A step-by-step guide to crafting business proposals in 2024

A business proposal is a key document that outlines a company's solution to a specific business problem, serving as a vital tool for attracting clients and securing deals. In this guide, we'll explain what a business proposal is and how to create one effortlessly.

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- 5 min read

A business proposal is a key document that outlines a company’s solution to a specific business problem, serving as a vital tool for attracting clients and securing deals. In this guide, we’ll explain what a business proposal is and how to create one effortlessly.

In the dynamic landscape of business, the ability to attract clients and secure deals is a crucial aspect of success.

A well-crafted business proposal serves as a key document in this process, outlining a company’s solution to a specific business problem.

In this guide, we’ll delve into the essence of business proposals and provide a step-by-step approach to effortlessly create compelling and effective proposals in 2023.


Understanding the business proposal


What is a business proposal?

A business proposal is a document presenting your company’s capabilities and proposals to a potential client. It outlines your understanding of the client’s needs and how your company can address those needs.

When writing a proposal, there are a few key questions which should be answered:

  • Who are you? What does your company do?
  • What problems are your buyers facing?
  • What solution does your company offer?
  • How will your company implement the solution? And what benefits will it provide?
  • How much money, time and resources do you estimate will be required?


Types of business proposals

Before commencing the drafting of your proposals, it is crucial to grasp the most suitable type of proposal for the given situation. Business proposals generally fit into one of these three classifications:


Unsolicited business proposal

An unsolicited business proposal is written without a specific request from a potential client. This type of proposal is often used to market a new product or service or to introduce a company to a new market. Unsolicited business proposals are generally more challenging to write than solicited proposals because they must be able to convince the potential client that there is a need for the solution that is being proposed.


Informally solicited business proposal

An informally solicited business proposal arises from spontaneous, casual conversations with a potential client. Unlike formal requests, this proposal is initiated through informal dialogue, leaving the vendor with limited information. Consequently, it necessitates extensive research on your part to develop a comprehensive and well-informed proposal. In these situations, prospective buyers typically do not request competing proposals, emphasizing the importance of presenting a compelling and thorough initial proposal.


Formally solicited business proposal

This type of proposal is a response to a formal Request for Proposal (RFP). The RFP outlines specific criteria and expectations from the client. A formally solicited business proposal must be detailed, addressing all the specified requirements. The goal is to present a tailored solution that demonstrates a thorough understanding of the client’s needs and a commitment to delivering value.


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How to write a business proposal, step by step

Before embarking on the creation of your business proposal, it’s crucial to acquire a comprehensive understanding of the prospective client’s company. If they have provided you with a formal request, meticulously review it to grasp their specific requirements.

Consider initiating a call or meeting with the potential client to ensure a thorough understanding of their objectives.

Once your research is complete, embark on the business proposal writing process. While there’s no one-size-fits-all method for creating a business proposal, most proposals are created by following these steps:


1. Create your title page

Start by providing some basic information about you and the company with a professional title page. Ensure that the title page is well designed, with correct spelling and information, aiding your company brand and the perception of your company.

Here are some tips for what you might include in your title page:

  • Your name.
  • Your company’s name.
  • Your website adress.
  • The date you submitted the proposal.
  • The name of the client and the project you are making a proposal for.


2. Build your executive summary

The executive summary serves as a roadmap for your proposal, highlighting the key points and benefits of your solution.

Keep it concise, no more than two pages, and ensure it articulates the problem you’re addressing, the proposed solution, and the value it brings to the client.


3. Unveil your winning solution

A thorough understanding of the client’s problem is crucial. Clearly define the challenge they’re facing, the impact it has, and the specific goals they seek to achieve. This demonstrates your understanding of their context and sets the stage for your solution.

4. List the proposed solution, timeline, and pricing

Present your tailored solution, outlining the methodology, strategies, and tools you’ll employ to address the client’s problem. Use visuals like diagrams, flowcharts, or infographics to enhance understanding and engagement.

5. Establish a clear timeline and pricing

Provide a detailed project timeline, breaking down the phases, milestones, and deadlines. Ensure it aligns with the client’s expectations and demonstrates your ability to manage the project effectively. Clearly outline the pricing structure, outlining the project costs, expenses, and any additional charges.


INCLUDE A TIMELINE: Create visuals explaining the intended process to keep the reader engaged.

6. Showcase your expertise and past successes

Build trust and credibility by highlighting your company’s qualifications and experience in addressing similar problems.

Share case studies, testimonials from satisfied clients, and relevant certifications or awards. This bolsters your reputation and demonstrates your ability to deliver results.

7. Summarise with a conclusion

Wrap up your proposal by providing a brief overview of the proposed solution along with its associated expenses. To encourage further discussion, express your readiness to discuss the next steps and provide your contact information.


Business proposal example

Below is an example of a business proposal outline:

  • Executive summary: This is a brief overview of the proposal, highlighting the key points and benefits of your solution.
  • Problem statement: This section clearly defines the client’s problem or challenge.
  • Proposed solution: This section explains how your company’s solution will address the client’s problem.
  • Timeline and milestones: This section outlines the project timeline and key milestones.
  • Pricing and costs: This section details the pricing structure and any associated costs.
  • Qualifications and experience: This section highlights your company’s experience and expertise in solving similar problems.
  • Contact Information: Provide contact details for the person or team submitting the proposal.