How To Write A Business Proposal in 10 Steps

If you want to learn how to write a business proposal, you’ve come to the right place! The Write Direction, a collective of professional technical and business writers and creatives can tell you all you need to know. Writing business proposals isn’t always in everyone’s arsenal of skills and you might even be on the lookout for those who know how to write a proposal so you can employ their skill. Luckily for you, we’re not just going to tell you everything you need to know about writing a business proposal, we’ll show you the outline, the components, and where you can get your own custom-written business proposal made by a seasoned professional writer

After learning the different types of business proposals and the ten elements that make up a successful proposal, you won’t be needing to research “simple business proposal example” or “how to write a business proposal template” online, but instead, you’ll be unlocking all the tips and tricks needed to start that next successful partnership.

What Is A Business Proposal?

A business proposal is a technical document highlighting a company, organization, or individual’s product or service and then offered to investors or lenders. The business proposal then provides a plan for the successful execution of that offering to convince and appeal to its audience.  Business proposals are intended for potential clients, investors, and partners to engage with the business through the purchasing of the product or service, investing in the business, or entering a collaborative business relationship. 

The business proposal definition according to a San Jose State University Writing Center handout is a document that is shared by businesses to potential customers that is written with persuasive language so customers become more likely to engage with the business. According to the handout, “business proposals are a common and effective way to win business.” In order to be successful in crafting a business proposal, researching your intended audience is a must so you can clearly address their needs and customize the proposal accordingly. Besides a persuasive tone, business proposals should be appealing, clear, and courteous while reflecting the brand or company’s personality.

Types of Business Proposals


In commerce, the art of persuasion is embedded in the framework of business writing and documentation. Business proposals are strategic documents that serve as the gateway to potential partnerships, project approvals, and other business ventures. Here is the comprehensive list of the various types of business proposals that are sent by businesses to other businesses so that they can convey their vision, capabilities, and unique value propositions.

  1. Formally Solicited Proposal This type of business proposal is in response to an official business proposal request or a Request For Proposal (RFP) document. Formally solicited business proposals come from prospective buyers or clients. The business proposal writer would know all the requirements and the proposal will be used by the buyer for evaluation before proceeding with the sales process.
  2. Informally Solicited Informally solicited business proposals do not require an RFP document. The main difference between an informally solicited proposal and a formally solicited proposal is the need for more details when it comes to planning like granular project details, goals, deliverables, and even methodology.
  3. Unsolicited Unlike a formally solicited business proposal, an unsolicited one is not necessarily asked for prospects. It is actually likened to a cold call where one offers the proposal, even while lacking the specifics, but can prove extremely valuable if its audience relates to the proposal. This type of proposal is the hardest to write because it should be very persuasive in order to appeal to and convince prospective investors and lenders. It requires more research and finesse because it is unexpected and should immediately catch the attention, and more importantly, retain the attention of its intended audience.

Starting With A Business Proposal Letter


A business proposal letter’s main goal is to introduce business ideas. Businesses can collaborate for mutual benefit so business proposal letters are sent so businesses can propose a product or service to other businesses and provide solutions for their problems. A business proposal letter easily communicates an organization’s desire to work with another. 

According to Indeed, here are some of the uses of a business proposal letter:

  • Proposing a partnership – business proposal letters can be instrumental in suggesting a collaboration or partnership with other businesses. It will include details like how mutually beneficial the partnership will be, the goals of the inviting company, and the terms and conditions of the partnership. 
  • Provide marketing services – business proposal letters intended to offer marketing services are a pitch or formal introduction. The details included are marketing strategies, target audiences, and expected outcomes. It can also detail the offered services which can include digital marketing or social media management. 
  • Ask for a sponsorship – businesses needing sponsorship for events, projects, and other initiatives can send business proposal letters to make their case. This business proposal letter will include information about the event, what the benefits are for the sponsor, sponsorship packages, and promotional opportunities.
  • Proposing an internal collaboration – business proposal letters can also be sent from within a company from different departments. Other teams could propose a collaboration to enhance efficiency or to achieve specific goals. This type of letter would outline the objectives of the collaboration, the resources needed, and the expected outcomes. 
  • Providing a solution through a product or service – in offering a product or service to address a problem or need, business proposal letters are sent. This letter will highlight key features, benefits, and unique selling points of the company.
business proposal letter writing process

