What Is A Business Proposal?

By | November 2, 2022

A business proposal is a written document that a supplier sends to a potential client in an effort to secure a deal. It is essentially a sales document that contains all the typical data present in documents like estimates, bids, and quotes.

Standard Content Of A Business Proposal

  1. Scope (what the project does and doesn’t include)
  2. What the business promises to deliver (services or products)
  3. Costs
  4. Completion date and timelines

A Business proposal is more detailed because it is used to win complicated jobs and contracts. For instance, a proposal might be used to win a challenging residential landscaping project. Or a client requests that a marketing company give them a thorough report on their target market.

Business proposals are very specific. They give actual values and target market as compared to what estimate does.

Types Of Business Proposals

  1. Formally Solicited
  2. Informally Solicited
  3. Unsolicited


In most organizations, formally solicited proposal is written in the response of given requirements by the buyer. In order to meet the needs of the proposal, it is categorized under the following categories.

  • RFP (Request for Proposal)

RFP’s contain brief information related to the offer of the customer to make sure the seller completely fits the needs and demands. Sometimes, it also contains routes to prepare a to the point proposal along with evaluation criteria. Mostly, RFP’s are issued by the customers when available products or services do not meet with the requirements.

  • RFQ (Request for Quotation)

The RFQ is issued by the customer when there is a need for a larger quantity of goods. In such cases, prices are not the only thing to consider, but other services also matter, such as the availability of commodities, time of delivery and quality of services. An effective proposal might lead the seller to obtain a big project.

  • IFB (Invitation for Bid)

Whenever any customer wants to get the needed services such as construction, then IFBs are issued. The primary goal to issue an IFB is only to check the prices. While on the other hand, the quality of the services also has much importance, but prices have more impact than quality.

  • RFI (Request for Information)

RFI (Request for Information) issued to get the information about the available products, services and retailers. Its main purpose is to view “marketing intelligence” and is lead to the final settlement of the business deal. So many sellers take it very seriously and fill the information according to the requirement carefully. Surely, it is one step to final RFPs, RFQs and IFBs.



These types of business proposals are an output of oral conversation between the retailer and the customer. It is also known as the Sole-Source Proposal because it does not possess any requirements to meet, just a little meeting and capture the deal. Normally, these proposals are written in roundabout 25 pages, and in some time may go down to 5 pages or even less.


The Unsolicited types of Business Proposals is like a marketing brochure that contains necessary information about the needs of the seller. In this type of proposal, there is no direct connection between the sellers and the customers. It is also termed as “leave-behind” or “give-away” in the last moments of any meeting. The main reason for issuing an Unsolicited Business Proposal is to increase the chances of sales.


Business proposals by their very nature have a significant impact on the seller’s reputation because they reveal the seller’s true capabilities for a certain task. It is a promise to the buyer that the seller will work diligently to complete the job by the deadline and accomplish its main objective.

Acceptance of the plan is truly a huge accomplishment because at some point in a joint sale, the buyer will weigh remarkable results against the price. There are numerous firms all around the world that are skilled at creating proposals and have the knowledge necessary to do so quickly.


The proposal contains necessary information about the seller for accomplishing the mentioned task. It is in favor of the seller that the seller meets the requirements of the buyer entirely and can do the job within a specified span.

The buyer likes to get a proposal prior to making a deal in order to check the abilities of the seller whether they satisfy the needs or not. Both parties get exactly what they want when a proposal achieves success by making the agreed sale