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Apr 12, 2024 · 9 min read

How to write
a business

Craft compelling business proposals and drive growth. With AI-powered tools like Enty the process becomes even easier - try it yourself!

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Creating a well-crafted business proposal is essential for any company looking to secure new clients and grow their business. A business proposal serves as a written offer of a product or service to a prospective customer, outlining how the business can meet their needs and solve their problems. In this article, we will explore the key steps and components of a business proposal, providing you with a comprehensive guide on how to write an effective proposal that stands out from the competition.

Introduction to business proposals

Before delving into the nitty-gritty of writing a business proposal, let's first understand what it is and why it is important. A business proposal is a written document that outlines a specific product, service, or project that your company offers to potential clients or partners. Its primary goal is to convince them that your business can meet their needs and provide a solution to their problems.
Business proposals are essential in various industries, from sales and marketing to project management and beyond. They serve as a means to present the benefits, features, and terms of your offering to potential clients and stakeholders. When done effectively, a business proposal can be a powerful tool to secure funding, attract new clients, and showcase your expertise. We have already talked about this concept in previous articles, so instead of repeating the elements of a business proposal, let’s dive deeper into the most popular types.

Types of business proposals

Business proposals come in different forms depending on the situation and requirements. Understanding the different types of business proposals will help you determine the most appropriate structure and approach for your specific proposal. Here are the three main types of business proposals:
  • Informally solicited business proposals: Informally solicited business proposals are created in response to spontaneous, informal conversations with a client or vendor. These proposals are usually generated when a prospective buyer expresses interest in your products or services and requests a proposal for analysis. Informally solicited proposals require additional research on your part to understand the client's needs and tailor your solution accordingly.
  • Unsolicited business proposals: Unsolicited business proposals are proactive proposals that you send to prospective clients who haven't specifically requested one. These proposals act as marketing brochures or cold emails, aiming to capture the attention of potential customers and secure their business. To create an effective unsolicited proposal, you need to conduct market research, identify customer pain points, and offer a personalized solution based on their individual needs.
  • Formally solicited business proposals: Formally solicited business proposals are written in response to an official request for a proposal from a potential client. These requests are usually published, outlining specific requirements and guidelines for the proposals. With formally solicited proposals, you'll have most, if not all, of the information needed to understand the client's needs. Your task is to write a comprehensive proposal that addresses those needs and stands out from competing proposals.
Now that we've covered the different types of business proposals, let's move on to the next section and explore how to conduct research and outline your proposal effectively - as these are the most important stages of writing a winning business proposal.

Conducting research and outlining your proposal

Research is the foundation of a successful business proposal. Before you start writing, it's crucial to gather relevant information, understand your target audience, and identify the problem your proposal aims to solve. By conducting thorough research, you'll be able to tailor your proposal to meet the specific needs of your clients, increasing the chances of success.
To conduct effective research for your business proposal, follow these steps:

Step 1: understand your audience

Before diving into research, take the time to understand your audience. Who are your potential clients or partners? What are their pain points and challenges? The better you understand your audience, the more effectively you can address their needs in your proposal.

Step 2: identify the problem

Once you have a clear understanding of your audience, identify the specific problem or challenge they are facing. Your proposal should offer a viable solution to this problem, so it's essential to accurately define and articulate it in your research.

Step 3: gather supporting data and case studies

To strengthen your proposal, gather supporting data, statistics, and case studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of your proposed solution. This data will provide evidence of your expertise and help build trust with potential clients.

Step 4: analyze the competition

Researching your competition will give you valuable insights into what sets your proposal apart. Identify similar solutions offered by competitors and highlight the unique value your proposal brings to the table. This analysis will help you position your proposal as the best choice among the alternatives.
Once you have completed your research, it's time to outline your proposal. An outline serves as a roadmap for your writing process, ensuring that you cover all the necessary sections and maintain a logical flow.
Here is a suggested outline for your business proposal:
  1. Introduction: background information on your company, your qualifications and expertise
  2. Problem statement: clearly define the problem your proposal aims to solve, explain why this problem is significant and needs immediate attention
  3. Proposed solution: present your solution to the problem, describe how your solution addresses the client's needs
  4. Methodology: outline the steps and processes involved in implementing your solution, highlight any innovative or unique approaches
  5. Deliverables and milestones: clearly define the deliverables your proposal will produce, set realistic milestones and timelines for each deliverable
  6. Budget and pricing: provide a detailed breakdown of costs, justify your pricing based on the value your solution brings
  7. Qualifications and experience: showcase your relevant experience and credentials, provide testimonials or case studies that demonstrate your past success
  8. Conclusion: summarize the main points of your proposal, Reiterate the benefits and value your solution offers
  9. Appendix: include any additional supporting materials, such as charts, graphs, or sample work
We are now ready to get to the most interesting part - building the content and the title of the actual business proposal. Moreover, if you want to know how to save time on all these steps and build the document automatically - read to the last section.

