One of the top questions small business owners ask to scale up their businesses is how to write a business proposal example.
While that can be a taxing exercise for most startup owners, the good news is that you can learn it. And then apply what you learn to get more business from new clients.
Unfortunately, the sad news is that it may not happen on autopilot. But it’s what you can do so long you’re ready to learn and apply. Thus, in the article, you’ll get the answer on what a business proposal should include and how to put together a business proposal.
What is a Business Proposal (Examples & Templates)?
A business proposal helps you document and pitch your value proposition to an organization or company to secure a business agreement.
But many confuse a business proposal for a business plan, even though they both are not the same.
No doubt, the two of them are official documents used in business. But one is written to sell the product or service of a company rather than the business itself. Talking about a business proposal.
On the other hand, a business plan is created to get more investors willing and ready to fund your business. But a business proposal is different; it helps you increase your customer base— that’s to get new customers in an ever-competitive market.
Types of business proposal
There are two business proposals a business owner may write to gain businesses from potential clients. And they are:
1. Unsolicited business proposal
As the name implies, this is the kind of proposal you send to a client without a request to do so. You do that to win business with them. Interestingly, this is what many may call cold pitching.
2. Solicited business proposal
Before sending this kind of proposal, unlike the unsolicited business proposal, you receive a request for a proposal from a prospective client to help them decide if they’re going to do business with you.
How to Write Business Proposal Example
To learn how to create a business proposal, one of the questions many ask is what a business proposal looks like.
Interestingly, that’s the first step to learning how to write good business proposals. And you must know that creating a good business proposal is like building a house. You’d agree that to erect a building, you’d have to lay a good foundation based on a predetermined architectural structure or framework.
Thus, below are the essential elements of a good business proposal.
The Structure of a simple and short business proposal sample
The title page is the first page of your business proposal, which serves more or less as an introductory page for yourself and your business.
The content of this page includes the name of your business, your name, and the name of your prospective client you’re submitting the proposal to. Plus the date of your
While you want to make this page stunningly captivating, you don’t want to overdo things. So as not to cause a different effect from what you’d have desired.
Table of content
The table of content is the section that helps your prospective client to be able to navigate through your proposal from start to finish.
While it’s advisable to keep your proposal short, at least not more than ten(10) pages (especially if your product and services are void of complexities), having a table of content cannot be overemphasized.
That’s because it serves as a map or compass to your clients while they thumb through your business proposal. But when you’re sending via electronic means, making the table of contents clickable is a preferable option to explore.
Main Content to Know as You Learn How to Write Business Proposal Example
Essentially, this is the first of the main content of a business proposal. The executive summary captures the whole essence of a proposal.
Through it, you specifically tell the client (individual or company) why you’re sending the proposal and why they should consider your proposed solution as the best they can get.
And to achieve that, you communicate how you intend to solve the client’s problem and the benefits they stand to enjoy from the product or service you’re offering them.
Statement of the problem
Here, you’ll outline the identified problem or challenges your prospective client is facing; and the gaps such issue(s) have created. The essence of this section is to inform your client that you understand their challenges and have the solutions– which takes us to the next part of your business proposal.
Propose a solution (Scope of work)
After letting your client know that you’re super informed about the specific challenges, it’s time to start dishing out your strategy of how you can practically help them address the issue.
To convince them that you know what you’re doing and are competent to make their challenges a thing of the past, you break down the line of actions you intend to take as deliverables. But in all, you want to be sure that your proposed solution is inspired and patterned after the issue they’re facing.
Through this business proposal, you’re about to send to your potential client(s), you outline things that position you as an authority (or an expert) in what you do. These things include relevant education, training, experience, or past successful projects that you’ve done, which altogether may increase your chance of winning the business from the client.
Budgeting & Pricing
This part takes care of the pricing of your project. At this point, you want to be careful. Why? You don’t want to appear petty for undercharging, nor do you want to chase all your potential customers to your competitors by billing them outrageously.
But to be on the safety net, here you’ll have updated information about your market and trends that may influence your pricing policy. The most important thing is to profit from the product or service you sell, even as you sustain a good level of returned patronage.
Other Sections to pay attention to in your quest to learn how to Write Business Proposals Example
The structure of a business proposal may vary for other different reasons. However, some parts cannot be omitted if you want to write an effective business proposal.
Below are other parts that can be part of your proposal:
Terms and Conditions
Here, you provide information for every bit of your proposals, such as pricing, project timeline, and milestones reward. You can capture these pieces of information in the other part of your proposal. Whichever is the case, ensure your proposal is void of ambiguity that misleads your client due to misinterpretation.
Call to action section
This part can come as a signature section (preferably in a box), which your prospective client can sign to indicate the agreement with your proposal. Or better still, you include a prompt that enables your client to contact you before ratifying your proposed business agreement, especially if they have queries they need you to provide answers to as soon as possible.
Tips on How to Write Business Proposal Example
Having learned what a business proposal looks like, you can now learn the tips below on how to create a business proposal:
- Understand the needs of your client
Before you take practical steps in answering the question of how to do a proposal for a business, you must understand your client. What do they want? What are they looking for?
- Emphasis your strength
There won’t be a need to write a business proposal if your client never had a need you can meet. Upon appreciating this, you then need to emphasize strength– what gives you a competitive edge– to your clients.
- Be clear and concise
You already know by now that when writing a business proposal, you must direct its content towards solving the problem of your clients. But in doing that, you must be clear and concise. So you must shun every form of ambiguity.
At this point, you can summarize your proposal. You can mention your qualifications again (as said earlier) and why you’ll serve them in the best way.
You desire that, by now, you must have convinced your prospective client, to a great extent, upon reading this part of your proposal, that you can deliver the proposed solution you promised earlier.