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How to Write a Business Proposal (Examples & Templates)
By Aditya Sheth , Nov 21, 2022
The great Mark Cuban once said, “Sales cure all.” If a business doesn’t sell, it doesn’t make money and by extension the business fails. That’s why you need to write business proposals.
A well-written business proposal can often mean the difference between winning or losing a prospective client.
In this in-depth guide to creating business proposals, we show you how to close more deals, make more sales and crush your business goals — all by using easy-to-edit professional business proposal templates.
Here’s what this guide will cover (click to jump ahead):
What is a business proposal, what should you include in a business proposal, business proposal format, what are the types of business proposals.
- How do you write a business proposal? Business proposal templates
More business proposal examples + writing and design tips
- FAQs about business proposals
Looking for a shortcut? Watch this quick video for an overview of everything to include in your business proposal:
An effective business proposal is a document used by a B2B or business-facing company (this may not always be the case) where a seller aims to persuade a prospective buyer into buying their goods or services.
A business proposal outlines what your business does and what you can do for your client. It can be general like this business proposal example:
Or it can be more specific, like this business proposal template which focuses on proposing a project for the Newton Center Rail:
Or this business proposal sample, which presents a plan for a social media strategy and campaign:
To design a business proposal that holds the client’s attention, identify their pain points . Then provide your buyer with the right solution to alleviate those frustrations.
Return to Table of Contents
A business proposal usually aims to answer the following questions:
- Who you are and what your company does
- The problem your buyer is facing
- The solution your company offers to alleviate the problem
- How your company will implement this solution effectively
- An estimate of resources (time, money, etc) required to implement the solution
You can see how this sample business proposal template covers the above points.
Notice how this proposal template addresses the same project like in one of the previous templates, but uses a completely different design style (more retro, while the previous business proposal template is more modern and minimalistic).
You can remove or add more sections depending on the goal of your business proposal. Essential, your business proposal can follow this format:
Table of contents
Executive summary, the problem statement, the proposed solution, qualifications, the timeline, pricing, billing and legal, terms and conditions, the acceptance.
We go into detail on how you can write a business proposal (plus different business proposal templates you can apply the tips to) in the next section . But you can also click on the format items above to learn how you can best write them!
If you aim to create a holistic business proposal, feel free to just edit from the two templates right above. You can also add your brand colors and logo to your design, using My Brand Kit :
Here’s another example of a business proposal template that you can edit:
Generally, there are three types of business proposals:
1. Formally solicited
A formally solicited business proposal is made when you respond to an official request to write a business proposal.
In this scenario, you know all the requirements and have more (if not all) information about a prospective buyer. You simply need to write the business proposal for your buyer to evaluate so you can begin the sales process.
2. Informally solicited
Informally solicited business proposals are written when there isn’t an official request for a proposal. A prospective buyer is interested in your services and asks for a proposal so they can evaluate it.
An informally solicited proposal requires a lot more research from your end. These types of proposals are usually created out of informal conversations. They are not based on official requests which often contain more detail.
Think of this as a marketing brochure or a cold email . Unsolicited business proposals will often take a generic, one-size-fits-all approach to business proposals. Unsolicited proposals lack any understanding of the buyer or their requirements.
But with additional market research , personalization and identifying customer pain points , you can propose a customized solution based on your buyer’s needs. This can be a very persuasive approach, such as in this business proposal example:
How do you write a business proposal? Business proposal templates
Before you start creating your business proposal template, you need to know what it comprises. At a high level your effective business proposal should include the following:
Below, you can see business proposal examples that demonstrate how to include these 10 sections.
Business proposal title
A compelling title could mean the difference between someone reading your proposal or ignoring it in favor of a competitor’s.
What makes a good title page? Here are the essential elements to include:
- Your name along with your company’s name
- The name of the prospect (or their business)
- The date you’re submitting the proposal
The gray business consulting proposal template above contains all the details a prospect would want to know. The title also offers a strong tangible benefit to the prospective buyer. Honestly, “Who doesn’t want to grow their business?”
Return to business proposal content sections
The table of contents is a fundamental part of every winning business proposal template. It makes your proposal scannable and easy to read.
The people you will be pitching to are usually C-level executives. These are busy people who don’t have time to read your entire proposal in one go.
That’s why most of the business proposal examples in this list include a table of contents.
Adding a table of contents to your document makes it easy for them to go through it at their own pace. They can also skim through parts of the proposal that they deem more important. You can see how this abstract business proposal template uses the table of contents:
You can also make your business proposal template easier to navigate by adding hyperlinks to the document, particularly in the table of contents. This way your clients can jump to specific sections without having to scroll through the entire document.
It’s easy to add hyperlinks in the Venngage editor. Select the text you’d like to turn into a link, then click the link icon in the top bar. From there, select the page you want to link to! Then download your completed design as an Interactive PDF .
The executive summary is a staple in all kinds of annual reports , project plans and even marketing plans . It is a concise summary of the entire contents of your document. In other words, write a business proposal outline that is easy to glance over and that highlights your value proposition.