Building the title and table of contents

The title and table of contents are the first elements your potential clients will see in your business proposal. It's crucial to make a strong first impression by creating a compelling title that captures the essence of your proposal. The table of contents, on the other hand, serves as a roadmap for readers and potential investors, allowing them to navigate through your proposal easily.
To build an effective title and table of contents, consider the following tips:

Crafting the Title

  1. Be clear and concise: use clear and concise language to communicate the main purpose of your proposal.
  2. Highlight the benefits: focus on the benefits your proposal offers to potential clients.
  3. Create intrigue: spark curiosity and interest by using engaging language and highlighting the unique aspects of your proposal.

Creating the table of contents

  1. Structure your sections: organize your proposal into clear and logical sections.
  2. Use subheadings: include subheadings under each section to provide a quick overview of the content.
  3. Number your pages: add page numbers to make it easier for readers to navigate through the proposal.
By creating an attention-grabbing title and a well-structured table of contents, you'll increase the likelihood that potential clients will engage with your proposal.

Writing an engaging executive summary

The executive summary is arguably the most critical part of your business proposal. It provides a concise overview of your proposal, capturing the attention of potential clients and stakeholders. While it appears at the beginning of your proposal, it's often easier to write it last, once you have a clear understanding of the entire document.
To write an engaging executive summary, follow these guidelines:
  1. Keep it concise: aim for a summary that is no longer than one to two pages.
  2. Clearly state the problem: begin by clearly defining the problem your proposal aims to solve.
  3. Present your solution: describe your proposed solution and how it addresses the client's needs.
  4. Highlight the benefits: emphasize the benefits and value your solution offers.
  5. Showcase your expertise: briefly mention your qualifications, experience, and relevant achievements.
  6. Call to action: end the executive summary with a strong call to action, encouraging potential clients to take the next steps.
Remember, the executive summary should be persuasive and captivating, providing a glimpse of what's to come in the rest of your proposal. By crafting a compelling executive summary, you'll entice readers to delve deeper into your proposal.
Now that you've written an engaging executive summary, let's move on to the next section, where we'll discuss getting into the project details.

Getting into the project details

After capturing the attention of potential clients with the executive summary, it's time to dive into the project details. In this section, you'll provide a thorough analysis of the problem, outline your proposed solution, and demonstrate your expertise.
To effectively present the project details, follow these steps:
  1. Clearly define the problem: provide a detailed explanation of the problem your proposal aims to solve. Use data, statistics, and real-life examples to demonstrate the significance of the problem.
  2. Outline your proposed solution: present your solution in a clear and concise manner. Explain how it addresses the root cause of the problem and why it is the best approach.
  3. Demonstrate expertise and qualifications: showcase your expertise, qualifications, and relevant experience. Provide testimonials, case studies, or examples of past successes to establish credibility.
  4. Address potential challenges: anticipate potential challenges and address them proactively. Show that you have considered all possible obstacles and have viable solutions in place.
By thoroughly presenting the project details, you'll demonstrate your understanding of the client's needs and showcase your ability to provide an effective solution. Now, let's move on to the next section, where we'll discuss how to present deliverables, milestones, and budgets.

Presenting deliverables, milestones, and budgets

In this section, you'll outline the specific deliverables your proposal will produce, set realistic milestones, and provide a detailed breakdown of the budget. By presenting these details clearly, you'll demonstrate your commitment to delivering value and achieving measurable outcomes.
To effectively present deliverables, milestones, and budgets, follow these guidelines:
  1. Define deliverables: clearly outline the specific deliverables your proposal will produce. Break them down into actionable tasks and describe the expected outcomes for each.
  2. Set realistic milestones: establish realistic milestones and timelines for each deliverable. This will provide a clear roadmap for the project and help manage client expectations.
  3. Provide a detailed budget breakdown: present a detailed breakdown of the budget, including costs for labor, materials, and any other expenses. Justify your pricing based on the value your solution brings.
By presenting deliverables, milestones, and budgets clearly and transparently, you'll instill confidence in potential clients and demonstrate your professionalism. At this point, our business proposal is almost ready. All that is left to do is to spice it up with a concise conclusion, as well as add appendices if needed.

