Six tips for writing a business proposal

27th September 2022 | 2 min read

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Getting the content of a business proposal right is key to winning new business. Adding new clients and projects to existing ones is, after all, the lifeblood of a successful SME.

Keep in mind though, when writing a proposal, that it needs to show what you intend to offer a potential client. To help you achieve this we’ve put together six  tips to work to.

1. Get the format right

The format should include a title page with basic information about your business. There should also be a cover letter, a table of contents and an executive summary. Then comes the detail of the actual proposal, followed by the services that are going to be provided. As well as what you are going to offer, this section should show how you are going to do it. The proposal should then reiterate why the client needs to hire you rather than anyone else. Rounding things off are the terms and conditions, a final call to action and then any appendices. Keep an eye on the overall length of the document, you don’t want to lose the reader’s interest halfway through.

2. Meet the client’s needs

The business proposal should show that you understand what the potential customer’s needs are and how you can meet those needs. Here is your opportunity to go into detail about what you’re going to be doing to convince the potential client you’re who they should partner with.

3. Be accurate

Read the proposal once, read it twice then get someone else to check it over. This should avoid the pain of a typo or grammatical error. When re-reading your business proposal, consider whether it genuinely shows how you will offer good value to the client and whether the proposal is realistically achievable, in terms of time and resources you have available within your business.

4. Be specific

Back up what you outline earlier in the proposal by giving clear estimates of the resources required: the time and the money to do the job. If you think it would help, give clear pricing options for levels of goods and services. Be clear about who will be working on the project and their roles.

5. Make it look good

Think about how the document looks.Is it readable i.e. is the point size large enough and is the font clear? Could adding in images and videos help it stand out from the crowd? Getting to grips with the graphic design side of composing a business proposal might just give you the edge.

6. Don’t confuse a business proposal with a business plan

While a business proposal is something you send to a potential client with the intention of gaining new business, a business plan is different in that it lays out your company’s overall objectives and how you plan to achieve them in the future.