The goals of your executive summary are:
- Introduce your company to your buyer
- Provide an overview of your company goals
- Showcase your company’s milestones, overall vision and future plans
- Include any other relevant details
This gray business proposal example has a detailed yet short executive summary including some social proof in the form of clients they’ve worked with:
Take note of how precise this business proposal example is. You want to keep your executive summary concise and clear from the get-go. This sets the right tone for the rest of your proposal. It also gives your buyer a reason to continue reading your proposal.
Pro Tip: Try to write an executive summary such that, even if your prospective client doesn’t read the entire proposal (with a good executive summary, they most likely will), they should have a clear idea about what your company does and how you can help them.
The point of writing a business proposal is to solve a buyer’s problem. Your goal is to outline the problem statement as clearly as possible. This develops a sense of urgency in your prospect. They will want to find a solution to the problem. And you have that solution.
A well-defined problem statement does two things:
- It shows the prospect you have done your homework instead of sending a generic pitch
- It creates an opportunity for you to point out a problem your prospect might not be aware they had in the first place.
This bold business proposal template above clearly outlines the problem at hand and also offers a ray of hope i.e. how you can solve your prospect’s problem. This brings me to…
The good stuff. In the proposed solution section, you show how you can alleviate your prospective buyer’s pain points. This can fit onto the problem statement section but if you have a comprehensive solution or prefer to elaborate on the details, a separate section is a good idea.
Spare no details regarding the solution you will provide. When you write a business proposal, explain how you plan to deliver the solution. Include an estimated timeline of when they can expect your solution and other relevant details.
For inspiration, look at how this business proposal template quickly and succinctly outlines the project plan, deliverables and metrics :
At this point, the prospect you’re pitching your solution to likes what they’re reading. But they may not trust you to deliver on your promises. Why is this?
It’s because they don’t know you. Your job is to convince them that you can fix their problem. This section is important because it acts as social proof. You can highlight what your company does best and how qualified your team is when you write a business proposal for a potential client.
This free business proposal template showcases the company’s accolades, client testimonials, relevant case studies, and industry awards. You can also include other forms of social proof to establish yourself as a credible business. This makes it that much more likely that they will say yes!
Pro Tip: Attaching in-depth case studies of your work is a great way to build trust with a potential client by showcasing how you’ve solved similar problems for other clients in the past. Our case study examples post can show you how to do just that.
To further demonstrate just how prepared you are, it’s important to outline the next steps you will take should your buyer decide to work with you.
Provide a timeline of how and when you will complete all your deliverables. You can do this by designing a flow chart . Or add a roadmap with deadlines. Pitching a long-term project? A timeline infographic would be a better fit.
If you look at this abstract business proposal template below, even something as simple as a table can do the trick.
The timeline is not always set in stone, rather it’s an estimation. The goal is to clarify any questions your potential client might have about how you will deliver for the underlying B2B sales process.
On this page, you can outline your fees, payment schedule, invoice payment terms , as well as legal aspects involved in this deal.
The key to good pricing is to provide your buyer with options. A pricing comparison table can help with this. You want to give your client some room to work with. Make sure you’re not scaring off your client with a high price, nor undervaluing yourself.
Breaking up your pricing in stages is another great way to make sure your potential client knows what he’s paying for. Look at how this simple business proposal template does this:
The legal aspects can slot right into the terms and conditions section. Alternatively, you can add them in the signature section of the proposal to keep things simple.
Summarize everything you have promised to deliver so far. Include what you expect from your prospective buyer in return. Add the overall project timeline from start to end, as well as payment methods and payment schedule. This way, both of you will be clear on what is being agreed on.
This step is very important as it outlines all the legal aspects of the deal. That is why the terms and conditions section of your proposal needs to be as clear as possible.
I recommend consulting a lawyer or your legal team when working on this section of the business proposal. If you’re a business veteran and understand the legalities of your business, you can use the same terms and conditions across all your proposals.
The final step of this whole process. Your client has read your business proposal and they want to buy what you have to offer.
Add a small section at the end of your proposal to get the necessary signatures. This way, you and your client can sign the proposal and the partnership becomes official.
Be sure to also include your contact information in your business proposal template. It acts as a gentle prompt to your client to contact you in case they have any questions.
Now that you know how to write a business proposal, let’s look at how you can optimize your proposal to deliver results!
Below you’ll find some winning business proposal templates and examples to get you started. I’ve also included some design tips to keep in mind when you’re creating your next business proposal:
1. Know your audience
If you have some clarity on who your ideal buyer is — their pain points, their budget, deadlines, among other things — you’ve already won half the battle.
If you are a business that helps clients with everything from running giveaways or helping grow their blog , identify which customers to pitch. This is a sure-shot way to close the deal.
Mapping user personas for your ideal buyer can help bring some clarity. It will also help you position your business proposal correctly. This improves the chance of your buyer moving your business proposal to the “Yes!” pile.
2. Put your brand front and center
If your company follows certain brand guidelines, incorporate them in your business proposal templates. Consider how business proposal examples like the one below highlight brand identity:
From the color palettes to the company logos , everything follows their brand guidelines. The result: a business proposal that’s consistent across the board.
Pro Tip: Switching this template to match your brand assets is actually pretty easy. Venngage’s My Brand Kit feature allows you to import your color palettes, logos as well as font choices. Any Venngage template can now be your template.
