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Blog Business

How to Write Winning Business Proposals: Examples & Free Templates (2023)

By Aditya Sheth , May 25, 2023

How to Write Winning Business Proposals

The great Mark Cuban once said, “Sales cure all.” If a business doesn’t sell, it doesn’t make money and by extension the business fails. That’s why you need to write business proposals .

A well-written business proposal can often mean the difference between winning or losing a prospective client.

In this in-depth guide to creating business proposals, we show you how to close more deals, make more sales and crush your business goals — all by using easy-to-edit professional business proposal templates .

Here’s what this guide will cover (click to jump ahead):

What is a business proposal.

  • How to write a business proposal step by step

What should you include in a business proposal?

Business proposal format, what are the types of business proposals, more business proposal examples + writing and design tips.

  • FAQs about business proposals

Looking for a shortcut? Watch this quick video for an overview of everything to include in your business proposal:

An effective business proposal is a document used by a B2B or business-facing company (this may not always be the case) where a seller aims to persuade a prospective buyer into buying their goods or services.

A business proposal outlines what your business does and what you can do for your client . It can be general like this business proposal example:

general business proposal template

Or it can be more specific, like this business proposal template which focuses on proposing a project for the Newton Center Rail:

simple business proposal project proposal template

Or this business proposal sample, which presents a plan for a social media strategy and campaign:

social media marketing business proposal template

To design a business proposal that holds the client’s attention, identify their pain points . Then provide your buyer with the right solution to alleviate those frustrations.

Return to Table of Contents

How to write a business proposal step by step

Before you start creating your business proposal template, you need to know what it comprises. At a high level, your effective business proposal should include the following:

  • Table of contents
  • Executive summary
  • The problem statement
  • The proposed solution
  • Qualifications
  • The timeline

Pricing, billing, and legal

  • Terms and conditions
  • The acceptance

Below, you can see business proposal examples that demonstrate how to include these 10 sections.

Business proposal title

A compelling title could mean the difference between someone reading your proposal or ignoring it in favor of a competitor’s. 

What makes a good title page? Here are the essential elements to include: 

  • Your name along with your company’s name
  • The name of the prospect (or their business) 
  • The date you’re submitting the proposal

Gray Business Consulting Proposal Template Cover Page_Venngage

The gray business consulting proposal template above contains all the details a prospect would want to know. The title also offers a strong tangible benefit to the prospective buyer. Honestly, “Who doesn’t want to grow their business?”

Return to business proposal content sections

The table of contents is a fundamental part of every winning business proposal template. It makes your proposal scannable and easy to read.

The people you will be pitching to are usually C-level executives. These are busy people who don’t have time to read your entire proposal in one go.

That’s why most of the business proposal examples in this list include a table of contents.

Adding a table of contents to your document makes it easy for them to go through it at their own pace. They can also skim through parts of the proposal that they deem more important. You can see how this abstract business proposal template uses the table of contents:

Creative Social Media Business Proposal Template Table of Contents

You can also make your business proposal template easier to navigate by adding hyperlinks to the document, particularly in the table of contents. This way your clients can jump to specific sections without having to scroll through the entire document. 

It’s easy to add hyperlinks in the Venngage editor. Select the text you’d like to turn into a link, then click the link icon in the top bar. From there, select the page you want to link to! Then download your completed design as an Interactive PDF .


The executive summary is a staple in all kinds of annual reports , leadership development plan , project plans and even marketing plans . It is a concise summary of the entire contents of your document. In other words, write a business proposal outline that is easy to glance over and that highlights your value proposition.

The goals of your executive summary are:

  • Introduce your company to your buyer
  • Provide an overview of your company goals
  • Showcase your company’s milestones, overall vision and future plans
  • Include any other relevant details

This gray business proposal example has a detailed yet short executive summary including some social proof in the form of clients they’ve worked with:

Gray Business Consulting Proposal Template About Us

Take note of how precise this business proposal example is. You want to keep your executive summary concise and clear from the get-go. This sets the right tone for the rest of your proposal. It also gives your buyer a reason to continue reading your proposal.

Pro Tip: Try to write an executive summary such that, even if your prospective client doesn’t read the entire proposal (with a good executive summary, they most likely will), they should have a clear idea about what your company does and how you can help them.

The point of writing a business proposal is to solve a buyer’s problem. Your goal is to outline the problem statement as clearly as possible. This develops a sense of urgency in your prospect. They will want to find a solution to the problem. And you have that solution.

 A well-defined problem statement does two things: 

  • It shows the prospect you have done your homework instead of sending a generic pitch
  • It creates an opportunity for you to point out a problem your prospect might not be aware they had in the first place. 

Texture Business Proposal Template

This bold business proposal template above clearly outlines the problem at hand and also offers a ray of hope i.e. how you can solve your prospect’s problem. This brings me to… 

The good stuff. In the proposed solution section, you show how you can alleviate your prospective buyer’s pain points. This can fit onto the problem statement section but if you have a comprehensive solution or prefer to elaborate on the details, a separate section is a good idea.

Spare no details regarding the solution you will provide. When you write a business proposal, explain how you plan to deliver the solution. Include an estimated timeline of when they can expect your solution and other relevant details.

For inspiration, look at how this business proposal template quickly and succinctly outlines the project plan, deliverables and metrics :

Sales Plan Proposal Table Template_Venngage

At this point, the prospect you’re pitching your solution to likes what they’re reading. But they may not trust you to deliver on your promises. Why is this?

It’s because they don’t know you. Your job is to convince them that you can fix their problem. This section is important because it acts as social proof. You can highlight what your company does best and how qualified your team is when you write a business proposal for a potential client.

business proposal qualifications section

This free business proposal template showcases the company’s accolades, client testimonials, relevant case studies, and industry awards. You can also include other forms of social proof to establish yourself as a credible business. This makes it that much more likely that they will say yes!

Pro Tip: Attaching in-depth case studies of your work is a great way to build trust with a potential client by showcasing how you’ve solved similar problems for other clients in the past. Our case study examples post can show you how to do just that.

To further demonstrate just how prepared you are, it’s important to outline the next steps you will take should your buyer decide to work with you.

