Creating a convincing proposal will present you with more business opportunities, but how can you make sure you remember to include all the necessary information? Fill-in professional proposal template gives you an outline to follow and make it easier to organize your information in the correct format. On this page, you can find 32 free proposal templates as well as tips on creating the perfect proposal.
How to Create a Proposal
There are many things you will need to cover in your proposal letter. Each different part has a purpose, and altogether they should set out clearly the reason for the letter. Here are five sections that need to be included:
- Introduction – This should grab the attention of the reader. Take this part to establish your agreement about the issue and begin to set the tone for the next section.
- What is the problem? Define the problem you are working on and what would happen if it is not resolved. This should be stated clearly and concisely to convince the reader that what you are proposing is necessary.
- How will you solve the problem? What this section includes will vary depending on the type of proposal, but it will be the most important part of the document. When describing your proposed solution, any supplemental information can be added as annexes to the document.
- Cost/Schedule – These portions may not apply to all proposal letters, but if applicable, they will need to be very descriptive so as not to mislead the reader in any way.
- Executive summary – This is the conclusion. It needs to sum up the major points from your document and leave your reader with a good final impression.
Those five sections can serve you as proposal outline. Using them as a starting point, there are four important steps to follow to create a strong proposal.
- Write the proposal – At this stage, you should write out all your main points to get everything down on paper. Don’t spend too much time analyzing your wording now – that comes next.
- Edit – Go through your document ruthlessly to make sure your content flows well and presents all of your ideas. You may also want to consider getting another person to read through it when you think it is ready, since a fresh pair of eyes may catch something you have missed.
- Proofread – Once you have arranged and edited all your ideas, you will need to proofread your document thoroughly to make sure all the spelling and grammar is correct.
- Submit by the deadline – If a deadline has been set, anything submitted after that date will usually not be considered. Also, make sure you are aware of what format the company wants the document in; either electronically or in hard copy.
Types of proposals
Proposals are produced for many different purposes, but they can be split into two categories: solicited and unsolicited.
The solicited proposal usually begins with a request for a proposal (RFP). Many companies will use an RFP template to give potential suppliers details of what they are looking for in a bid. It will usually give a timeline of when items are due and what they are looking for in the document.
The unsolicited proposal is initiated by the person who writes it. The writer usually submits it because they have an idea they want to pitch or they want to sell something.
When creating a proposal, you will need to identify which format is most suited to your audience, or, in other words, the purpose of your proposal. Whatever this might be, there is a Word template to fit. Here are some proposal letter templates to show how each format is tailored to the needs of the writer and recipient.
Business Plan Proposal
When starting up a company, a business plan is a necessary step. In it, you will need to include your basic plan for the business and how it will grow in the future.
This is different from your business plan as it focuses on a project within the company instead of the organisation as a whole. According to Bidsketch, these need to contain the “3 Ps: problem statement, proposed solution, and pricing information.” Business proposal template could be used for the sale of an object or service, or in marketing, or as a construction proposal. As A Concord Carpenter explains, this particular type should include items like specific materials to be used, costs and payment schedules.
This is slightly different to a business proposal. Companies that have shareholders will need approval before making certain business decisions. In this document, you will suggest an action or decision the company should make and reasons for it so the shareholders can vote on it.
When writing an investment proposal, you are aiming to convince someone to finance your idea or business. You will have to give a full picture of what you are planning to do and how your projected financial gains will make it worth the investment.
One example of this would be a book proposal, where you are asking someone to invest in your creative work. Writer’s Digest says the following eight items are needed in a book proposal:
- Demand for the topic – what the market looks like for potential readers.
- Author information – your background and how you are qualified to write this book.
- Competitive analysis – what other books are available on this topic.
- Marketing plan – how you plan to promote this book.
- Sample chapter
Like the above, this document is asking for an investment, but not for the financial gain of the investor. For example, a local charity may be looking for a sponsor for their annual gala. The company that ends up sponsoring them won’t make their money back, but they can use it as a tax deduction and good publicity.
The event proposal template should be used to list out the activities and budget for everything you hope to include at the event. You may also want to use a letter template to write a more descriptive summary of the proposal and include it as a cover letter.
According to the University of Southern California, this is written to show that there is a need to study a particular subject. It should also include evidence on how the research would be carried out.