What Should a Business Proposal Contain? (Examples & Templates) As the renowned Mark Cuban once quipped, "Sales are the cure." If a business does not sell, it does not generate revenue, and as a consequence, it will fail. You must write business proposals as a result of this. A well-written business proposal may often be the difference between gaining a new customer and losing a prospective one.
The procedures indicated in this step-by-step guide to creating business proposal templates will assist you in closing more transactions, increasing sales, and meeting your company's goals.
It doesn't matter what kind of business you want to start; having a well-thought-out business proposal in place is a wise precaution to take, and research has shown that crafting one can help you with anything from getting funding to growing your company's reach.
Why need of business proposal?
The following are the top five reasons why you should prepare a business proposal.
One of the advantages is that it will help you make more realistic plans and projections.
Composing a business proposition
When starting a business, it's vital to be as practical as possible right from the start. This is why, in the early stages, writing a business proposal is so important. Hank Boyer, CEO of Boyer Management Group and executive coach, points out that business owners often underestimate the time it takes to achieve breakeven. "Many start-ups with brilliant ideas were forced to fold owing to the weight of operating expenses that outstripped investment and revenue,"
According to Boyer, it is better to examine worst-case scenarios rather than best-case possibilities when preparing a business proposal. As he cautions, it's likely that your plan won't be self-funding for months or even years. "You should expect months, if not years, to be added to the time you think it would take," he adds.
It could make it easier for you to get a loan.
Obtaining funding is a necessary first step for every kind of company. If your firm is smaller, your business plan will likely be even more important in recruiting investors or obtaining outside finance. A well-researched business proposal may help you show prospective investors how investing in your company would benefit them, what sets your ideas or concepts apart from others, and why people will want to buy your goods or services. The bottom line is that a well-written business plan will show investors that you are competent, have a compelling business concept, and will be able to generate the required cash flow to keep things running smoothly.
It will provide your company's operations direction and structure.
Putting it all down on paper will offer the framework you need to keep going in the right direction, even if you already have an idea of where you want to take your firm. Inflexible corporate planning and poor financial management have been identified as the most common reasons of Australian businesses failing in their second, third, or fourth years of operation, according to many studies. A business proposal may help you make important decisions regarding your company's cash flow, marketing strategy, and personnel. It will also be simpler for you to analyse the performance of your firm and make changes as you go if you have well stated goals and objectives.
It will help you recognise your own unique talents and weaknesses.
If you're starting a business, Boyer recommends focusing not just on your strengths, but also on your flaws. This is because it's often what you don't know or consider that might put your business to a halt. An successful business proposal forces you to look at things objectively, do a SWOT analysis, and even include factors that are outside your control and hence uncontrollable. "Imagining opportunities and hazards as the wind to a sailboat is a great way to think about them," Boyer says. Even if you can't change the wind, you can and should change the sails.
It ensures that everyone is on the same page.
a place where you may work on your company strategies. Everyone from board members to lower-level staff would benefit from having a business proposal since it will help them grasp the company's objectives, goals, and values. This is particularly significant for bigger firms and enterprises, such as multinational corporations, that may have various sites in one or more countries.
Aside from that, there will likely be a range of viewpoints on how the company should be handled and what its aims should be in the early stages of your organisation, so having everything clearly outlined in your business proposal may help prevent any misunderstandings. Taking a business course may teach you all you need to know about beginning a company. Through business classes, you may learn everything from identifying your consumer base to building an efficient marketing plan and, finally, turning your concept into a profitable company enterprise.
What is the difference between a business proposal and other sorts of proposals?
Business proposals are papers used by B2B or business-to-business enterprises (although this is not always the case) to persuade a prospective buyer to acquire the items or services that the seller is selling. You may outline what your firm does as well as what you can do for your client in a business proposal template, such as this content marketing plan. Identifying the client's pain points might assist you in developing a business proposal template that will pique their interest. Then, on your end, supply the proper cure to alleviate their issues.
What should be included in the business proposal?
The items that should be included in a business proposal are listed below.
- The following questions are often addressed in a business proposal:
- It's crucial to think about who you are and what your company does.
- The problem that your buyer is having
- The solution that your company offers to help alleviate the problem
- How does your company plan to implement this solution correctly?
- The projected resources required to put the solution into action (including time, money, and other resources).
You can see how each of the criteria stated above is addressed in this sample business proposal.
Three types of business proposal
What are the three types of business proposals you could come across?
1. The request was written down.
An officially solicited business proposal is one that is prepared in response to an official request for a business proposal. In this situation, you are familiar with all of the requirements and have a lot (if not all) of information about a potential buyer. Before you can begin the sales process, you must first create a business proposal for the client to evaluate and analyse.
2. The request was made on the spur of the moment.
When there isn't an official call for bids, written business proposals that have been sought informally are presented. A prospective buyer who is interested in your services asks a proposal from you so that they may evaluate your options.
