Understanding the Outline and Format for Proposals

Posted by Abbey Claire Dela Cruz | December 3, 2022 | proposals,

The first step for anyone starting a business, however difficult it may seem, is to learn how to create a business proposal and the format of proposals. Of course, every firm has a unique set of requirements and challenges.

For example, a start-up or tiny business would require a different kind of business proposal than a medium-sized or large company.

However, a well-thought-out business proposal is a smart precaution to have in place regardless of the type of business you intend to run. Research shows that preparing one can help you with anything from securing funding to expanding your organization.

What is a Business Proposal?

A business proposal aims to attract new customers with the company’s products or services.

It is a printed or digital document that outlines a product’s or service’s benefits while considering the lead’s preferences and needs. In other words, business proposals outline how an organization may assist in resolving a specific problem for a client.

A solicited proposal is sent upon customer request and can be formal or informal. An unsolicited proposal is sent out as a base test and, in this sense, is identical to a cold email.

Take a look at these business proposal writing examples:

Informally Solicited Proposal

Company A learned about Company B and developed an interest in its products. After a casual discussion, Company A requests a document to understand more about the product’s quality, delivery conditions, available pricing alternatives, etc. It isn’t obliged to respond to the offer.

Formally Solicited Proposal

Company A is a consistent client of Company B and is aware of its needs. It is prepared to purchase but wants to review the terms again before paying for it.

Furthermore, Company A requests Company B to send a business proposal sample, including information on the items, prices, delivery information, etc. It is necessary to respond to an offer within the predetermined timeframe after receiving it. The request will become a binding purchase agreement if Company A accepts the terms.

Unsolicited Proposal

Company B wants to inform Company A about its services through a lead generation campaign. It generates a general proposal that includes Company B’s background, areas of expertise, conditions of cooperation, partnership initiatives, and other business-related information.

Facts About Business Proposals

Key to Success

Every business has specific areas to concentrate on, and a business plan creates a more focused path to success. A new venture’s chances of success are increased by two when it has a business proposal.

About 543,000 new firms open in the USA each month, yet only seven out of 10 survive after the first two years, while five out of 10 continue to operate after five years. Surprisingly, 70% of companies that last for five years are doing so because they have a comprehensive business plan.

Having a Long-Term Strategy

Keep to your plan: Strategic planning entails determining a longer-term objective for the company and creating a plan to achieve it. Making a business strategy part of your company’s planning helps you understand where your company is now, where you want it to be, and what you need to do to get there.

Set Priorities and Focus

A firm can concentrate on the areas it believes are best to focus on based on its priorities. There are business priorities in addition to a business strategy, such as growth, sales, and financial stability. A report states that entrepreneurs who anticipate receiving outside funding are 19% more likely to put their ideas on paper than those who do not.

Types of Prospero Service Proposal Templates

Content Marketing

Today’s online businesses are built on content marketing. By making your website a hub of knowledge and entertainment, you can create authority in your industry and become a customer’s first choice when they need your service. This is the objective of content marketing. You can opt to make use of content planning tools so that your messaging stays consistent and on-brand. 


Prospero offers various business proposal templates that draw any client in for a catering company. Look at the large variety of proposals this proposal software provides.

Interior Design Proposal

Without a well-written interior design proposal template, your clients can be uncertain about the precise services you offer, the total cost of the project, and a realistic completion time.

Marketing Proposal

The scope of a marketing project and its budget are communicated to key stakeholders through a marketing proposal document. A proposal aims to gain the support necessary to execute the outlined plan.

The Importance of a Good Outline

Before anything else, think about to who you are delivering the project proposal outline. It would be beneficial if you considered the audience’s priorities in light of the topic of the project. This will help you understand which elements you should include in your project proposal.

You’ll see a noticeable difference in reader response when you use one or more of these suggestions in your next proposal draft.

Think of questions you expect the individual or team to whom you are proposing to ask. This includes questions regarding potential obstacles in the future, your delivery strategy for your project management status update, etc.

Furthermore, find your unique hook and boil it to the core. Offering a higher-quality service (such as segregating big projects into manageable phases in your proposal) can make all the difference, even if the solution or methods aren’t new.

In every area of your project plan, get right to the point. Avoid jargon, and use appropriate language.

How to Write an Eye-Catching Outline

Step 1: Describe the Problem

Outlining the issue that the company is trying to solve with the project will help you get off to a strong start. You must provide it with data and facts. It is not necessary to express your perspective or what others are saying.

To illustrate the gravity of the issue, you should gather facts and present them. You must respond to questions regarding the nature of the problem and the reason for your solutions. This will explain to the audience what steps you can take to address the issue. 

Step 2: Give Accurate Delivery and Success Rate Information

You should outline the process step-by-step and estimate how long it will take. It will make the project’s delivery date clear to the meeting’s attendees.

Additionally, you want to inform them of the success rate that your proposed solution is expected to achieve.

Discuss every possible measure that could be used during the project. You must give the audience the solution if something goes wrong while working on the project.

Step 3: Your Best Budget and Schedule

You should maintain a reasonable budget for the project and adjust your plan per it. Everything should be tackled within the budget you are asking for. Additionally, you should describe the procedure and working hours you’ll use to complete the project.

Step 4: Proofread Your Proposal

Before delivering your project proposal overview to someone, it is crucial to double-check it. You should ask your managers and business owners to check it before the final presentation in front of other organizations.

Writing a Winning Proposal

The first (and most crucial) step to achieving your goal is creating a solid project proposal overview, regardless of who you’re attempting to impress, assist, or persuade.

When writing your next one, be sure to keep these critical concepts in mind in addition to being specific, condensed, and organized:

1. Introduction

You have a chance to introduce yourself and your company here. It clearly explains to the client who you are and how you are qualified to provide the service you are offering.

Your introduction should include your background, services provided, mission statement, and unique selling proposition.

Generally, you should limit your introduction to one page.

2. Scope of Your Project

It’s now time to provide a thorough explanation of your solution. Also, it’s crucial to talk about this in advance to ensure that you’re giving the client exactly what they need, nothing more and nothing less.

Talk about the services, the goods/materials being delivered, the contractors being used, and the delivery method for your solutions.

It could cost you hundreds of dollars if you’re unclear in this area.

3. Estimate of Expenses

Based on the estimated hours and prices you discussed, you should know what you want to charge the client.

It’s time to explain this to your client in more detail. They can then understand why they are making the payments and where every penny goes.

Additionally, it will be easier to persuade the customer that your price is reasonable.

Creating Proposals on Prospero

Sending a proposal that looks fantastic on every device is an excellent way to make a good first impression. Any proposal you create should include your logo, pictures, videos, tables, and personal touches. Take a look at Prospero proposals for your favorite proposal templates.

Are you ready to start writing a proposal? Then, hopefully, this advice will help you. To make things even easier, you can utilize a CRM platform to keep track of all the details regarding new and current clients to whom you send proposals.

You can use a variety of tools to make your proposal writing easier. Prospero, for instance, allows you to manage, send, and develop all of your ideas on one platform. It can also create a template business proposal for you!


She is the Marketing Manager of Prospero. She specializes in content writing, marketing, and SEO.