For formality purposes, businesses create proposals to forge a partnership with another one. A business proposal will generally display how you will solve a problem that a potential prospect may experience. What you want to happen in sending your proposal is for you to be the chosen company and reep the financial rewards and growth that an ensue when working for a new client. But before you even launch your company you need to know how to write a business proposal.

Now, there are a ton of articles similar to this, but this business proposal has specifically generated over $1 million dollars worth of revenue.

We are going to go over the entire list of:

  • What you need to include
  • What it needs to look like
  • How to guarantee that you receive a yes

How to Structure Your Business Proposal?

You don’t need to present a lengthy business proposal to your leads. Most proposals are 10 to 20 pages, but we actually recommend a strategy that’s even less than that. Cut down unnecessary information that your clients may skip. Plus, if you’re printing It out, you could save on ink and paper. We want to make sure you know how to write a business proposal, so here’s what to include:

  • Cover page
  • Executive summary
  • Specific approach
  • Project deliverables
  • Project milestones
  • Cost
  • About Us
  • Case Studies/Testimonials
  • Clients/References
  • Next Steps

Include a table of contents as well with page numbers. It’s a common practice done by most businesses. Now that you have an idea of what sections you need add in your proposal, here’s how to write a business proposal. This is where your money will be made.

Proposal cover

Don’t let your proposal be thrown into a pile where no one will read it.

A proposal cover doesn’t need to have an elaborate design. You could place the title of the project, the name of the business, and contact details. Put the label “business” or “project” proposal as well. It can be as simple as that.

You can also provide a different title that offers a plan of action. You could say something like “Boost Productivity Rates with [Software here].” Another example might be, “Double Your Customer Base with [product or service here].”

If you want to snazz it up, it’s up to you! Maybe add some lines or photos of your company. You can choose to download a template or use a graphic design service like Penji to put color into it. This will make it more interesting to view.

Executive summary

You should write the executive summary last. After all, you want to ensure the proposal’s content is complete. That way, you can craft an executive summary that encapsulates your proposal.

INC suggests that you can base your executive summary on the sections of your proposal. Maybe one or two sentences of the key sections would suffice.

In most instances, your readers will only scan the executive summary, and that’s it. You want them to read the proposal. Since it’s only a summary, keep it short. BP Plans suggests having a max of two pages. This way, you’ll have them flip to the next page and learn more about your proposal.

Your specific approach

This is the most important part of what to include in your proposal.

What makes your business stand out from others? How do you plan on executing this project? As you write what to include in your proposal, ask yourself, in what way can we fulfill this project?

You can also indicate your assessment of their needs if it’s a solicited proposal. Meanwhile, for an unsolicited one, persuade your prospective client by giving examples of possible issues they might face. From there, you can outline the solutions that your competitors may not provide to the client.

You can also put your objectives and goals in this section. You can at least describe how you plan to carry out the goals you’ve put forth for the project. Write it as a methodology, perhaps.

Project deliverables

This is where you put details of your project and what the expected outcomes and results are. Your prospective clients should know how they can benefit from your solution. 

You can outline the types of deliverables your clients will expect to receive by the end of the project. For example, it could be a report or a finished product.

If you can, make sure that it’s a specific deliverable. Don’t say you’re only giving them a report. Say something like, “Monitoring Report for [Company] and Effect of [Product/Service here].”

Project milestones

Let your prospective clients know the progress of your project. Provide them an estimated time of completion for all the tasks in your project. Add a timeline that would include the significant events of the project. Make sure to have a realistic timeframe. 

Score recommends that you add more days than your proposed task completion. You’ll never know, you might encounter unexpected delays to the project.

Here, you could provide a process of how the tasks can be accomplished through a GANTT chart, for example. It’s a visual representation of how the milestones are completed.

Cost

For this part, make sure to detail how much the project would be. Give a breakdown of all the costs in accomplishing the project. If you don’t have an exact amount, give an estimate on some things. It’s better if your clients know how much the project would cost upfront. So, they can set aside a budget for this one.

Costs are different depending on what you’ll offer to your prospective client. Typically, here’s what to include in your proposal:

  • Labor or salary
  • Materials or equipment
  • Travel
  • Set-up or installation
  • Miscellaneous fees

Make sure to organize the costs in a graph or a table. This way, it’s much easier to provide a breakdown of all the other expenses.

About Us/Team

Don’t forget to introduce your company or organization. Let your future clients know who you are, your background, and who is working for you. You can write a company history as well.

Make it more interesting by detailing your story. Let’s say your small business started at home. Then it expanded as more customers purchased more items.

Plus, your prospective client would know who would be responsible for a particular section or area of the project. You can even place their details so your clients can directly contact your team member for an update.

Case Studies/Testimonials

It’s a good idea to add case studies or testimonials in your proposal. This way, your prospective clients will know how else you completed a project. It’s also another way for future clients to know past experiences working with you. By putting this, you’re persuading prospective clients to choose you as their partner.

It would be great if you added numbers as social proof. For example, you’re a software company, know how many customers your client got by using it. Perhaps, you could indicate how efficient your client has become.

As for testimonials, it’s a good starting point to instill trust in your company. It’s good to know how former or current clients placed their confidence in your product or service and how it has changed them or the company.

Clients/References

You can consider this part as an alternative to case studies or testimonials. However, this would be a bonus if you add clients or references. 

You can place them in list form. But, make it more visual by adding logos instead of text.

If you have client references to add to your proposal, make sure to include the following details:

  • Client name
  • Contact person
  • Contact details (phone number and email)

This way, your prospective client can contact your references directly and get the lowdown of your previous or current working relationship.

Next Steps

Now you know how to write a business proposal, but now you need them to sign the contract. We recommend that you can consider Next Steps as a way for your prospective client to take action. Maybe, here, you can put how else you can work with a client on a long-term basis. What other things can you offer that your competitors might not?

Provide your contact details again in this section. Even if they might not say yes yet, they can contact you for other questions regarding the project. Perhaps, here, you could offer to set up a meeting to discuss further or negotiate.

Don’t let your efforts go to waste, so make sure to provide a tangible course of action that will make them choose your company over another.

Additional Points to Remember

Edit & Proofread

Before you submit your proposal to the client, make sure to double-check grammar or spelling errors. This could turn off your clients and pretty obvious but you absolutely do not want your prospect to think that you do not know how to write a business proposal.

Know Your Audience

You might submit your project to different types of businesses. You might have to modify your proposal depending on who you’re sending it to. For example, don’t include technical jargon to a company in the clothing industry.

Make Sure Great Design is your MAIN Focus

The proposal cover isn’t the only part that may need visuals. You MUST add visuals that sell you and separate you from your competition. Remember, you’re not the only one sending this company a proposal, so make sure it stands out. If at anytime you do not feel confident in what you’re sending, find a better way to outsource your graphic design needs. We’ve put together the ten best websites for graphic design. These companies will be able to help your business proposal look incredible.

Wrap Up

Place only the essential components to get straight to the point. This way, it won’t be set aside within their inbox. You want your prospect to understand what you want, they are confident in how you wrote your business proposal, and how you plan on helping them.