The great rules to follow to create an effective business proposal in 2021 [Updated]

“Build a Strong Bridge to Your Business”

 

A business proposal is a written document sent to a potential client to acquire a specific job. A business proposal acts as a bridge between you and the prospective client.

 

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It shapes your value proposal, and its primary drive is to influence a company or organization to accept business with you.

 

A strong business proposal takes you at the top of opportunities and makes your business winning. At the same time, writing a business proposal should follow lots of aspects.

 

Since you are seeking business approval from your potential clients, your proposal format should be perfect. It should consist of thoughtful planning and developments.

The common factor of a business proposal:

 

The basic step to be followed for every writing is structure. A business proposal is also like constructive work, and it varies based on your customer preferences, company, and organization.

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Below are the common factors to be followed for every business writing

 

♦ Information about the company:

 

These are the information you should provide your customer.

 

  1. Who are you?
  2. What are your qualifications?
  3. Why your potential clients should choose you among your competitors?

♦ Demonstrated knowledge of the problem:

 

Demonstrate that you have listened and done the research. You should show that you know clearly what the clients are expecting.

 

♦ Pricing and methodology:

 

How are you solving the client’s problem, and how much it costs?

 

A business proposal consists of 2 types:

 

♦ Solicited Proposal:

 

It is the proposal sent to customers who request for the proposals (RFP). Ex: When a customer feels something to pick for a store or order from a vendor, they often write a description of it and issues it as an RFP.

 

♦ Unsolicited Proposal:

 

A proposal that you send a customer, even though they haven’t asked for, the purpose is they should buy from you or take some action. It’s generally convincing since that customer has not anticipated for your proposal.

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Quick tips that everyone should remember while producing a business proposal

 

♦ Go visual: help your clients in headcounts of the associates, photos, and infographics in the about us section for quickly grabbing the information.

 

♦ Include measurable data: Always figure catches eyes than the words. So try to place the numbers in the proposal to build more trust.

 

Ex: “We’ve helped more than 700 companies increase their sales by 35 percent

to date.”

 

♦ Embrace the digital age: Nobody likes reading more pieces of stuff, so try to add videos and infographics that explain better what your proposal is all about.

 

♦ Read and re-read: Your proposal letter acts as a representative of your company, so make sure you read your content thoroughly to eliminate all the possible grammatical errors, typos, and spelling mistakes.

 

♦ Remember your brand: Once again, your proposal is a reflection of your business. Always keep in mind your reader as well as the brand voice so that your client should have a good impression on your business and trust you.

 

Difference between business plan and business proposal:

 

People often get confused between a business plan and a business proposal. At the same time, both vary in their purpose and audience.

 

A written document about a new business, how the business will go to achieve its goal. This also explains the company’s strategy and demonstrates how you intend to grow.

 

The intended audience for the business plan could be an investor. As we have already discussed, a business proposal is a document designed to sell your service to other clients.

 

On the other hand, a business proposal is selling your business to others, and a business plan is to selling your business to an investor.

Here are the easy steps or proposal format to write an attractive business proposal:

 

  1. Title or cover page

  2. Cover letter

  3. Table of contents

  4. Executive summary

  5. Proposed solution

  6. Methodology

  7. Company information

  8. Pricing

  9. Terms and condition

  10. Call-to-action

Before starting with your business proposal letter, it’s important to understand the steps to be followed to complete a proposal to convince your potential clients. And above is the mandatory elements that should be added in a business proposal. Come, let’s discuss them in detail.

 

1. Title or Cover Page

 

The title of a business proposal lifts your business and acts as an ambassador for your business. So this should be written neatly and in an organized way. Usually, a title page includes basic information or an introduction to your company.

 

This is nothing but a self-introduction, like your company name, contact information. Make sure to include your name, title, and date of submission of your proposal.

 

The cover page is nothing but an overview of all the key information of your business. While writing a proposal, don’t name it as “Proposal” as a header, it looks like you are naming a book as a “Book.”

 

A title page is how you accustom your clients to value your business opportunity. So your proposal should be strong enough to stand out while highlighting your details and strength in communication.

 

Tips for creating a cover or title page:

 

♦ Company name:

 

It’s the first and foremost important task to add your company name in a business proposal letter. At the same time, it should be placed in a prominent font than all the other text in a business proposal.

 

♦ Company logo and color scheme:

 

Every business proposal should look unique when it comes to design. Place your brand logo and, as much as possible, use color schemes related to your business logo only.

 

At the same time, use logo font when you send the business proposal to your potential clients, he should feel as if he has logged into your business webpage.

 

2. Table of Contents

The table of contents includes in a brief what are the key points you will be covering in your business proposal. Unless your proposal is short and crispy with outline form, it’s difficult for your clients to read out a complete story without gist of it.

