How to Write a Business Proposal [Examples + Template]
Published: December 05, 2023
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Here's what every new business owner needs: an extra 8 hours in the day, an endless supply of coffee, and, most importantly, a really strong business proposal.
A business proposal can bridge the gap between you and potential clients. Done correctly, and it will outline your value proposition and persuade a company or organization to do business with you.
Here, we'll take a look at the various kinds of business proposals and go over how to write one. We’ll also see some ideas and examples to help guide yours.
Know exactly what you need? Jump to one of the following sections:
What is a business proposal?
Types of business proposals, how to write a business proposal, business proposal templates, business proposal example, tips for writing a business proposal, business proposal ideas.
A business proposal is a formal document that’s created by a company and given to a prospect to secure a business agreement.
It's a common misconception that business proposals and business plans are the same. However, a proposal helps you sell your product or service — not your business itself.
Think of it this way: instead of assisting your search for investors to fund your business, a proposal helps you seek new customers.
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There are two types of business proposals: unsolicited and solicited.
- Unsolicited Business Proposals : With unsolicited business proposals, you approach a potential customer with a proposal, even if they don't request one, to gain their business.
- Solicited Business Proposals : Solicited business proposals are requested by prospective clients so that they can decide whether to do business with your company.
In a solicited business proposal, the other organization asks for a request for proposal (RFP). When a company needs a problem solved, they invite other businesses to submit a proposal that details how they'd solve it.
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- Problem summary
- Proposed solution
- Pricing information
- Project timeline
You're all set!
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Whether the proposal is solicited or unsolicited, the steps to create your proposal are similar. Make sure it includes three main points:
- A statement of the organization's problem
- Begin with a title page.
- Explain your why with an executive summary.
- State the problem or need.
- Propose a solution.
- Share your qualifications.
- Include pricing options.
- Summarize with a conclusion.
Before writing your business proposal, it's crucial you understand the company. If they've sent you an RFP, make sure you read it carefully, so you know exactly what they want.
I recommend having an initial call or meeting with any new clients to ensure you fully understand their objectives. Ask open-ended questions to understand not just what they want, but why they want it.
Once you've done your research, it's time to begin writing your business proposal. While there's no one-size-fits-all approach to writing a business proposal, there's several elements most proposals include. (I designed this example business proposal using Canva .)
1. Begin with a title page.
You have to convey some basic information here. Introduce yourself and your business. Be sure to include:
- Your company's name
- The date you submitted the proposal
- The name of the client or individual you're submitting the proposal to
Your title page should reconcile engagement with professionalism. I think of it as your first tone-setter, so you need to make sure yours is sleek, aesthetically appealing, and not too "out there."
Here's an example of what a business proposal template looks like when done right:
The executive summary details exactly why you're sending the proposal and why your solution is the best for the prospective client.
Specificity is key here. Why are you the best choice for them?
Like a value proposition, your executive summary outlines the benefits of your company's products or services and how they can solve your potential client's problem.
After reading your executive summary, the prospect should offer a clear idea of how you can help them, even if they don't read the entire proposal. Here's what one should look like:
3. State the problem or need.
This is where you share a summary of the issue impacting the potential client. This is your opportunity to show them you understand their needs and the problem they need help solving.
In the example above, I included several signals to showcase my expertise – that I've been in the photography biz for 10 years, that I've worked with over 500 clients, and that I've been featured a number of publications.
As you approach this section, focus on presenting yourself as an authority. Consider leveraging tools like:
- Case studies
- Client testimonials
- Relevant awards
- Industry accreditations
6. Include pricing options.
Pricing is where things can get a bit tricky, as you don't want to under or over-price your product.
The pricing section of your proposal could include:
- A detailed pricing breakdown, including packages, tiers, and add-ons or optional services
- How product features and benefits align with pricing choices
- Pricing for different needs and budgets
- How your pricing compares with competitors
- An FAQ section to respond to anticipated objections and explain your pricing strategy
7. Summarize with a conclusion.
After sharing the above information, simplify it all into one final section.
- First, briefly summarize the proposal. Be sure to share your qualifications and why you’d serve as the best choice.
- Then, to prompt further conversation, confirm your availability to go over the next steps.
- At the end of the proposal, the goal is to have the client ready to work with you. So, be sure to offer your contact information for easy follow-up.
In need of some inspiration before you begin writing? Here are example business proposal templates from popular business proposal software companies you can use to help create your proposal.
1. HubSpot's Free Business Plan Templates
Download these Templates
We know how crucial a great business proposal is to your and your client’s success. That's why we've compiled 2 Free Business Proposal Templates for you to use and customize for any of your projects.
You'll gain access to a concise, one-page template (pictured above), as well as a longer template for you to refine your plan and proposal.
Download the templates now to get started on building your proposal.
What We Like
The one-page template is clear, straightforward, and easy to read — without skipping on the key elements of a business proposal. This format is especially useful for busy clients who appreciate brevity and clarity.
2. Web Design Proposal
With advertising on social networks projected to reach $82.23 billion dollars in 2025 , it's in your business's best interest to have a plan for growing your client's social media presence.
To help you in that effort, the information in this social media marketing proposal includes an executive summary to help introduce your high-level ideas, an assessment of the client’s company to show your diligence, and a breakdown of billing to show how your company charges for posting, content creation, and analytics.
This template includes all the bells and whistles of a social media proposal packaged in a fun yet professional design. It also includes helpful writing instructions under each section.
8. Content Marketing Proposal
Business proposal templates are helpful places to get started, but what should your business proposal look like when it's complete? This template should inspire you.
When pitching your content marketing services to clients, this template can help you organize your ideas. While it walks you through initial objectives and how to communicate your prospected results, one of the most helpful parts of this template is the pricing ideas it gives you when charging for your services.
In the business template example below, Social Portal Consulting (SPC) pitches a marketing proposal to Graphic Bean. At first sight, this proposal appeals to the creative. I recommend going a step forward and designing the layout in your or your client’s brand colors.
Besides the design, the social media icons quickly tell the prospect what platforms Social Portal is pitching. Because we see Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest icons, the client instantly knows that this proposal doesn’t include LinkedIn, YouTube, or other platforms.
While maintaining its design, this example outlines Social Portal Consulting’s plans efficiently. It begins by providing insight into Graphic Bean and its goals before elaborating on how SPC can leverage its expertise to help them achieve them.
This business proposal template includes an easy-to-follow timeframe for goals and objectives while keeping the client abreast of how payment will happen across the project.
Overall, this is an excellent example of how to combine the elements of social media marketing into a creative and concise business proposal. Finally, we'll leave you with some business proposal ideas to get you started on your own.
- Start with an outline.
- Keep it simple.
- Stay on brand.
- Quality control.
- Include data and visuals.
- Add social proof.
- Use a call-to-action.
- Create a sense of urgency.
- Make the decision for them.
- Incorporate video into your proposal.
- Include up-sell and add-on opportunities.
- Clarify your terms and conditions.
- Include a space for signatures to document agreement.
- Create a table of contents.
1. Start with an outline.
If you want to produce a thoughtful, effective business proposal, you need to have some idea of what you're hoping to achieve with it.
