A business proposal is a digital or printed document outlining essential information about a specific product to persuade a customer or a business to buy it. It encompasses project data, costs, completion dates, product features, and timelines. A business proposal helps you structurize your business, make projections, and identify the strengths and weaknesses of your product.
In this article, We'll discuss the importance and types of a business proposal. We'll also guide you on creating it for your company, unveil 5 inspiring ideas, and review excellent examples.
Why is a business proposal important?
A business proposal serves as a plan of action for businesses and solutions for customers. Since a plan is vital for building a successful project or expanding an existing one, a business proposal plays an essential role in the activities of every entrepreneur. By covering the details of a product, associated costs, and outcomes, companies' managers can predict the scenario and avoid unpleasant consequences. A business proposal is a roadmap for every brand's department.
A business proposal is a complex document every business should create. It covers a mission and purpose statements to clarify what a company strives to achieve. The document outlines the steps needed to do to attain specific goals.
With a business proposal, you can ensure funding for your business and partners with essential information on a future project. After creating a business proposal, companies provide them to customers. A business proposal gives a complete understanding of a product's benefits, features, and outcomes. This document serves as a detailed outline of a solution a company provides. Business proposals help show the best side of the product and sell it.
Now that you know the importance, let's explore the types of business proposals.
Types of Business Proposals
In this section, we'll uncover the two main types of business proposals. We'll review each of them in detail so you understand which type you need for your business.
Business proposals can be divided into two main groups: solicited and unsolicited.
A solicited business proposal is designed upon the client's request. There are formal and informal solicited business proposals.
Formal proposals are created to meet customers' specific requirements and needs. Managers present them in written form and send them to consumers on request. These documents can cover short information about the offer. After exploring the proposal, customers can determine whether they can meet their needs and solve problems after buying a product covered in the document.
Informal proposals result from conversations between a company representative and a client. This type of document doesn't have to meet specific customer requirements. Informally solicited proposals are used during quick meetings aimed at closing the deal. Usually, informal proposals contain around 25 pages. However, some can have only 5 pages and cover a conversation or meeting.
Unsolicited business proposals look like marketing brochures and have general character. They are created for all clients without meeting the needs and desires of specific customers. The main aim of these proposals is to boost sales. They don't demonstrate any connection between customers and sellers.
Now that you know the types, let's jump into the step-by-step guide on creating a business proposal. It will help you write one for your company.
How to write a business proposal?
Knowing how to develop the document is essential for every business, and that's why we'll provide you with a detailed guide on how to do it right. Let's start with the title page.
1. Design a title page
The appearance and clarity of your title page are essential to give the right impression and establish trust. It should cover the most critical information about your business, such as the name of the creator, the brand's name, and the date of the proposal. You need to add the name of a client as well. Make sure that your title page is visually appealing and informative.
Here's an example of how to do it.
2. Add a table of contents
When designing a digital business proposal, you need to think about the user experience first. You should create the most convenient design to increase customer satisfaction with the technical side of your proposal. If you want your clients to navigate your business proposal freely, add a table of contents. The links in it will take your potential customers to the page they need now. This way, they won't have to scroll all 25 or even 40 pages. They can click the link, which will take them to the necessary section.
3. Write an executive summary
An executive summary reveals why your product will be the best solution for this client. You need to do your best to persuade and prove that your product or service will be the best for the customer's issues. Your task is to be specific and avoid general statements. Come up with a perfect solution for this particular situation. To achieve the best results and close the deal, you need to explore the customer's situation and problem, review needs and desires and identify end goals. After researching this information, you can proceed with your executive summary.
4. Uncover the problem your product can solve
At this step, you need to write a summary outlining the problem influencing the prospect. In this section, you can demonstrate your complete understanding of the lead's problem and needs and eagerness to solve it. Identify customer issues and figure out which of them your product can solve. You need to show you know the problems and are ready to help solve them with your product.
5. Provide a solution
It is when you need to present your offer and outline a strategy to solve the prospect's issues. Make sure your offer is personalized and crafted based on the customer's requirements. Show that this proposal is designed to meet the client's requirements and needs and solve the customer's specific problems.
6. Share your expertise
After stating the problem and solution, show your expertise and qualifications. Customers should know that you are a company that can be trusted. List all your qualifications, add case studies, and share customer testimonials. It will help you increase trust in your business. If you have awards and accreditations within the given industry, tell about them to establish authority.
7. Cover pricing
The next slide should cover the pricing of your product or service. Provide your potential client with fair pricing so that this customer can consider your product. If you have several pricing options, list them all so customers can know them. For instance, if you provide a chatbot builder, include pricing for different platforms, number of messages, period of usage, etc. Leverage responsive pricing tables to convey information about the products customers are interested in.
8. Introduce your terms and conditions
Provide the information about your project timeframes, pricing, and payment options. Your client should know all the details to agree to your company's terms and conditions. Consult with your legal team to ensure the proposal has all essential points covered. Once you finish with the legal side of your proposal, you can send it to your prospect.
9. Leave some space for signature
The last page should include a signature box. The customer will sign the document if this person agrees with your offer, terms, and conditions. Explain what they agree to when they sign your proposal. Before signing the document, customers can contact you to receive answers to urgent questions.
Now that you know the steps, it's time to walk you through inspiring business proposal ideas.
5 Inspiring Business Proposal Ideas
In this section, we'll review some inspiring tips for writing a quality business proposal. This information will be helpful when developing the roadmap of your offer for customers.
- Include social proof. Including social proof in your proposal is essential for building credibility. Different forms of social proof, such as customer success stories, testimonials, customer feedback, and positive reviews, help you gain trust and show your expertise. If you manage to gain positive feedback from clients, it means that you can help solve this prospect's problems.
- Make it visually appealing. Since a business proposal is usually a lengthy document with lots of information, it's worth adding data and visuals. They will help catch the customer's eye and communicate crucial facts about your offer. By adding charts and graphs, you can provide complex, quantitative data.
- Add a call to action. Your proposal should be straightforward and tell what to do later. After reading it, the client needs to understand where to move next. A clear CTA is a next step toward your solution. Make sure you have it covered in your business proposal.
- Encourage fear of missing out. Creating a sense of urgency can motivate the customer to decide faster and purchase your product. Your business proposal should encourage potential clients to grab the offer as soon as possible. You need to narrate the strongest sides of your product and the specific problems of your customer. This person will think this is the best option for solving urgent issues.
- Make it simple to read and understand. You don't need to rush when developing a proposal. Use easy-to-understand language and short, simple sentences. You don't need to include too many specific business terms because some clients will need to Google the words from your proposal. It's not a good thing. Be straightforward and transparent with your offer to let the customer know your company's and product's peculiarities.
Now that you know and can implement some great ideas in your company, we'll jump into the examples. We'll jump into some inspiring examples.
Examples of Business Proposals
Different proposals can take various forms. We'll discover some of them below.
The length of your business proposal can vary. It can include 25 or 5 pages. Everything depends on your company, offer, and customer.
The "Healthy Food Proposal" template example shows that the document can be concise. The proposal template below covers the description, concept, and expenses on one page. The client can explore the company's goals and philosophy from the document and learn about the expenses.
Below is page 4 of a business proposal covering the project timeframe and budget. It can be helpful for development companies specializing in residential construction and requiring a long time to finish and significant investments.
Congrats, now you know how to create a business proposal for your business. Use the examples and ideas above for inspiration.
Last Updated: 13.04.2023