 

If you send your business proposal through the mail, don’t forget to include clickable tables of the content, which makes it easier for your clients to navigate and read the content. In contrast, a printed table of content includes page numbers where each part starts.

 

It’s always easier to read any content with the tables that makes your potential clients not to toggle between the pages. So it’s better to format your business proposal attractively.

 

Steps to writing a table of content:

 

♦ Start on a fresh page after the title page:

 

Always table of content should follow the title page. This should have an individual fresh sheet.

 

♦ Lists the headings of the proposal in an order:

 

Place the heading, followed by the subheadings from each section. Always follow the same fonts, sizes, and colors through the table of content.

 

♦ Add page number or bullets:

 

It’s most important that add bulleted points or numbers to each heading to place them in order. Use the page numbers only starting the page, don’t add the page number where the topic ends.

 

♦ Add the title:

 

Add the heading for the table of content at the top of the table, such as “Content or Table of Content” in a bit bigger font size than the remaining content.

 

3. Executive Summary

 

An executive summary usually acts as a set of the scene. It explains the purpose of sending the proposal to your potential clients, and it also explains why your solution is best the client’s perspective.

 

The executive summary outlines the benefits of your company’s products and solutions. Anyhow every business proposal swings depending upon the tasks or duties they perform for the clients and the different industries or organizations they are in.

Whereas you have to use variables in the tone for the different industries while writing a proposal.

 

It’s not just what you say matters. It also depends on how you explain things in a better way for easier understanding.  Your tone represents your business, so you should you an impactful tone for your prospective clients.

 

Ex: If you are writing for a startup that runs by a young man, you can use a casual tone, wherein for an experienced potential client, the tone should always be professional.

 

As a whole, an executive summary will not provide an overview of the project instead explains why your solution is essential for your prospective clients. A good summary will always focus on clients’ benefits and persuasive. So, this should produce in detail, clear and straightforward language.

 

4. Proposed Solution

 

The proposed solution is a crucial section through which you will summarize the problem of your potential client. This affords you the opportunity to showcase your client to have a better understanding of their expectations for the problems which their company is facing.

 

While producing a business proposal format, be assured your proposed solution should be customized to the client’s requirements, so they recognize you have created this proposal explicitly.

 

In a proposal solution, it’s imperative to let them know which deliverables you will afford, the methods you will use, and a timeline for when they can expect the work completion.

 

5. Methodology

 

The proposal is generally an overview of customized solutions that your company is created for your potential client. A proposal anticipates your client’s questions and takes them through the complete process which you have designed for them. It makes your potential clients hire you quickly without any confusion.

 

In the methodology section, you should describe what exactly your clients can expect from you. It’s a kind of schedule for your clients through which you will give them a date and timeline for the completion of your task. This well-premeditated document visually appeals to your clients and makes this information more apprehend.

 

A methodology section should describe

 

♦ Creating engaging social content

♦ Posting company-related updates

♦ Promotions and social campaigns

♦ Integrating social media activity into other marketing plans

♦ Monitoring

♦ Analytics

 

6. Use the Right Design Elements

Although you have plenty of professionally designed customized business proposal templets, there are also few elements you should keep in mind while using them.

 

Each customized templet will have a unique proposal format that you cannot wholly adopt them in your proposal writing, so there are chances of removing and adding a few elements, which are business or brand specifics. 

 

Ex: Adding a sizeable cursive font for the heading or using all capital letters strains your clients’ eyes and looks unprofessional. Hence always use appealing design elements while formatting a business proposal.

 

The general guideline for your proposal designing:

 

♦ Use 10pt-12pt font size for the body copy

♦ Use 12pt-14pt font size for subheadings

♦ Use bold fonts only for headings and subheadings.

♦ If necessary use bold fonts for one or two lines which you want to highlight

♦ Use suitable fonts (Verdana and Helvetica)

♦ Use subtitles for each page

♦ Use short sentences and paragraphs.

♦ Suitable artwork and design elements

 

Principles of Design:

 

The principles of design are the way an artist uses the design elements of artwork in his formatting.

 

♦ Balance: A balanced distribution of the design elements gives an elegant visual appeal to your work. That includes the weight of objects, colors, texture, space fonts, and many more.

 

Always a design should be well balanced and stable. In symmetrical balance, the design elements used on both sides of the design should be similar, whereas, in asymmetrical balance, the design elements are different on both sides, but they still look balanced.

 

In radial balance, the design elements are organized around a central point. They might be some times similar or not.

 

♦ Emphasis: Emphasizing any element in a design is most important. This is where you catch the viewer’s attention. This usually includes adding contrasting colors and could be font size, texture, shapes, and many more.

.

♦ Movement: It is a focal area through which your viewer’s take through the artwork. Such movement will be engaged alongside the sentences, lines, shapes edges, and maybe color within the work of art.

