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What is a Business Proposal? A Simple Guide for Your Business

If you are here today, it’s obvious that you want to create a business proposal or that you’ve been asked by someone to write one. If that’s so then this is the right place for you. Today, we are going to jot down all the basic details you should know about what a business proposal is, how to write one, and how to present it professionally using our proposal builder. So stick along because this article can really come in handy for you in the long run.


What Is a Business Proposal?

A business proposal in simpler words is a sales document created by the company to convince one or multiple prospects to use their services or to award them a particular job contract. For example, if you are running a web development company, you can write a piece or a cover letter for a particular brand and offer them your web development services. In the proposal and in the cover letter, you have to sound professional yet convincing enough to persuade your prospect that you are the best service provider that they’ve been looking for.

To write an effective piece, you should first learn the set pattern that you must follow. But most importantly, you should know how to play with words in a way that attracts your client and makes them think about your offer/service.


What Are The Three Types Of Business Proposal?

Now that you know what a business proposal is, it’s time to learn about the three different types of business proposals.

Formally Solicited proposals

Informally Solicited proposals

Unsolicited proposals

Let’s explain them all in detail so that you can decide which one’s suitable for your company! Solicited or unsolicited will be better?

1 Formally Solicited

In most organizations, a formally solicited piece is written in response to a particular request made by a buyer. In this case, usually, a buyer sends out a request to different vendors to compete for a good and solid proposal and then he decides which one’s the best for the job. There are total of four categories that fall under this type;


➔ RFP (Request For Proposal): This one contains brief information about the customer’s offer and whether or not the seller can meet the requirements.


➔ RFQ (Request For Quotation): A customer issues an RFQ when there’s a need for larger quantities of goods. Here, it’s not just the price that matters but also the time of delivery, quality of the product or service, and availability of the commodities.


➔ IFB (Invitation for Bid): An IFB is issued when a customer is looking for let’s say, construction service providers. This specifically helps them check the different prices charged by the sellers.


➔ RFI (Request for Information): Here, a customer basically asks about the available services and products. The purpose of an RFI is to check the marketing intelligence of the seller before finalizing a business deal.

2 Unsolicited

Such proposals are created when a seller spots a certain business opportunity in a trade show or a meetup where the customer brings up his requirements/business needs. If you have the kind of service that the customer is looking for, you write an unsolicited proposal.

3 Informally Solicited

An oral conversation between a seller and a customer is what leads to an informally solicited proposal. Here, there are no certain requirements that the seller has to meet, in fact, it’s just an offer and close deal between the two parties.

What Is The Difference Between A Proposal And An Estimate?

what is a business proposal

A business proposal and an estimate are two completely different things. Usually, you write an estimate after sending out a proposal of your products or services and getting a positive response from your customer in return.

A proposal is all about convincing the other party that your services or products are worth trying and why the customer really needs to use them. It’s as simple as it sounds but a business proposal is strictly professional and it should be written in a proper formal pattern. It’s like bidding on a certain project and you probably already know that here, you first need to make a plan. You have to create an outline of how you’ll be approaching your prospect and what solution you will be offering.

As far as an estimate is concerned, it comes after you get a good response against your proposed offer. You formally write down all the costs involved in the project and then you give an estimate to your customer so that he can make a final decision. For example, if it’s a construction project, you have to calculate all the costs involved along with risk factors that can increase the estimated cost or things that can reduce the overall cost.

How To Write A Good Proposal?

You can use these simple tips if you really want to secure your prospective client and win him with your outstanding proposal.

Make An Outline

Always start with an outline when writing business proposal. Write down the key elements that you’ll be mentioning in the proposal to attract your potential client. Outline should be presented in the one page.

Follow The Pattern

There’s a set pattern you have to follow to write business proposals. From the title page and Table of Contents to the executive summary, everything should be included.. But most importantly, you have to focus on the “cover letter” of the proposal because that’s the main part that most of the people read in the beginning. Of course, you can’t forget about such fundamental elements as “contact information”, “way of payment”, “data about your organization”, “examples (proof) of your work”, “total value of the project”, “summary”, “pricing list” etc.

Be Good With Words

Your words matter a lot when you are making an offer to your client. It’s all about knowing how to play with words in a way that you can easily impress your client. It’s kind of creative marketing. Remember to mention about the client’s problem (prospect’s problem) and explain in easy words how you can solve it.

Learn how to write a business proposal from scratch

Create an Outstanding Proposal with Publuu

Business proposal maker

If it’s a do-or-die situation for you and you really have to come up with something extraordinary then you should try It’s the best place where you can create impressive business proposals for your clients.

There is simple five-step process you have to follow to start taking advantage of all Publuu’s features :


  1. Open your Free Publuu account

  2. Upload your business proposal in PDF format

  3. Customize and add hotspots

  4. Share it via direct link

  5. Track how it performs in real time

Advantages Of Using For Business Proposals

1) Professional look adapted to the visual identification of your company

You can customize the design of the business proposal to match the visual identification of your company. You can choose the color and use your own graphics as a background. Also, you can choose from a number of ready to use templates.

2) Easy & convenient sharing – just click on the link to open document.

You can share the created document via direct link. After that, client to open a business proposal should simply just click on it. There is no need to open attachments or download anything. Practice shows that this is a very convenient solution.

3) Mobile friendly

With you can create business proposals optimised for mobile devices. You can send and open your documents on tablet, smartphones and of course on desktop devices.

4) sends notifications on email when your offer gets opened.

The ability to track in real time is really a very powerful tool. The person sending the offer can check how much time customers spent viewing each page of the offer. Furthermore, it is possible to set an email notification when document has been opened. It’s really amazing when you can call or send message to your client exactly when he or she look at your offer!

5) Do you want to change something in your offer at the last minute? No problem!

Each seller sometimes has to make a small correction to the offer sent earlier. With you can make changes online. Of course, the link that was sent to the client does not change.


Publuu’s business proposal example


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