How To Write A Business Proposal Easily – Guide With Free Templates

How to write a business proposal
Writing a business proposal plan

Transform your format of a business proposal with this professional proposal writing guide. To learn how to bring the concepts in a business proposal to life, check out all the sections of a business proposal in this article.

How to Write Up A Business Proposal

How do I write a proposal? Writing a business proposal can be difficult. With our comprehensive guide and business proposal templates, you can streamline your process and close more deals. Learn how to write a business proposal with our step-by-step guides and creative business proposal ideas.

Business proposal meaning

To write a business proposal, we need to define what a professional business proposal is. It is a document that is used to close a deal with potential clients. The main goal of writing a business proposal is to provide a complete overview of how your service meets a client’s needs. The content may vary depending on the type of need and the industry.

Types of business proposal

There are two categories of professional business proposals:

1) Solicited Offers initiated by the prospective client and are a response to a request for proposal for business (RFP). The customer has approached your business and asked for help, which can fall into two categories:

  • Formal RFPs / Solicitations are competitive and follow a structured process. The customer sends an RFP describing the work required and invites your company to submit a formal bid.
  • Informal RFPs / Solicitations arise from conversations between a customer and the vendor with whom he or she wishes to work. They are not formally documented and may result in a non-competitive sole source agreement.

2) Unsolicited Offers – are documents sent to a potential customer without a request. The documents are usually created to take advantage of a market opportunity that the customer does not know about or has not yet taken advantage of.

Business Proposal Plan

How do you successfully write a proposal for a business? Building a proposal is like building a house – it requires a strong foundation and key elements to be successful.

The format for writing a proposal can vary depending on the company type, size of a business, the industry, and more. Read the RFP thoroughly to know exactly what the client wants. Schedule a meeting to get a better understanding of the problem.  

Now it’s time to learn what should be included in a business proposal.

1) Cover page

What is a required element to include in a proposal? Start with a cover page. This is the first thing your customer sees, and as research shows, you only have 50 milliseconds to make a good first impression with visual content.

The cover page must balance professionalism and engagement to create a strong first impression. Make it visually appealing, but not too flashy.

2) Table of contents

Make it easy for the reader to navigate the structure of the proposal by using a clear table of contents that highlights the major topics covered. Consider adding clickable links (hyperlinks) for quick access to each section.

3) Executive summary

In the summary, lay out why your solution is the best fit for the potential customer. Be specific and show your unique value proposition.

Present the benefits of your company’s services and convincingly demonstrate how they can solve your potential client’s problem. The summary should provide a clear understanding of how you can help your client.

4) Solutions pages

Define the problem or need in detail. You must demonstrate that you understand the challenges your potential client faces. To do this, you need to thoroughly research and make an effort to understand exactly what the client’s problems are. Your goal is to present a concise and compelling summary of the problems your client needs help solving.

The solution should be tailored to their specific needs so they know you understand the problems they face. Describe the results you will achieve and the expected time frame. This way, the client knows what to expect from you and expectations are high for what you will deliver.

5) Highlighting your qualifications and expertise

Demonstrate your competence, showcase your past accomplishments, and demonstrate your professional awards to gain trust.

6) Pricing options

What should be included in an alternative proposal? Determine your pricing method by choosing a fixed fee, hourly contract, unit rate, or a combination of these. Accurate pricing is essential to winning a bid.

If an accurate estimate is not possible, explain the situation and provide a range. Transparency is extremely important in this section. Customers want to know how costs are determined and what they are paying for. Make sure that all information is presented accurately.

7) Summary

Highlight all the information you have provided in a concise summary. Highlight your qualifications, explain why you are the best choice and indicate your availability. Leave a lasting impression by providing your contact information and making it easy for the client to contact you. The goal is to increase the client’s anticipation of working with you.

8) Agreement

How do you close a business proposal? The closing should contain a clear agreement. To avoid confusion, a clear section on terms and conditions should be included. This section will include all the important details of the project, such as price, payment schedule, and deadlines. Have your legal department review and approve this section before sending the document to your client.

Provide a space for signatures to finalize the agreement and formally acknowledge the terms. This is also an opportunity to encourage the client to contact you if they have any questions or concerns before signing.