Before I dive into writing a proposal, I always outline the major sections of the proposal that I want to include. That way, I can stay focused and make sure my message stays intact as I write.
Use these free business proposal templates to make sure that your outline includes everything you need.
2. Keep it simple.
Ultimately, there's no definitive blueprint for how long a business proposal has to be. Yours should be however long it takes to convey the information you want to get across.
That said, I'm a firm believer in quality over quantity, especially when it comes to business proposals. Keep your sentences short and simple, and avoid including too much business jargon.
You want anyone who picks up your proposal to make sense of it. So, be straightforward and don't get too fancy. Aim for substance over flash.
3. Stay on brand.
Don't be afraid to let your company's personality shine through in your proposal. Stay true to your brand and show the client what sets you apart from your competitors.
4. Quality control.
I've made it a habit to add an editing/QA step in my writing process. During this step, I do a quick spelling and grammar check before hitting send.
So, as you draft your proposal, and after checking for the basics, keep scanning this document until it's just right.
Check to make sure your proposal:
- Meets client needs and expectations
- Highlights your value proposition
- Is well-structured and easy to read or skim
- Complies with legal, ethical, and regulatory requirements
- Looks professional and engaging
5. Include data and visuals.
You want your business proposal to capture your prospect's attention and help set you apart from any other ones they might have received. One of the best ways to do that is to include hard, quantitative data that helps stress the value of your business.
Use relevant, compelling figures that highlight what you have to offer. This can establish authority and make your proposal more convincing. It also helps to include visuals such as charts and graphs to enhance your proposal.
6. Add social proof.
From my experience, you can only be so convincing when you're personally talking up how great your business is — which is why adding social proof is key to establishing credibility.
At the end of the day, prospects are skeptical. They may not take you at your word. But they'll likely trust peers and fellow customers. That's why including elements like customer quotes and testimonials can go a long way.
7. Use a call-to-action.
I've learned that the best proposal in the world can only take you so far if you don't clearly define the next steps. That's why you have to make sure the reader knows what to do after reading your proposal.
A clear call-to-action is the best way to get there.
Define and highlight exactly what they should do to act on the interest your proposal has generated. Without that guidance, you might leave your reader in limbo.
HubSpot customers : Use this CTA builder to create powerful customized CTAs.
8. Create a sense of urgency.
No one wants to feel as if they missed out on a great opportunity. From my experience, prospect tend to drag their feet and put off making a decision if there isn't a sense of urgency.
So, as you create your business proposal, your goal should be to add a degree of urgency. When prospective clients read your business proposal they should feel that the best time to sign up for your service is now .
One way I accomplish this is by stating short and long-term goals for their business. They'll have to wait for the long-term goals, but I make the short-term goals so enticing that they'll be ready to begin a collaboration.
9. Make the decision for them.
Craft your copy in a way that seems like saying "no" to the proposal would be stepping over dollars to pick up pennies. Your offer should go above and beyond their expectations. Do everything in your power to remove friction and objections along the way.
10. Incorporate video into your proposal.
If you're creating an online proposal using document file formats like PDF, add multimedia elements. This will enhance the proposal experience, make your document richer, and keep them engaged.
Try adding a video at the beginning as an intro to your proposal. Or, put a video in the project breakdown to verbally discuss some of the more confusing parts.
Extras like this can make an impression. This tip works especially well with prospects who are visual or auditory communicators.
Pro tip : HubSpot Video makes it easy to record and embed video into a website or email for a big proposal boost.
11. Include up-sell and add-on opportunities.
They say you won't receive unless you ask. And readers won't explore the upper tiers of your solutions if you don't give them the opportunity.
So, share some upsells and add-ons about your business that they can act on. Call out a specific pain point and how this extra can add value.
With this step, balance is important. Show them everything your business has to offer without overwhelming your recipient.
12. Clarify your terms and conditions.
Your business proposal should include details on your project timeline and payment schedule. This summary is basically what you and the client agree to if they accept your proposal.
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How to Write Winning Business Proposals: Examples & Free Templates (2023)
By Aditya Sheth , May 25, 2023
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:
Or it can be more specific, like this business proposal template which focuses on proposing a project for the Newton Center Rail:
Or this business proposal sample, which presents a plan for a social media strategy and campaign:
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
- 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
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:
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:
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.
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 :
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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 :
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:
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.
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:
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.
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 :
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:
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:
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!
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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.
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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?
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.
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.
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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- Table of Contents
A business proposal can make or break your chances of landing a new client. It is a means by which business-to-business companies can market their services. Although it might sound difficult, doing it is actually quite simple. Winning business proposals help in obtaining funding, growing projects, and expanding your business. For smaller businesses striving to grow, business proposals are key. A business proposal may help you with everything from acquiring money to expanding an existing project, regardless of whether you are an existing small business or one trying to expand.
Learn how to write a business proposal and discover the different types below.
What Is a Business Proposal?
A business proposal is a written proposal that you would present to a potential client stating the service you are providing and justifying your suitability for the position. It's an appeal by an individual or a business to carry out a certain job or project, to provide a service, or, in some cases, to serve as the supplier of a specific product.
People often confuse the terms business plan and business proposal. Both of them are different from each other. A business plan is a well-organized document that defines the goals of an organization and how it intends to get there. Businesses use business proposals as a tool to market and sell their products and services to other businesses.
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What Are the Types of Business Proposals?
There are three major types of business proposals:
How to Write a Business Proposal?
While the format of business proposals might vary, all business proposals should contain a few essential components. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to write a business proposal:
1. Create Your Title Page
Since this is the first element your client will be seeing, it's essential to express your brand and concept in a way that is brief but detailed. Consider it to be visual content that must deliver a lot of information rapidly because viewers will only look at it briefly.
A potential client can get a sense of the marketing plan and what will come next in the proposal by creating a great, solid title page.
Basic information like your business name and contact details, your business logo, your client's name and contact details, the date, and a title are all included on this page.
2. Compile a Table of Contents
Every successful business proposal template must include a table of contents. So, the next step in how to write a business proposal is to add a table of contents. It makes your proposal scannable and simple to read.
By including a table of contents, you make it simple for the executives who are reading your proposal to browse it at their own pace. Additionally, they can quickly read the sections of the proposal that stand out to them.
Your contents page should be arranged in chronological order. Avoid making your list overly specific because it will come across as crowded and overbearing. There are many different kinds of proposals, including marketing and sales proposals, and the table of contents can inform your client of what you're offering and how it will benefit them.
3. Write a Cover Letter
No powerful guide on how to write a business proposal would be complete without a cover letter. The purpose of your cover letter is to introduce yourself. In certain proposals, the cover letter may even come first, before the table of contents, as a method to introduce the idea.
Your cover letter shouldn't be longer than one page and should be brief. Describe your company's history, the mission of the company, and distinctive selling point in a few lines. Leave your contact details and invite your readers to get in touch with you if they have any queries.
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4. Write the Executive Summary
It gives a brief overview of everything in your paper. In other words, create a business proposal framework that is simple to read and emphasizes your value proposition. The executive summary explains in significant detail why the proposal is being sent and why your proposal is the ideal one for the potential client. Specificity is important in this case.