You can also consider this sample business proposal template:
Design companies sure do know their design. They did a phenomenal job keeping their brand colors consistent while opting for a black design. This unique color scheme also makes their white logo prominent throughout the proposal.
3. Try less text, more visuals
Have you ever read a proposal and thought to yourself, “Wow, this is all text and has no images, I love it!”? Yeah, me neither.
The free business proposal template below is a perfect example of the “less is more” principle. It does a phenomenal job of communicating what it needs to. By substituting some of the text with icons and visuals, you get a clean business proposal that’s much more scannable.
Want to keep things strictly professional? Instead of icons, you can always add your team’s headshots. This shows your buyer exactly who they’ll be working with.
Check out this formal business proposal format for some inspiration:
4. Switch up your business proposal designs
It doesn’t hurt to go above and beyond once in a while. Jazz up your business proposal template with some extra colors. This helps make your business proposal more engaging. It also helps your buyers retain information faster.
The business proposal example alternates between black, white and grey backgrounds. It still manages to maintain consistency in its branding . Just switching up your backgrounds once in a while can also bring in some variety to an otherwise standard business proposal.
This SEO business proposal sample proves that it’s possible to switch up the colors in every other page. But it still maintains the same color scheme across the entire proposal just like a professionally designed website :
Pro Tip: Not a color expert? Our guide on picking colors can help you pick the right color scheme for your proposals.
FAQ about business proposals
What is the purpose of a business proposal.
Essentially, a business proposal aims to streamline the B2B sales process (which is often complex) between you as a seller and a buyer.
It does this by serving the dual purpose of acting as a source of information. The proposal also acts as a sales pitch aimed at convincing your buyer why they should buy what you have to offer.
What are the best practices for business proposal design?
- Do a thorough spell-check. The goal of your business proposal is to convince your buyer why you’re the perfect person for the job. A proposal with typos or grammatical errors communicates the opposite. A thorough spell-check before you send your proposal is a must.
- Let your brand shine. As discussed before, writing a business proposal is all about knowing your ideal buyer and focusing on their pain points. But that doesn’t mean your business proposal template has to be boring. Demonstrate how different you are compared to other companies. You can do this through your brand guidelines, by using more visuals, switching up your proposal design or showing off your personality in your writing.
- Download your business proposal as a PDF. This allows you to attach other collaterals with your business proposal. These can include a company explainer video or case studies showcasing the work done with past clients. Also, who doesn’t love saving paper?
How long should your business proposal be?
The length depends on the scope of the work as well as the complexity of the project. Here is a one-page business proposal template:
Can your business proposal template really be one page? Yes, as long as you understand who your buyer is and their pain points. You should also have the ability to communicate everything your ideal buyer needs to know about your business in a succinct manner.
Or if you’re feeling adventurous how about just two pages? Often, clients prefer if you go straight to the point and avoid all the fluff.
For example, this green modern marketing proposal template wastes no time in getting down to brass tacks:
There is no one size fits all approach when it comes to deciding how many pages you should include in your business proposal template. And at the end of the day, “the only rules are the ones you set for yourself”.
At the end of the day, writing winning business proposals that sell is all about you understanding your buyer, their potential pain points and positioning yourself as someone who can alleviate those pain points.
Now that you know how to write compelling business proposals, what are you waiting for?
Take action and start creating your own business proposals to close more deals and grow your business today!
More business communications templates + writing tips you might be interested in…
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How to Write a Project Proposal [10+ Templates]
20+ Professional Business Letterhead Templates + Branding Tips
How to Write a White Paper [Tips & Templates]
- Hubspot Blog
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How to Write a Business Proposal [Examples + Template]
Published: December 12, 2022
It's finally happened. You've started a new business, and your customer base is starting to expand. But even though you're making progress, you still feel like you could be doing better.
There's a whole world of untapped potential around you — prospects you know would benefit from your product or service. And the issues you're running into are less about your solution's soundness and more about how you can reach your potential base.
That's where business proposals come in. They can bridge the gap between you and potential clients. A solid proposal can outline your value proposition and persuade a company or organization to do business with you.
Here, we'll take a look at the various kinds of business proposals and go over how to write one. We’ll also see some ideas and examples to help guide yours.
Know exactly what you need? Jump to one of the following sections:
What is a business proposal?
Types of business proposals, how to write a business proposal, business proposal ideas, business proposal templates, business proposal example.
A business proposal is a formal document that’s created by a company and provided to a prospect to secure a business agreement.
It's a common misconception that business proposals and business plans are the same. The proposal aims to sell your product or service rather than your business itself. Instead of assisting your search for investors to fund your business, a proposal helps you seek new customers.
Follow Along With HubSpot's Business Proposal Template
Download the Template for Free
There are two types of business proposals: unsolicited and solicited.
- Unsolicited Business Proposals - With unsolicited business proposals, you approach a potential customer with a proposal, even if they don't request one, to gain their business.
- Solicited Business Proposal s - Solicited business proposals are requested by a prospective client so that they can decide whether or not to do business with your company.