Provide a timeline of how and when you will complete all your deliverables. You can do this by designing a  flow chart . Or add a  roadmap  with deadlines. Pitching a long-term project? A timeline infographic would be a better fit.

If you look at this abstract business proposal template below, even something as simple as a table can do the trick.

Abstract Business Consulting Proposal Template Timeline_Venngage

The timeline is not always set in stone, rather it’s an estimation. The goal is to clarify any questions your potential client might have about how you will deliver for the underlying B2B sales process.

On this page, you can outline your fees, payment schedule, invoice payment terms , as well as legal aspects involved in this deal.

The key to good pricing is to provide your buyer with options. A  pricing comparison table can help with this. You want to give your client some room to work with. Make sure you’re not scaring off your client with a high price, nor undervaluing yourself. 

Breaking up your pricing in stages is another great way to make sure your potential client knows what he’s paying for. Look at how this simple business proposal template does this:

Bold Business Proposal Template Pricing Page_Venngage

The legal aspects can slot right into the terms and conditions section. Alternatively, you can add them to the signature section of the proposal to keep things simple.

Summarize everything you have promised to deliver so far. Include what you expect from your prospective buyer in return.  Add the overall project timeline from start to end, as well as payment methods and payment schedule. This way, both of you will be clear on what is being agreed on.

This step is very important as it outlines all the legal aspects of the deal. That is why the terms and conditions section of your proposal needs to be as clear as possible.

Modern Business Proposal

I recommend consulting a lawyer or your legal team when working on this section of the business proposal. If you’re a business veteran and understand the legalities of your business, you can use the same terms and conditions across all your proposals.

The final step of this whole process. Your client has read your business proposal and they want to buy what you have to offer.

Add a small section at the end of your proposal to get the necessary signatures. This way, you and your client can sign the proposal and the partnership becomes official.

Be sure to also include your contact information in your business proposal template. It acts as a gentle prompt to your client to contact you in case they have any questions. A professional way of doig that would be to include an e-business card with your contact details, email i.d and any other social links you want to share. You can go through this article for the best digital business cards .


A business proposal usually aims to answer the following questions: 

  • Who you are and what your company does
  • The problem your buyer is facing
  • The solution your company offers to alleviate the problem
  • How your company will implement this solution effectively
  • An estimate of resources (time, money, etc) required to implement the solution

You can see how this sample business proposal template covers the above points.

business project proposal template

Notice how this proposal template addresses the same project like in one of the previous templates, but uses a completely different design style (more retro, while the previous business proposal template is more modern and minimalistic).

You can remove or add more sections depending on the goal of your business proposal. Essential, your business proposal can follow this format:

  • Pricing, billing and legal

We go into detail on how you can write a business proposal (plus different business proposal templates you can apply the tips to) in the next section . But you can also click on the format items above to learn how you can best write them!

If you aim to create a holistic business proposal, feel free to just edit from the two templates right above. You can also add your brand colors and logo to your design, using My Brand Kit :

Here’s another example of a business proposal template that you can edit:

simple b2c business growth proposal template

Generally, there are three types of business proposals:

1. Formally solicited 

A formally solicited business proposal is made when you respond to an official request to write a business proposal.

In this scenario, you know all the requirements and have more (if not all) information about a prospective buyer. You simply need to write the business proposal for your buyer to evaluate so you can begin the sales process .

2. Informally solicited 

Informally solicited business proposals are written when there isn’t an official request for a proposal. A prospective buyer is interested in your services and asks for a proposal so they can evaluate it.

An informally solicited proposal requires a lot more research from your end. These types of proposals are usually created out of informal conversations. They are not based on official requests which often contain more detail.

3. Unsolicited 

Think of this as a marketing brochure or a cold email . Unsolicited business proposals will often take a generic, one-size-fits-all approach to business proposals. Unsolicited proposals lack any understanding of the buyer or their requirements.

But with additional  market research , personalization and identifying customer pain points , you can propose a customized solution based on your buyer’s needs. This can be a very persuasive approach, such as in this business proposal example:

corporate business proposal example

Now that you know how to write a business proposal, let’s look at how you can optimize your proposal to deliver results!

Below you’ll find some winning business proposal templates and examples to get you started. I’ve also included some design tips to keep in mind when you’re creating your next business proposal: 

1. Know your audience 

If you have some clarity on who your ideal buyer is — their pain points, their budget, deadlines, among other things — you’ve already won half the battle.

If you are a business that helps clients with everything from running giveaways or helping grow their blog , identify which customers to pitch. This is a sure-shot way to close the deal.

Mapping user personas  for your ideal buyer can help bring some clarity. It will also help you position your business proposal correctly. This improves the chance of your buyer moving your business proposal to the “Yes!” pile.

2. Put your brand front and center

If your company follows certain brand guidelines, incorporate them in your business proposal templates. Consider how business proposal examples like the one below highlight brand identity :

content marketing plan business proposal example

From the color palettes to the company logos , everything follows their brand guidelines. The result: a business proposal that’s consistent across the board.

Pro Tip: Switching this template to match your brand assets is actually pretty easy. Venngage’s My Brand Kit feature allows you to import your color palettes, logos as well as font choices. Any Venngage template can now be your template.

You can also consider this sample business proposal template:

Example of a Business Proposal

Design companies sure do know their design. They did a phenomenal job keeping their brand colors consistent while opting for a black design. This unique color scheme also makes their white logo prominent throughout the proposal.

3. Try less text, more visuals

Have you ever read a proposal and thought to yourself, “Wow, this is all text and has no images, I love it!”? Yeah, me neither.

The free business proposal template below is a perfect example of the “less is more” principle. It does a phenomenal job of communicating what it needs to. By substituting some of the text with icons and visuals, you get a clean business proposal that’s much more scannable.

Social Media Plan Proposal Template

Want to keep things strictly professional? Instead of icons, you can always add your team’s headshots. This shows your buyer exactly who they’ll be working with.  

Check out this formal business proposal format for some inspiration:

Red Human Resources Consulting Proposal Template Team

4. Switch up your business proposal designs

It doesn’t hurt to go above and beyond once in a while. Jazz up your business proposal template with some extra colors. This helps make your business proposal more engaging. It also helps your buyers retain information faster.

