What Should be in a Business Proposal?

2 years ago

Sales isn’t just a sales person’s game in the world of micro businesses and freelancers. Whether your background is in sales or not, you’re likely to have to sell your services yourself when you set out on your own business journey.

There are plenty of sales courses and books out there for those planning to take sales particularly seriously. But if you’re just trying to get the first few sales in place and get a loose idea as to what should be included in your proposal, here’s your quick guide:

Variations from Service to Service

There will be variations, of course, depending on the specifics of what you’re offering. So the below is intended as a guide to help you to structure your next sales proposal.

In Summary – What Should be Included in a Sales Proposal?

In summary, a sales proposal should typically include:

  • Situation
  • Objectives
  • Method
  • Qualification
  • Pricing

Each of those will vary depending on the specifics of the service you’re proposing, but further details of each follow.


1. Current Situation

This section should outline the current situation in which the prospective client finds themselves. If you’re selling copywriting, perhaps you’d cover what copy currently exists or the asset for which the copy is required.

If you’re offering websites, you’d cover information about the current web setup.

This is your opportunity to show that you have understood the client’s current situation

2. Objectives

This section needs to answer just one question:

What does the client want to achieve by taking on your services? Outline here the objectives of your service here.

3. Method

This is likely to be the most in depth part of your proposal. It involves a clear outline, often along with specific deliverables, of what you’ll do to achieve the objectives you outlined.

4. Qualifications

This is about credibility building. What makes you or your company qualified to deliver the services you’re offering? This could include a simple “about” type piece or could include client testimonials and case studies, references to awards or accreditations and similar.

5. Pricing

This part is obvious. What’s the fee? And what are the payment terms?

Stacey MacNaught
Stacey MacNaught
Stacey is an SEO and content marketing specialist by day. She's the founder of MacNaught Digital and Micro Biz Mag, and has been writing copy for over a decade. She lives in Oldham with her husband and three sons.

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