In a solicited business proposal, the other organization asks for a request for proposal (RFP). When a company needs a problem solved, they invite other businesses to submit a proposal that details how they'd solve it.
Whether the proposal is solicited or unsolicited, the steps to create your proposal are similar. Ensure it includes three main points: a statement of the organization's problem, proposed solution, and pricing information.
- Begin with a title page.
- Create a table of contents.
- Explain your “why” with an executive summary.
- State the problem or need.
- Propose a solution.
- Share your qualifications.
- Include pricing options.
- Summarize with a conclusion.
- Clarify your terms and conditions.
- Include a space for signatures to document agreement.
Before writing your business proposal, it's crucial you understand the company. If they've sent you an RFP, make sure you read it carefully, so you know exactly what they want. It can also be helpful to have an initial call or meeting with the new client to ensure you fully understand the problem they're trying to solve and their objectives.
Once you've done your research, it's time to begin writing your business proposal. There's no one-size-fits-all approach to writing a business proposal, but let's take a look at some elements proposals often include. (I designed this example business proposal using Canva .)
Free Business Proposal Template
Fill out the form to get your template., 1. begin with a title page..
You have to convey some basic information here. Introduce yourself and your business. Be sure to include your name, your company's name, the date you submitted the proposal, and the name of the client or individual you're submitting the proposal to.
Your title page should reconcile engagement with professionalism. It's a tone-setter, so you need to make sure yours is sleek, aesthetically appealing, and not too "out there."
Here's an example of what a business proposal template looks like when done right:
The executive summary details exactly why you're sending the proposal and why your solution is the best for the prospective client. Specificity is key here. Why are you the best option for them?
Similar to a value proposition, your executive summary outlines the benefits of your company's products or services and how they can solve your potential client's problem. After reading your executive summary, the prospect should have a clear idea of how you can help them, even if they don't read the entire proposal. Here's what one should look like:
4. State the problem or need.
This is where you provide a summary of the issue impacting the potential client. It provides you with the opportunity to show them you clearly understand their needs and the problem they need help solving.
Research, critical thinking, and extra thought are key here. You have to do your homework. Take a holistic look at the specific issues your client faces that you can help solve. Then, compellingly frame them in a way that sets you up for the next step.
7. Include pricing options.
Pricing is where things can get a bit tricky, as you don't want to under or over-price your product. If you'd like to provide the prospect with a few pricing options for their budget, include an optional fee table . Some proposal software offer responsive pricing tables which allow clients to check the products or services they're interested in, and the price will automatically adjust.
8. Summarize with a conclusion.
After providing the above information, it’s necessary to simplify it into one final section. Briefly summarize the proposal. Touch on your qualifications and why you’d serve as the best choice. To prompt further conversation, confirm your availability. At the end of the proposal, the goal is to have the client ready to work with you. Provide your contact information to allow them to follow up easily.
9. Clarify your terms and conditions.
This is where you go into detail about the project timeline, pricing, and payment schedules. It's essentially a summary of what you and the client agree to if they accept your proposal. Make sure you clear the terms and conditions with your own legal team before sending the proposal to the client.
We know how crucial a great business proposal is to your and your clients' success. That's why we've compiled 2 Free Business Proposal Templates for you to use and customize for any of your projects. You'll gain access to a concise, one-page template (pictured above), as well as a longer template for you to embellish on your plan and proposal. Download the templates now to get started on building your proposal.
2. Web Design Proposal
Companies, big and small, dedicate resources to establishing a noticeable social media presence. With advertising on social networks projected to reach $56.85 billion dollars in 2022 , it's in your business's best interest to have a plan for growing your client's social media presence.
To help you in that effort, the information in this social media marketing proposal includes an executive summary to help introduce your high-level ideas, an assessment of the client’s company to demonstrate your diligence, and a breakdown of billing to show how your company charges for posting, content creation, and analytics.
8. Content Marketing Proposal
When pitching your content marketing services to clients, this template can help you organize your ideas. While it walks you through initial objectives and how to communicate your prospected results, one of the most helpful parts of this template is the pricing ideas it gives you when charging for your services.
Business proposal templates are helpful places to get started, but what should your business proposal look like when it's complete? Below, we share an example of a business proposal template that will inspire you.
In the business template example above, Social Portal Consulting (SPC) pitches a marketing proposal to Graphic Bean. At first sight, this proposal appeals to the creative. A nice touch would include designing the layout in your or your client’s brand colors. In addition to the design, the use of social media icons quickly tells the prospect what platforms Social Portal is pitching. Because we see Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest icons, the client instantly knows that this proposal does not include LinkedIn, YouTube, or other platforms.
While maintaining its design, this example outlines Social Portal Consulting’s plans efficiently. It begins by providing insight into Graphic Bean and its goals before elaborating on how SPC can leverage its expertise to help them achieve it. This business proposal template includes an easy-to-follow timeframe for goals and objectives while keeping the client abreast of how payment will happen across the project.
Overall, this is an excellent example of how to combine the elements of social media marketing into a creative and concise business proposal. Finally, we'll leave you with some business proposal ideas to get you started on your own.
- Start with an outline.
- Include data and visuals.
- Add social proof.
