A BUSINESS PROPOSAL: Meaning, Examples, Template & How to Write It

Business Proposal
Photo Credit : Agency Mavericks

When starting a business, very few new entrepreneurs know the necessity of writing a business proposal. But a business proposal is more important than you might realize. Your business proposal may not be immediately useful to you, but it can still be used to develop a strategy for your company, obtain funding, determine the advantages and disadvantages of your brand, and serve as a guide for future decisions. Read on to find out more about how to structure and write a business proposal.

A Business Proposal

A business proposal is a document that is sent to potential clients in the hopes of partnering with them on a project or wanting to be the company that assists with a particular project. Business proposals, at their most basic, are about identifying the needs of potential customers and demonstrating why your company is the most suitable solution. Knowing how to write a strong business proposal is essential for growth, especially for companies that specialize in B2B services.

What Are the Types of Business Proposals?

Although they can vary depending on the service and nature of the project, business proposals typically fall into three categories:

#1. Formally Solicited Proposals. 

This applies to a type of business proposal where the company you want to work with formally requests that you submit one. They’re typically created in response to requirements that a company has published to solicit proposals. This is typically the outcome of a request for proposals that have been made public, where a potential client is evaluating numerous business proposals to select the best one. Then, it would be your duty to create a suggested solution based on the specific requirements of a potential client or customer.

#2. Informally Solicited Business Proposals. 

Typically, informal requests for business proposals follow discussions between a potential customer and a vendor. In this situation, the customer typically does not request competing proposals, and there are typically fewer formal requirements. 

#3. Unsolicited Business Proposals. 

These types of business proposals usually take the form of a marketing pamphlet and are more generic. When a company is looking for potential customers, they frequently use unsolicited proposals at trade shows or other open places. Unsolicited business proposals sometimes come across as spammy or, worse, unprofessional, even though they can help generate some business.

How to Write a Business Proposal

Although the format of business proposals can vary slightly, there are a few essential components that every business proposal must have. There are several steps on how to write a business proposal:

#1. Make Your Title Page.

The title of the proposal, the name of your company, your contacts, and the date you’re submitting the proposal (or the date the proposal was created, in the case of unsolicited proposals) should all be included on the title page.

Although it should be formal, your title page should still attempt to pique the reader’s interest. Because this is the first thing your client will see, it’s critical to convey your brand and proposal in a concise, yet specific manner. 

#2. Put Together a Table of Contents

You can navigate the document’s contents more easily if there is a table of contents. Your content page needs to follow a timeline. The reader can easily use the table of contents as a reference point for all of their questions by having the items on your list reflect specific pain points or questions they may have. 

#3. Create a Cover Letter

Introducing yourself is the goal of your cover letter. You should limit the length of your cover letter to one page. Give a succinct overview of the history, purpose, and USP of your company in a few paragraphs. Be sure to include your contact information and invite your readers to get in touch with you if they have any questions. Unlike a résumé cover letter, visuals are encouraged, especially if they highlight a significant aspect of your brand’s achievements or mission. 

#4. Compose Your Executive Summary.

An executive summary explains your motivation for submitting the proposal as well as how you’ll convince the client that you’re their best option. Your executive summary functions similarly to a value proposition, highlighting what sets your business apart and the advantages of doing business with you.  

You should tailor your executive summary to the client’s requirements. The business proposal document should sound as though it was written for just one client, even if you’re sending it to a lot of potential customers. 

You should modify your summary to account for each of your potential customers’ unique problems. To persuade the reader to continue reading for more information, your summary should make it clear how your company can help the reader. Even if your proposal isn’t very long overall, your executive summary should be between two and four pages long.

#5. Describe Your Customers’ Issues and the Company’s Resolution.

You should elaborate on the solutions you suggested in your executive summary. Start each proposal by outlining any potential problems the client might encounter. By doing this, you’ll demonstrate to potential customers that you have a solid grasp of their needs. Potential customers will be curious as to how quickly you can implement your solution and when they can anticipate results.

In each section, you should focus on the following issues:

  • The issue: Provide evidence to support your assertions, and be specific about any areas in which your client’s goals may not have been met. 
  • Implementation: Clearly describe the changes you intend to make, how long they will take to complete, and why you are doing so. 
  • Goals: Describe your plan for measuring the effectiveness of your solution and the time frame by which your client can expect to see the effects of your changes. 
  • Benefits: Rely on the evaluation of the issue to describe the type of impact these changes will have.

#6. Make a Price List.

Your problem and solution pages ought to come first, then your pricing table. It will list every one of your goods and services along with their costs. A single flat fee reduces your business proposal to a yes-or-no choice that is simple to reject.