Simple Business Proposal Example

The business proposal example alternates between black, white and grey backgrounds. It still manages to maintain consistency in its branding . Just switching up your backgrounds once in a while can also bring in some variety to an otherwise standard business proposal.

This SEO business proposal sample proves that it’s possible to switch up the colors in every other page. But it still maintains the same color scheme across the entire proposal just like a professionally designed website : 

SEO Marketing Proposal

Pro Tip: Not a color expert? Our guide on picking colors can help you pick the right color scheme for your proposals.

FAQ about business proposals

What is the purpose of a business proposal.

A business proposal aims to streamline the B2B sales process (which is often complex ) between you as a seller and a buyer.

It does this by serving the dual purpose of acting as a source of information. The proposal also acts as a sales pitch aimed at convincing your buyer why they should buy what you have to offer.

What are the best practices for business proposal design?

  • Do a thorough spell-check. The goal of your business proposal is to convince your buyer why you’re the perfect person for the job. A proposal with typos or grammatical errors communicates the opposite. A thorough spell-check before you send your proposal is a must.
  • Keep things clear and readable: Clarity is an important aspect that you have to ensure in your business proposal. If you want your proposal to hit home and make an impact on the buyer, you have to write it in an understandable way. To keep things clear and readable, there are a couple of things that you can do. You can, for one, take care to use easy wording and segmented sentences from the get-go. You can also try paraphrasing the hard parts of your proposal once you are done writing it.
  • Let your brand shine. As discussed before, writing a business proposal is all about knowing your ideal buyer and focusing on their pain points. But that doesn’t mean your business proposal template has to be boring. Demonstrate how different you are compared to other companies. You can do this through your brand guidelines , by using more visuals, switching up your proposal design or showing off your personality in your writing . 
  • Create a business proposal PDF. Downloading your business proposal in PDF format allows you to attach other collaterals with your business proposal. These can include a company explainer video or case studies showcasing the work done with past clients. Also, who doesn’t love saving paper?

How long should your business proposal be? 

The length depends on the scope of the work as well as the complexity of the project. Here is a one-page business proposal template:

one page business proposal template

Can your business proposal template really be one page? Yes, as long as you understand who your buyer is and their pain points. You should also have the ability to communicate everything your ideal buyer needs to know about your business in a succinct manner.

Or if you’re feeling adventurous how about just two pages? Often, clients prefer if you go straight to the point and avoid all the fluff.

For example, this green modern marketing proposal template wastes no time in getting down to brass tacks:

Project Business Proposal

Need more inspiration? Check out this blog on the 5 marketing proposal examples that’ll help elevate your business.

There is no one size fits all approach when it comes to deciding how many pages you should include in your business proposal template. And at the end of the day, “the only rules are the ones you set for yourself”.

At the end of the day, writing winning business proposals that sell is all about you understanding your buyer, their potential pain points and positioning yourself as someone who can alleviate those pain points. 

Now that you know how to write compelling business proposals, what are you waiting for?

Take action and start creating your own business proposals to close more deals and grow your business today!

More business communications templates + writing tips you might be interested in…

31 Consulting Proposal Templates to Close Deals

How to Write a Project Proposal [10+ Templates]

20+ Professional Business Letterhead Templates + Branding Tips

How to Write a White Paper [Tips & Templates]

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Free Business Proposal Template

Free Business Proposal Template

Getting your business off the ground is no small task and might require gathering funding from investors. With Jotform Sign ’s free business proposal template, you can present your new business’s needs, ideas, and benefits to potential investors — making it easier to get their buy-in.

A business proposal template is a tool for entrepreneurs to quickly and effectively create professional business proposals without having to start from scratch. Just create and customize your proposal, then send it to your investors and other stakeholders for their e-signatures.

Need to make changes to your business proposal template? No problem! With Jotform, you can drag and drop elements to personalize your proposal and match your company branding. You can add or remove form fields, create an automated signing order for multiple investors, upload logos and branding, and choose fonts and colors that work best for you. Work smarter with Jotform Sign!

More templates like this

Sign Templates: Free Project Proposal Template

Free Project Proposal Template

Don’t waste time creating multiple project proposals from scratch. With Jotform Sign’s ready-made Project Proposal template, you can generate and customize a professional-looking proposal that includes details such as an overview and description of the project, resources and budget, project goals, expected outcomes, and more. Update the wording however you see fit, then share it with clients via email to seamlessly gather e-signatures from any device.Want to personalize this Free Project Proposal to match your company’s branding with Jotform White Labeling? No problem! Using our powerful online builder, you can add or edit form fields, upload your logo and branding, include images, change fonts and colors, and make other design changes without any coding. Once both you and your client have signed this proposal, you’ll automatically receive a finalized document — ready to share, download, and print for your records.

Sign Templates: Mobile App Development Proposal Template

Mobile App Development Proposal Template

Create a Mobile App Development Proposal Template that works for all occasions with Jotform Sign. With our entirely online signature and feedback collection process, you’ll be able to manage and reference signatures from your team members in one convenient place. Share via email or embed in your online team portal.Customizing this Mobile App Development Proposal Template is simple and efficient with Jotform Sign. Update the terms and conditions, add or remove form fields, change fonts and colors, and make other cosmetic changes with no coding required. Create your app proposal, send it straight to your team, and start collecting signatures and feedback instantly. Collaborate smarter with Jotform. To collect e-signatures on any device, create an e-sign document with Jotform Sign.

Sign Templates: Cleaning Proposal Template

Cleaning Proposal Template

Attract customers to your cleaning services with a professional Cleaning Proposal Template. Simply customize the proposal template to match your services and branding, share your proposal to be filled out and signed on any device, and watch as each completed document is converted into a polished PDF automatically.Drag and drop to make this Cleaning Proposal Template your own — you can upload your logo, add terms and conditions, and change fonts and colors for a personalized touch. You can even set up a custom signing order if your document is being signed by multiple parties! Pair your high-quality cleaning services with a high-quality automated document using Jotform Sign’s Cleaning Proposal Template.