- Incorporate video into your proposal.
- Use a call-to-action.
- Include up-sell and add-on opportunities.
- Create a sense of urgency.
- Keep it simple.
- Make the decision for them.
- Stay on brand.
- Quality control.
There's a lot to keep in mind when writing a business proposal. Here are a few tips to help you out:
1. Start with an outline.
If you want to produce a thoughtful, effective business proposal, you need to have some idea of what you're hoping to achieve with it. So before you dive into writing, outline the major sections of your business proposal and the pertinent information you want to include. This will ensure you stay focused and your message stays intact as you write.
2. Include data and visuals.
You want your business proposal to capture your prospect's attention and help set you apart from any other ones they might have received. One of the best ways to do that is to include hard, quantitative data that helps stress the value of your business.
If you can find some relevant, compelling figures that highlight what you have to offer, you can establish authority and make yourself that much more convincing. It also helps to include visuals such as charts and graphs to enhance your proposal.
3. Add social proof.
Like the previous point, adding social proof lends your proposal another degree of credibility. You can only be so convincing when you're personally talking up how great your business is.
Prospects are skeptical. In many — if not most — cases, they probably won't take you at your word. They'll likely trust peers and fellow customers more than someone trying to win their business. That's why including elements like customer quotes and testimonials can go a long way.
4. Incorporate video into your proposal.
If you're creating an online proposal using document file formats like PDF, you can include multimedia elements to enhance the proposal experience. They can make your document richer and more engaging.
Whether you add video at the beginning as an intro to your proposal or in the project breakdown to verbally discuss some of the more confusing parts, extras like this can make an impression. This works especially on prospects who are visual or auditory communicators.
5. Use a call-to-action.
Prospects need direction. The best proposal in the world can only take you so far if you don't clearly define the next steps. That's why you have to make sure the reader knows what to do next after reading your proposal.
A clear-cut call-to-action is the best way to get there. Define and highlight exactly what they should do to act on the interest your proposal has generated. Without that guidance, you might leave your reader in limbo.
6. Include up-sell and add-on opportunities.
They say you won't receive unless you ask. Readers won't explore the upper tiers of your solutions if you don't give them the opportunity. If you want to use your business proposal as a chance to get the most out of a reader's interest, you need to include some additional information about your business for them to act on. They need to know what else you have to offer.
7. Create a sense of urgency.
No one wants to feel as if they missed out on a great opportunity. A lack of urgency tends to cause people to drag their feet and take time when making a decision. As you create your business proposal, your goal should be to create a sense of urgency.
Prospective clients should read your business proposal and feel that now is the best time to sign up for your service. A way you can accomplish this is by stating your short and long-term goals for their business. While they will have to wait for the long-term goals, make the short-term goals so enticing that they are instantly ready to begin a collaboration.
8. Keep it simple.
There's no definitive blueprint for how long a business proposal has to be. Yours should be however long it takes to convey the information you want to get across.
That said, you're best off focusing on quality over quantity. Keep your sentences short and simple, and avoid including too much business jargon. You want your proposal to be straightforward enough for anyone who picks it up to make sense of it. So don't get carried away with being too fancy.
9. Make the decision for them.
Craft your copy in a way that seems like saying "no" to the proposal would be stepping over dollars to pick up pennies. Your offer should go above and beyond their expectations, and you should do everything in your power to eliminate friction and objections along the way.
10. Stay on brand.
Don't be afraid to let your company's personality shine through in your proposal. Stay true to your brand and show the client what sets you apart from your competitors.
11. Quality control.
Your proposal needs to be clean and airtight. You don't want to undermine your messaging by coming off as sloppy and unprofessional. Before you send the proposal out, make sure to read and reread it for any typos or grammatical errors.
Let your business proposal do the talking.
Depending on the type of business you're in, your business proposal elements will vary based on the prospect's needs. After reading through your plan, prospective clients should have very few questions about your company and what it can do for them. With the tips and examples in this article, you have all the tools to guide you through the process. With a professional, customized business proposal, you're sure to delight your client and potentially gain their business.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in February 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
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Business proposal template in Word
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Free business proposal template in Word.
Writing a business proposal takes time - and as a freelancer or business owner, time is at a premium. Give yourself a headstart when you’re responding to requests for proposals (RFPs) or submitting unsolicited proposals, with our free downloadable template in Microsoft Word.
Using a proposal template will help you quickly create a document which uses the best possible business proposal format, every time.
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Find our what the sections every good business proposal should include are .
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Proposal templates in Word.
Choose, create and customize your perfect business proposal, bid proposal or project proposal with our free templates.
Quickly create professional proposal documents which cover your project’s objectives, scope, milestones and budget - and grab your client’s attention immediately.
Find the proposal template that you need to boost your sales from the table on the right.
What is a business proposal?
A business proposal - which may also be called a bid or a pitch - is used to persuade an organization to buy a product or service.
Maybe the organization is actively seeking proposals for a job they know they want doing - in this case, you’re preparing a solicited proposal. Or maybe you’re pitching a suggestion to carry out work the company has not yet commissioned. This is known as an unsolicited proposal.
