A solid business proposal will put your brand’s best foot forward when looking to win new clients or cease growth opportunities. The quality of your proposed solutions and how you present them in writing determine whether your offer wins or not. In a nutshell, it is a formal document highlighting:
- the specifics of your new idea
- how it will benefit your target audience/client
- why your remedy is the best in the market
“Whether you’re selling products, services, ideas, or projects, you need a proposal to persuade clients that what you’re selling is the best solution to their business problems… A proposal is a selling tool.” -Tom Sant.
Therefore, don’t be that whining entrepreneur who says, “I have the best idea, but I’m not good at writing official documents,” or “this thing sounds too complicated.”
This post has been updated in September 2021.
What is a Business Proposal?
It is a well-drafted offer for the services or products tailored for a specific audience or client. This document should specify why your offer is the best for that particular client/audience.
It would help if you didn’t confuse it with a business plan (which highlights your company’s general future). Confuse the two, and you’ll end up with a poorly written proposal.
Remember, most opportunities come unanticipated, yet they require you a convincing proposition.
Instead of struggling with random ideas when it’s time to sell an offer, be a savvy entrepreneur: draft a proposal and use it to lure new opportunities.
Business Proposal: The 2 Types
Sometimes, you’ll identify an opportunity and approach clients with a proposition. Other times, a customer can ask you to draft one.
Depending on your situation, a proposal can either be:
So you’ve pondered over a new idea that you feel could benefit your stakeholders?
Well, you can propose a deal to would-be customers or partners even if they don’t ask. It could be another larger organization or just a prospective client.
If the targeted customer finds your proposition solid or valuable to them, you may win them over and do business.
‘An organization is searching for new partners to fill a specific niche and asks applicants to write a proposition.‘
If you feel, “well, this is the chance for me,” make a proposal highlighting your strength and why you’re the best fit.
Business Proposal Example: What Should it Include?
Regardless of the type of proposal you jot down, be sure to include these three primary elements:
- A problem statement that your target audience/organization relates with
- Your propositions or suggested remedies
- The cost of the proposed solutions
Though most examples you meet online are detailed and cover multiple areas, your document is incomplete without these three.
Other parts only flesh up the document to complete these most crucial sections and add additional official information. A professional business proposal should also include all the following:
- Title page
- Cover letter
- Table of contents
- Executive summary
- Problem Statement
- Proposed solution
- Service method or approach used
- About Us
- Pricing info
- Terms & Conditions
Other more sophisticated examples even add testimonials, and sometimes, a communication tool, e.g., a live chat feature if the customer has a query. Keeping these in mind, you can benefit from using proposal management software to create and manage your proposals.
With all these to include, you may have to dedicate time to compiling a complete proposition.
But why add to your daily hassles when you can outsource. Hire expert business writers from platforms like Bunny Studio to help prepare their proposals.
Business Proposal Mistakes to Avoid
If you’ve tried proposing offers, you must know how difficult it is to convince clients or would-be partners.
More often than not, it is the simple mistakes that come to haunt us later. Thus, it is best to weed out anything that can derail your ambitions.
In this section, learn about the “deal killers” and set the record straight right from scratch for those getting started.
Let’s dive in.
1. Wordy proposals
Gone are the days when pages of texts won you a deal. Use better sensational content like tables, graphs, videos, infographics, and podcasts to create an engaging proposition.
If you choose videos, be as brief as possible, adding only info that your prospective clients will find relevant. You can also add captions to these videos or use illustrations to reinforce your message.
If you choose to use a written document, reduce the text to a minimum while using reader-friendly language. Use large formal fonts and a uniform color theme throughout the document
Be advised: Your business proposal must sound formal without looking overly complicated.
2. Not including proof of social media presence
Today, your web presence matters more than you imagine. According to a Gartner poll, almost 70 percent of buying decisions happen before a shopper meets or chats with a seller.
That being said, it’s almost mandatory to include links to your brand’s social media pages. Proof of a strong internet and social media presence will position you as a modern professional business.
