A great business proposal has two jobs:
- It helps you stand out and be memorable.
- It also helps you close the deal by presenting a more compelling offer.
That’s why it’s crucial for your business proposal to not only include all the important details but also to have an attractive creative proposal design and compelling copy.
If you’re wondering how to close more sales and win more clients with your proposals, you’re in the right place. Below, we’ve gathered 13 creative business proposal ideas that'll help you improve your sales in 2019. We'll also explain how you can use proposal templates to create attractive proposals quickly.
13 Great Business Proposal Ideas for 2019
Here are 13 creative business proposal ideas that you can use to improve your bottom line and close more deals.
1. Outline Your Proposal First
No matter how many proposals you’ve written so far, creating an outline for your proposal should always be the first task on your list. An outline will help you get clear on what you’re offering to the client and help you create a structure that'll present all the needed information in a logical manner.
Your proposal should include the following sections:
- An introduction section
- Your client’s problem
- Your proposed solution
- Examples and case studies that show your previous expertise and success rate
- How much the project will cost
- What steps they need to take in order to get the project rolling.
By outlining your proposals and structuring them as above, potential clients will have an easier time going through the proposal and understanding exactly how you can help them and why they should hire you. The following tutorial will help you to learn more about writing a proposal:
2. Include Testimonials
Testimonials aren’t reserved only for your website. You can add them to your business proposal to establish trust and help your potential clients or business partners understand that you're the right person for the job.
According to research published at BigCommerce, 72% of customers say that testimonials and reviews make them trust a business more, so there's no reason not to capitalize on this trend and use it in your own marketing.
If you already have testimonials, go ahead and include them in your next business proposal. Alternatively, take some time out of your busy schedule to reach out to past clients and customers and invite them to share their opinion about your business and what it was like working with you.
3. Get Creative With Calls-to-Action
It goes without saying that your business proposal should include a call to action at the end. A CTA is the best way to invite potential clients to take the next step towards getting the project started. Your call to action should stand out from the rest of the proposal so consider using colored background or text to make it easier to see. However, the color of your call to action is not the only thing you should get creative with.
The text that you use for the call to action is just as important. For example, instead of using generic language such as Get In Touch, Call Now or Email Today, try to add a dash of personality and creativity. For example, you could use a CTA that reads Let’s Do This or It’s Time to Get Started or Take Action.
Not only are the examples above more powerful because they use action words, but they also give off a sense of urgency that'll make your clients more inclined to act.
4. Add an Expiration Date to Your Proposal
According to research published at Business2Community, when items are scarce, they're perceived to be more valuable. You can apply the same approach to your business proposal. A great way to add genuine scarcity to your business proposal is to make your proposal available only until a certain date.
You can, for example, explain that after a certain date, you won’t be able to offer the same pricing so now is the time to act if they want to lock in the price. Don’t forget to follow up a day or two before the proposal expires to remind them about it. Another benefit of adding an expiration date to your proposal is the fact that you won’t have to wait indefinitely to hear back from the client.
5. Include a Case Study
Another unique business proposal idea is to include a case study. Similarly to testimonials, a case study is an excellent way to showcase your expertise and the results you’re able to get for your clients.
A case study will have an even bigger impact if you’re able to find similarities between the past and the potential client and stress them in a way that helps potential clients understand you're the right person or company for the job. Remember, a case study doesn’t have to be official and use corporate jargon to be effective. In fact, you’ll achieve much better results if you personalize the story.
6. Create a Prominent Summary or Project Statement
Here’s a great business proposal idea that's sure to make your proposal stand out from the competition. Consider including a prominent summary or project statement right at the beginning of your business proposal. Your summary can be a sentence or two that tells the client the problem you’ll solve or you can use a bullet point summary that outlines the goals of the project.
This is a great way to pique the client’s curiosity and encourage them to read further. A compelling project statement can set the tone for the entire proposal where all you've got to do is explain exactly how you would achieve the result or the goal that you’ve summarized at the beginning. It can also help the client immediately see that you've got a deep understanding of their problem and the knowledge to solve it.
7. Include Add-On Items
Consider including add-on items to each and every proposal you send out from now on. This helps the clients see all the services you've got to offer and it can help you increase your profits.