Whether it’s solicited or unsolicited, your business proposal must show how you can offer a unique solution to the client’s problem. Great business proposal examples include details about goals, timelines, deliverables, and budget, to allow the client to thoroughly evaluate the idea.
What is the business proposal format?
Your business proposal will be unique and the best format will depend on the project and the client. However, there are a few basic things you’ll usually find in a good business proposal example:
- Cover page or title page
- Introduction or cover letter
- Company overview and contact information
- Executive summary
- Project overview
- Scope of work documentation
- Terms of the agreement
- Signature field
You’ll likely find that there is some content that you’ll want to include in every business proposal - but do take the time to tailor each document to the client and the project in hand for the best results.
Business proposal FAQ.
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29 Sample Proposal Templates and Design Tips
Written by: Chloe West
Writing a proposal gives you the perfect opportunity to showcase why you or your business is right for the job a potential client is interested in. But without the right proposal template, knowing what your proposal needs to say and including the right proposal visuals , you might end up losing that client.
This is why we’ve put together a post full of stunning, professionally designed proposal templates — to help you know exactly what to include in your proposal and where it should go to really reel in new clientele.
Here's a short selection of 8 easy-to-edit Proposal templates you can edit, share and download with Visme. View more below:
Our proposal templates cover a wide range of industries and have pre-written content already included to help guide your own proposal. This way, you can easily get started creating your own stunning proposal design in minutes.
Let’s dive in!
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1 Web Development Proposal Template
This proposal template is perfect for a more corporate look and feel in your proposal.
With a professional design and an easy-to-follow table of contents at the beginning of your proposal, your potential clients will love this proposal setup.
Design Tip: Give each new section in your proposal a similar header, as seen in this template. This will create a cohesive design, while letting your reader immediately know that they’ve moved onto a new section within your proposal.
2 IT Consulting Proposal Template
If your brand colors focus on a single accent color, this is the perfect proposal template to customize. Here, we see a single accent purple used, while the rest of the information maintains a black and white look.
Even the data visualizations use a monochromatic scheme by incorporating other shades of purple.
Design Tip: Use a stock photo on your proposal cover with a transparent color overlay. This is a great way to create depth in your design, while still allowing your title and information to stand out.
3 QA Testing Proposal Template
This template for business proposal has a modern design, using a geometric layout throughout the document. These square sections help to break up large paragraphs of content in a visually appealing way.
You can also easily crop your images into various shapes to fit them into your geometric design.
Simply update the content in this business proposal sample, upload your own photos or use the options in the left-hand sidebar to add visuals to your proposal.
Design Tip: Try playing with geometric shapes in your design. Using squares to house various sections of content is a great way to separate your paragraphs and avoid crowding your design.
4 Website Design Proposal Template
This proposal cover template allows you to easily add your company introduction, portfolio , testimonials and budget information for your potential clients and services.
Visme also allows you to overlay website examples on top of a computer screen cutout to provide an even better website portfolio presentation for your clients.
Design Tip: Get creative with your table of contents . It doesn’t have to be a basic list of pages. Instead, take a page out of this template’s book and use a grid or other creative setup.
5 Corporate Proposal Template
This corporate proposal template is another great version to use for higher end, enterprise clients and projects.
Its professional look and feel will help ensure anyone you hand it to will know they’re in good hands with their project. Get started with this editable sales proposal design and you’ll be amazed by the result.
Design Tip: Use icons to help visualize your content. Visme’s icon library has over 10,000 different options, so you should be able to easily find icons relevant to your industry and the content written in your proposal.
Build relationships with customers and drive sales growth
- Reach out to prospects with impressive pitch decks and proposals that convert
- Monitor clients' level of engagement to see what they are most interested in
- Build a winning sales playbook to maximize your sales team's efficiency
6 Digital Branding Proposal Template
The bold, serif headings in this business proposal sample help you to create a contemporary design perfect for online businesses and modern branding companies.
Use this template for business proposal to provide the perfect project overview and timeline for your potential clients. Simply edit the template, input your information and download.
Design Tip: Using grayscale photos can help create a level of professionalism within your proposal that might not otherwise be there. With Visme’s editor, you can add filters to your photos to find the perfect tone.
7 Social Media Marketing Proposal Template
Putting together a proposal for social media marketing services? This proposal cover template offers the perfect layout for your information, pricing and service details.
With sans serif fonts through and a modern look and feel, this proposal template is perfect for digital age services, like social media marketing.
Design Tip: Use a bold sans serif font as your page or section headers to really grab attention and create a contemporary design feel throughout your proposal.
8 SEO Proposal Template
This business proposal brings in a few pops of color very strategically. Using a two-color scheme – magenta and grey – this template allows the colors to really run the show.
There are several well-designed sections within this template that can be customized to fit a variety of needs, so you can make this proposal template work for any type of business or service.
Design Tip: Add shapes and adjust the opacity to create glimpses into your background photo without distracting from the proposal content.
9 eCommerce Proposal Template
Want to create a proposal that pops? This eCommerce proposal template is the perfect way. By incorporating a bright red hue alongside images with black and white translucent overlays really helps important parts of this proposal template stand out.