How To Write A Business Proposal Letter

  1. Use a business header- In your business header, include the details like your contact information and the date. These are important formal elements that you shouldn’t forego because they tell the reader valuable information. Also, add the recipient’s contact information just as you would a formal letter. If the letter is being sent electronically, add your name and the purpose of the letter to the subject line.
  2. Address the recipient correctly- Use formal salutations to address your recipient because it shows respect and it shows that you know some basic information about the intended reader. Using the appropriate and correct salutations can make such a difference because it’s quite personal. Be accurate when using “Mrs.” or “Dr.” when addressing the reader of your letter.
  3. Include relevant information- In the first paragraph of your business proposal letter, state the subject and purpose of your sending the proposal letter. You can start by referencing a possible problem your readers might have and let them know if you’re working on projects that could be relevant and helpful to them.
  4. State the purpose of the letter and proposal- In your second paragraph, let the reader know the reason you’re making a business proposal. It’s important to be clear and concise and use accurate statistics that back up your claims.
  5. Request a follow-up- As you state how beneficial your proposed partnership can be to the reader, include a request or an opportunity for the reader to contact you back.
  6. Appropriately close the letter- End the letter properly by thanking the recipient. You can also initiate an answer from your letter by asking questions. This will prompt a response and you will have more chances to entice them further by sending a complete business proposal.
  7. Add supporting documents- Along with the initial business proposal letter, you can include supporting documents that tell the reader more about your business, you can attach sales records, and other relevant information pertaining to your project or business.

Elements Of A Business Proposal

If you’re looking for a business proposal format to follow, here’s all you need to know. With these 10 easy elements, you won’t be looking for a business proposal template from other businesses and organizations.

  1. Introduction
    An introduction is one of the first parts a potential customer or partner will read in your business proposal. The introduction should contain a brief opening describing the company. These include details like what the company or brand name is, the names of the people writing the proposal, and a little bit about the company’s purpose or unique value proposition along with the company’s mission and vision.
  2. Executive Summary
    Detailed proposals can get quite lengthy so it would be beneficial to add an executive summary or an overview close to the beginning of the business proposal. Right off the bat, the reader can ascertain if the proposal is worth the read so this section is definitely something you should pay close attention to when writing the executive summary. Along with the executive summary, it will also be very beneficial for longer forms of business proposals to add a table of contents so it will be easier for the reader to skim through the contents of the document.
  3. Problem Statement or Needs Analysis
    For custom business proposals, your research should encompass and identify your target audience’s problem that your company intends to fulfill or solve. For example, if you have a service company, you can explain to your potential clients how your services or products can be beneficial for the intended potential clients or partners.
  4. Proposed Solution
    In learning how to write a business proposal, understand that the proposed solution section will most likely be the most lengthy part of the business proposal. This part is where you’ll need to be the most persuasive and convincing when proposing your solution. With as much detail as you can, describe what your solution is, appeal to the reader by stating how beneficial it will be for them, and be as clear and accurate as possible. Include technical information and don’t skimp on details either because this is arguably the most important part of the business proposal outline.
  5. Scope of Work / Deliverables
    Be as transparent as possible and detail the work you intend to do when writing a business proposal. This means outlining the specific tasks and activities that will be part of the project being proposed. It’s best to be explicit about what your future partners can expect and what will be included in the deliverables.
  6. Timeline or Schedule
    Business proposals should be very detailed and in your proposal, everything down to the timeline and schedule for completion should be added. Let your intended audience and readers know how long it will take for your proposed solution to be implemented and be realistic about it as well to ensure that you can follow through and not promise falsities to your future clients or business partners. Adding graphics to show your timeline could also be a good idea here.
  7. Budget or Cost Proposal
    Just as you are clear with the timeline of your proposed solution, make sure you also include a detailed and realistic breakdown of how much your project will cost. Have a clear pricing structure that your intended audience can understand and agree with. You can also consider adding an analysis or projection of what they can expect as a return on investment.
  8. Qualifications and Experience
    As an organization proposing a future relationship through business with your intended readers, a big part of learning how to write a business proposal includes showcasing just how qualified you are. This builds trust and helps persuade your proposal’s readers to engage in business with you or your organization. You can add what your organization’s expertise is and the experience you have that is relevant to the project. Not only does it instill confidence in your organization but it shows how credible you are as an organization.
  9. Benefits and Value Proposition
    Every company and business has a unique value proposition and there are specific benefits that will appeal to your proposal’s readers. In learning how to write a business proposal, it has to be written in persuasive language but the proposal will more likely be effective if you include benefits like cost savings, increased efficiency, and improved outcomes. This part makes for a compelling case in your business proposal.
  10. Call to Action
    At the end of your proposal, make sure you make a specific request for your readers so that they can be proactive after reading your proposal. Whether it’s to schedule a meeting, call, or straight up sign the contract, explicitly ask your proposal’s reader for an action to do because it creates a sense of urgency and it becomes clear to your readers what is expected of them. 
tips to write a business proposal