Introduce your business, describe your company's goals and objectives in general, highlight any accomplishments so far, outline your future course of action, and illustrate how the plan you're creating serves as the first step on that course.
5. Outline Your Customers’ Problems and Your Company’s Solutions
Solving a buyer's problem is the goal of developing a business proposal. The problem statement should be outlined as precisely as feasible. This makes your client feel a feeling of urgency. They'll be looking for a fix for the issue. And you already have that answer.
Your proposal must identify the client's issue and then promptly offer a potential solution. A satisfied client who is looking forward to working with you is the result of the problem statement and the solution.
6. Create a Pricing Table
An essential component of any business proposal is a budget or pricing section; therefore, before getting into the details of any proposal writing, you should plan your pricing strategy.
Your pricing structure should be laid out in an easy-to-read table. Offer alternatives for recurring payments on a monthly and yearly basis. Offer reduced prices in exchange for long-term commitments. Provide alternatives, improvements, and add-ons. Transparency is essential in this part. Make sure your customers can easily comprehend what they're paying for and how to customize your service.
7. Share More Information About Your Company
The background of your company should be told on the "about us" page of your business proposal, with yourself, the owner, acting as the major lead character. A decent about us section should be concise but still have all the components, such as:
- A brief description of your business and the project's background.
- Introducing your customers to the personnel they will be collaborating with on the project by providing a quick bio of each member of your team.
- Describe how you plan to keep achieving your goals.
- How did you and your group approach locating a solution for your issue?
- Describe the problem that your company intended to solve.
8. Summarize Your Qualifications
Explain why you're the ideal candidate for the opportunity in this part of your business proposal document. Incorporate customer success stories into your case studies, and make sure to highlight any relevant achievements or certifications that will increase your credibility. You can highlight any relevant degrees, training related to your industry, certificates, previous accomplishments in projects of the same sort, years of experience, etc.
Throughout this process, you must illustrate your knowledge through qualifications. Showcase it if your business or organization has a history of successfully resolving this particular problem and is certified.
9. Lay Out the Terms of the Agreement
The last step in how to write a business proposal is to lay out the terms of the agreement. Your marketing proposal should conclude with a summary of the terms and conditions that will help your clients understand the offer you are presenting to them. It's crucial to speak with a legal representative while drafting this part because proposals might be regarded as imposed by law contracts in some jurisdictions.
Include a place where the client can sign and date the proposal, accepting the terms you've offered if you prepared a unique proposal that you anticipate your client would accept. If it wasn't covered in conclusion, give the client a quick rundown of the project, including the general timeline, payment schedule, and terms, so they know what they're signing off on.
After Sending: Tips on How to Follow Up
One can easily become overwhelmed when waiting to hear back from a client after presenting a business proposal, but always remember to be patient. Here are some tips on how to follow up:
- Give them time: Before sending a follow-up, wait at least a week. If they've acknowledged receipt of your proposal, allow them one week from the date of acceptance.
- Grab their attention with a good subject line: They are more likely to open your email if the subject line is interesting.
- Be brief: Make it clear in your follow-up that you are available for any queries and make it simple for them to contact you again.
- Avoid high-pressure, salesy language: Your objective here is to secure a client, not a customer.
- Be friendly, approachable, and authentic: Act as though you are seeking out to your favorite coworker by being kind yet informal.
- Know when to quit: It's time to move on if your client hasn't reacted to the three follow-ups.
Business Proposal Ideas
Business proposal can sound like a big thing; here are a few ideas to make business proposal writing easy for you:
1. Start With an Outline
Outline the main components of your business proposal and the important details you want to include before you start writing. By doing this, you can write with greater clarity and maintain the integrity of your content.
2. Include Data and Visuals
Include concrete, quantitative data that highlights the value of your company to help draw the prospect's attention as well as differentiate you from the competition. It is also helpful to include graphics such as charts and graphs to strengthen your proposal.
3. Add Social Proof
Including social proof increases the credibility of your proposition. Clients are more likely to trust their peers and some customers than business owners. It might therefore be very beneficial to include things like client quotes and testimonials.
4. Incorporate Video Into Your Proposal
Multimedia components can be used to improve the proposal experience. They can add depth and interest to your document.
5. Use a Call-To-Action
After reading your proposal, you must ensure the reader understands what to do next. The best method to get there is with a clear call to action. Specify and emphasize what they should do in order to capitalize on the curiosity your proposal has created. Without such direction, you possibly leave the reader hanging.
6. Include Up-Sell and Add-on Opportunities
Include some further details about your company for the reader to act on if you want to make the most of their interest in your business proposal. They must be aware of your further offerings.
7. Create a Sense of Urgency
People usually delay and take their time when making decisions when there is no sense of urgency. After reading your company proposal, potential customers should feel that this is the ideal opportunity to sign up for your services. Declaring your short- and long-term objectives for their business is one way to do this.
8. Keep It Simple
Avoid using too much business language and keep your words short and straightforward. Your proposal should be clear enough that anyone who picks it up will understand it.
9. Make the Decision for Them
You should exceed their expectations with your offer and take every step possible to avoid conflict and disagreements along the road.
10. Stay On Brand
Keep your brand consistent and demonstrate to the client what makes you stand out from the competition.
11. Quality Control
Your proposal must be organized and complete. You don't want to come out as careless and unprofessional, which would undermine your messaging.
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1. How long should a business proposal be?
Ideally, it should be around ten pages. But, it completely depends on your product, industry, the scope of the project, etc. and ultimately it should be just as long as it takes to answer the questions.
2. What are the different sections of a business proposal?
The different sections of a business proposal are:
- Cover Letter
- Executive Summary
- Problem and Solution
- About your Company/About Us
- Terms of the Agreement
3. What is a basic business proposal?
A basic business proposal is a document that is sent to a prospective client offering them your services to get a chance to work with them on a certain project.
4. How do you write a business proposal?
Start by outlining the questions regarding the problem such as why, what and how. Choose a template and start creating your proposal around these questions. Add additional pages such as the table of contents, about us, cover letter, etc. Be specific and use simple language to write the business proposal.
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9 Business Proposal Examples Buyers Love (Ready for Use)
Learn from tried and tested business proposal examples that make you stand out from your competitors, impress buyers, and get you the deal—every time.
6 minute read
Sending a business proposal is the scariest stage in the selling process. It's the last stretch after a long sales process you've poured your heart into. You've gotten this far, and it would be such a shame to get rejected now.
But to win you'll have to stand out and bring something to the table that your competitors can't. This post will show you how to get that something, put your competitors to shame, and get the deal every time. Let's take a look at tried and tested examples that set you apart, engage buyers, and make your proposal steal deals even from long-term suppliers .
Static vs. interactive business proposal examples
The truth is, most business proposals are failing because they’re dull, hard to read, and just like all the rest.
Ask yourself this —when your proposal is being compared to your alternatives can the buyer tell the difference?
If you’re sending buyers static PowerPoint, PDF or Word documents, then the answer to that question is clearly “no” —you are not standing out, and you’ve already lost.
