Business Proposal Template - Free Download

Use our free business proposal template in Microsoft Word format to create your own proposal.

Download Now

How to Write a Business Proposal

$0.00 USD
1 Hour
How to Write a Business Proposal

A step-by-step guide to writing a business proposal.

1. 

Research.

1.1 

Gather all relevant information.

Gather all relevant information.

Gather all of the relevant information that you will need to show the prospective client you fully understand their business, its unique challenges and opportunities, and the context in which it operates.

Include details like cost of entry, equipment needed, additional labor costs, legal requirements, etc.

Find out all you can about the business. Try to identify how you can help. Find out how they make money, who their target market is, what industry they're in, and how they've grown over the years.

Read the company's financial reports and press releases. Visit their website and LinkedIn company page. Visit Crunchbase for the industry landscape, and Glassdoor Economic Research for insider information.

Learn all you can about the company's leadership and their approaches to business and innovation. You want to try and understand their thinking.

Visit the company's "About" page. Visit the social media pages of the leaders. Look for any thought-leadership content available such as books and articles written by the company's leaders. Search for video interviews on YouTube.

Read the latest news about the company as well as their competitors for an external perspective. Use a search engine, but don't just settle for the first few results. Dig a bit deeper.

Spend some time on customer forums and product review sites for a good look at how others experience the company's products and services.

2. 

Estimate costs.

2.1 

Break down the potential costs.

Break down the potential costs.

List and describe in a table all the costs that will be incurred while working on the project.

Mark up the total by a certain percentage so that you give yourself some margin for profit.

2.2 

Discuss payment.

Discuss payment.

Include a section on how the client can pay you and inform them of your payment schedules.

3. 

Outline and draft your proposal.

3.1 

Create an outline.

Create an outline.

Your business proposal should include these sections, in order:

  • Title page.
  • Table of contents.
  • Executive summary.
  • Problem.
  • Proposal solution.
3.2 

Write.

Write.

Follow the outline you've made and use all the research you've gathered to write your first draft.

The first draft does not need to be perfect. Your second draft is for ironing out the kinks.

4. 

Finish your proposal.

4.1 

Review your proposal.

Review your proposal.

Take some time to review your proposal to ensure accuracy and add in any further information that may make it stronger.

4.2 

Write your executive summary.

Write your executive summary.

Once you've reviewed your entire proposal, and with all the information still fresh in your mind, go ahead and write the executive summary.

An executive summary should be as concise as possible so try to keep it short, relevant, and compelling.

5. 

Share.

5.1 

Find out what format the client prefers.

Find out what format the client prefers.

Some businesses prefer a hard copy of a proposal, while others will accept a digital version via email. Check with the business to find out what their preferred format is before you submit your proposal.

How to Start a Social Media Marketing Agency

Complete guide on how to start a social media marketing agency with helpful tips. Includes pros and cons, business plan template, startup costs, and FAQs.

How to Trademark a Name

Find out what you need to do to trademark your new business name.

FAQs:

What should be included in a business proposal?

  • Title page.
  • Table of contents.
  • Executive summary.
  • Problem.
  • Proposed solution.

How do you write a good proposal?

A good business proposal clearly identifies a problem that currently exists, followed by a carefully planned solution to the problem. When describing the solution, it is always best to explain why you are qualified to deal with the problem.

How do you write a short business proposal?

A short business proposal should still include an executive summary, a statement of the problem, and a proposed solution. However, these sections can be condensed as you don't have to go into exhaustive detail. If you are asked to present your proposal in person, a short business proposal can be a good supporting document to bring.

What are the types of business proposals?

  • Request for proposal (RFP).
  • Request for information (RFI).
  • Request for quotation (RFQ).
  • Unsolicited proposals.

How do I write a business proposal for an investor?

If you are working on a plan to present to an investor, you need to put together a business plan, not a business proposal.

How are a business proposal and a business plan different?

A business proposal is a document that one business submits to another when they would like to sell them goods or services. The proposal usually pertains to a project that the company may end up being hired to carry out. A business plan is a formal plan for the formation and development of a business.

Related Articles

How to Register a Business Name

How to Register a Business Name

Learn how to register a business name with our step-by-step guide.
How to Change Your Business Name

How to Change Your Business Name

Learn how you can change the name of your business.

Get Started Today!

Generate 100's of unique and creative business names.