Design Tip: Use a bright color as an accent hue within your proposal to really grab attention. Using this bright color to highlight the most important sections, like pricing, service options and things like that can be beneficial to your reader.
10 Event Photography Proposal Template
Showcasing your work within your proposal is a fantastic idea to really sell your services. This proposal template for event photography makes it easy to include previous project information, but incorporating screenshots or testimonials can work just as well.
Try including portfolio information within your proposal, too, so your reader can get a full scope of your previous work and get a good idea of if your business will be the right fit.
Easily share your proposal with your team members to get feedback. Or push the final version to your clients right inside your Visme account.
Design Tip: Get creative with your project timelines within your proposals. Visme offers a wide selection of timeline and process diagrams that make putting together pieces of your proposal easy.
11 CRO Proposal Template
The warm color scheme in this proposal template is perfect for business services. While the orange is a focal color, the use of yellow and red in the icons and data visualizations fit right in.
Make your headings and most important tidbits of information stand out from the rest of your proposal by using a bold headline or highlighting them in bright shapes.
Design Tip: Using shapes , like ribbons and arrows, can add even more depth to your proposal, helping to call out specific information that you want your audience to read or understand.
12 Social Media Business Proposal Template
Depending on your audience, sometimes a more creative proposal template is the right look for the job. Other times, a more straightforward, minimalistic, professional design is the best choice.
Using popular fonts like Arial, Times New Roman and Verdana can also create a traditional look and feel for more corporate proposals.
Design Tip: Be sure to include a good bit of white space and margins in your proposal to ensure your content doesn't look too crowded and overwhelm your reader.
13 Web Design Proposal Template
Want a more muted proposal template? This beige monochromatic color scheme creates a really beautiful look and feel.
The muted imagery also fits in perfectly with the rest of this proposal design. All you have to do is switch out the template content and send this off to your prospective client.
Design Tip: Use varying shades of a single color to create a uniform spectrum that you can use for timelines, process charts, subscription tables and more.
14 Engineering Project Proposal Template
Here’s a project proposal template you can customize for different project types.
Many of Visme's proposal templates also include a placeholder area for you to drop your logo right into the template. This helps to immediately brand your proposal and help your customer trust that it's coming from you.
Design Tip: Using your brand colors and fonts is essential in a proposal. You can easily add these into your Visme Brand Kit to access for any design, not just your proposals.
15 Architecture Proposal Template
If you're looking for a unique and modern way to share your proposal information with your audience, this project proposal template is the perfect solution.
With a minimalistic look and feel and tons of white space, you can easily customize this to fit any information you might need to fit within your proposal.
Design Tip: Use abstract images to decorate your proposal pages. You can easily find the perfect photos in Visme's stock photo library.
16 Strategic Marketing Proposal Template
This is another highly professional proposal template that your potential clients and customers will eat up. You can also use this template to create a partnership proposal .
The serif font in the headers presents a more traditional look and feel that is perfect for Enterprise businesses.
Design Tip: Use colorful image overlays to ensure images remain branded to the rest of your proposal. You can easily choose a color and select its opacity in Visme's photo editor.
17 Fashion Proposal Template
Want something more bold and feminine? This proposal template utilizes a bright pink and purple color scheme that's perfect for a female audience.
The stock photos of female models throughout the proposal also help to resonate with their audience, and help potential customers to see themselves in the photos, creating a strong connection and making them want to work with you.
Design Tip: Create some kind of unifying factor on each page to keep your proposal design consistent. For example, in this proposal template, we see a solid line of pink on the left side. Find something that meshes well with your design and stick with it.
18 Accounting Proposal Template
Don't be afraid of color. Proposals don't always have to be a black and white, boring document. Instead, you can bring them to life by strategically incorporating an accent color throughout your proposal pages.
This contemporary design creates a nice mixture of photos, geometric shapes, icons and text so that no single element is too overwhelming, and the messaging is easy to digest and understand.
Keep the pages of your proposal and other projects on brand using Dynamic Fields in Visme. You can insert your personal and business information, personalize the fields and assign any value to them.
Design Tip: Try incorporating small squares to house your outline icons, like you see in this proposal template. Icons are great for adding a visual element while still being able to control the color scheme.
19 Sponsorship Proposal Template
And just because your proposal design doesn't have to be all black and white doesn't mean you can't make this style work for you.
This proposal template uses a minimal amount of a secondary color, instead focusing on creating a stunning greyscale design that still feels modern and visually appealing. Feel free to tweak this template for your next brand collaboration proposal .
Design Tip: Don't clutter too much information on a single page. The less text and information, the better. Dedicate a single page (or more if necessary) to each section, like you see one page housing sponsorship plans with no other info. Learn more about how to write a proposal .
20 Event Catering Proposal Template
While we tend to recommend using only serif and sans serif fonts to ensure a readable and professional proposal, there are still instances where a script font can work. This proposal template is one of them.
Because the branding is lighter and more feminine, a script font is the perfect accent font for callouts and headers throughout this proposal.
Design Tip: If you do choose to incorporate a script font, ensure it's only used for quick tidbits of text or large font sections like your header. Using a script font for paragraphs of body copy will be too hard to read and you'll likely lose out on sales.