Your unique value proposition ends up buried in a stack of decks that look just like any other presentation your prospect has ever seen . Same old—same old.
If you hope to stand out among your competitors, you’ll need an interactive business proposal . You’ll want to take your buyers through a captivating storyline experience and let them interact with your proposal.
Instead of sending them yet another boring reading task, you can send them a story they can engage with. An interactive story in which they can see your solution play out specifically for them, with live graphs, videos, and narrated content.
Interactive business proposal presentations are highly engaging for your buyers regardless of the device they’re viewed on. You can guide them through a storytelling narrative that’s easy to follow and be sure that your audience doesn’t miss any important insights ever again.
This is what interactive proposals look like—
Interactive decks make it easier than ever for your prospects to take that next step straight from the deck. Whether you want them to book a demo or reach for their credit card, interactive templates go way beyond PowerPoint and let you do all that and more.
This shift in how business proposals are made is already done. You either jump on the bandwagon or get left behind.
Best business proposal examples that get noticed and get the deal
All examples presented below have been designed in line with business proposal best practices and validated through Storydoc’s extensive user data (over 100K buyer sessions). They are immediately available to pick up and use, and can be easily tweaked according to your particular needs.
If you need help figuring out how to structure your proposals and what to include in them, follow our guide on how to make a winning business proposal presentation .
Jump ahead to the examples you need:
Best business proposal example for sales
Sales proposal template
A template designed to grab and keep attention. Use it to convince your client's boss that you're worth the splurge.
What makes this proposal deck great:
- Extensive personalization features allow you to create tailor-made versions of your business proposal in just a few clicks. You can save time by pulling all data directly from your CRM. By adding a personal note to your proposal, you can get 68% more people to read it in full .
- Flawless mobile experience. As 19% of business proposals get opened on mobile devices , all components have been optimized to be 100% mobile-responsive.
- Animated slides are perfect for grabbing and keeping your prospects’ attention. They’re also a time-tested recipe for boosting engagement, as interactive decks get scrolled all the way down to the bottom 41% more often and read 21% longer .
Best business proposal example for general business
General business proposal template
An all-purpose proposal template, guaranteed to make an immediate impact. Easy to tweak to match your specific needs.
- Versatile components that can easily be adjusted based on your industry and particular use case.
- Intuitive, user-friendly editor that can auto-extract your key visuals and match all the components to your company branding.
- A combination of text-based and visual slides allows you to add context to the numbers and make all information easily digestible.
Best business proposal example for SaaS companies
SaaS proposal deck
A perfect template to let your prospects grasp the value attached to your price tag at that crucial stage of the deal.
- Interactive tiered slides are perfect for providing a brief overview of the available pricing options and the value that’s attached to the price tag. They can also be used to segment content for different decision-makers in the company.
- Vertical timeline slide allows you to guide prospects through a captivating storyline that grabs their attention and increases retention by 60-70% .
- Logo placeholders can be used to legitimize your offering by including examples of past customers. You can also include buttons or links to customer case studies or play them straight from the deck.
Best business proposal example for designers
Design proposal template (Dark)
If your design proposal doesn't look amazing, you can kiss that contract goodbye. The design proposal template above makes sure your aesthetic shines as bright as your value proposition.
- Including a video in the cover slide will help you leave a lasting impression and get 32% more people to interact with your deck .
- Various image placeholders are perfect for presenting your aesthetic while complementing it with your main value proposition.
- Scroll-based design that always stays perfect regardless of the device your design proposal will be viewed on.
Best project proposal example
Project proposal template
Clean, easy-to-follow, elegant proposal template aimed at presenting the key aspects of your project at a glance.
- Interactive elements will make all the crucial aspects of your project easy to understand and follow, from the project scope to the budget and the implementation process.
- Easily customizable fields enable you to tweak your decks and personalize at scale.
- Smart CTAs make it easier than ever for your prospect to take that next step, such as book a demo or arrange a meeting, straight from the deck. Decks with a clear, singular next step have a 27% higher conversion rate than those ending with a generic “thank you” slide.
Best business proposal example for the creative industry
Creative project proposal
Designed with freelancers and creative agencies in mind. It's one of the more artsy project proposal layouts in our gallery, which will be a better pick for relaxed industries, rather than corporate environments.
- Vibrant design will immediately grab the attention of potential buyers and reflect the youthful nature of your business.
- Collapsible text-based slides allow you to present all the key aspects of your project without overwhelming the reader with walls of text.
- Interactive elements , such as tabs to click through or sliders, position readers as the main characters in your narrative, creating active engagement.
Best business proposal example for technological companies
Tech project proposal
Fresh and crisp, this project proposal template will be an ideal pick for startups and hi-tech companies. The main idea behind the design was to let you highlight your modern brand identity.
- Image and video placeholders enable you to explain even the most complex technological processes in an easily understandable way.
- Intuitive, user-friendly editor that works on autopilot. Any components you choose to add will automatically adjust to the overall deck layout, so the design will always stay intact.
- Web-based design means that you can make changes to your proposal at any time without having to resend it to your prospects. Once they have the link, you can be sure they are always seeing the freshest version of your proposal.
Best business proposal example for consulting agencies
Consulting proposal template
Visually highlight the pain point and quickly show that your skills and experience make you the best fit for the project.
- Minimalist design with a variety of animated slides keeps the focus on your key message at all times.
- The media array slide builds expertise and trust by showing the faces behind your services.
- The ability to embed images and videos straight into the deck allows you to present customer case studies.
Best formal business proposal example
Formal project proposal
This elegant project proposal template will work best for more complex, formal proposals in industries such as engineering, infrastructure or large-scale real estate. A lot of space dedicated for detailed descriptions of technical specifications will allow your readers to take a deep-dive into your offering.
- Text columns are ideal for outlining project scopes or schedules in an easy to follow manner.
- The perfect balance between text-based and visual slides will allow your readers to get deep insights into the technical specifications of your solution without losing their attention halfway through.
- The image slide r is perfect for presenting your current customers to build authority and trust or can be used to bring people’s attention to the main integrations your solution offers.
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Go from boring to captivating buyers with a dedicated business proposal maker
The sales process is long and complicated—but creating your sales and marketing collateral shouldn’t be. Don’t get bogged down using legacy slide-based presentation software like PowerPoint, or you’ll just pour your time and effort down the drain.
Most buyers won’t be able to single out your generic proposal from their heap of alternatives no matter how pretty you make the design.
In order to create an outstanding business proposal, you may want to consider using a dedicated business proposal maker .
You’re free to use Storydoc for 14 days. You get to keep the proposals you make forever!
Business proposal makers, such as Storydoc, virtually work on autopilot. You just need to fill in the blanks while the editor pulls the rest of the data directly from your CRM.
The design always stays perfect, so you can instantly amaze your prospects with an interactive experience they’ve never had before .
No matter what industry you’re in, you can put together a tailor-made proposal in less time and with better performance. This way, you’ll be geared to present a business proposal that impresses your prospects and gets them to say ‘Yes!’ to your offer.
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Home › Writing › What is Proposal Writing? › 17 Business Proposal Examples to Inspire You
17 Business Proposal Examples to Inspire You
Become a Certified Proposal Writer
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Sales generation and winning more businesses are a core part of business success. To get more leads and sales, every company must know how to draft an effective business proposal to persuade the clients to buy from you.
