Business Proposals – Complete Guide
You can’t create a good business relationship without securing partnerships, financing, and finalizing deals with a prospective client. Every business relationship and sales process starts with a compelling business proposal – to guide your customer to learn about your offer.
While many newcomers to business think it’s a good idea to focus on product development and business planning, experienced business people are well aware that a well-crafted business proposal can be the foundation of your venture’s success. Our proposed solution is to focus on effective business proposal writing – to start the relationship off the best possible foot.
Simply offering first-class products and services is not enough in today’s developed, media-savvy environment. From the very beginning of your contact with the customer, you need to create a unique bond and encourage them to choose your offer over the competition. A business proposal helps you interest the potential client in your products and services. But how do you prepare such a compelling document? What elements should a good business proposal contain?
In this article, we will cover the basic facts about writing winning business proposals. We will explain what is a business proposal, why a business proposal can help you plan your business strategy, secure financial support, and highlight the strengths and weaknesses of your brand. You’ll be able to find more details in our Knowledge Base – in our articles there, you’ll find all the answers you’re looking for!
Business writing is a formal way of writing used in a business environment. It is used to communicate information, instructions, and ideas in a clear, concise, and professional manner. When working with business writing you need to stick to certain standards and avoid many marketing clichés – in many ways, business writing is similar to technical writing. A business proposal aims to attract the attention of potential clients and should be written using these standards.
To make your business writing sound simpler, avoid using jargon or technical terms that the reader may not understand. When writing a marketing proposal, be specific and avoid vague language. For example, instead of saying “The product is easy to use”, say “The product can be operated in a few simple steps”. Business language should also be as objective as possible, without your personal opinions and beliefs in the proposal document.
There are four main types of business writing:
Instructional business texts are used to provide clear instructions on how to do something. A company might create a manual for employees on how to use new equipment or sales techniques.
Informative business writing is used to provide information about something. For example, a company might use informative business writing to create a report on the company’s financial performance.
Persuasive business writing is used to persuade the reader to do something. When you write a business proposal you are using persuasive business writing to encourage the customers to use the proposed solutions.
Transactional business writing is used to communicate about day-to-day business activities. For example, a company may use transactional business writing to send a customer an email to confirm an order after delivering a business proposal example.
You can learn more about business writing and how to write a business proposal by reading articles in our Knowledge Base.
What is a Business Proposal?
A business proposal is a document that a company creates to persuade potential customers to choose their products and services. A business proposal is a formal document that describes the company’s services or products and how they can meet the customer’s needs. It is a professional document that will help you build a successful business relationship by effectively communicating your company’s capabilities and values.
There are three main types of proposals:
Formally solicited proposals are written in response to a specific request from the buyer. They are often created when initial contact has already been made, such as at a trade show. A formally solicited business proposal should adhere closely to the standards of business writing.
Unsolicited business proposals are created when a salesperson identifies a business opportunity and contacts a potential customer. They may be in response to an advertisement, tender, or word-of-mouth. Unsolicited proposals are supposed to encourage customers to get interested in the company.
Informally solicited proposals arise after an informal conversation between the vendor and the potential customer. An informally solicited business proposal is quite close to marketing texts and is often meant to say more about the company. When you write a business proposal of this type, your main objective is to establish a relationship between you and the prospective client.
There are many tools available to help you create a business proposal, such as Publuu. These tools can help you customize the proposal design, and make it easier to share and track whether they’re read by your potential clients.
If you still wonder what is a business proposal, you can learn more about business proposals, templates, and other ways to create a project proposal in our Knowledge Base.
How To Write A Business Proposal
A business proposal is not only about the quality of your services but also about how you present your ideas, using proper form, ensuring a professional presentation, and using correct grammar.
An effective business proposal should include the following sections:
Title page: should include your name, company name, recipient’s name, and date. It should draw the attention of a prospective reader, but not be too flashy!
Executive summary: A brief overview of the business proposal. It should highlight the key points and reasons why the reader should be interested. An executive summary needs to be concise and to the point.
Problem description: This section describes the customer’s problem. It should show that you understand their situation.
Proposed solution: This section explains how the company’s services or products can solve the customer’s problem. Explain your value proposition and what you bring to the table, trying to sell your marketing proposal to prospective clients.
Benefits: The benefits of the company’s services or products. Introduce your offer, trying to be as objective as possible – don’t just say that your products are great – mention your rewards and results!
Pricing: This section shows the costs of the company’s services or products.
Call to action: This section tells the customer what to do next. A social media marketing proposal might introduce the reader to follow your profile, and a project proposal should encourage prospective clients to support your projects!
Before you start writing, take some time to plan your proposal. This will help you make sure you have covered all the important points. Skipping this step may leave out important information or make your proposal less effective.
Use Publuu.com to make your business proposal look professional. Publuu is a tool that helps you create a professional-looking business proposal with an outstanding cover, executive summary, and design. It allows you to add branding, change the background color, and add interactive hotspots to your proposal. Publuu also makes it easy to share your business proposal with potential clients.
If you want to learn more about how to write a business proposal, read our tips in our Knowledge Base – articles and our business proposal example gallery can help you out in selling!
How to Create a Business Proposal
A business proposal is not just text. A well-designed business proposal should be both visually appealing and informative. This will increase your chances of securing new contracts. When designing your documents, take care with the layout – using tools such as Canva, Adobe InDesign, Publuu, or Microsoft Publisher. These sites offer many business proposal templates that can help you in designing your own proposed solution for your customers.
Use a consistent design throughout your business proposal. This will help create a professional and polished look. If you’re using a ready business proposal template, choose a font and color scheme that is easy to read and matches your company’s brand. You can also find business proposal templates in our Knowledge Base to help you create great designs.