How to make a proposal for a business – 8 steps

Step 1 – Begin with a business proposal outline

Before you begin writing a business proposal, identify the critical sections and the most important information that must be included. This will help you stay organized and focused while delivering a clear and concise message.

Step 2 – Represent your brand

Provide an overview of your business, and why it is unique, and kindly invite your customers to contact you with questions. For this reason, you can place this information in the “About Us” section. Remember that such information does not have to be a dry company description.

Do not just rely on your own words – back up your offer with credible evidence from customers. More than 90% of customers trust personal recommendations over other forms of advertising. Social proof builds trust with skeptics who are more likely to believe other customers than a sales pitch.

Step 3 – Use data, visuals, and videos

Include concrete data with relevant numbers and charts that illustrate the value of your business. Highlight your online offering by including videos. The creative business proposal is a dynamic combination of text and media.

Step 4 – Include a call-to-action (CTA)

Don’t let your document down by leaving the readers guessing about what to do next. Guide them to action with a clear and bold CTA. Highlight the specific steps they should take to express interest in your work.

Step 5 – Make a sense of urgency

Don’t let your customers miss out on a valuable opportunity. Indecision often stems from a lack of urgency. Give them the sense of urgency to act by clearly articulating your short- and long-term goals for their business. Highlight the immediate benefits they can expect and make them so enticing that they can’t resist.

Step 6 – Keep it simple

What is important when writing a proposal for a business? Simplicity is key. Research from Google’s research shows that users prefer familiar designs. Use concise language and avoid overly complicated visuals.

Step 7 – Drive the decision

Create a business proposal in such a way that turning it down is equivalent to rejecting a lucrative offer. Offer more than they expect and remove any obstacles that might prevent them from accepting the offer.

Step 8 – Maintain quality control

Make sure your document is polished and error-free. A sloppy appearance could damage your message and your professional reputation. Check carefully for spelling and grammatical errors before sending. Elements can vary depending on your industry and the needs of your potential clients. Improve quality with Grammarly, which checks for spelling errors and content engagement.

Grammarly website
Grammarly home page

Templates of A Business Proposal

Each template for a business proposal differs depending on your goals. Check out these proven templates from top business proposal sample software providers.

Digital Marketing Project Template

Make your offer stand out with this concise one-page proposal format for business. It covers the most important aspects so you can make a strong impression in a fast-paced industry. This format for a business proposal provides pricing strategies to help you secure the deal.

Sales Template

Impress your clients with a document that demonstrates your unsurpassed expertise and enviable track record. This template for business proposals is designed to help you quickly establish credibility. Present your proposed service solution outlining the goals and comprehensive plans.

Social Media Marketing Template

Maximize your chances of getting a social media marketing project by submitting a well-crafted offer. This format of a business proposal includes a transparent breakdown of the cost of services.

SEO Template

Unlock the potential of your online presence with this powerful SEO business proposal template. This template includes a roadmap for a successful SEO plan with expertly written sample content to guide you every step of the way.

Web Design Template

Propose confidently by using this format for a business proposal. It is designed to help you understand your customer’s needs. Start with a professional introduction and guide the client through your development process. Use professional tools like Canva to find a free template for a business plan proposal.

Canva templates
Canva business proposal templates

Example of business proposal

Looking for an example of a business proposal? Achieve success for you and your clients with free HubSpot’s proposal format for business. Quickly and easily customize the template for any project.

Summary of the article

Review your document thoroughly. Make sure it is complete and accurate by considering the following factors:

Readability. Write the document in an ideal style, and tone, and with structured sentences. Captivate your target reader and convey information.

Error-free. Eliminate all grammatical and technical errors, such as punctuation and spelling mistakes.

Meet requirements. Meet all requirements and include relevant information to achieve the client’s goals.

A well-crafted document should leave little room for questions. It can provide a clear picture of your company’s capabilities. Use the strategies described in this article to create a professional proposal that will increase your chances of winning a contract.

It can be challenging to standardize the proposal writing process. With our comprehensive guide and free templates, you can streamline your proposal writing. Every opportunity is unique, so it’s important that you have all the information you need and can present solutions effectively.