With a good proposal, you can sell more. The way you write the business proposal can determine your company’s fate- either you win a new business or lose a potential client. The business proposal targets a specific audience for your business and offers them an effective solution to their problem. The purpose of a proposal is to convince your client that you stand ahead of your competitors with unique deliverables. Give them a reason to buy from you.
The structure and format of a business proposal contain a compelling introduction with a project overview. After that, you can state the client’s problems and your unique solutions. Your proposal writing must also include all the standard information such as pricing estimates, work timelines, and testimonials. It is essential that you offer transparency and trust to your target audience alongside the solutions to retain long-term clients.
If you are struggling with writing a persuasive yet informative business proposal, you can leverage the business proposal examples in this article.
Best Business Proposal Examples to Inspire You
We have written down the 17 best business proposal examples that will help you create client-winning proposals. Change the structure, headings, and content according to your services and client’s needs.
1. Business Proposal Example
In this proposal document, it is vital to incorporate the standard information for a great sales pitch and win potential clients. This document complies with the needs and demands of the target client and suggests actionable solutions- beneficial for both the client and the company.
You can be a freelance writing company or a digital marketing firm, the basic framework for a proposal remains constant, with the same purpose of increasing sales conversions and maximizing ROI (return on investment).
A good business proposal includes a thorough project overview, addresses the client’s problems, offers solutions, gives pricing estimates, and a working timeline. Adding client testimonials and the success story (brief) of the past projects is also a plus.
2. Digital Marketing Proposal Example
This business proposal effectively engages clients with your goods or services and convinces them to consider buying from you. In addition, this proposal document addresses the client’s problems and provides them with solutions.
You can use the first paragraph or the introduction to talk about “what you have to offer” or “why the client needs you.” Then, you can include the key information about increasing organic traffic, generating more leads, better sales conversions, and user engagement.
In this proposal example, it is important to include the payment terms and timeline for the project plan. In addition, you need to include all your services, such as social media marketing, SEO or search engine optimization, PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns, digital content, email marketing, and more.
The marketing proposal will spread your business ideas amongst the clients like a wildfire in the forest- you have to kindle it.
3. Web Design Proposal Example
The web design business proposal addresses the client’s problem by understanding their needs. Whether you are designing the website for a new business, a private company, or a non-profit organization, your proposal must include explicit details.
This proposal template contains the development process of executing the proposed services for the client. Thereby includes a problem overview, solution statement, project timeline, pricing packages (hourly, weekly, yearly), call-to-action, and an “About Us” section.
After the introductory paragraph, you can write the “About Us” and “About the team” sections.
4. Engineering Services Proposal Example
In this business proposal example, you can leverage the client specifications to create a user-friendly proposal. The proposal writing highlights the work process and project plan. This proposal document ensures the client that your proposed solutions are competent to solve their problems directly.
The proposal contains the problem with their solutions, the cost breakdown, timeline, and schedule in the project description.
The “About Us” and “Team” sections come after the proposal’s explicit details, especially the solution. You can further include certifications about your legal team, client testimonials, social proof, and call-to-action to build trust and authenticity.
5. Research Proposal Example
This type of proposal is a coherent yet concise summary of your research study. It specifies the intent of research- the central questions and issues. In this document, you must include the general idea of study and the current state of recent debate or knowledge as per the area of research.
You must state the pricing estimate for the relevant research project. Include the information that demonstrates your ability to cater to challenging ideas in a clear, critical, and concise way,
You can write the research proposal as a supplier to the client, or as a student to your supervisor. In any case, you must talk about the title, abstract, research context, research questions and methods, the significance of your research, and the bibliography.
6. Grant Proposal Example
The grant or asking-for-funds proposal t is written in distinct sections. The sections consist of different titles that target the specific guidelines of the granting organization. The main elements of any grant proposal remain the same. It must include a short overview of the executive summary, the statement of your company’s need or problem, a project overview, and your budget to specify the reason why you need the funds.
To strengthen your proposal, you can also include a cover letter, organizational qualifications, client testimonials, and supporting documents. Ensure that you do not miss any of the funding agency’s guidelines or else the grant will slip out of your hands.
7. Budget Proposal Example
The project completion or grant approval depends on the budget proposal. If this proposal states a high budget, the grant or funding agency will reject your “grant proposal”. As the grant proposal states the budget is to inform the company that you do not have enough funds to complete the project.
This proposal must include all the basic information about the project and the costs of everything that you can or cannot cover in a given time limit.
8. IT Consulting Proposal Example
The proposal provides the prospective client with a clear picture of your work intent. Starting from the research to the final sign-off. The proposal must offer answers to the anticipated problems or questions. Ensure the writing format and content are excellent and that the reader says “Yes” to your services before they even finish reading.
Even though the proposal is about IT, you need to avoid the technology-related jargon- keep the content simple and easy to understand. For example, include all the following components such as project overview, estimated pricing, work timeline, scope, business goals, and a case study.
After the solution, you can add the “About Us” sections, CTA (call-to-action), and legal terms. Adding client testimonials and their feedback on your recent work can gain the client’s trust and turn them into a buyer from a reader.
9. Freelance Writing Proposal Example
It is a web-based, well-crafted proposal sample with tempting offers and value clarifications. Even though this type of business proposal must be short and to the point, it is vital to study the client and understand what they want from you.
Write the introduction and executive summary in a composed yet persuasive tone to convince the client that you are the best choice for them.
“About Me (or Us)” sections need to come after discussing the solution.
10. Construction Bid Proposal Example
This business proposal must be accurate, precise, personalized, showcase your company’s potential, and include details.
The proposal must include the scope of work, solution statement, payment schedule, project timeline, approach to unforeseeable conditions like weather and other hidden defects, and your warranty.
While the project proposal must also explain the work schedule and the extra charges applicable for additional work, the introduction needs to target the client’s needs.
11. CRM Implementation Proposal Example
It is essential to use bullet points and a convincing writing tone to deliver a value proposition to write this proposal.
This document must contain details about the focused user adoption plan, incremental delivery, domain knowledge, industrial references, client testimonials, history of past projects, and more.
12. Insurance Services Proposal Example
This proposal is concise and contains various offerings to the client. After an attention-grabbing introduction and executive summary, you can pitch your solutions to the clients.
The proposal must discuss the business plan, scope of work, timelines, and payment schedules. Keep the proposal brief, but do not miss out on the main points.
13. Graphic Design Proposal Example
An illustrative business proposal, written to put forward your skills and offerings to the potential client. The proposal, specifically the introductory and executive summary section, must focus highly on the customer needs and problems.
After highlighting the solutions and deliverables, close your proposal by incorporating credentials, client testimonials, and CTA.
14. Project Proposal Example
This project proposal highlights the company’s understanding and knowledge of the client’s requirements. Although it is challenging to cover all the aspects, the content must be specific yet persuasive and define the value proposition.
You can add details from your past successful project and the criteria for management that led to customer satisfaction. This enables the reader to sense your expertise and experience.
