How To Write A Business Proposal

A business proposal is very crucial in securing a new client. Writing a good proposal will help you in winning clients, while you may lose out by writing a poor one. There are a certain elements that are essential in writing a business proposal. But the components of the business proposal may vary on the basis of industry, company size, and other factors. 

Before moving toward how to write a business proposal, let’s take a look at;

What Is A Business Proposal?

A business proposal is a document that is sent to potential clients with the aim to work with them on a project. This seller outlines the products and services they are offering, and why they are best to work with.

A business proposal’s main aim is to attract potential clients with what a business is offering. A business proposal is about what your business is doing and what you can do for the clients.

It addresses the needs of potential clients and tells them how and why your business is fulfilling those needs.

It helps in;

  • Securing business agreements
  • Creating a proper plan of action for your business
  • Securing funding and investments
  • Identifying strengths and weaknesses of your business
  • Setting your business direction

What To Include In A Business Proposal?

The business proposal includes answers to the following questions;

  • Who are you and what your business does?
  • What is the problem your potential buyers are facing?
  • What solutions your business is offering to eliminate that problem?
  • How your business will apply those solutions efficiently and effectively?
  • What and how many resources are required to apply those solutions?

As a whole, a business proposal consists of a problem statement, a proposed solution, and the general pricing of that solution. Try starting your business proposal with these three P’s. Then you will be able to prepare a basic version of your business proposal.

What Are The Types Of Business Proposals?

The business proposal generally falls into these three distinct categories;

Formally Solicited

Formally solicited proposals are made when a potential client puts forward a request to submit or write a business proposal.

In this type of scenario, you have all the information of the potential clients and their business requirements. You are simply required to write a business proposal, and submit it for evaluation so you can begin the further process.

This is an easy sell. Because the potential client is ready to listen to your offer and has already decided to purchase and they are evaluating potential vendors.

Formally solicited business proposals are also written against a publically posted or published request for proposals.

Informally Solicited

Informally solicited proposals are made when a potential client hasn’t put forward a request to submit or write a business proposal. Rather you are reaching out to your potential client by yourself with the hope of attracting business.

In this, the potential client has not put forward a request for business proposals explicitly. Informally solicited proposals are generated from an informal conversation. They are not based or put forward on any formal or official request.

On this basis, you have limited data, and you are required to conduct a lot more research on requirements.


Unsolicited business proposals are more general in nature, a one-size-fits-all approach, and they are as a marketing brochure or cold email. The effect, they lack a basic understanding of the potential client, their needs, and requirements. 

This can be effective, if you conduct market research, identify customer needs, and propose customized solutions according to buyer’s needs.

They are generally used at various public venues, or trade shows, where a number of businesses are looking for potential clients.

How To Write A Business Proposal

Let’s take a step-by-step look at how to write a business proposal;

1. Title Page

A business plan should start with a title page which is like your proposal’s cover. Even a good title page can make a difference in your proposal’s acceptance and rejection. So, it must be professional as it will play an important role in setting the tone of your proposal.

The title page should convey basic yet appealing information. The title page should convey your business aesthetics, and character and should be neat and clean.

Here are some essentials to include on the title page;

  • Your name
  • Your business name
  • Contact information
  • Name of the person or business to whom you are going to submit your business proposal
  • Submission date of your business proposal

2. Table of Contents

A table of contents will help the reader in navigating through the contents of your business proposal. It will lay out what clients can expect from the remaining proposal, and it will make the proposal easy to read.

Add a table of contents after the title page before going into the details of your business proposal. Sometimes managers don’t have time to read the whole proposal, that’s why most business proposals include a table of contents.

The table of content will contain all the sections which we are going to mention below. If you are sending a PDF or electronic business proposal, make your table of contents clickable so that reader jumps to the sections they want to read.

3. Cover Letter

Sometimes a cover letter is added before the table of content as a way of setting up a business proposal. The cover letter of your business proposal will introduce your business to your reader. It should be short, less than one page, friendly, and polite.

In these paragraphs, describe your company’s background information, mission statement, how you are better than competitors, and your contact information.

4. Executive Summary

An executive summary summarizes the information in the following sections and sets the tone of your business proposal by providing an overview. It is the most important part of your business proposal.

It is a concise form of a whole business proposal and gives a reason to buyer to continue reading your business proposal. Your executive summary is your value proposition and outlines why you are better than your competitors.

The executive summary will answer the who, what, where, when, why, and how of clients’ problems. In this way, you will make your client realize that you understand them. Make them realize that your business is perfect for the project.

You can add;

  • How your business can best solve your potential client’s problem or need
  • Your business strengths,
  • Areas of expertise,
  • Similar problems you have solved in past and
  • The competitive advantage you have over your competitor.