For example, if you’re sending out a web design proposal, you could include an add-on design package for their social media graphics or logo design. If you’re a copywriter sending a proposal for a sales page copy, include an add-on service for writing their monthly email campaigns or sales sequence.
By including complementary services in your proposal, you’re subtly giving them a chance to take their project to the next level and get even more out of it while at the same time allowing yourself to make more money without having to bring on more clients.
8. Make The Decision a No-Brainer
Make sure your business proposal makes the decision to hire you an easy one. For starters, eliminate the number of options and packages you offer in your proposal. Presenting your client with more than three options can lead to decision paralysis and have the opposite effect.
Another way to make the decision a no-brainer one is to create a comparison checklist between you and your biggest competitor that the client can complete themselves.
It’s also a good idea to clearly outline the next steps the client should take to get the project started at the end of the proposal.
9. Use Legible Fonts
When it comes to the design of your business proposal, make sure you’re using legible fonts and refrain from using dark text on dark background or light text on light background.
Stick to sans-serif or serif fonts for the text and refrain from using decorative or script fonts. While they do look nice, they're quite hard to read and will make you look amateurish.
Make sure your font size is adequate as well. If you use small font sizes, you run the risk of your proposal being quite hard to read.
10. Include Visuals
A few visual elements here and there can make your proposal more appealing and break up long paragraphs of text to make it easier to read. There are several ways to include visuals in your proposals.
The easiest and the most obvious way to include visuals is to use images in your proposal. You can include photos of yourself and your team members. You can also include photos of past clients, especially if you decide to include testimonials or case studies in your proposal.
Another way to use visuals is to add charts or graphs to visually represent important data. This can include projected revenue, costs, time estimates or other statistics.
The third way to include visuals in your business proposals is to add icons. You can use icons to make various sections or headings stand out more.
11. Format Your Text
Your business proposal will consist of several different sections so use text formatting to make it more visually appealing. Use headings to signify the beginning of the next section and make the text larger than your usual paragraph size. You can also use bold text for the headings to make sections easier to spot.
Consider using italics for testimonials or other text that needs emphasis. Of course, don’t forget bullet points or numbered lists to break up your text and make it easier to read.
12. Personalize the Covers
A great business proposal idea is to personalize the cover page for each client. You should include the client’s name on the cover of the proposal, but don’t let that be the only personalization you do.
Consider getting creative and using images that represent the project or your client. For example, if you’re writing a marketing proposal for a restaurant, consider adding a photo of a delicious meal as the background photo. Using a cover page that's tailored to each client makes them feel more appreciated and more inclined to check out the rest of the proposal.
13. Use and Customize a Template to Save Time
The last tip is to use a business proposal template and customize it with your brand colors, fonts, and other assets. There are dozens of premade business proposal templates available online and they can save time when you need to send out a business proposal.
Business proposal templates have been designed with all the necessary pages and elements already in place so all you've got to do is replace the dummy information with your own.
Learn more about customizing business proposal templates here:
- Proposals20+ Best Business Proposal Templates: Ideas For New Client ProjectsMarc Schenker
- ProposalsHow to Customize a Simple Business Proposal Template in MS WordLaura Spencer
Find Stunning Business Proposal Templates on Envato Elements
If you’re ready to get started with implementing some of these unique business proposal ideas, be sure to stop by Envato Elements and check out our collection of awesome business proposal templates.
We've got thousands of business proposal templates on Envato Elements that not only have an attractive creative proposal design, but are also easy to customize. The best part about business proposal templates is that they'll save you time as they already include all the important elements so you won’t have to start from scratch.
What’s more, Envato Elements makes it easy to download as many business proposal templates as you need, all for one low monthly subscription.
Create a Standout Business Proposal & Win More Clients
A great business proposal can make all the difference between successfully closing a deal or losing a client. With the tips in this article, you’ll be well on your way towards crafting better business proposals and thanks to marketplaces like Envato Elements, you don’t have to start from scratch. Use the business proposal ideas in this article to create better business proposals and stop by Envato Elements or GraphicRiver to find a proposal template for your business.