Why is a business proposal important?

A business proposal is a necessary tool for a new or small business to secure investments or partnerships. A business proposal lays out a business’s objectives, resources, and strategy to encourage investors to back it financially.

Business proposals allow you to display the unique value and potential of your business to secure growth capital and partnerships. With the right business proposal, you can rapidly accelerate your business’s growth.

What information should be included in a business proposal?

Your business proposal’s exact content will vary depending on the nature of your business, strategy, and needs. However, there are a few pieces of information every business proposal should include:

  • Individual or group the proposal is prepared for
  • Executive summary
  • Vision and mission statement
  • List of goods or services
  • Business plan and timeline
  • Terms and conditions
  • Pricing and payment details
  • Rights and obligations of each party
  • Signature and date

Once you’ve included these key elements, you can customize your content to fit each individual investor. Using a business proposal template, you can make sure you’re asking for all the necessary information — without the added effort of organizing it yourself.

What are business proposals used for?

Small, new, or emerging businesses use business proposals to secure financial investments for their overall business or for specific initiatives. Proposals include details about the business’s strategy, objectives, and goals — as well as how the investment will be used.

These proposals provide the reason why investors should financially support a small business, including how the investor will benefit from the business’s growth.

What are the important elements of a business proposal?

Although every element of your business proposal is important, there are some factors that are key to success. To secure the interest of your investors, make sure to take extra time and consideration when crafting the following:

  • Your executive summary highlights your business’s story and entices prospects to invest.
  • Your vision and mission statement establishes your priorities, principles, and intended outcomes.
  • A list of goods or services details how you intend for your business to make money for itself and investors. It also provides context for your business’s daily operations.
  • The business plan and timeline offer a look into long-term strategy and potential business phases.
  • Your terms and conditions outline the details of a potential investment in your business, including the expectations for both parties.
  • Pricing and payment details provide investment options at different tiers, as well as how investors will make payments and how you’ll deliver returns.

Thinking through these important elements will not only increase your odds of success, but it will also keep your investors engaged and confident in your capabilities.

Who needs a business proposal template?

A business proposal template is a vital asset for any business seeking investment. While you can write a separate business proposal for every investor, it can demand a significant amount of time and resources.

Depending on your investment needs, you may find yourself approaching a wide range of investors. This means you’ll have to write and send proposal after proposal, adding to the existing work on your plate.

A business proposal template, on the other hand, will save you the hassle of creating and designing proposals over and over again. Simply use a single template as a base, then update it accordingly — sending personalized versions to as many investors as you need.

How do I write a business proposal?

Your business proposal should be unique to your business and capture an investor’s attention quickly. Large investors receive hundreds, if not thousands, of business proposals a year. That means your proposal needs to stand out from the crowd to get their attention and buy-in.

When it’s time to start writing your proposal, keep these tips in mind:

  • Create an engaging title page.
  • Keep language clear and concise.
  • Use a table of contents.
  • Define your problem and solution.
  • Be clear about your “why.”
  • Identify benefits for investors.
  • Provide multiple investment options.
  • Include signature or e-signature form fields to speed up the process.

Writing a business proposal that includes these best practices is easy with Jotform Sign . Just drag and drop your form fields into place to build a custom proposal from scratch. You can also save time and resources when designing and structuring your proposal by using Jotform’s free business proposal template.

How do I customize a business proposal template?

To customize Jotform’s free business proposal template, click on the Use Template button in the top right corner to enter the Sign Builder. In the Sign Builder, you have the freedom to make this template your own. Update the design, add your logo, and customize the body copy to match your business’s exact needs and branding.

Already have a template you prefer? Upload it as a PDF to Jotform Sign, which will automatically detect existing fields. Then, share it with a few clicks through email, a link, or a number of powerful integrations .

These templates are suggested forms only. If you're using a form as a contract, or to gather personal (or personal health) info, or for some other purpose with legal implications, we recommend that you do your homework to ensure you are complying with applicable laws and that you consult an attorney before relying on any particular form.

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Free Proposal Templates

Write a winning proposal in minutes with Jotform’s Proposal PDF Templates. Whether you need a business proposal , bid proposal , or project proposal, these free proposal templates will help guide you in creating an attention-grabbing proposal that contains key information regarding objectives, strategy, and budget. Proposal submissions will automatically be converted into PDFs that are easy to print, pitch, and present.

Personalize your proposal for your company or potential clients using Jotform’s PDF Editor . If you need to start from scratch, you can always get started generating a custom proposal for free! In any case, you’ll be able to modify your proposal template however you’d like, from writing additional form fields to changing fonts and colors. Jotform simplifies the proposal process so you can spend less time drawing up your proposals and more time closing deals.

Sign Templates: Free Business Proposal Template

Seeking new investors or clients? Use Jotform’s free business proposal template here to highlight the potential, ideas, and benefits of your business.

Need to write a project proposal? Get started with one of Jotform’s free project proposal templates here to save time and effort.

Create a proposal to send to your mobile app development team. Works on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices. Drag and drop to customize. No coding knowledge needed.

Use this cleaning proposal template to make a great first impression with potential clients.

Sign Templates: Consulting Proposal Template

Consulting Proposal Template

Create a professional consulting proposal via Jotform Sign. Drag and drop to customize. Fill out and e-sign from any device. Easy to share. No coding.

Sign Templates: Bid Proposal Template

Bid Proposal Template

Create a bid proposal for upcoming projects. Customize the proposal to match your project’s theme. Works on any device — desktop, tablet, or mobile.

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Sponsorship Proposal Template

This sponsorship proposal template helps you attract and convince your leads to be part of your event as a sponsor. It contains a front page, cover letter for the leads, company overview, information about the event and terms.

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Grant Proposal

Create a custom grand proposal in seconds. Easy to share and collect e-signatures. Works on any device. Drag and drop to customize. Streamline your workflow.

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Construction Proposal Template

Create a construction proposal for all your needs. Drag and drop to customize. Works on smartphone, tablet, and desktop devices. E-sign in seconds.

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Software Proposal Template

Create a software proposal in seconds. Fill out and e-sign in seconds. Share with clients via email. Works great on any device. Converts to a PDF.