Tips To Consider When Writing A Business Proposal

  1. Take Your Time
    When learning how to write a business proposal, while it may seem like urgency is a big factor, you want to take your time when crafting a proposal you’d want to be effective. You want to do thorough research because the proposal should be detailed and accurate which takes time.
  2. Consider Using A Template
    As you conduct your research, you might want to check out a business proposal sample and see how other businesses have done it. Read up on business proposal examples to learn how to write a business proposal easier.
  3. Use A Professional Format
    When writing such an important document, make sure you follow a professional format. This means using business fonts like Times New Roman or Calibri. You want the font size to follow appropriate formats as well and try to always use a plain white background for easier reading.
  4. Add A Title Page
    A title page is the first thing your intended audience will read from your business proposal and while this can be an optional step, it does add to the formality of the document. Having a title page makes your proposal seem more serious and worthy of taking into consideration.
  5. Check The Readability
    Because business proposals can be quite lengthy, you should consider making the document as readable as possible. This means breaking up the text into sections and using bullet points, visual tables, graphs, subsections, headers, and use page numbers especially if you have a table of contents. You can also opt to use bold or italic formats to emphasize certain words within the text.
  6. Include Real Data
    Your business proposal must be substantial and have the data to back up your claims and plans. Showcase your company’s capabilities because this will tell the readers why you’re worthwhile to entertain. Include numbers, percentages, and amounts in sales. Your potential customers or partners will be interested in figures because that will help them decide if the proposal is worth pursuing. Showing data also builds trust and credibility because you’re willing to share proof and methods that have been successful for your organization. 
  7. Use Visuals
    In line with readability and adding real data, visuals in your business proposal can help your readers retain the information better without using too many words. You can use infographics, block quotes, and even photos that are relevant to the proposal.
  8. Make It Personal
    You might think that having one business proposal template is best to send for different clients, but the lack of personalization might be detrimental to getting approvals. Especially since we recommend that your business proposals include solutions to your potential customer or partner’s problems, not every business will be able to relate to just one proposed solution. You have to consider what your intended readers want and need and these important details cannot be generalized, even if those intended readers of yours are under one industry.
  9. Follow Branding
    To help establish your company as a reputable partner in business, follow your branding elements to help set you apart. Most companies understand the importance of branding and try to incorporate their colors, style, logo, and voice in not only their marketing materials but in other documents as well.
  10. Send Your Proposals Electronically
    Instead of mailing a hard copy for your business proposal, try sending digital or electronic versions instead. Electronic business proposals can include unique elements you wouldn’t be able to add on a physically printed copy like videos or photo albums that you can scroll through. You can also make headers clickable and add so many unique elements that further make your business proposal and standout. 

Get Help Writing A Business Proposal From The Write Direction

There’s no need to get a sample of a business proposal when you can get one custom-made at The Write Direction. We understand better than any other professional business and technical writing service company that effective communication is the cornerstone of success. Compelling business proposals and other business writing materials is vital in placing businesses in winning opportunities and securing partnerships that drive growth. 

If you’re wondering why you should trust The Write Direction here are all the reasons why and knowing how to write a business proposal is only one of them:

  1. Expertise in Technical and Business Writing
    The Write Direction’s team of writers are seasoned professionals who have a wealth of experience in both technical and business writing. With a unique blend of industry knowledge and linguistic prowess, our writers are more than capable of crafting business proposals that will resonate with your chosen audience.
  2. Tailored Solutions For Your Unique Needs
    Just as we can create custom business proposals depending on the solutions your intended audience could benefit from, we also apply the same careful consideration to your unique needs. Regardless of what business documentation you need, we make every project custom and unique for every client.
  3. Strategic Persuasion for Maximum Impact
    When it comes to writing a truly persuasive document, you should only trust the best writers for the job. Our writers truly understand business proposals and persuasive tools. By employing strategic language and compelling narratives, our writers are able to compel your audience and turn them from potential clients into enthusiastic partners.
  4. Seamless Integration of Technical Details
    When it comes to communicating complex and technical ideas and turning them into readable and concise documents, The Write Direction writers are absolute experts at it. Our writers are skilled at conveying technical concepts and retaining precision and clarity.
  5. Thorough Research for Informed Proposals
    Research is an imperative process in how to write a business proposal. Especially since we recommend to do thorough research on potential clients and partners. Knowledge is power in the world of business and that is what we constantly try to achieve. On your behalf, our writers will conduct research to ensure that the business proposal is more than well-written but grounded in data and industry insights.
  6. Timely Delivery and Excellent Quality
    Punctuality in the business world is of the utmost importance and we know that our clients are not the end readers of the business proposal but their own potential partners. You can expect the timely delivery of your custom business proposal without compromising the standards and quality that define our work.
  7. Comprehensive Support at Every Stage
    From conceptualization to first drafts, and the final draft, our team supports you all throughout the process. Our projects are rooted in collaboration so we can closely understand your vision and goals and translate that into writing. Our goal is to ensure that the final output exceeds your expectations.

Visit The Write Direction’s website now and get your custom business proposal and more professional writing services!

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