Collaboration is the backbone of innovation. In fact, businesses are over five times more productive if they foster a teamwork-centric environment, including the use of collaboration proposals.
But how exactly do you put together a partnership proposal and why should you want to write a proposal for a business partnership?
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know when it comes to how to write a partnership proposal, including:
- What a collaboration proposal is
- How you can partner with brands
- What should be included in your proposal
- Two major things to bear in mind when writing your proposal
- Nine key parts of creating a business proposal
- Why you should work with Bonsai to create your collaboration proposal
- How to use the Bonsai collaboration proposal template
- Frequently asked questions.
Note: Sign up for Bonsai free and get started on your proposal today.
What Is a Collaboration Proposal?
A collaboration proposal is a legally binding document that comprises the details of a partnership between two or more parties who intend to collaborate on a specific project.
Collaboration proposals typically benefit all parties involved, while also outlining key responsibilities so that all aims of the collaboration are met.
How to Partner with Brands
Partnering with brands begins with understanding your place in the professional world. You should have a complete understanding of your skills and expertise, as well as your limitations.
Next, make a list of all potential brand partnerships that you’d like to explore. These brands should offer complementary products or services to your own.
Lastly, having an online presence is a great way to market your brand and begin communications with similar organizations.
What to Include in the Collaboration Proposal
The introduction should include a brief overview of who you are, your background, the services you provide, and the relevance to the proposed project.
2. Executive Summary
This section should summarize the entire proposal to give your reader a broader sense of your proposal.
Although your proposal may be riddled with details, this section should be very direct and as short as possible (while including all essential information).
This might require a few revision sessions!
3. Team Members
Now is a great time to highlight your team and what each member brings to the proposal. Each member should have a blurb about themselves and their specialty as it relates to the collaboration.
For a more personal feel, add photos of your team members! Ideally, you might want to set aside time for professional (or semi-professional) photos that can be uploaded into this document.
You would be surprised at the quality of photos taken from an iPhone!
4. Past Accomplishments
When proposing any collaboration, withholding personal information or credentials could make the deal impossible to agree to!
With that said, this section should describe your prior accomplishments and communicate that you are experienced enough to excel in this collaboration.
Your past accomplishment section might also contain real examples of your accomplishments (such as pictures or links to prior work).
5. Project Overview
The next step is providing a complete project overview.
Prior to drafting the project overview, a conversation among all parties should be had to discuss the problems that will be addressed collaboratively. Once you’ve done this, be sure to draft it and check with all parties to ensure that everyone is on board.
6. Scope of Work
Once the project overview is established, the scope of the work should be outlined.
The scope of work will consist of timelines, goals, pricing, and payment schedules. In general, the scope of work supplies the details of the proposal.
7. Projected Results
You may want to outline the projected results of the project. This can be substantiated using in-house (or outsourced) statistical analysis, prior work track records, or any other metric that you deem appropriate.
8. Closing Statement
The closing statement has just as much value as the opening statement in terms of deal solidification. You want to leave a lasting impression on your reader without being overbearing.
Again, keeping it short and sweet is advisable, as it demonstrates respect for the reader’s time.
How to Write a Collaboration Proposal
1. Find Out Exactly What the Client Wants
Finding out what the client wants can be tricky at times, but it is always a good idea to identify and investigate their particular need based on their industry.
There are several important components of businesses (finance, marketing, human resources, customer engagement, etc.), so you will want to ask about each area and find a niche where your business fits.
2. Highlight What Sets You Apart
In the U.S. alone, there are approximately 33 million small businesses. All businesses should identify the unique characteristics of their organization, as well as novel benefits that they bring to any agreement.
In order to understand what sets you apart, you might want to consider asking yourself these questions:
- What is your expertise in your specific industry?
- What value do you add by entering into a partnership?
- How does your proposal confer an advantage to the other business?
- What service(s) are you providing that other companies cannot (or will not) match?
It’s a good idea to include real examples of your work in your proposal to showcase your expertise to potential collaborators.
How Do You Propose Business Collaboration?
1. Identify Mutual Goals and Objectives
Of the goals that you have outlined for your business, what can collaboration with a certain brand bring to your preexisting momentum?
This question should be asked of both you and your prospective collaborators prior to drafting a collaboration proposal.
2. Research Potential Partners and Their Offerings
Perform extensive research on your potential partners and compare them to across the board — what are they offering and what is their area of expertise?
3. Contact the Potential Partner Through Appropriate Channels
Contacting potential partners is ideally accomplished through a formal email addressing the company that you are looking to collaborate with.
Like your proposal, this email should be as succinct as possible, but also position your business as innovative and collaboration-worthy.
4. Clearly State the Intention of Collaboration
Wanting a collaborative project with a certain brand or company might obscure the true reasons for collaboration in the first place. You should highlight the overarching reason for collaboration and what you hope to achieve once the project is completed.
5. Propose Specific Collaboration Ideas or Projects
Your initial conversations with your intended collaborators should be inspired by potential projects with mutually beneficial undertones that you have devised.
This shows initiative and preparedness and will make you a more likely candidate for collaboration in the future.
6. Discuss Potential Terms, Agreements, or Contracts
This is an informal discussion prior to the actual collaboration proposal, but the legal elements of your proposal are very important.
It might be useful to see how other companies in a similar situation have defined their legal terms and expectations if possible.
7. Outline Responsibilities and Contributions From Each Party
This section can outline all of the details of the project, including the specific contributions that each party should make to the project.
Outlining project duties might require more discussion with your potential partner(s), especially if you are drafting a project timeline with key milestones.
8. Address Potential Concerns or Questions
Concerns and questions may arise as the project progresses, but the core of the collaboration should be ironed out prior to signing the collaboration agreement.
9. Establish a Communication Plan For Ongoing Discussions
You may want to consider implementing a communication plan or schedule for you to update your partner on the progress of the project from your side.
Sending regular emails will make sure that everyone is on track, and might provide an opportunity for pressing questions to be addressed. It will also allow you to set boundaries and lay out when you’ll be available to avoid scope creep!
Creating a Collaboration Proposal Is Simple with Bonsai
Now you know how to create a collaboration proposal, why not let Bonsai do all the hard work for you?
Bonsai has streamlined the process of drafting collaboration proposals with numerous, easy-to-use templates that allow you to submit a convincing proposal to your intended business partner, while also simplifying the experience.
Want to add your own branding? Our templates are completely editable, so whatever you want to add — whether it’s a logo or your brand colors — you’re welcome to, all at the click of a button.
Best of all? We have our own in-house legal teams who will ensure that your collaboration proposal is legally binding, without needing to pay extra for a lawyer.
And, if you aren’t ready to commit to an account just yet, you can use our collaboration proposal template for free.
How to Use Our Partnership Proposal Template
Ready to get started with your partnership proposal? All you have to do is:
- Choose a template that suits your needs
- Fill in the easy-to-use prompts.
And don’t forget, all Bonsai collaboration proposal templates can be customized depending on the terms of your proposal, as well as copied, so you can send as many proposals as you need to!
After you’re satisfied with your collaboration proposal, all that’ll be left to do is send the proposal to your intended business partner for review.
Then, once the partnership proposal template is submitted, the hardest part is waiting for a response!