Have you been tasked with preparing a business proposal to win over a new client? Are you unsure how to craft a business proposal template that achieves your company’s goals? Business proposals showcase a particular service or product at a set cost.
Many B2B businesses create proposals to garner new clients, but you can use them across a wide range of industries. The proposal itself could be solicited or unsolicited. Today, we will walk you through a beginner’s guide to creating effective business proposals, the importance of a proper business proposal, and 10 different business proposal template samples you can draw from for your own presentation.
Your first step to create a business proposal template that sells is to collate your information in one place. If a business opportunity comes your way, you might be overwhelmed with the need to send out your proposal quickly. While you never want to delay getting your proposal in front of the client, it is still important to give yourself sufficient time.
That essential preparation period is when you gather additional information about the prospective client and project details so you can create a proposal that impresses and wins you new business. If you are dealing with a potential client with more than one office, you may need to visit multiple locations to get a clear idea of project parameters for your proposal.
Creating a business proposal template that sells is all about balance. You do not want to wait so long that your competitors win the deal but you do not want to be in such a rush that your proposal is incomplete.
There are primary questions you need to get answered before creating your business proposal. Who are the ultimate decision makers in your target client company? What are some weak points of the competition you can resolve with your own proposal? Does your client have a set budget or deadline you need to meet?
You need to pinpoint which of your services will provide the most comprehensive solution for the prospective client. Identify what your projected costs (i.e. materials, labor, etc.) will be if the client accepts.
Once you have collated all this information, consider using a CRM system to stay organized and keep all your contacts in once place. An effective CRM system will enable you to oversee any proposals you are working on or have outstanding and see what still needs to be done.
Create An Outline
Once you have gathered information for your business proposal template, you need to create an outline for the entire project. Your outline will identify the who, what, when, where, why, and how of your proposal and cost projections.
You can easily form these details in your head, but still put them in writing or note them in your CRM system to stay organized. Having a clear outline recorded will enable you to get started with the final project.
The who, what, when, where, why, and how will form the body of your proposal. An outline will also show you if you are missing important details or if there are gaps in your plan before you get too far into the project.
Project Labor And Costs
Always project your labor and costs when creating your business proposal template. You need to know how much the project will cost, which translates to the amount you will charge the client.
Go through each aspect of the project and record how many hours you think each section will take. Once you have come up with a number, multiply that by 1.5. So, for instance, if you think your project will require 10 hours, record it as 15 hours in your final proposal.
You should overestimate, not to send higher invoices to the client but to prepare for any unexpected snags along the way. This enables you to have a backup plan with a solid budget to cover surprise costs.
If the project ends up taking less than the time you thought, the client will be more than pleased with the lowered bill. You could also propose to complete additional work with the leftover time.
Draft Your Proposal
Now it is time to draft your business proposal template. While the template may change slightly based on the industry you are in, proposals have a similar pattern.
Begin with an introductory summary discussing your company and the project. The introduction should highlight information about your brand and what makes it stand out. It should also include any relevant awards, credentials, or accomplishments your business has received.
After your introduction comes an executive summary. Your executive summary will lay out why your company should be hired for the job and the overall message of your proposal. If your proposal is lengthy, consider adding in a table of contents.
The next section is the body of the proposal, which identifies the key details of the project. The body should include facts and figures like charts, photos, logistics, scheduling, and pricing tables. Remember, the body of your business proposal template will answer the who, what, when, where, why, and how questions.
The next section of your business proposal template is the conclusion that tells the potential client next steps. Restate the solution your company is offering to the client and include a call to action. Your call to action could be something as simple as urging the potential client to visit your website or contact you for further details.
If you have extra information to offer the client that does not incorporate smoothly into the body of your business proposal include an appendix section after the conclusion. The appendix could include information such as resumes, customer testimonials, or further projections and graphs.
Be sure to edit your business proposal template before sending it. You never want an error to impede a new business deal. Try to have someone else check your work so they can offer objective insight.
Mind the length and tone of your content. While length will vary based on the nature of your proposal, it should still be succinct and clear enough to be read in one sitting.
Avoid repeating yourself unnecessarily. Instead of reemphasizing the point of your proposal multiple times throughout the body of the text, use a strong example to make your case.
Send And Follow Up
Most business proposal templates are sent as an attachment in an email. Even if the potential client wants you to submit it through their company portal, always send an emailed copy to be safe.
Utilize email tracking software so you know when the potential client opens your proposal. Follow up the day after sending your proposal to see if the potential client has questions or concerns.
If you are wondering why a proper business proposal template matters, we have 5 simple reasons for you to consider. For one, a well crafted business proposal helps you make balanced plans and predictions.
While an idea might sound perfect in your head, getting it on paper could show you extra challenges and expenses you did not consider before.
If you want to grow your business, you need to acquire additional capital to do so. Creating a business proposal could help you draw investors and get the funding you need to make your product or services a success.
Your proposal can show investors why they should invest in your company, what makes you stand out from the competition, and what will draw clients to your business.
Structure Your Business
A solid business proposal will also enable you to better structure your business. You might have many plans for the direction you want to take your company, but putting it in writing will give you much-needed structure to accomplish your goals.
Business proposals help you identify set objectives, track your company’s performance, and see if you need to make any changes along the way.
Examine Your Business Objectively
A comprehensive business proposal will help you examine your business objectively. You will probably not find it difficult to pinpoint your strengths, but have you considered any gaps or weaknesses in your strategy?
You need to look at both your strengths and weaknesses to create a proposal that not only sells but can be carried out in full.
Finally, creating a proper business proposal ensures that you avoid unnecessary confusion down the line. A proposal lays out your goals, stratagem, and values, so everyone from small to large client companies will know exactly what your plan is.
Financial planners need a business proposal template that relays quotes to companies and individual clients. This template is perfect to pitch services such as regulatory practices, risk management, and investment portfolios.
Our final business proposal template sample is ideal for project managers and certified Project Management Professionals. You want a user friendly template that will organize your bids and estimates concisely.
Always give yourself time to plan and prepare when creating your business proposal template. Calculate your costs and projections, highlight your goals, and identify your solution for the potential client.
Set yourself apart from the competition. Form a realistic strategy that delivers results and wins you new business.