The goals of writing an executive summary are;

  • Introduction of your company to the potential buyer
  • Lay out overview information of the company’s goals and objectives
  • Present your company’s mission, vision, milestones, and future plans
  • Include other relevant information

The executive summary should be of two to four pages, but it shouldn’t be filled with many details, rather be specific. Detailed information will be added in the other sections of your business proposal.

5. Problem Statement

The basic point to write a business proposal is to tell your potential client how you are solving their problem. So, clearly outline the problem statement. You have to tell them that you got the solution to their problem better than the competitors.

Discuss the problem that your potential client is currently facing. Their main problem might be finding an appropriate company to fulfill their need. Make sure that you understand their needs and problems.

In this section, discuss in detail the solutions you are going to provide and what you mentioned in the executive summary. Assume the problems your potential client is facing and try to answer all of them.

The problem statement requires a lot of background research. Show your client that you have done your homework. Make your potential client realize that you understand their need and problem.

A good and well-defined problem statement does two things;

  • Shows the potential client that you have done some research and homework
  • Provides you an opportunity to identify their problem which they themselves were not aware of

6. Proposed Solutions & Deliverables

This section of the business proposal will consist of the solutions you have devised for potential clients. In this section, mention how you are going to solve a potential client’s problems and fulfill their need.

You can also fit this section in the problem statement. But if you are planning to go into detail, then it is better to mention it in a separate section. In this section, you will set the expectation of your client.

Mention in-depth detail of the solutions you are going to provide. Similarly, also mention how you are planning to deliver those solutions. Mention the timetable and let clients know how quickly you are going to solve problems and fulfill their needs.

Similar to the problem statement, proposing solutions also require a lot of research. Show your client your homework for devising solutions to their problems. Discuss in detail all of the plans you are going to implement in order to solve the problem.

7. Qualifications

In the cover letter, you mentioned what your company is doing and how they solve clients’ problems. Now, you will be going into detail, about why and how your company is best qualified to solve potential clients’ problems.

Here in this section, you will tell your clients about yourself because they don’t know you. You will mention that you can solve their problem and why you are most fit for this job.

Best qualification relies on social proof. You can mention previous clients’ case studies, training, certifications, social media appraisals, or anything else to gain clients’ trust.

8. Pricing Table

It is a fact that pricing any project or service, isn’t fun or easy. But it is an important part of a business proposal. You have to consider, your own worth and value, simultaneously not scaring the client, and not being beaten out by competitors.

Your pricing strategy will be dependent on the type of service you are offering. Make sure to add all prices in a clear, concise way that is according to the service offered.

In this section, outline your fee, payment terms, and schedules. Make sure you charge an appropriate fee, not undervaluing yourself or charging too high from the client. Ensure that your clients know what they are paying for and that it is worth it.

Prepare your pricing table well before getting clients, and then prepare a pricing table. Your pricing should be in a table format so that it is easy to read.

You can also give options for payment schedules, like project-based, monthly, or annually. You can also offer discounts for long-term commitments and relationships.

9. Terms & Conditions

At the end of your business proposal, clarify the terms and conditions of your proposal. In some rules, business proposals are considered legally binding contracts and agreements. So, it is better to work with a legal expert while drafting this section.

Add all the details in this section, like promised deliverables, project timeline, payment method, and schedule. Make sure both parties are clear on what is agreed upon. It is better to outline all the terms and conditions clearly.  

If you are including a legally binding contract, ensure that you provide a space for signing the agreement. Add further details and also indicate the method of moving forward.

The Bottom Line

Learning how to write a business proposal takes a lot of time. Similarly, it will take your time to write a business proposal, but it is worth it. You can follow these simple steps so that you know what to include in it while writing a business proposal.

When you write business proposals and provide services to different clients, you will have a number of templates. After this much work, you will have enhanced writing skills. Now, you know how to pitch strategies, and which of them works and which of them doesn’t.

How To Write A Business Proposal FAQ

1. What is a business proposal format?

A business proposal is a document that is sent to potential clients with the aim to work with them on a project. This seller outlines the products and services they are offering, and why they are best to work with.

2. What is the format for proposal?

The format for business proposal;

  • Title Page
  • Table of Contents
  • Cover Letter
  • Executive Summary
  • Problem Statement
  • Proposed Solutions & Deliverables
  • Qualifications
  • Pricing Table
  • Terms & Conditions

3. What information should be included in a business proposal?

Start writing with a title page, table of content, cover letter, executive summary, problem statement, proposed solution and deliverables, qualification, pricing table, and terms and conditions.

4. How long is a business proposal?

The length of a business proposal depends upon the industry in which you are operating scope and complexity of the project, and the client’s specifications and considerations.