15. Interior Design Proposal Example
A proposal writing that incorporates visually attractive content to persuade the client. It can contain graphics, videos, and an online demo (if the proposal is online) to showcase the business’s strengths and achievements to the client.
16. Sales Proposal Example
This proposal is essential to outline the features of the products and services your company is selling. It is a detailed proposal with all the information about the project overview, solutions, deliverables, price, benefits, work schedule, and more.
To sell and generate revenues for your business, you must create awareness about your offerings. To convert your proposal writing into sales and deal closures, give them a reason to trust you, convince them you are better than your competitors and can resolve their issues.
A poorly written sales proposal means no selling.
17. Social Media Marketing Proposal
A brief discussion about the design layout, color coding, and use of social media icons can turn this business proposal into a great sales pitch.
The proposal must include an easy-to-follow and understand the timeframe for project goals and objectives while ensuring the prospect is abreast of the mode of payment and other relevant details.
Critique/ Analysis : These business proposals follow a particular format structured in a certain way. However, most of them follow the same suit by covering the essential information. The important point to note is that it is advisable to add the “About Us,” “Team,” “Certifications,” and “Testimonial” sections after you have given the project overview with potential solutions.
Write Better Proposals to Win More Business
With empowering proposal writing, let your business proposals do the talking.
The business proposals vary depending on the type and size of the company, and you have to search your target audience to offer them potential solutions. If you are an IT company, you cannot send out business proposals written for freelance writing.
Any proposal aims to target the client’s needs and demands. Above all, to convince them to buy your products and services. Once you analyze and understand what your client wants from you, you can build a solid business proposal that nobody will turn down. If you get stuck, you can talk to your client and understand what they want in a more specific way. You can ask your questions and then narrow down the solutions.
Filling up the proposal with fluff and redundant content decreases its value and risks losing the client- that can be a massive blow to your business.
Leverage any business proposal template that fits your requirements and makes your business successful.
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From Draft to Deal: How to Write a Powerful Business Proposal
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A brilliant business proposal could be your golden ticket to landing exciting new clients and opportunities. Yet, crafting one that genuinely knocks the socks off potential clients can feel intimidating.
What is a business proposal?
A business proposal is like a handshake in document form. It's where you, as a business, lay out your grand plan to solve a problem or provide a service for a potential client or partner. You spell out what you can do, why it will benefit them, and how you plan to make it happen. It's your chance to show them you've got what it takes to get the job done right.
A strong business proposal isn’t just a brochure of your offerings; it’s a strategic tool to spotlight your unique strengths. It convinces clients that betting on you isn’t just worth the risk but an investment destined to pay rich dividends.
Moreover, a well-crafted business proposal isn’t a one-and-done tool. It can be a template, a foundation upon which you can standardize and streamline future business negotiations.
So, how do you craft this magical document that works as a client magnet? What ingredients blend to make a business proposal irresistible?
We’re here to equip you with the tools, tips, and techniques to weave a business proposal that doesn’t just speak your language but sings your praises in harmonious tones that resonate with your potential clients.
Ready to write a business proposal that commands attention?
The Ultimate Business Proposal Guide
Types of business proposals Key insights for crafting an effective business proposal How to write a business proposal Polishing your proposal
Types of business proposals
Understanding the diverse types of business proposals is crucial as it helps you align your approach with your client’s expectations. Let’s look closely at ten types of business proposals and understand how and when each can be used.
Informally solicited proposal
These proposals come into the picture when a client casually mentions a problem they have, and you respond with a solution. Say, a neighborhood bakery complains about its outdated logo. A graphic design shop could submit a proposal offering a logo redesign .
Formally solicited proposal
This is when a client formally requests a proposal. For example, a local gym might send a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a new website design . If you’re a web developer, you’d submit a formally solicited proposal in response.
You send These proposals without a specific request, usually to potential clients who might not know they need your services. Suppose you run a social media management startup; you might send an unsolicited proposal to a new boutique that lacks an online presence, outlining how you could amplify its digital footprint.
These are often used to convince a client to renew a contract. For instance, a cleaning service provider might send a renewal proposal to a coffee shop, summarizing their work over the past year and proposing continued service.
Continuation proposals come into play when ongoing projects require additional funding or authorization. A software development startup working on a long-term project for a client may use this type of proposal to request extended support.
These are often used in academic or scientific fields and business to propose a research project. A market research startup could send this type of proposal to a restaurant chain, suggesting research on changing food habits in their area.
These are used to secure funding, often from government bodies or foundations. For example, a new nonprofit dedicated to improving literacy rates could use a grant proposal to secure funds for a community reading program.
This is a classic proposal type, where you propose a product or service to a potential buyer. A small gardening company, for instance, might send a sales proposal to a property management company to maintain their green spaces.
Business plan proposal
This comprehensive proposal outlines a new business idea or a significant shift in current business operations. For example, an entrepreneur wanting to launch a pet-sitting service could use a business plan proposal to attract investors or secure a bank loan.
These proposals outline how a particular budget will be used. For instance, a small advertising agency might draft a budget proposal for a client project detailing how the funds would be spent across different ad channels.
Key insights for crafting an effective business proposal
Gathering specific information about your client or prospect is crucial to crafting a persuasive business proposal. This knowledge will enable you to design a proposal that captures your prospective client’s needs and presents a compelling case for your services. Here’s a breakdown of the insights you should acquire:
- Understand your client. Kick things off by understanding your potential client’s needs and desires. Get under the skin of their problem and see how your solution could be their hero. Make your proposal reflect these needs, and you’ll be on to a winner. Initiate a conversation over a call or in-person to gain insights into their business and specific needs. This interaction is also your chance to present your business and establish a positive connection. For instance, if you’re an IT solutions firm, your potential client may be struggling with network security issues. Understanding this will allow you to showcase how your firm’s expertise can enhance its security infrastructure and give them peace of mind.
- Define the goal. Identifying the goal is a vital step in shaping your proposal. Engage your potential client in a discussion about their principal objectives. This shared understanding will guide your proposal and ensure you and your client are on the same page. For example, if you’re a social media marketing agency. Your potential client may be a new restaurant looking to increase its online visibility. In this case, you’d tailor your proposal to illustrate how your services could boost their social media presence and attract more customers.
- Discuss the budget. Money shouldn’t be a taboo subject. Knowing your client’s budget can help manage expectations, determine the project’s viability, and ensure you’re compensated fairly. Discuss whether they’re comfortable with a fixed pricing model or if there’s scope for flexibility based on the project requirements. Suppose you’re a product design studio, and your potential client is a startup launching a new product. Knowing their budget will help you determine the extent of your project—whether you’re merely designing the product packaging or undertaking a complete brand identity development.
- Grasp the industry or market. Understanding the landscape of your client’s industry or market allows you to tailor your proposal more effectively. With a finger on the pulse of industry trends, you’ll be better equipped to convey the value of your solution to your prospect. Let’s say you’re a business consultancy pitching to a renewable energy startup. Demonstrating your awareness of trends, such as the growing interest in solar power, will help the client see you as an industry-savvy partner who can guide their business growth.
