As a proposal manager getting a proposal plan approved, I always found it difficult to get my management to approve a budget that was based on 40-hour weeks for employees and 50, 60, or even 70-hour weeks for consultants. It just didn’t look good: a consultant often cost more per hour than an employee, and got paid for every hour worked to boot. Yet, I managed to stay on budget and win. I would like to share how I did it with you.So, how do you justify hiring the consultants, how do you properly budget for proposals, and how do you save costs without sacrificing quality?I am going to address each approach that has worked for me. But before I get to the budgeting and savings, I need to address three common patterns around business development expenditures that need to shift before you can think of efficiency and effectiveness in business pursuits. If you are already there, ignore this post, but read on if you recognize these in your organization. Pattern #1: Keep Business Development Investment Low. I find it surprising how few corporate folks understand the simple truths behind business development. Everyone knows that business development directly feeds company growth, but some companies don’t invest nearly enough to grow.