you introduce yourself, explain why you’re submitting a proposal, and provide all your contact information. Next, create a title page. Name your suggestion simply descriptive. Examples include “aircraft interior reconfiguration suggestions for the Smith corporate fleet,” “how to upgrade cabin comfort, increase passenger and crew satisfaction,” or “proposed XZ-78 engine testing program.” That’s all you need for the introduction.
The second section describes the needs of your potential customer and the requirements for the project. At the very least, you want a need-side page that describes what the customer wants. You may also need pages such as goals, background, concerns, restrictions, budget, schedule, specifications, and more – all the topics you need to show that you understand what your customer is looking for.
In the third section, your job is to describe in detail what you offer and what it will cost. You will need to demonstrate how you respond to the needs, desires, and limitations described in the previous section. The topics here vary depending on the nature of your business and the specific project, but you will likely find pages with titles such as solutions, design, engineering, prototypes, quality control, manufacturing, testing, coordination, schedule, components, options, cost overview, services offered, products , Customization, delivery and so on.
Indicate everything you need to describe exactly what you want to do. The more specific you can be, the more credibility you have over the prospect, as a detailed plan shows that you have thoroughly understood the project’s requirements and thought through all the potential problems and pitfalls.
In the fourth and last section, you change your role from project manager to marketer and explain why you have the expertise and experience to make the project a success. It is always best not to brag about vague generalities, but to provide factual information about your expertise, education, training, credentials, certifications, and experience. Did you carry out similar projects for other customers? If so, specify a list of managed clients. You want a page about us or company history. If you have won awards or have references from other customers, add them here. Do you offer a satisfaction guarantee or a product warranty? Integrate all the topics you need to convince your client that you are a trusted expert in your field.
Now you have a first draft of your proposal. If it contains many pages or complex descriptions, you should create a summary (a list of the key points that should be shared with the most busy readers) and a table of contents. These two pages should be inserted immediately after the title page.
Edit your default language to ensure that it reads smoothly and is free from spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. For this last step, it is usually advisable to hire a professional editor or proofreader, or at least hire someone other than the author of the proposal, as each author misses mistakes in his own work.
Make sure each page looks neat and professional. You may want to add your company logo, special heading or bullet fonts, or colored margins to make the pages more visually appealing. Print out your proposal for delivery by hand or pack it for delivery by e-mail in a PDF. Use the method that best appeals to your potential customers. Sometimes it can make a big impression if you make extra efforts to send an offer through a special messenger or if you deliver it yourself. This helps you to beat the competition.
If you work in the aerospace industry, you know all about the efficient use of tools. You may want to know that there are suggestion kits that help you make business proposals faster and easier. A good suggestion kit contains hundreds of theme templates, including all the above. Templates provide instructions and suggestions for content so you never stare at an empty word processor screen and wonder what to write. A good suggestion kit also includes ready-made sample suggestions that will inspire you to see what your proposal might look like and sound like.