Once you know how to write a business proposal, you can draft a letter for practically any purpose. The phrase sounds more complicated than the action. BizCentral can teach you how to write a business proposal letter in seven easy steps. This format works whether you’re submitting a proposal to someone who can help with your business development or distributing an important letter throughout the office.
Create Professional Letterhead for Your Proposals
Before you learn the finer details of how to write a business proposal, you have to start with the visible details. Having stationary with your own letterhead seems like a small thing, but it says something about your level of professionalism. Some small business owners go all out with their letterhead, including eye-pleasing designs, colored accents, and perhaps even the logo of their new business. Others prefer a simple yet polished approach, which you can achieve by making your own letterhead.
It’s a relatively simple endeavor. Centered at the top of the page, you need to include your name, the name of your company, if applicable, your address, your email address, and your phone number. It’s also acceptable to place your name and the address of your business in the upper right corner of your proposal.
Format the Page Properly
BizCentral wants to help with all aspects of your business. That includes helping you to polish your image and put forth a professional persona. Proper formatting is an essential aspect of learning how to write a business proposal letter. It can get a bit complicated, so follow along closely.
Two lines down from your information, you should write the name and address of the recipient. This section needs to be aligned to the left corner of the page. The date goes beneath that section. You can center it just beneath the address of the recipient or align it to the right on a line right below the address of the recipient.
Now that we have that sorted, we need to move down to the all-important Re: line. The Re: line effectively states the subject of the letter or proposal. Located just below the date on the left side of the page, it should be concise and succinct. For example, it might say “Re: Break room etiquette” if it’s an office-wide letter, or “Re: Proposal to develop an app” if it’s a business idea.
Greet the Recipient
Figuring out how to write a business proposal or business letter is different from writing a traditional letter. You have a new set of rules to follow, as you’ve seen with the formatting and the need for letterhead.
The greeting is another key difference. There are three acceptable ways to address the recipient of a business proposal or a business letter:
Never use “Miss” or “Mrs” unless you’ve been specifically asked to do so. Don’t finish your greeting with a comma, either. Greetings should be followed by a colon.
Dear Dr. Davis:
I am writing to propose the development of an app for my product. I would like to…
Fill in the Background
The more a potential investor or partner knows, the more equipped he or she is to say yes to your proposal. Part of learning how to write a business proposal letter involves perfecting your ability to share the bullet points without missing any crucial information.
Your business proposal should contain as much background information as you can manage, but you have to avoid being too wordy or verbose. Say too much and the recipient might lose interest in the first or second paragraph of your letter.
In some cases, providing details about the impetus behind your letter may just require you to announce that you’re writing the letter as a follow-up to a meeting. With a proposal for a business idea, however, it’s better to summarize the proposal clearly but succinctly. Keep it simple so that the recipient can easily understand any complex or complicated ideas. You can also share the details of your strategic business plan.
Reveal the Reason You’re Writing the Letter
Including your main goal is a can’t-miss tip for how to write a business proposal. You can’t skimp on the details, but you have to keep the letter interesting, engaging, and factual, as well. The combination can be difficult at first, but with practice, you’ll get the hang of how to make your proposal flow.
If you’ve discovered any statistics or other facts that back up your idea, then you should discuss those as well. Business partners and investors respect cold, hard facts. Firsthand experience or relevant research can strengthen your data, making your idea more compelling to the reader.
Ask the Recipient to Follow Up with You
We would be remiss in teaching you how to write a business proposal letter if we failed to mention the importance of asking for a follow-up. You aren’t merely sharing information in your letter. You need something from the recipient, whether it’s an acknowledgment of the message, a response, money, or other forms of capital.
In the final paragraph, ask for a follow-up to the meat of your message, be it a payroll request or a business idea. This is your opportunity to mention any benefits to the recipient, as well. Try to entice the reader into replying to you.
The last step in learning how to write a business proposal is closing the letter. Encourage the recipient to get in touch with you to ask questions or to request further details about any of the points mentioned in the missive. Make sure you sign off professionally. Use “Sincerely,” “Best,” “Regards,” or “Yours Truly,” then type your name a few lines beneath the closing. After printing out the letter, you can sign your name above the printed version.
Every small business owner should know how to write a business proposal. At some point, you will need to create a letter to share with your colleagues, potential investors, or your partners. For additional help with drafting a proposal or coming up with a business plan, BizCentral is here to help. Call us to schedule a consultation today.