A suggestion that has been sought informally demands a large amount of further research on your part. These kind of ideas are often formed as a consequence of informal conversations.... They aren't based on official requests, which often include more detailed information about the problem.
3. Uninvited and unexpected
In the classic sense, this is a marketing brochure or a cold email. Unsolicited bidders often employ a generic, one-size-fits-all approach to business offers when making bids. Unsolicited offers show a lack of understanding of the buyer's requirements.
You may create a customised service that is suited to the unique needs of your customer by doing more market research, customising it, and identifying consumer pain points. As seen in the following business proposal example, this might be a very persuasive strategy:
What is the most effective method of drafting a business proposal?
To start creating your business proposal template, you must first figure out what it will be used for. The following parts should be included in the top-level components of a solid business proposal:
- The table of contents is shown in Figure
- a brief summary of the content
- The following is a description of the problem:
- The solution that has been proposed is as follows:
- Pricing, billing, and legal issues to consider
- The following are the terms and conditions.
- The proposition was accepted.
Further down on this page, you'll discover business proposal examples that show how to combine each of these 10 components. It might be as basic as an engaging title that makes the difference between someone reading your proposal and dismissing it in favour of a competitor's bid.
What makes a good title page, and how do you make one?
The following are the most important factors to consider:
- Your first and surname names, as well as the name of your company, should all be included.
- The first and last names of the potential (or their business)
- The deadline for you to submit your proposal.
2- The table of contents
A table of contents is an essential component of every effective business proposal template. As a consequence, your proposal is easily scannable and understandable.
The people you'll be pitching to are almost always C-level executives. Because these are busy people, they won't be able to read your proposal in its entirety in one sitting. As a consequence, in the bulk of the business proposal examples on this page, the table of contents is provided. You make it easy for users to read your paper at their leisure by including a table of contents. It also helps them to skim over areas of the proposal that they believe are more important.
3- a brief summary of the content
An executive summary is a required component of any kind of annual report, project plan, and even marketing strategy. Your executive summary is a one-paragraph summary of your whole paper's contents. To put it another way, make a business proposal outline that is easy to read and emphasises your value proposition while being brief.
The following are the executive summary's objectives:
- Introduce yourself and your company to the potential buyer.
- Provide a summary of your organization's goals.
- Showcase your company's achievements, overall vision, and long-term objectives.
- Include any other information that you think is relevant.
Consider how precise this example of a business proposal is in its presentation. From the outset, your executive summary should be succinct and to-the-point. This creates the right tone for the rest of your presentation. It also gives your buyer a compelling reason to keep reading your proposal. Consider drafting an executive summary so that your prospective client understands what your company does and how you can help them even if they don't read the whole proposal (which they will most likely do if you write a good executive summary).
4- description of the problem:
A business proposal's objective is to propose a solution to a buyer's problem. Your goal is to produce the problem statement in the shortest possible time. As a consequence, your prospect will experience a sense of urgency. They'll be eager to figure out a solution to the problem. And you've devised a solution.
A well-written problem statement achieves two objectives:
- It communicates to the prospect that you have done your homework rather than presenting a boilerplate pitch.
- It allows you to attract attention to a problem that your prospect may not have been aware of in the first place.
The solution that has been proposed is as follows:
This is top-notch material. You illustrate how you might alleviate your prospective customer's pain points in the proposed remedy section. This may be included in the problem statement area, but if you have a comprehensive response or want to go into more detail, it's ideal to include it in its own section. Don't be stingy with the details when it comes to the answer you'll provide. When creating a business proposal, explain how you plan to give the customer with an answer. Include a timeline for when they should expect your response, as well as any other relevant information.
At this point, the prospect to whom you're pitching your solution seems to be liking what they're reading. They may, however, have doubts about your capacity to follow through on your promises. What exactly is the rationale behind this? It's because they haven't met you before. It is your job to convince them that you can help them with their problem. As a consequence, this section is crucial since it provides social proof. You have the opportunity to highlight what your company does best and how qualified your team is when you write a business proposal for a potential client.
To further demonstrate how well prepared you are for the transaction, specify the following activities you will do if your consumer chooses to interact with you.
Explain how and when you plan to finish all of your deliverables, as well as a timetable. This may be performed by creating a flow chart. Provide a timetable with deadlines as an alternative. Are you making an effort to sell a long-term project? Perhaps an infographic displaying a timeline would be more fitting.
Even something as simple as a table, as seen in this abstract business proposal template below, might achieve the intended effect.
6- Pricing, billing, and legal issues to consider
On this page, you may also set your fees, payment schedule, and payment terms, as well as the legal aspects of this transaction. Providing your consumer with a range of options is the key to attaining a reasonable pricing. In this case, a pricing comparison chart may be handy. You want to provide your consumer some flexibility when it comes to what they can do. Don't undervalue yourself or overcharge your consumer to the point where they drop you from consideration.
