What to Include in a Business Proposal

Proposals are produced to elicit certain outcomes or responses from the reader. A well-written proposal justifies the request for a commitment of resources and provides the reader with the focus of the project as well as guidelines for the design and delivery of the final project. Following are some guidelines to help make sure your proposals result in the outcomes you desire.

  1. The content is clearly focused, and the outcomes are described in business-oriented terms. A professionally written outcome will have a measurable element, a timeline or deadline element, and a realistic goal stated within it.
  2. The content indicates who will benefit. The stakeholders and financial backers of the proposal will be looking for this information. If there is no benefit to the stakeholders or funders of the project, they are not likely to approve it.
  3. The outcomes, or goals, are measurable and will indicate the extent of improvement in performance levels, whether financial or otherwise.
  4. Each proposal should have a limited number of outcomes in order to remain focused on the importance of them.
  5. The solutions proposed in the document must be focused on the outcomes. That may sound simplistic, but it is easy to get off track and start proposing solutions that are not related to the objectives of the proposal.
  6. Finally, as in any goal-setting process, the outcomes must be achievable and realistic.
Author: Margaux Judge

Margaux Judge has worked as an e-learning editor and instructional designer for over ten years, writing and editing a wide variety of courses, from technical topics to soft skills. She has a Bachelor's degree in English and Textual Studies from Syracuse University and a Master's degree in Television Writing from Boston University.

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