Using a Sample Business Proposal

Business.com / Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Writing a business proposal can be a daunting prospect, but it can be done. A great shortcut is to find a sample proposal used by ...

Writing a business proposal can be a daunting prospect, but it can be done. A great shortcut is to find a sample proposal used by others, and use it as a guide for writing your own. But keep in mind that a business proposal is a very personal thing, and just finding a business proposal sample and typing in your own information isn't going to do the entire job for you. You will need to take the business proposal sample and transform it into your own professional document that is going to bring customers to your business.

You need to:

1. Keep in mind that a business plan and a business proposal are two different things.

2. Look at some sample business plans, or think about buying some software packages, if you think you might need some extra help.

3. Avoid keying information into a business proposal template, no matter how clear it is, and leaving "as is," without further editing. Polish your business proposal and make it as professional as possible.

What is a business proposal vs. a business plan?

People often misuse the terms business proposal and business plan. A business plan is simply that--a plan for your business to help you make your way. A business proposal is written to entice customers to your door, customers that might not know you exist.

Get ready to write by looking at a sample business proposal

Take a look at a business proposal sample to see what format your own proposal should follow. This will help you see if your proposal is going to impress your potential clients, or just make them roll their eyes at your business proposal before they toss it aside unread.

Finding a sample business proposal

There should be dozens of free sample business proposals out on the Internet, right? Well, not exactly. A business proposal is a time-consuming thing to write, and people aren't often willing to share sample proposals with others. Business proposals often contain confidential information, which means much of what you do find on the Internet is vague and useless. You do not want to use a boilerplate, one-size-fits-all sample business proposal to try to sell your company.

  • A business proposal is a way of asking for business. Be clear and concise and don't confuse or annoy your potential client. When you are looking at sample proposals, don't follow one that uses a lot of jargon and buzzwords. Your client may not know what the terminology means.
  • Use graphs and charts to make your points clear, but don't overuse them; one well thought-out chart is good, ten pointless ones are not.
  • Remember, you are selling your company or your services with your business proposal, so this isn't the place to cut corners. Doing it right will pay off with more customers and clients so take a sample business proposal and turn it into something truly your own.

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