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Important Guidelines When Writing Your Next Business Proposal

Are your business proposals getting turned down? Or perhaps they’re not just generating the juicy leads that you and your business needs to survive. Whichever the case, read on as we deliver a refresher of the most important guidelines you need to keep in mind when writing your next business proposal. Through this entry we’ll be going over the things that not only make a business proposal the best that it can be, but also maximize your chances of convincing your client to go with you instead of your competitors.

Use a business proposal template.

Let’s not mince words here: a lot of resources goes into writing an effective business proposal from scratch. Not only does it require a lot of skill and expertise, but it also needs a competent eye for visual design and document layout. You may have these resources at hand, but there’s a bigger chance that you don’t, especially if your company’s a startup looking for that next big client to propel you to bigger heights.

It’s here where the importance of using a proposal template truly shines. When you use a proposal template, either procured from the many free ones available online or generated via proposal software, half the work is already done for you—the difficult half. The professional formatting, the appealing styling, and the intuitive organization is already there. All you need to do is to fill in the blanks with your own specific figures and content.

Research the client and the job carefully.

Before you get to writing, though, it’s highly important that you do your homework on the client and the job first. Trust us—nothing undermines all the hard work and dedication that goes into a convincing business proposal than it being written with a clear lack of information about the client and the job itself. Research extensively on both aspects. Devote an entire team of your employees if you have to, and have another team fact-check everything they come up with.  You can’t afford to mess up even at this point of the proposal, unless you’re all too willing to let go of a lucrative client.

Use an effective content writing style.

There are many ways to write a business proposal, with some more effective than others. However, unless the client you’re pursuing only allows for a very specific and certain way of content writing, then you should be safe with going with a style with the following attributes:

  • Has easily-understandable layman language and terminologies
  • Formal but optimistic tone
  • Only uses short and clear sentences
  • Gives all the important information needed to make a final decision up front

Writing your business proposal template with the above style ensures that it can be understood at any level, which is important as your proposal may be passed around your client’s board of officers for their approval. It also eliminates any chances of misunderstandings and gaffes that could result in your proposal being turned down.

Ensure that the content is customized for the client and the client alone.

While it’s certainly tempting to simply copy and paste a business proposal you’ve used with a past client for this new one, we highly recommend not doing that. After all, it’s always better to take the time to write a fresh one instead. Any canny client will be able to tell if the proposal they’re reading is a shoddy copy-and-paste job, which will definitely count against you. It’s just lazy and unprofessional, period.

Moreover, writing a fresh proposal allows you to take stock of your current prospect and tailor-fit your service offerings to them alone. This can help make your proposal more attractive in the eyes of your client and make them feel like they’re being treated like royalty, giving you an edge over your competitors.

Only write about the solutions and services you’re providing. Don’t clutter the proposal with unnecessary filler.

Unless your prospective client specifically demands it, it’s always a good idea to cut out all unnecessary information from your business proposal. Only focus on describing the problem that your client needs solving and what you’re offering to do to solve it. This ensures that your business proposal is a quick and informative read, something that every CEO or manager without a lot of free time on their hands will appreciate.


With these important guidelines firmly in mind, your being able to score the big and lucrative clients is all but guaranteed. Just make sure that you go through all the content you make for the business proposal with a fine-toothed comb, especially when it comes to the figures in the pricing. You don’t want to make any typographical errors on that front!

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