- Evaluate the support system. If your service requires specific infrastructure or support systems from the client’s side, ensuring these are in place is vital. This could span operational elements like a sales team or professional communication channels, or even a robust social media presence for digital marketing campaigns. For instance, if you’re an SEO agency proposing a website optimization project for a local bakery looking to expand its online orders, you’ll need to assess the client’s existing website infrastructure. Are they equipped with an operational online ordering system, or will that need to be incorporated into your proposal? Answering these questions will help you craft a more effective, realistic proposal.
How to write a business proposal
When writing your business proposal, imagine you’re conversing with your potential client or partner. You want to make your proposal as clear, concise, and compelling as possible. Here’s how to do this:
Begin with a polished title page
Your title page sets the stage and creates that all-important first impression . A professional, well-crafted title page paves the way for what’s to follow. Include essentials like your name, the name of your business , the date, and your client’s name.
For instance, if you run a boutique web development agency, you might opt for a minimalist design reflecting your focus on sleek, modern websites. Ensure it’s clutter-free, with a clear and readable font and high-quality images, if any.
Incorporate a table of contents
Navigability is critical to a proposal that respects your potential client’s time. A table of contents lets your client quickly locate areas of interest, showcasing your respect for their time and attention to detail.
Imagine you’re a sustainability consultant. Your table of contents could neatly segment your proposal into sections like “Sustainability Audit,” “Proposed Green Initiatives,” and “Expected Impact,” each navigable with a click or a flip of the page.
Draft a compelling executive summary
Your executive summary is your elevator pitch. It distills your proposal into its core essence: why you’re the ideal choice for the client. Articulate how your business can meet its needs concisely yet persuasively.
Suppose you run an artisanal bakery proposing to supply baked goods to a local coffee shop. Here, you could emphasize your commitment to organic, locally sourced ingredients, setting you apart from mass-produced alternatives.
Delve into project specifics
This is where you lay out your client’s problem and propose solutions. Align each solution with the identified problem, showcasing your understanding of and capability to address their needs.
Here are the project-specific sections you should include in your business proposal:
Problem statement. Start by laying out the issue at hand, also known as the problem statement. It shows that you fully understand what the client is up against.
Example 1: If you’re a graphic design startup pitching a rebranding proposal to a restaurant, your problem statement might read something like, “Your current branding doesn’t capture the unique and vibrant ambiance of your restaurant, causing potential customers to overlook your business.”
Example 2: For a mobile app development company submitting a proposal to a retail store for a shopping app, the problem statement could be, “Your retail store lacks a mobile presence, making it difficult for you to reach the increasingly digital customer base.”
Proposed solution. This is where you showcase your planned approach to tackling the problem. Remember, it’s not just about what you can do but how it will benefit them.
Example 1: A web development startup might propose to an e-commerce business , “We plan to redesign your website, making it more user-friendly and mobile-optimized. This will improve your customers’ shopping experience and likely increase sales.”
Example 2: A food distribution company could propose to a local organic farm, “We aim to get your products into major grocery stores. This will expose your brand to a larger market, increasing sales.”
Costs and schedule. Detail the timeline and cost for your solution. Transparency is paramount in this section. Outline the costs involved, what the client can expect to receive (the deliverables), and the project timeline.
Example 1: If you’re an event planning startup submitting a proposal to a company for their annual corporate event, you might state, “We propose a six-month timeline, starting with venue selection and ending with event execution, for a total cost of $15,000.”
Example 2: A custom software development firm proposing a new CRM system to a real estate agency might write, “The project will take approximately four months, from requirements gathering to system implementation, for $50,000.”
Qualifications and experience. Showcase your team’s abilities and why you’re the right choice for the job.
Example 1: If you’re a mobile pet grooming startup pitching to a dog shelter, you might write, “Our team, made up of certified pet groomers, has over five years of experience in mobile pet grooming, serving over 1,000 happy clients.”
Example 2: A cybersecurity firm proposing a security audit to a fintech company might say, “Our certified cybersecurity experts have conducted over 100 audits for fintech firms, helping them secure their digital assets and comply with industry regulations.”
Call to action. Always end your proposal with a clear call to action , encouraging the client to take the next step. A fitness trainer might prompt a potential client to schedule a consultation, while a PR firm might encourage a company to sign up for a media training online workshop .
Example 1: If you’re a social media management startup pitching to a local bakery, you might end with, “Let’s schedule a call next week to discuss how we can sweeten your social media presence.”
Example 2: A bookkeeping firm proposing its services to a startup might conclude, “Ready to keep your financials tidy and transparent? Let’s book a meeting to iron out the details.”
Remember, a business proposal isn’t a one-size-fits-all document. Tailor it to the specific needs of the client and the unique solution you’re offering. That’s the key to a winning proposal.
Conclude with a flourish. Wrap up your proposal by summarizing key points and reinforcing your qualifications. Remember to include your contact information, making it easy for potential clients to follow up. As a caterer proposing a partnership with an event planner, your conclusion could reiterate your commitment to high-quality food, memorable presentation, and reliable service.
Outline terms and conditions. A comprehensive terms and conditions section safeguards both you and your client. Detail specifics like project timelines, payment schedules, and other essential details.
For instance, if you’re a software development firm, your terms might specify payment milestones tied to the completion of project phases. Always ensure your terms are clear and concise, minimizing the potential for misunderstanding.
Don’t forget to include a designated area for signatures.
Polishing your proposal
Once you have the main parts of your proposal down, take some time to make it shine. Use clear, concise language, and break your proposal into digestible sections. Aim to be engaging, friendly, and professional.
Making your proposal visually appealing
Remember that a picture speaks a thousand words. Use infographics, charts, and other visual elements to make your proposal understandable and engaging.
Providing an option for feedback
Always encourage your potential clients to provide feedback on your proposal. This helps you improve your future proposals and opens up a dialogue with the client, which could lead to fruitful discussions.
After sending your proposal, follow up with the client or prospect. You could send a polite email asking them if they have any questions or need further information.
There you have it – your complete guide to crafting a stand-out business proposal. Now, get out there and start impressing those potential clients!
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How to Write a Great Business Proposal
You’ve finally started your business, selling a service or product to other businesses. How exciting! Perhaps you’ve received a request for a proposal, or maybe you’re ready to start doing cold outreach. Either way, you’ve realized you won’t be able to get clients to sign on to your services without a formal business proposal. You might be wondering what a business proposal is or how to write one.
A business proposal is a document sent by a business to a potential client. It’s a way for business-to-business companies to sell their services. While that might seem daunting, it’s actually pretty straightforward.
Thankfully, once you’ve written your first business proposal, you can duplicate it with variations and customize it as much as you want to save time in the future. We’ve put together a step-by-step guide to writing your business proposal, and we’ve outlined an example. Say goodbye to overwhelm! Let’s start with the basics.
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What is a business proposal?
A business proposal is a document that presents one company’s products or services to another company in detail. Business proposals are often customized for the potential client. It’s a way for the company to market its product and get on the same page as its potential client before they agree to work together.
With all of this business jargon flying around, you might be wondering, “Is a business proposal different from a business plan?” The answer is yes. A business plan is a structured document that outlines a company’s objectives and how it plans to achieve them. A business proposal is a document that companies use to pitch and sell their products or services to other businesses.