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One Page Proposal Template

Generate one page proposals with ease. Free template. Easy to customize. Share in seconds. Fill out and sign on any device. Save time with e-signatures.

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Video Production Proposal Template

Create a professional video production proposal. Works on tablet, mobile, and desktop devices. Built to match your company needs. E-sign in seconds.

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Budget Proposal

Generate a custom budget proposal in seconds with Jotform Sign. Fill out and sign on any device. Drag and drop to customize. Converts to a PDF document.

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Non profit Business Proposal Template

Generate a nonprofit business proposal and share via email. Fill out and sign from any smartphone, tablet, or desktop. Customize in seconds. No coding.

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Proposal Letter Template

Create a proposal letter with this ready-made template. Easy to customize and share via email. Fill out and e-sign from any device. Converts to a PDF.

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Marketing Proposal Template

Generate a marketing proposal with this free template. Fill out and e-sign in seconds. Easy to customize and share. Converts to PDF document. No coding.

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Interior Design Proposal Template

Create a custom interior design proposal with this free template. Easy to customize and share. E-sign in seconds. Works on all iOS and Android devices.

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Event Proposal Template

Create, track, and manage event proposals online. Gather e-signatures from any device. Drag and drop to customize the design. Turn into completed PDFs.

Sign Templates: Job Proposal Template

Job Proposal Template

Create a job proposal with this free template. Fill out and e-sign from any device. Easy to customize and share. Works great on any Android and iOS device.

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Contractor Proposal Template

Create a professional proposal for your next contracting job. Works on mobile, tablet, and desktop devices. E-sign in just seconds. Converts to PDF.

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Create a catering proposal for your client’s next event. Easy to edit and customize. Works on all mobile, tablet, and desktop devices. Receive copies upon approval.

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Research Proposal Template

Create a professional research proposal with Jotform Sign. Easy to customize and share. Fill out and e-sign anytime, anywhere. Converts to a PDF.

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Create a business proposal for your next music venture. Create and send in minutes. Drag and drop to customize. Works on all iOS and Android devices.

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Go To Market Strategy Template

Create a go-to-market strategy for your team. Works well on all devices. Drag and drop to customize. Email or embed to share. Converts to PDF easily.

What is a proposal?

A proposal is a formal offer written in response to a specific request or opportunity with a prospective client. As the name suggests, it proposes a unique idea or a solution to a client’s problem. Proposals are evaluated on whether they meet a client’s expectations regarding goals, timelines, deliverables, and budget.

What are the different types of proposals?

From sales proposals to construction proposals to book proposals, proposals are written for all purposes and industries. Some of the most common types of proposals are grant proposals, research proposals, and business proposals. Business proposals are either solicited or unsolicited. A solicited proposal is one that has been requested by a client or written in response to an RFP (request for proposal) . RFPs are sent out by companies and agencies and list specific requirements. Unsolicited proposals initiate the sales process without responding to a request and are generally considered to be more challenging to write.

What should I include in my proposal?

Our free proposal templates already include everything you'll need for your proposal. To learn more about proposals, read our article on items to include in a proposal!

How should I write an effective business proposal?

It takes a lot more than a good idea for a proposal to be successful. Check out our tips on how to write a winning proposal .

What makes a proposal different from an estimate, quote, bid, or business plan?

Unlike estimates, quotes, and bids, proposals include information beyond the specific cost of a project or service. Proposals provide an in-depth explanation of the work being done, with details about scope, deliverables, milestones, and qualifications as well as budget.

While a business plan and business proposal might sound like the same document, one focuses on a company’s internal operations while the other seeks to create a business relationship with another company. A business plan, usually written with the intent of securing funds from an investor, summarizes a company’s overall goals and objectives. On the other hand, a business proposal focuses on a specific project or service for a prospective client.

Can a proposal become a contract?

For a document to be considered a legally binding contract, it must consist of an offer, consideration, and acceptance. A proposal can serve as the foundation for a contract, but it will generally only require a client’s signature, whereas a contract needs signatures from all involved parties.

A signed proposal may become a contract only if it contains signatures from each party and contractual language such as terms and conditions. However, it’s best to keep your contract separate from your proposal in case your client disagrees with your offer and requires a new document outlining the negotiated terms. If you need inspiration for your contract, we recommend our free contract PDF templates.

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  • How to write a business proposal


How to write a business proposal in 7 steps.

Create a well-structured proposal to win new clients and business.

Explore Adobe Acrobat

Three coworkers in a modern-looking office go review and discuss a business proposal that has been constructed using Adobe Acrobat.


1. Research and outline the parts of your business proposal

2. Build the title and table of contents

3. Write your executive summary

4. Get into the project details

5. List deliverables, milestones, and budgets

6. Craft the conclusion and appendix

7. Edit and professionally polish your proposal

What is a business proposal?

A business proposal is a written offer of a product or service to a prospective customer. Winning business proposals help secure funding, expand projects, and grow your business.

What should be included in a business proposal?

There are a few key questions that should be answered in your business proposal:

  • Who are you? What does your company do?
  • What problems are your buyers facing?
  • What solution does your company offer to solve the problem?
  • How will your company successfully implement the solution?
  • How much money, time, and other resources do you estimate will be required to implement the solution?

A person researching and outlining a business proposal on a tablet with Adobe Acrobat

Types of business proposals.

Before you can decide how to structure your proposal, it’s important to understand what type of proposal is most appropriate for the situation. While there are different types of proposals in different industries, they usually fall into one of these three categories:

Informally solicited business proposal.

This type of business proposal is for when no official request has been made for a proposal. Informally solicited proposals stem from spontaneous, informal conversations with a client or vendor — unlike official requests that contain much more detail. You might write one if a prospective buyer is interested in your products or services and asks for a business proposal so that they can analyze it. With these types of requests, prospective buyers will not normally ask for competing proposals. This type of proposal will require a decent amount of additional research on your end.

Unsolicited business proposal.

An unsolicited business proposal is for when you wish to approach prospective customers with a proposal, although they didn’t request one, in hopes of securing them as customers. These proposals are more generic and act like a cold email or marketing brochure. This type of business proposal is created without the understanding of the potential customer and their requirements. By conducting market research and identifying customer pain points, you can create a personalized solution based on each individual buyer’s needs.