Use visual elements to break up the text and make the whole business proposal much more engaging. This can include images, charts, graphs, or screenshots. Use high-quality images and graphics. If you’re selling a physical product, be sure to show both images of the product and its use. Publuu allows you to add animations and videos to your presentation.
Keep the layout of your business proposal example simple and easy to understand. Use headings and sub-headings to organize information and make it easy for the reader to find what they are looking for. Use whitespace to create a sense of balance and make the proposal easier to read – don’t be afraid to leave some blank space on the page – your business proposal template might already predict this!
Top Business Proposal Template Websites
If you want to quickly write a business proposal, it’s probably best to work with a pre-made proposal template, with spaces for a table of contents, executive summary, and other useful elements of your professional proposal document.
When choosing a business proposal template, it is important to consider your specific needs and preferences. You might pick a free business proposal template that perfectly reflects your needs. Factors to consider include the style of the template, the level of customization, and the price – it is the latter that counts for small businesses!
Once you have chosen a template, you can customize it to suit your needs. This can include changing the text, images, or colors. You can also add your branding to the template, matching your brand identity.
Many websites offer paid and free business proposal templates. Here are some of the most popular and reliable options:
Envato Elements: Envato Elements is a subscription-based service that offers a wide range of templates, including business proposals. The templates are professionally designed and easy to use.
Behance: Behance is a social media platform for creative professionals. Business proposal templates can be found on Behance that have been created by other designers.
Canva: Canva is a graphic design platform that offers a variety of templates, including business proposals. The templates are easy to use and can be customized to suit your brand.
Once you have customized a simple business proposal template, you can share it with your clients. You can send your business proposal as a PDF or embed it on a website, or in an email as a flipbook from Publuu.
You can learn more about top business proposal template websites from our Knowledge Base. Our article on free business proposal template sites introduces other relevant details like what software to use to customize your proposal template.
Business Proposal Examples
If you want to create your business proposals, it is worth starting by looking at how others do it. Finding examples of business proposals is a great way to learn about the structure and content of effective proposals.
By reviewing different business proposal examples, you can better understand what makes a proposal compelling. This knowledge can help you create solicited and unsolicited business proposals that allow you to make new contacts.
But where can you find examples of business proposals?
Online communities and business forums
Various types of social media like LinkedIn and various business forums often contain discussions and shared resources, including examples of business proposals. Members can share their successful proposals as templates or demonstrate what makes their proposals stand out. These platforms can be useful for networking and learning from colleagues in your industry.
Government and institutional sites
Government agencies and institutions, especially those involved in public procurement, often provide sample business proposals. These examples can be particularly useful if you are interested in securing government or military contracts. Check your local government or European Union websites – you will often find the standards required by law in a business proposal.
Professional business proposal software
Many business proposal creation solutions, such as Proposify, PandaDoc, and Qwilr, offer libraries of professionally prepared proposal templates. These business proposal template examples are usually designed to be highly customizable, allowing you to tailor your preferred proposal template to your unique business offer. We also show examples of business offers and free business proposal templates in our Knowledge Base.
Business Proposal Ideas
Interesting ideas for business proposals can be a refreshing departure from traditional approaches and attract the attention of potential clients or investors.
You can explore new technologies to do this. For example, you can convert a traditional PDF into a Publuu flipbook, so you can incorporate multimedia elements and links. This is a great way to engage your audience and leave a memorable impression.
Another great solution is gamification – especially for companies in IT. Create a game so that your potential client can explore your value proposition – for example, in an app you can create a simple game where the character walks around your dev studio. Instead of presenting your offering as an executive summary, let your customers discover it from within the game. The characters in the game can explain what benefits the customer will get from your service.
For companies offering physical products or services, a ‘proposal in a box’ can be a very interesting and unusual idea. You don’t have to write a business proposal! Create a beautifully packaged box filled with samples, product prototypes, or personalized items related to your proposal. Include a letter or video message in the box explaining your proposal and its benefits to the potential client.
How to Present a Business Proposal?
A good presentation of a business proposal is a key step in securing new clients and contracts. It’s not just about the content of the proposal; the way you deliver this also matters.
The key to an effective presentation is storytelling: people are more likely to remember a story and be persuaded if they hear your value proposition in the form of a narrative. Formulate your proposal as a story that solves a problem and helps your audience achieve their goals.
You need to know the purpose of your proposal: this will help you tailor your presentation to your audience’s needs. If you are responding to a request for proposal (RFP), make sure you understand the requirements of the request for proposal. If you are presenting an unsolicited proposal, consider what problems your target audience faces and how your solution can help them. Tailor your presentation to your audience, their needs, and concerns, and incorporate them into your proposal and presentation. This shows that you have done your homework and are genuinely interested in their business.
With visuals, you can explain your proposal more clearly and engagingly. Use images, charts, and graphs to illustrate key points. You also need to maintain professionalism: dress appropriately, maintain eye contact, and speak confidently. Your body language should express confidence and competence.
After your presentation, thank your audience for their time and give them a copy of your proposal – you can send them a flipbook from Publuu for this purpose. Give them some time to read through the content and address any additional questions or concerns they may have.
If you’re still wondering how to present a business proposal, you can read more about that in our Knowledge Base. We present techniques and tips that will help you deliver that winning business proposal.
Preparing a good business proposal is important for any company that wants to win new contracts or build new partnerships. We hope our tips will help you write a proposal that is compelling, informative, and visually appealing.
There is no one-size-fits-all method or a perfect business proposal template that suits every company. Instead, try to keep it clear and concise, duse interesting images, and your proposal will shine through – especially if you publish it as a Publuu flipbook.
You may be also interested in:
What Is a Prospectus and How to Read It?
How to write an executive summary in 8 Easy Steps