What Is a Proposal?

A proposal refers to a written offer made by a seller to a prospective buyer. It serves as a key role in the sales process by giving a proposer the opportunity to pitch a business idea with a client or investor for potential partnerships and deals. The proposal is designed to educate the buyer about the capabilities of the seller in satisfying their demands. These documents often put the buyer’s needs in a context that shows just how valuable the seller’s products and services may be in their day-to-day living. Though you’re bound to face a series of rejections along the way, a sales tool like this is sure to give your business a good shot for success.

Samples of Business Proposals

The following collection of samples are business proposals from various industries.

Six Types of Proposals

Before you start planning and constructing this business document, you need to know what kind of proposal is required. This will give you an idea as to what elements to focus on and the details to dig into in order to fulfill the needs of a buyer. Listed below are the common types of proposals you’re likely to write for a business purpose.

1Formally Solicited: Request for Proposal (RFP) documents are often sent out to inform an audience about what a client is looking for in a proposal. It tells you exactly what your prospect will need from you, along with some directions on how the proposal should be created. What’s good about a formally solicited proposal is how you can easily tailor your pitch according to the specific wants and desires of your audience. That way, you can set a list of objectives to attain as you begin writing the proposal. 2Informally Solicited: The only difference between an informally solicited proposal from a formally solicited one is how the information they are based on isn’t properly established. This makes it slightly more difficult to start with, as the lack of details from the client will require a good amount of research to fully analyze. It’s possible for the proposal request to be based on a passing conversation as opposed to a clear document. Thus, you’ll likely need some extra legwork to get the specifics for the request. 3Unsolicited: An unsolicited proposal is arguably the most difficult one to write. Nobody asked for your proposal, but you submitted one anyway in hopes of making an impression with a buyer. These proposals provide a ton of value for sellers that want to make a break for it in a competitive market. Keep in mind that you have to be extra persuasive to convince a buyer to accept your pitch. 4Continuation: These proposals are basically an update or reminder of an ongoing project that had already been approved. Continuation proposals are often used to report on the progress of the project, account for any changes to be made, and make a request for continuous funding. This usually happens as the project enters a new phase in its development. 5Renewal: When an ongoing project nears its end, a renewal proposal may be written to void its termination. Here, the proponent must show the value of the project and why it is worth sustaining. The return benefits of the project are typically weighed with the resources needed to support it so as to put its worth into proper context. 6Supplemental: Unforeseen events can sometimes cause massive changes in a project’s development. During such circumstances, a supplemental proposal is needed to ask for resources beyond those initially proposed. This may put a strain in your capacity to deliver what’s expected, so be sure to explain why such problems weren’t recognized in the past and what benefits will the project bring with the new scope.