Formally solicited business proposal.

Formally solicited business proposals are created upon official request for a business proposal to be written. With this type of proposal, you will have most (if not all) the information required to understand a prospective buyer’s needs. All you have to do is write the proposal for the buyer so that they can analyze it and you can start the sales process. Formally solicited proposals are typically written as a response to published requirements from the business that is searching for proposals. These will be created because of a public posting asking for proposals. These clients are likely looking through multiple proposals to try and find the best fit.

Why write a business proposal?

Business proposals are huge for new businesses looking to expand. Whether you’re an established small business or one looking to grow, a business proposal can help you with everything from securing funding to growing an existing project.

A business proposal is a document that helps you:

  • Document realistic plans and projections
  • Attract new clients and new business
  • Bring in investors for funding
  • Outline additional structure for growth
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses of your current business model
  • Showcase new pricing models and other relevant metrics

Sound like something that might be useful? Here’s how you create one.

The introduction page of a business proposal being mocked up on a red tablet

How to write a business proposal.

Business proposals can vary in formatting, but there are some key elements that any business proposal should have. Some of the most essential elements include a title page, table of contents, details on your company’s “why” in the executive summary, a problem or need statement, a proposed solution, qualifications, a timeline, pricing, billing, legal information, clarification of terms and conditions, and the acceptance section where your potential buyer can sign the document.

You will want to make sure you have a comprehensive understanding of the business before composing your proposal. It can be helpful to set up an initial meeting or call to gain insight into what the client wants from your business. If the business has shared an RFP with you, be sure to give it a thorough read-through. After your research is complete, you can create your business proposal. Detailed below are the key elements to begin.

1. Research and outline the parts of your business proposal.

You likely know what you want to do to expand your business already, so you have probably done plenty of research. If you haven’t, it’s important to come into the process well prepared and informed before you outline. Make sure that you have case studies, pertinent data, and compelling examples of how your proposal will lead to benefits for your client before you begin.

Building a business proposal is a highly structured process, which means that an outline is essential. An outline can be as simple as a one- or two-page document, with bullet points breaking key areas down into quick summaries that you can then expand into full sections.

For a basic outline, writing a small section for each step that follows in this guide is a great way to organize and set up your proposal. You can use steps 2–6 here as the framework for your outline. You can even build out the entire document in a PDF editor . You’ll be able to drop pages in and comment to your proposal on the fly.

2. Build the title and table of contents.

The introduction to your business proposal is always the title. Creating a strong, solid title page gives a prospective client an idea of the value proposition, as well as what is going to follow within the proposal. This is the first step in getting eyes on your work. Especially if the proposal is unsolicited, you have to make sure to excite your audience, assuring them that your proposal is going to solve their pain points.

The table of contents summarizes the remainder of the proposal and helps readers reference where different sections start and end, but it can also be a way of providing additional small summaries of each section — it’s up to you. There are many types of proposals — from sales proposals to marketing proposals — and the table of contents can give clues to your audience about what you’re selling and how it benefits them.

3. Write your executive summary.

The executive summary functions as an introduction to your reader. In some ways, it’s like a cover letter — a concise introduction and summary of your proposal. You’ll want to introduce your company (especially if the proposal is unsolicited), give an overview of your business goals and objectives, show off some milestones you’ve already hit, lay out what the future path is, and explain how the proposal you’re writing is the first step of that path.

You’re talking to decision makers and potential customers, so you want to make sure that you’re reeling your audience in as much as possible with snappy writing that outlines what they can expect in the following sections of the proposal.

Pages of a business proposal highlighting a brand studio's portfolio, including a flamingo in pink ice cream

4. Get into the project details.

Problem, solution, qualifications. These three words are the mantra of this section. Your proposal needs to identify the client’s problem and immediately follow up with a proposed solution. Problem statement plus solution equals a happy client who is excited about coming to work with you.

And, during all of this, you must demonstrate your expertise through qualifications. If your company or business is certified and has a track record of success solving this particular problem, showcase it. If you need additional capabilities to achieve what you need, identify that as well. At the end of this section, your target audience should walk away confident you can meet any client’s needs.

5. List deliverables, milestones, and budgets.

After you outline project details, identify specific deliverables this proposal will produce. For instance, if your proposal is to open a new branch of your business in a new region, identify all the steps that will happen in that process, what they’ll cost, and what the timeline is. Striving for accuracy and professionalism in this section is key, as it demonstrates that you’re serious about what you’re trying to do. Coming in with examples of previous successes can also demonstrate proof that your process works.

While a proposal can be a formal document, it doesn’t have to be stodgy. A winning proposal has eye-catching headings, is free of typos, and outlines the time frames, scope of work, and payment schedules that a client can expect if they accept.

6. Craft the conclusion and appendix.

End with a strong call to action that lets the reader know what they should do next. That can be a salesperson’s number or a contact form online to discover more. An appendix that contains reference materials, definitions, methodology, and other relevant items can also be effective.

7. Edit and professionally polish your proposal.

A business proposal is bolstered by two things: solid writing and elegant design. If you are writing a Request for Proposal (RFP), you will want to include the following elements:

  • An introduction to your company and background information on the project
  • The project goals and scope of services needed
  • A deadline for receiving bids
  • A timeline for when you expect to select a winning proposal
  • Which specific elements you would like included in the proposal
  • Any specific challenges you’d like the contractors to solve
  • Your estimated budget range for the project

Whether you’re creating a Request for Proposal (RFP) , a solicited proposal, or a series of case studies, Acrobat Pro gives you the tools to design beautiful and eye-catching proposals — and you don’t even have to start from scratch. There are dozens of free business proposal templates available to start working from, and Acrobat makes it easy to add graphics, images, and creative formatting to your proposal.

Plus, if you’re sharing your proposal digitally, you can easily add graphs, pricing tables, links, and attachments to enhance the overall experience for readers. Your table of contents can be hyperlinked throughout the document, and you can send readers to supplementary documents elsewhere.