 

♦ Pattern: It is a repetition of the objects used in writing, such as bulleted points, symbols. Repeated use of the same elements makes your readers look unique and gives a flow while reading the proposal. This also created unity within the work of art.

 

♦Proportion: This is the unity created throughout the proposal or any piece of art. This includes the sizes, numbers, and much more. The usage of proper proportions gives a unique charm to your proposal.

 

♦ Rhythm: The usage of rhythm in a proposal creates an organized feeling and gives an appeal to your readers as well.

 

♦ Unity: This is the sense of harmony among all parts of the writing, which leads to perfect completeness.

 

8. Pricing and Timeline

Throughout the business format, the most crucial part is pricing and timeline. Both of them should have controlled factors of any business, and also these are specific critical factors for any business.

 

If you want to win your prospective client, it’s essential that you should fix good profit margins and accurate prices for the project. Your cost must be more precise and clear for a better understanding. Also, you may have to add the package for which a complete project can be completed.

 

At the same time, fixing a timeline is a crucial factor. Hence it’s advisable to breakdown your projects into several phases that will be a good idea. This also gives your client a gap to think about the project in developing or executing it in a better manner.

 

Always give a realistic timeline for each phase of your project, and decide who is responsible for that project deliverable.

 

9. Terms and Condition

 

This is the final section of a business proposal format’s main body. You should always include your terms and conditions and start providing your information.

 

The terms and conditions section serves as an agreement for your business. This section recapitulates the overall timetable for completion, specifies the payment dates and mood of the transaction.

 

This also includes when and how the proposal can be modified and many more. It’s an agreement for which you and your potential client are promising for accepting business with you.

 

It is advisable that if your business is running an in-house legal team that runs the term and conditions, do post your proposal to them first for verification, and then you can send your proposal. And it’s also essential that you should stick to your consistent template for your clients.

 

10. Agreement and Call to Action (CTA)

 

The CTA is a significant part of a business proposal, and it is the last part of any writing.

It acts as an invitation to your business. A call to action engages your readers in the specific action and drives them towards your business.

 

Through this, your potential clients agree for your business “by signing below you agree to.” As the name explains, call to action impulses your clients to agree to take action.

 

When you start outlining the details of your proposal, re-emphasize the outstanding results your business can deliver.

 

You should end up your proposal with a call to action, which inspires the reader to connect with you or visit your website for further details about your company. Ideally, after reading your proposal, you want your prospective client to take instant deed.

To be very frank, writing a business proposal is a bit complex than any other writing, or they appear for the first glance. Writing a business proposal most of the times you are typically investigating.

 

There are chances of repeatedly using a few points; however, if you feel those are unnecessary or repetitive, remove them.

 

Ultimately, your business proposal is all about explaining about your company. It’s important to choose your company for your potential client’s business and how you will be resolving their problems.

 

Creating a customized and professional business proposal showcases your ability to work for them as well as the quality of work that your clients expect.

 

Creating a reliable and effective proposal is not a quick and easy task. But a well prepared and organized business proposal is key to your business success.

 

Are you Feeling Hard to Write a Business Proposal?

 

I hope the above content will explain to you how to prepare an effective business proposal. This blog also provides an overview of a business proposal, its benefits, and questions to be followed to write a proposal.

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How-to questions:

  1. What elements should be focused on a business proposal?

    These are the basic and important elements every proposal should follow.
     Title or cover page
     Cover letter
     Table of contents
     Executive summary
     Proposed solution
     Methodology
     Company information
     Pricing
     Terms and condition
     Call-to-action

  2. What is the intention of writing a proposal?

    A strong business proposal takes you at the top of opportunities and makes your business winning. At the same time, writing a business proposal should follow lots of aspects. Since you are seeking business approval from your potential clients, your proposal format should be perfect. It should consist of thoughtful planning and developments.

  3. How is a business proposal sample written?

    Start your proposal with the heading. Introduce yourself and tell your potential client the purpose of writing a proposal. Explain to them how your business will benefit them. Give an overview of your quality and type of business. If possible, give them the complete picture of how and how your organization will going to handle their problem.

  4. What is the importance of terms and conditions in a proposal?

    This is the final section of a business proposal format’s main body. You should always include your terms and conditions and start providing your information. The terms and conditions section serves as an agreement for your business. This section recapitulates the overall timetable for completion, specifies the payment dates and mood of the transaction.

Author

Hello dear readers... To introduce I am Thejaswini. I am a graphic designer and a passionate writer. I got inspired to start my writing when I was studying my literature during post-graduation. I started writing short poems and it leads me to land as a digital content writer. I always love a clean and elegant design, at the same time I love to give my readers what they are expecting from my writing. I am always open to your valuable feedbacks/answers on any queries related to writing.

1 Comment

  1. This course is a very good start for those willing to start a career in technical writing/communication.

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