Increasing the number of pricing options gives customers a more flexible starting point for negotiations and initiates a discussion about their specific needs. 

Offer reduced prices in exchange for long-term commitments. Offer add-ons, upgrades, and options. In this section, transparency is essential. Make sure your customers can easily understand what they’re paying for and how to customize your service.

#7. Briefly Describe Your Qualifications.

You will elaborate on why your company is most qualified to assist potential clients in achieving their goals in the qualifications summary. The best qualifications summaries use testimonials from other people to support their claims. This includes client success stories, client endorsements, social media kudos, case studies, endorsements from reputable industry leaders, and anything else that could demonstrate the value you offer your clients in your business proposal. 

#8. Clearly State the Terms of the Agreement.

Photo credit: Better Proposals

Your marketing proposal should conclude with a summary of the terms and conditions that will help your clients understand the offer you are making them. Not all business proposals contain a legally binding contract, so if your proposal’s goal is to persuade your client to engage in further discussion, you might just include a straightforward call to action with instructions on how to get in touch with you to discuss the matter further. 

#9. Leave Room for Signatures as Proof of Agreement.

Provide the client with a signature box in your business proposal and make sure they understand what they are signing before they do so. Additionally, you can use this opportunity to invite a potential customer to contact you if they have any questions that have not yet been answered.

How Do I Follow Up After Sending out a proposal

#1. Give Them Some Time.

It should be a week before a follow-up is sent. If they’ve confirmed receiving your business proposal, give them a week starting on the day of the confirmation. Remember that before getting back to you, they might want to talk about it with their team. Use a compelling subject line to get their attention. 

Similar to other forms of email marketing, a catchy subject line will make it more likely that they’ll open your message. Keep it short. No need to get too specific at this point; let your proposal speak for itself. Make sure they know you’re available for any questions in your follow-up and make it simple for them to get in touch with you.

#2. Do Not Use Aggressive or Pushy Language.

A partner, not a client, is what you’re after here. Advertising cliches such as “Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity!” will alienate potential customers. After submitting the business proposal, do not use aggressive language when asking for feedback.

#3. Be Personable, Approachable, and Genuine.

Your follow-up is an excellent opportunity to get a taste of what it will be like to work with you. Be polite but casual, as if you’re reaching out to a favorite coworker. When you approachable request for feedback on your business proposal, do not forget to be genuine, and approachable

#4. Understand When to Give Up. 

One or two emails are easy to ignore, but three or four are much harder to ignore. It is time to move forward if your client does not reply to the three follow-ups.

How Long Should a Business Proposal Be?

Ideally, a business proposal should be no longer than ten pages, but this will greatly depend on the nature of your proposal and the extent of your offerings. Keep things brief—no more than two pages for each—so that they fit in places like your cover letter, or summary. Your proposal’s pages, which describe each component in depth, should make up the bulk of your submission.

What Are the Different Sections of a Business Proposal?

A basic business proposal includes a title page, tables of contents, a cover letter, an executive summary, proposal pages, a pricing page, additional information about your company, and the proposed agreement.

What Is the Basic Component of a Business Proposal?

  • Create a title page first.
  • Put together a table of contents.
  • Create an executive summary
  • Describe the issue or need.
  • Offer a resolution.
  • Describe your credentials.
  • Offer price options.
  • Include a conclusion in your summary.
  • Explicitly state your terms and conditions.
  • To formalize the agreement, include a signature area.

What Is the Purpose of a Business Proposal?

It accomplishes this by acting as a source of information in addition to its other functions. The proposal also serves as a sales pitch meant to persuade your client to purchase what you have to offer. The purpose of a business proposal is to elaborate on how your good or service will satisfy a client’s needs. 


To obtain a business agreement, a company will prepare a formal document called a business proposal and present it to a prospect.

A business proposal requires a lot of work to write, but mastering its composition will pave the way for your long-term success. You’ll probably need to write a business proposal at some point, regardless of the industry you work in.

It will be simpler to draw new clients the more contented customers you have. Every new chance in a partnership is a step closer to long-term success. Try out a few of these business proposal concepts right away.

Business Proposal FAQs

What Is a Business Proposal

A business proposal is a document sent to prospective clients in the hopes of collaborating on a project or wanting to be the company that helps with a specific project.

What Are the Types of Business Proposals?

  • Formally Solicited Business Proposal
  • Informally Solicited Business Proposal
  • Unsolicited Business Proposal

What Are the Different Sections of a Business Proposal?

A basic business proposal includes a title page, tables of contents, a cover letter, an executive summary, proposal pages, a pricing page, additional information about your company, and the proposed agreement.

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