Business-to-business companies (also called B2B) primarily use business proposals to sell their products to other businesses. Business-to-consumer, or B2C, companies use marketing to sell their products and services.
When do you need a business proposal?
If you’re a business-to-business company, a business proposal is the best format for soliciting new customers. Business proposals can be unsolicited or solicited. An unsolicited proposal is one that’s uninvited, submitted out of the blue. Unsolicited proposals are sent to drum up interest in a product, similar to a marketing brochure or cold email.
A solicited proposal is sent in response to a request for proposal (RFP); solicited proposals are typically customized for a project or to fit parameters created by a potential client.
Guidelines for writing a business proposal
A business proposal can be as short as a one-page letter or as long as you need to explain your product or service. However, your potential clients are likely busy, so keep it tight and focused.
A business proposal is typically formatted in a PDF document. You can add your brand’s colors, logos, figures, and more to the proposal to make it shine. The business proposal can be printed or delivered digitally in PDF form.
It’s recommended that business proposals be customized for both your business’s brand and each potential client. This shows your clients that you care about them, which is typically more persuasive than a generic, cookie-cutter proposal.
A business proposal should include the following information.
- Who you are and what your company offers
- The problem your potential client is facing
- The solution your company is offering
- How your company will execute the solution
- An estimate of the cost and time required to implement the solution
How to write a business proposal
Before you write your business proposal, you must get to know the potential client. You want to know what their pain points are so that you can speak to them throughout your proposal.
If they’ve sent you a request for proposal (RFP), read it thoroughly so that you understand their expectations. Additionally, you may want to schedule a discovery meeting to get to know their problems and objectives in as much detail as possible.
Once your research is complete, it’s time to create your business proposal. Every company and client is unique, so there’s no set way to write a business proposal. Despite that, there are some essential items you should include and a general format you may want to follow. Here’s a step-by-step approach to writing a business proposal.
1 Title Page
The first page of your business proposal will be a title page. This can include colors, images, and fonts that match your brand. The title page should include your business name, your name, the date you submitted the proposal, and the name of the potential client who will receive the proposal.
2 Table of contents
Your potential clients will likely be in a rush. To help them save time and navigate your proposal, it’s courteous to include a clean table of contents. Format your table of contents in an enumerated list. If your proposal is electronic, make the table of contents clickable so that it’s easier for your clients to find what they’re looking for.
3 Executive summary
An excellent executive summary will give the potential buyer a clear overview of what your company does and how you can serve them, even if they don’t go on to read the rest of the proposal. Aim to convey your executive summary in two to three thoughtful paragraphs.
This section should be a succinct overview of what your company does, what sets you apart from your competitors, why it’s the best solution for your potential client, and your company’s qualifications.
Less is more when it comes to the executive summary. Be clear, concise, and persuasive. You’ll know your summary is complete when you’ve answered the five W’ s—who, what, when, where, and why.
While this section is about you and your company, you should always consider the customer. Show them that you understand them and their needs . Consider this portion as a combination of an elevator pitch and a cover letter for your business.
4 Project details
The project details section is where you persuade the potential customer that you’re the right fit for them. You’ll outline the problem statement, propose a solution, and explain your qualifications.
First, lay out the problem statement. Your product or service is designed to solve a problem they’re having. Describe that problem. Be as specific as possible. Use your previous research to customize this section for the potential client you’re creating the proposal for.
Next, show them why you’re the perfect fit to solve their problems. How do you plan to deliver the solution? Detail the estimated timeline for your solution and any relevant details about deliverables, products, or services.
Last, explain why your company is qualified to deliver these solutions. What makes your business stand out ? If you can convey to the client that you’re bringing a unique or custom offer to the table, it can be more persuasive than an off-the-shelf option. Why should they trust you? If possible, quantify this with numbers of customers, awards , qualifications, or other relevant success.
5 Deliverables and milestones
This section is optional but can help as a visual aid for your potential client. Within the project details section, you can nest a chart that breaks down your deliverables and timeline. This will help set expectations for what you’re offering and when.
While it may feel uncomfortable, pricing your project within your proposal is necessary. There’s no way around it: Your clients have budgets, and they will be comparing prices. Break down each aspect of the project into individual components within the budget. This can make the pricing feel more manageable to the customer.
You may also want to include optional additional costs. Consider these add-ons. If you recommend specific services or products that you know would benefit that client’s specific situation, including these can showcase your expertise.
At the end of the budget portion, list the overall complete cost of the scope of work you’ve outlined. Include the payment schedule and payment terms as well.
The conclusion is the last chance to make a brief, compelling case . Distill the information you presented in the rest of your proposal into one final section. Describe how your client will find value in your service or product. Briefly mention your qualifications again. Then, prompt the client to take action by confirming your availability. By now, your proposal should have the client ready to work with you.
If this is a standardized proposal, make sure your contact information is easily available. If your proposal is customized, you can add the following few sections to encourage the client to accept your proposal and start working with you.
8 Terms and conditions
This section is optional. If you wrote a custom proposal that you expect your client to accept, include a section where the client can sign and date the proposal, accepting the terms you’ve presented. If you didn’t include it in the conclusion, you should list a brief overview of the project, including the overall timeline, payment schedule, and terms, so that the client understands what they’re agreeing to.
The appendix is a section for additional information. You don’t have to include an appendix, but if you have any supplemental information that doesn’t fit within the rest of the proposal, you can include it in the appendix.
You can even reference the appendix within the rest of your proposal to avoid disrupting the flow of other written sections. This is useful for statistics, figures, illustrations, information about your team, or other reference materials you want to share.
If you don’t have any additional information, omit the appendix.
Business proposal outline example
Below, you’ll find a succinct business proposal sample. This outline is designed so that each numbered point should fit on one page. But your business proposal can be as long or as short as you need it to be. You can put two items on one page for a short business proposal or use three pages for just one item; that’s up to you!
Your name, your business name, the name of the potential client’s company, and the date you sent the proposal.
2 Table of contents
An enumerated list of what’s inside your proposal.
3 Executive summary
A brief two to three paragraphs introducing your business and your proposed solution.
4 Project details
A persuasive section outlining the potential client’s problem, what you offer to alleviate the problem, and what your business’s qualifications are to solve that problem.
a. Problem statement b. Proposed solution c. Qualifications
5 Deliverables and timeline
When you plan to deliver each aspect of your solution plan, at a glance.
How much each aspect of your proposed solution will cost, and when payment for each will be due.
A brief summary of your proposal.
8 Terms and conditions
A clear and concise overview of your summary, payment structure, deliverables, and timeline that your potential client agrees to.
Any supporting items you want to include that didn’t fit within the body of the proposal, like facts, figures, testimonials, or case studies.
Business proposal FAQs
A business proposal is a document that presents a company’s products or services to another company, in detail.
What is the purpose of a business proposal?
A business proposal is a way to market a product or service to acquire new customers. A proposal also allows the providing company to get on the same page as their potential client before the two businesses agree to work together.
What should a business proposal include?
- An estimate of the cost and time needed to implement the solution