21 Business Proposal Template
Need to create a flowchart to showcase business processes within your sales proposal design? It's never been easier to make a flowchart than with Visme's shape and line tools.
You can also include other types of data visualizations like charts , graphs , tables , maps and more in your business proposal .
Design Tip: When creating a flowchart with Visme, you can customize your line design, shape, color and more. Make sure to match your flowchart to the rest of your proposal so it doesn't look out of place.
22 Digital Marketing Proposal Template
This standard proposal template includes another example of using a bold, sans serif font as the header throughout each page and main section to really grab attention and create a modern design.
With a variety of different pages and text boxes, your brand will easily be able to customize this two-tone proposal template and make it your own.
Design Tip: Use colored sections as a backdrop to your text. Colors don't only have to be used in accent elements, they can be a feature of the proposal, highlighting text boxes and adding more depth to your pages.
23 Editing & Proofreading Proposal Template
If you're looking to create a sleek proposal to impress your audience and sell your service, this is the perfect proposal template for you. The serif font creates a classic look within your proposal that your prospective clients will appreciate.
Design Tip: You can easily use the same font to create different effects, like how you see some headings in all caps and others in title case. You can also try bold versus light, italicized versus normal and more.
24 Technical Writing Proposal Template
Check out one of the best proposal templates you’ll find anywhere. This proposal template makes it easy to input a map to showcase your business's various locations, your team, your workflow and more. Simply plug in your information, find relevant photos, change the fonts and colors, and complete your proposal design.
Design Tip: Play with columns or rows in your proposal. You don't have to use a full page. Instead, try working with a two-column look in your proposal.
25 Email Marketing Proposal Template
Utilize stock photos strategically to provide accents and visual details within your proposal. This proposal template places navy blue color overlays on top of most stock photos, which you can easily customize with your own brand colors.
Design Tip: Use relevant icons to kick off each section. Visme's icon library is full of thousands of color-changeable vector icons and illustrations that will set your proposal apart from the rest.
26 Copywriting Proposal Template
Showcasing testimonials is an important part of your proposal, so you want to take advantage of a proposal template that already has a page set out for these. Testimonials are a great way to show potential clients that you have previous client success stories.
Design Tip: Place a stock photo across your entire page and use translucent or opaque sections to place text and other informational elements on top.
27 Translation Services Proposal Template
This standard proposal template is perfect for international companies who want to showcase the vast variety of services offered by their business. Include a map, flags, icons, text and more to give prospective clients the full scope of what you can offer them.
Design Tips: Using white and light grey to create two-tone pages can create a new depth for your proposal.
28 Transcription Services Proposal Template
There's a plethora of information you might want to include within your proposal, but our proposal templates include pre-written copy to help guide your proposals.
You can easily customize our proposal designs to make them work for your business or industry and to perfectly sell or promote your product or service to your prospective client or customer. Use Visme’s analytics tool to see who has clicked on or viewed your proposal.
Design Tip: You don't have to take up a full page with your content. Take a page out of this proposal template's book and create a ton of white space and minimal content by using a full page for a small piece of content.
29 SEO Proposal Template
Showcase a lot of color on your proposal designs with a template like this one. With this stunning bright blue utilized throughout the pages, your content will really stand out to your audience.
You can take advantage of this beautiful blue, or update the accent color to your brand color. Use this color in a variety of page designs to grab your reader's attention.
Design Tip: Use cutouts of your digital products within your proposal template. You can create mockups or use cutouts provided in Visme's stock photo library to create this effect.
Customize a Proposal Template Today
Utilize one of these proposal templates to start customizing your own proposal and generate sales and conversions today. Sign up for your Visme account and start creating your proposal , wowing your audience and showcasing your product or services.
Create your own stunning proposal design in minutes with Visme.
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About the Author
Chloe West is the content marketing manager at Visme. Her experience in digital marketing includes everything from social media, blogging, email marketing to graphic design, strategy creation and implementation, and more. During her spare time, she enjoys exploring her home city of Charleston with her son.
Business services proposal
Need help pitching your business? This proposal template in Word will get you started. Divided into sections, the business proposal template in Word outlines your company business, objective, approach, and expected deliverables and provides scheduling, pricing, and more. The Word proposal template contains placeholder content to help guide you as you write, with pre-formatted tables for specific details. Using a service proposal template ensures that all the relevant details of a project are combined in a single document. This proposal template in Word can also serve as a basis for contract negotiations.
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A business proposal outlines what your business does and what you can do for your client. It can be general like this business proposal example: CREATE THIS PROPOSAL TEMPLATE Or it can be more specific, like this business proposal template which focuses on proposing a project for the Newton Center Rail: CREATE THIS PROPOSAL TEMPLATE
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Proposal templates in Word. Choose, create and customize your perfect business proposal, bid proposal or project proposal with our free templates. Quickly create professional proposal documents which cover your project’s objectives, scope, milestones and budget - and grab your client’s attention immediately.
Divided into sections, the business proposal template in Word outlines your company business, objective, approach, and expected deliverables and provides scheduling, pricing, and more. The Word proposal template contains placeholder content to help guide you as you write, with pre-formatted tables for specific details.