Crafting a convincing conclusion and appendix

The conclusion of your business proposal is your final opportunity to leave a lasting impression on potential clients. It should summarize the main points of your proposal, reiterate the benefits of your solution, and provide a compelling call to action.
To craft a convincing conclusion, follow these steps:
  1. Summarize the main points: briefly summarize the key points of your proposal, including the problem, solution, and benefits.
  2. Reiterate the value: emphasize the value and benefits your solution offers. Remind potential clients why choosing your proposal is the best decision.
  3. Call to action: end your conclusion with a strong call to action, encouraging potential clients to take the next steps, such as scheduling a meeting or signing a contract.
Additionally, you may choose to include an appendix in your proposal. The appendix allows you to provide supplementary materials, such as charts, graphs, case studies, or sample work. Including relevant and supporting materials in the appendix can further enhance the credibility and persuasiveness of your proposal.
By crafting a convincing conclusion and providing supplementary materials in the appendix, you'll leave a lasting impression and further reinforce the value of your proposal. Now, let's move on to the next section, where we'll discuss editing and polishing your proposal.

Editing and polishing your proposal

Once you have completed the initial draft of your business proposal, it's essential to edit and polish it to ensure clarity, coherence, and professionalism. Editing involves reviewing your proposal for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors, as well as ensuring a consistent tone and style throughout the document.
To effectively edit and polish your proposal, follow these steps:
  1. Review for clarity and coherence: read through your proposal carefully to ensure that the content is clear, logical, and coherent. Remove any unnecessary jargon or complex language that may confuse potential clients.
  2. Check for grammar and spelling errors: proofread your proposal for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. Use grammar-checking tools or ask a colleague to review your proposal for a fresh perspective.
  3. Ensure consistency: check that your proposal maintains a consistent tone, style, and formatting. Use headings, subheadings, and bullet points to enhance readability and organization.
  4. Seek feedback: share your proposal with a trusted colleague or mentor for feedback. Incorporate their suggestions and make any necessary revisions to improve the overall quality of your proposal.
By thoroughly editing and polishing your proposal, you'll present a professional and polished document that reflects your attention to detail and commitment to excellence. Now, let's move on to the next section, where we'll explore how AI can assist you in writing a business proposal.

How Enty simplifies business proposal creation

Does this all sound a bit overwhelming? We get you, and that’s why we’re here! For those who have read up to this point - here’s a small (or not so small) bonus - your ultimate helper to navigate business proposals more efficiently. Enty is an innovative platform designed to simplify the process of creating business proposals. With its user-friendly interface and powerful features, we empower businesses to generate professional and compelling proposals effortlessly - for free!
Key features of Enty include:
  1. Proposal templates: Enty offers a wide range of professionally designed proposal templates, created in partnership with real lawyers. You can choose the one that best suits your needs, starting with business proposals and ending with personalized contracts. These templates provide a solid foundation for creating persuasive and visually appealing proposals.
  2. Customization options: Enty allows you to customize every aspect of your proposal, from colors and fonts to layout and structure. This flexibility ensures that your proposal reflects your brand identity and resonates with your target audience.
  3. Collaboration and feedback: benefit from a seamless collaboration with team members and clients. You can easily share proposals, gather feedback, and track changes in real-time, ensuring a smooth and efficient proposal creation process.
  4. AI-powered assistance: Enty leverages AI technology to enhance your proposal writing experience. It offers intelligent suggestions, grammar and style checks, and content personalization capabilities, helping you create polished and impactful proposals. AI-powered analytics can provide insights into the effectiveness of your proposals, such as which sections receive the most engagement or which proposals have the highest conversion rates. This data can help you refine your approach and improve future proposals. In addition, you can review your contracts with help of AI (technically, AI will do it for you - there is no need for any extra effort from your side)
Revolutionize your contract management experience
With Enty, the process of writing business proposals becomes more efficient, collaborative, and user-friendly. By simplifying the creation process and harnessing the power of AI, Enty empowers businesses to create winning proposals with ease.

Last thoughts

Writing a winning business proposal is a skill that can significantly impact the success of your business. By following the steps outlined in this guide, conducting thorough research, and leveraging AI tools like Enty, you can create persuasive and effective proposals that attract new clients, secure funding, and drive business growth.
Remember to tailor your proposal to the specific needs of your audience, highlight the unique value your solution brings, and present your ideas in a clear and coherent manner. With practice and continuous improvement, you'll master the art of writing winning business proposals.
Now, it's time to put your knowledge into action. Good luck!
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