3. A shoddy “pricing info” page
You may think that suggesting the best solution is the only thing that matters to your clients. Well, the pricing section is crucial, pretty much like any other page. Or maybe even more.
When it comes to money matters, most clients understandably want the specifics. If you aren’t sure, categorize your options into three plans: basic, standard, premium, etc. This classification will simplify the decision-making process for customers.
Because this page requires attention to detail, use visual aids like infographics and illustrations to sum up, everything.
4. A proposal without contact info
It’s criminal not to add contact information to your document in an era where competitor proposals have a live chat feature. This tool allows a customer can use to ask any questions in real-time while reading through the proposition.
Nevertheless, you should include the details of how to contact you. You can put an address for those who prefer a face-to-face meeting.
5. Not adding testimonials
Saying how good or unique your brand is throughout the document is understandable.
Still, no one can convince new prospects better than your happy customers who’ve left testimonies after a satisfying experience.
According to BigCommerce, 72 percent of clients say good testimonials and positive reviews usually boost their confidence in a brand.
Testimonials are not to be flaunted on websites only. Business propositions offer you a chance to introduce wanna-be clients or partners to your happy (and loyal) audience.
If you choose this approach, share only real testimonials from real people. Dirty tricks may bounce back on you.
Why You Must Contact Your Target Before Writing a Business Proposal
Connecting with your target group is essential in preparing for a winning proposition. Don’t embark on writing a business offer before understanding its niceties.
Plan a call/visit with the target group to understand the following;
1. Your target’s concerns and needs
Your proposal is bound to fail if it doesn’t solve a customer’s problem. Whether requested or unsolicited, it’s crucial to learn what your prospects need in detail.
Calling them upfront helps you develop a checklist of the things to address in your proposal and how much that would cost.
2. Who decides the winning proposal?
It’s essential to understand the decision-makers (or the decision-making process) before developing a business proposition.
With such info in mind, you can tell the level of detail to include in your document that’ll help win them over.
Understanding the decision-makers also helps you choose the correct jargon and content to include throughout the business proposal.
3. What resources are in place?
A business proposal that underutilizes or goes beyond a customer’s resources is irrelevant. It threatens to undermine the whole point of writing one in the first place.
The information you use must be as specific as possible. That’s the only way to prove to your prospects that you understand their needs.
4. Have they come across your services or brand?
When targeting a company or audience that has never heard of your brand before, it’s not the same as dealing with a previous client who knows your service.
You must start from scratch and add a little oomph to your proposition.
Remember to mention past projects. This way, you stand out from others and win over the target.
5. What is their culture?
Suggesting solutions that go against a target’s interests or culture is a recipe for disaster. It comes off as rude, proving you know nothing about your customer.
Before drafting an offer, please familiarize yourself with their beliefs to create a relevant and helpful proposal.
Research more about a group to understand its goals, culture, vision, and mission. If it is a company, find out about its founders and dig a little deeper for any valuable insights.
Tip: To increase the likelihood of success, prepare, draft and edit with the target in mind. In short, learning more about the customer and decision-maker saves you time in the advanced stages of creating a proposal.
Hiring an Expert Write for Your Business Proposal
Once you’ve called your target and collected all the relevant information, it’s time to begin writing down a proposal.
Because this process is time-consuming, it’s better to hire a professional writer who’s handled similar projects.
If you choose to outsource your business proposal to a freelance writer, be sure to give as much detail as there is.
When working with a freelancer, remember to do the following to ensure you get a customized proposition.
- Introduce the freelancer to your audience
- Share with them everything you’ve learned about your target
- Agree on the type of content to include
- Specify the tone and jargon
- Mention all the sections to include
With all the crucial info at hand, you can now start searching for a qualified writer on freelance platforms like Bunny Studios.
The Bottom Line
Are you ready to create a business proposition?
Master the art of creating proposals and tap into the numerous business opportunities awaiting your brand.
Remember to contact your customer and collect as much detail as possible.