Creating a compelling proposal and tidy cover page with Acrobat Pro is only a few more steps away . You can start learning how with helpful guides and tutorials, and soon you’ll have a business proposal that will grow and enhance your business.

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29+ Business Proposal Format Templates – PDF, DOC

What is the first step to generating business opportunities or even launching a new company? You got to get investors and funds. With our business proposal format templates, you can write a short and one-page pitch about your new business idea! As part of our business proposal templates , the letters also provide a formal outline, document layout, sample content, and executive summary to serve as a writing guide for you.

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Why Do I Need a Business Proposal?

Standard business service proposal layout format.

standard business proposal format

Creative Coffee Shop Business Loan Proposal Format

business loan proposal format

How Do I Write One?

  • S olicited by an already interested customer looking for options; or
  • Unsolicited , in which you are doing a business presentation to pitch your services to a targeted audience. You may also see product business proposals.

Formal Agriculture Business Food Proposal Format

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Free Business Proposal One Page Outline Format

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Simple Business Marketing Proposal Plan Format

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New Bakery Business Product Proposal Format

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Free Short Business Proposal Internal Planning

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How Do I Use These Samples?

  • a business proposal for a restaurant or catering business (as examples);
  • standard, simple, or formal business proposal formats and outlines;
  • a business proposal for a new company; or
  • a standard business loan proposal format .
  • Executive summary.
  • Statement of a customer issue and how your service is the solution.
  • Approach and methodology. Summarize your plan samples to solve the client’s problem.
  • Qualifications. List past successes for similar situations. How are you the best option for this job?
  • Schedule and benchmarks. A timeline of the project.
  • Cost proposal, payment schedules , legal matters.

General FAQs

1. what is a business proposal, 2. what is the format of a business proposal.

  • Table of contents
  • Executive summary
  • Problem statement
  • Approach and methodology
  • Summary of expenses and
  • Benefits of the proposal

3. What are the Types of Business Proposals?

  • Formally Solicited, wherein the proposal has been officially requested.
  • Informally Solicited, wherein the proposal is submitted even without being requested.
  • Unsolicited, wherein the product/service is introduced to a potential customer through brochures.

4. What is the Main Purpose of a Business Proposal?

5. what mistakes should you avoid while writing a business proposal, more in proposal templates.


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Format PDF

Business Proposal Template PDF Online

Are you looking to create a compelling business proposal that will impress your clients and help you win new opportunities? Look no further! We are happy to offer a business proposal template PDF , a handy resource designed to streamline your proposal creation process. Best of all, it's absolutely free!

business proposal guide pdf

With our user-friendly PDF editor, you can easily customize the template to suit your specific needs and branding. Whether you're a small business owner, a freelancer, or an established company, this template is an invaluable tool to enhance your document’s impact.

What’s more, we understand that crafting a winning proposal can be challenging, so we provide you with the guidance and advice you need to ensure your document stands out from the competition. So let’s get started!

To download and edit the business proposal PDF template, simply click the following buttons :

business proposal guide pdf

Furthermore, bear in mind that with the other tools on our website, you can compress the business proposal to make the file size smaller, merge it with other PDFs , and add page numbers among other things!

Índice de Contenidos

  • 1 Step-by-Step Guide to Filling in the Template
  • 2.1 Before Filling In The Template
  • 2.2 During Filling In The Template
  • 2.3 After Filling In The Template
  • 3.1 FAQs About The Business Proposal Template PDF Online
  • 3.2 What is the Business Proposal Template PDF?
  • 3.3 How can I use the Online Business Proposal Template PDF?
  • 3.4 Can the Online Business Proposal Template PDF enhance the effectiveness of my proposals?

Step-by-Step Guide to Filling in the Template

  • Contact Information: Start by replacing the placeholders with your contact details. Provide your name, company address, email address, phone number, and fax number. This information will help your clients reach out to you easily.
  • Executive Summary: Craft a concise and impactful executive summary to capture your reader's attention. Introduce your business, highlight your unique approach to solving client problems, showcase your company goals, vision, and mission statement, and include previous successes and client testimonials to build credibility.
  • Project Overview: Use this section to demonstrate your understanding of your client's pain points and how your product or service can address them. Outline the challenges your target market faces, present opportunities for growth, and emphasize how your customized solutions can drive their success.
  • Scope of Work: Specify the challenges and goals identified for your client's company. List the challenges they are facing and the objectives they aim to achieve. Be clear and concise in describing the scope of work.
  • Deliverables and Timeline: Present the deliverables your company will provide and establish a timeline for their completion. Clearly indicate the dates when key tasks, such as market research, business plan setup, and marketing plan setup, will be accomplished.
  • Cost, Payment, and Legal Matters: Detail the pricing, payment schedule, and payment terms in this section. Utilize the table provided in the template to list the prices, quantities, subtotals, discounts, taxes, and the final total. Ensure transparency and clarity in your pricing structure.
  • Payment Schedule: Specify the payment amounts and their respective due dates. Include the date when each payment is expected to be made by the client.
  • Terms and Conditions: Summarize the overall agreement between your company and the client. Cover essential details such as project timeline and milestones, dates for review, and payment terms, dates, and methods. Make this section comprehensive and clear to avoid misunderstandings.
  • Agreement: Conclude your document with a binding agreement. Insert your name and the client's name, and both parties should sign and date the document to confirm their agreement to the terms and conditions laid out in the business proposal.

Things To Keep In Mind Before, During, And After Filling In The Template

Before filling in the template.

  • Understand your audience: Consider who will be reading your business proposal and tailor your content accordingly. Understand their needs, expectations, and preferences to create a document that resonates with them.
  • Research thoroughly: Gather relevant information about your client's industry, market trends, and competition. This knowledge will enable you to address their pain points effectively and showcase your expertise.
  • Set clear goals: Determine the objectives you want to achieve with your business proposal. Define what success looks like for you and align your content and messaging accordingly.