Breaking down your pricing into stages is another good way to ensure that your potential consumer knows what he is paying for. Consider how this basic business proposal form does this:
The following are the terms and conditions:
Put all you've pledged to do thus far into a single paragraph. Include your expectations about what you expect in return from your prospective customer. You should provide the whole project timeline, from start to finish, as well as financing choices and a payment plan. As a consequence, you'll both be clear on what you've agreed on. This step is crucial since it enumerates all of the transaction's legal aspects in one location. As a consequence, in order to minimise misunderstanding, the terms and conditions section of your proposal should be as detailed as possible.
7- The proposition accepted.
This is the last stage of the operation. Your consumer has read your business proposal and shown an interest in acquiring your services. To guarantee that all of the essential signatures are acquired, include a short section at the end of your proposal. As a consequence, both you and your client will be able to sign the proposal, thereby establishing your partnership. In your business proposal template, as well as the template, be sure to include your contact information. It acts as a kind reminder to your consumer to contact you if they have any questions or concerns.
Design principles and examples of business proposals
You should now be able to put together a business proposal. To get you started on your journey to success, here are some example business proposal templates and samples. I've included some design tips to consider while crafting your next business proposal, including the following:
1. Determine who your target audience is.
Half the battle is already won if you know who your target client is and what their pain issues are, as well as their budget and deadlines, among other things. You must first identify which customers to contact when beginning a company that helps clients with everything from holding giveaways to increasing their blogs. This is a guaranteed way to complete the transaction. Creating a user persona map for your target customer might help you gain some perspective. It will also aid you in correctly portraying your firm proposition as a bonus. If you do this, your buyer will be more likely to put your company proposal in the "Yes!" bucket.
2. Make your business's logo the centre of attention.
Make sure that any brand guidelines that your company maintains are included in your business proposal templates. Keep in mind how the following business proposal examples highlight the value of brand identification:
The discipline of design is well-versed in design businesses. They did an excellent job of keeping their brand colours consistent despite opting for a dark design. Because of the proposal's unique colour palette, the company's white symbol is clearly shown throughout the proposal.
3. Try using less words and more pictures.
As you read a proposal, you could have thought, "Wow, this is simply text with no pictures; I really like it!" I'm not one of them, don't get me wrong. The free business proposal template available here is a great example of the "less is more" idea in action. It does an excellent job at communicating what has to be said. You may make a professional-looking business proposal that is much simpler to scan by replacing some of the text with symbols and visuals.
4. Vary the appearance of your business proposal designs.
Going above and beyond your responsibilities can be beneficial at times. To make your corporate proposal template stand out, add a touch of colour. This might help you improve the attractiveness of your business proposal. It also enhances your clients' retention of information.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Business Proposals
What is the purpose of a business proposal, and how should one be written?
In its most basic form, business proposals are meant to speed up the B2B sales process (which is usually convoluted) between you as a supplier and a customer.It does this as a source of knowledge by fulfilling two tasks at once. In addition, the proposal functions as a sales presentation, with the purpose of convincing your customer to buy what you have to offer.
What are the ideal design practises for a company proposal?
Make sure you've double-checked your spelling. The goal of your business proposal is to convince your potential client that you are the ideal person for the job. A proposal with typos or grammatical errors sends the exact opposite message. Make care to double-check your spelling and punctuation before delivering your proposal.
Allow your company's logo to stand out. Recognizing your potential customer and focusing on their pain points are critical components of writing a business proposal, as previously stated. This does not mean, however, that your business proposal template should be boring. Determine your distinctness in comparison to other firms. This may be accomplished via your brand standards, new graphics, modifying the design of your proposal, or displaying your uniqueness in your writing samples.
Your business proposal may be downloaded in PDF format. This allows you to include more supporting documents with your business pitch. These might incorporate items like a corporate explainer video or case studies showcasing prior clients' work. Who doesn't like the idea of being able to save paper?
What should your business proposal's length be?
The breadth of the work and the intricacy of the project influence the project's duration. The following is a one-page business proposal template.
Is it feasible to keep your business proposal template to one page?
Yes, as long as you have a firm grasp on who your consumer is and what their issues are. You should also be able to give your potential consumer all they need to know about your firm in a concise and straightforward manner.
Alternatively, if you're feeling very brave, how about two pages? Customers often appreciate it when you go directly to the point and leave out all the needless information and fluff.
Finally, according to the experts, creating exceptional business proposals that sell is all about getting to know your customer, discovering their potential pain spots, and presenting yourself as someone who can alleviate those pain points.
So, now that you know how to create appealing business proposals, what are you waiting for? Get started right now!
Take quick action and start creating your own business proposals to increase sales and extend your company's reach.