An effective proposal can separate those who get jobs from those who don’t. Being able to put together a persuasive proposal is an art unto itself. Today we dive into the proposal outline and talk about best practices to keep in mind when you’re writing your next proposal.
A proposal has many purposes but putting it simply, a proposal combines information clearly and persuasively for the sender to achieve what they want. Usually, it comes as a document used to pitch ideas and executions in an informative and concise way.
Proposals are important because they convey ideas and plans clearly in writing and offer the sender a chance to lay down a clear, logical, and structured argument. If the recipient accepts, they clearly understand the full implications of their choice. Plus, a well-crafted proposal demonstrates that the sender cares about the cause enough to take the time to put it into writing.
A proposal can be used in lots of ways, but usually, it comes as a business proposal. A business project proposal outline is a value proposition written up online or on paper. For example, a student research proposal example PDF or a university project proposal example may be required for those still studying.
Here’s what you should include in a business research proposal sample PDF or word document:
- What you as an individual or company can offer
- What you can do to solve another company’s problem
- How to plan to solve that issue (e.g. compensation, time elements, or other assets)
Remember, while you should include these points, writing a project proposal outline example is an art, not a science.
You should research and understand your recipient so you can tailor your proposal to suit them. What one potential customer or client likes from a proposal is going to be different from another’s.
So, while you should follow basic guidelines of creating a business proposal template free download, it’s also important that you do your research too.
Research Proposal Example
A research proposal is used to describe what will be investigated, why it’s important to investigate, and how the research will be conducted. A good research proposal does take time, and the writer must put the effort in to write and identify exactly what the proposed research will help with and why it’s so necessary for the research to take place.
Remember, a research proposal is written to convince readers that your project is worth completing and that you’re the right person to plan and complete it. That means throughout your research proposal you must demonstrate that you have the knowledge, competence, and work-plan to conduct the research.
Typically, a research proposal should include all the main components involved in the research process with enough data and information for recipients to assess the proposed study and ideas.
Usually, a research proposal is used in the sciences or academia. For example, a research proposal template can include the following:
- Undergraduate research proposal sample PDF
- Short Ph.D. proposal example
- Scientific research proposal outline
The style and outline of a research proposal example differ between fields, but usually, the structure of the research proposal PDF or word document includes the following:
- Cover page
- Literature review
- Research plan
- Reference list
Of course, this can vary in how the different parts are named or divided. However, a research proposal outline PDF will usually cover these goals.
Check out our great research proposal template for a good starting point for your own research proposal.
Business Proposal Outline
Wondering ‘what is a business proposal?’ A business proposal outline is a document offered by a B2B or business-facing brand (although this isn’t always the case) where an individual or business tries to persuade a potential buyer into purchasing their products or services.
A simple proposal format works to streamline the B2B sales process between a seller and prospective buyer, which can otherwise be complicated without it. The business proposal is used as both a source of information and data and a sales pitch showing your buyer why they should purchase from you.
A typical business proposal outline should answer the following questions:
- Who you are and what your business does
- The issues your purchaser faces
- The solution your brand offers
- How your business will apply this solution successfully
- An estimate of resources needed to apply the solution including time and money
A high-level business proposal will include the following sections:
- The Issue Statement
- The Proposed Solution
- Your Qualifications
- The Timeline Pricing, Billing and Legal Terms and Conditions
- The Acceptance Agreement
If you need help putting together a template, check out our Business Proposal Template.
To make a business proposal outline more effective, there are some tips and tricks to help you.
Put Your Brand Front and Centre
If your brand has certain guidelines, then be sure to use them in your business proposal to show efficiency and consistency.
Use the same color scheme, the business logo, and follow all content guidelines. You’ll be left with a business proposal that looks clean, slick, and smart.
Let’s face it – scanning text on its own can get boring. To make your business stand out, use imagery to break up the written content. Be sure to use relevant pictures though that help with communicating the message you want to get across.
If it feels suitable, including headshots of your team is a good way to build a personal and professional connection with the prospective buyer.
Simple Project Proposal Example
A project proposal is a document that forms a professional relationship between an organization with an outside individual or business.
Project proposals are used in many ways including often in higher education when students must apply to conduct projects within their fields.
Usually, a project proposal is an outline for highlighting the idea of a project. Wondering ‘what should a project proposal include’? Here you go:
- Goals to accomplish
- The importance of the project
- The origins of the project idea
- An explanation of objectives
- Plans for completing such objectives
- A list of activities or tasks involved with the project
- Time and budget estimations
A project proposal is usually created during the beginning of the project before comprehensive plans are made, and resources are distributed. That means time and budget estimates aren’t usually set in stone and are subject to change.
Like all proposal templates, a simple project proposal example can be written with some helpful tips and guidance in mind.
Here is our free project proposal template to get you off on the right foot.
Your Proposal Should Read Smoothly
Your project proposal outline should read smoothly, just like a book. It should tell a story, with every part and element linking together to create a cohesive whole.
When every part of the proposal fits together like a jigsaw, your proposal will come across as more professional and reliable.
Make Everything Relevant
There’s a lot to add in a research proposal, so it’s easy to get side-tracked. Avoid adding in anything that doesn’t fit so you don’t overload your proposal with unnecessary information. Anything that doesn’t contribute to the values and objectives of the project, leave out.
You should also always proofread and edit your proposal to make sure all the necessary parts are included.