During Filling In The Template

  • Be concise and focused: Keep your content concise and to the point. Use clear and straightforward language to convey your message effectively. Avoid unnecessary jargon or technical terms that may confuse your readers.
  • Highlight unique selling points: Emphasize the unique aspects of your business, product, or service that set you apart from competitors. Showcase how your offering can solve your client's problems or meet their specific needs.
  • Customize the template: Tailor the template to align with your branding and visual identity. Incorporate your company logo, colors, and fonts to create a cohesive and professional-looking document.

After Filling In The Template

  • Proofread and edit: Take the time to thoroughly review your business proposal for any errors, grammatical mistakes, or formatting issues. Ensure that your proposal is polished and error-free before submitting it to your clients.
  • Seek feedback: Share your proposal with colleagues, mentors, or trusted individuals who can provide valuable feedback. Consider their suggestions and make necessary revisions to improve the clarity and effectiveness of your proposal.
  • Follow up: After submitting the proposal, follow up with your clients to gauge their interest and address any questions or concerns they may have. Maintain open communication and be responsive to their inquiries to demonstrate your commitment and professionalism.

By keeping these considerations in mind throughout the process, you can enhance the quality and impact of your business proposal, increasing your chances of success.

Things to Keep in Mind While Making a Business Proposal

  • Understand the client's needs: Take the time to thoroughly understand the client's requirements, challenges, and goals. Tailor your proposal to address their specific needs and demonstrate how your solution can effectively meet their expectations.
  • Focus on benefits: Clearly communicate the benefits and value your product or service offers to the client. Highlight how your solution can solve their problems, increase efficiency, drive revenue, or improve their bottom line.
  • Research the competition: Conduct a competitive analysis to understand the landscape in which your client operates. Identify key competitors and highlight what sets your offering apart. Emphasize your unique selling points to showcase your competitive advantage.
  • Keep it concise and engaging: Business proposals should be clear, concise, and engaging. Use a straightforward writing style and structure your content logically. Use headings, bullet points, and visuals to enhance readability and highlight important information.
  • Provide evidence and testimonials: Include case studies, testimonials, or success stories from previous clients to provide evidence of your capabilities and track record. This social proof can help build trust and credibility with your potential client.
  • Be realistic with timelines and deliverables: Ensure that your proposed timelines and deliverables are realistic and achievable. Avoid making promises you cannot fulfill. Setting reasonable expectations will help build trust and maintain a positive client relationship.
  • Pricing and payment terms: Clearly outline your pricing structure and payment terms. Be transparent about costs and provide a breakdown of the services or products included. Consider offering different pricing options to cater to various budget levels.

In brief, don't let the proposal creation process be a daunting task. Download our business proposal PDF template today, and leverage its comprehensive framework, editable features, and expert guidance to create persuasive proposals that make a lasting impression. With our template, editing capabilities, and valuable resources, you'll be well-equipped to win new business and achieve your goals. Go for it!

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FAQs About The Business Proposal Template PDF Online

What is the business proposal template pdf, how can i use the online business proposal template pdf.

  • Download the template . Open the PDF using our PDF editor .
  • Customize the template by filling in your company's information, project details, and proposed terms.
  • Tailor the content to address the specific needs and preferences of your target audience.
  • Ensure that your proposal highlights the benefits and solutions your company offers.
  • Review the proposal to ensure it is accurate, well-organized, and error-free.
  • Save the customized PDF on your device and be prepared to share it electronically or in print.

Can the Online Business Proposal Template PDF enhance the effectiveness of my proposals?

  • Structured format: Templates provide a clear structure, making it easier to organize your proposal's content logically and professionally.
  • Time-saving: Templates eliminate the need to create a proposal layout from scratch, saving you time and effort.
  • Professional appearance: Well-designed templates lend a polished and consistent look to your proposals, creating a positive impression.
  • Comprehensive content: Templates often include suggested sections and content, ensuring you cover all necessary information.
  • Adaptability: Templates can be customized to suit your specific project or audience, helping you tailor the proposal's message effectively.
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59+ Proposal Examples in PDF

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Proposal Example In Pdf

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  • Cover letter or page
  • Table of Contents
  • Overview of the Problem
  • Method of Solving the Issue
  • Company’s Qualification
  • Benchmarks (or Schedule)
  • Total Expenditure

1. Planning a Proposal

  • Know the people who will be reading it :  Understanding what the reader will want to hear is important. When writing a proposal , keep in mind what you want your readers to understand. You may also see sponsorship proposal examples & samples .
  • Determine the issue of which your proposal is aiming to resolve:  You have to make sure that the readers understand the problem, the situation and has it been dealt with before.
  • Unravel solutions to those problems and issues :  Make it straightforward and easy to understand. Keep a narrow perspective of the problem and foresee outcomes. You may also like investment proposal examples .
  • Apply a writing technique that would make it easier for readers to understand :  Keeping it simple yet persuasive is much more meaningful.
  • Make use of an outline :  This keeps a proposal organized, and will help you deliver what you desire. You may also check out request for proposal examples .

2. Writing the Proposal

  • Impress your readers with a firm introduction :  Make sure you catch the attention of the readers and keep them interested. You may also see policy proposal examples & samples .
  • State the issues clearly and completely :  Determine the causes and effects of these issues.
  • Issues should have solutions :  Explain how to address these issues, why in this manner, and what is expected to be achieved. You may also like concept proposal examples & samples .
  • Include a well-constructed schedule of duties and budget :  Be as accurate as possible making sure that benefits outweigh costs.
  • Wrap up everything in a short but on-point way :  Keep your content to a minimum and precise. Do not beat around the bush, but be straightforward with what you can offer.
  • Keep an open mind and let others assess your work :  Edit your work and proofread to make sure there are no mistakes. You may also check out fundraising proposal examples & samples .
  • Introduction: a brief overview of the issues, costs, and benefits
  • Issue: The subject, the reason for the proposal, the main argument, etc.
  • Solutions: Step-by-step plan, potential obstacles and how to overcome them
  • Qualifications: Your personnel requirement, experience, etc.
  • Conclusions: Add the budget , benefits and reinforce your final point.
  • To summarize the key points of your proposal
  • Focus on why action is needed
  • Emphasize the benefits the action provides
  • Add bullet points of essential information
  • Add verbal highlights of your key benefits
  • Close on a positive note and ask them to take action.

More Design

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