What’s in a business proposal? This document provides you with a free business proposal template. Feel free to adjust it to suit your needs. No two businesses will use exactly the same format, so it’s important that you understand what the purpose of the proposal is. What are you trying to achieve? Does the format help you do that? If not, adjust it so that it does! Ultimately, a business proposal is comprised of three parts:
- A problem statement.
- A proposed solution.
- A pricing estimate. It’s worth noting that a business proposal is not just an estimate. While you will likely touch on costs in the proposal, an estimate is much more informal, and doesn’t take the whole picture into account in the same way a business proposal does.
How to Create a Proposal. There are many things you will need to cover in your proposal letter. Each different part has a purpose, and altogether they should set out clearly the reason for the letter. Here are five sections that need to be included: Introduction, What is the problem?, How will you solve the problem?, Cost/Schedule, Executive summary.
For many clients, the pricing information is what will make them decide whether they would offer you the contract or not. How to write this part greatly depends on the solution or solutions you included in the previous segment. If the solution proposed will only entail a short period of time, a Fee Summary will suffice. For longer projects, segment these payments to specific milestones in a Fee Schedule list.
A business plan is a guide for your business, a roadmap that outlines goals and details how you plan to achieve those goals. It is used to keep you on track (internal use) and to support any applications you might make when seeking investors, or when applying for commercial loans (external use). While a business proposal on the other hand is used to try to attract and acquire business. It pitches your business, product, or service to a potential client, vendor, or supplier. A client, vendor, or supplier might also request a business proposal from you when trying to evaluate whether or not you’re someone they want to work with, or whether or not you can provide the services or products they require. Write a good proposal and you might snag business; write a poor one, and you may lose out, even if you’re offering the best service out there.
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