A business contract proposal is a tool for securing a relationship between your business and a client. Your proposal should include terms that your client will find attractive so that they will be more willing to work with your business.

Creating a Business Proposal

Every company will need to create business proposals, but the terms you will use in your proposal will depend on the industry in which your business operates. What you include in your proposal will really come down to your preferences, but there is some basic information you should be sure to add to your proposal, including the services your business provides and how you can help your client with whatever problem they are experiencing. Business proposals should also include a quote for how much your services cost.

When creating a proposal, you should spend some time thinking about what it is that your client wants. Focusing your proposal on your client's needs is the most effective way to secure the contract.

To determine your prospective client's needs, there are a few simple questions you should ask:

  • Do you have any information about your client's project?
  • Do you know why the client is outsourcing instead of completing the project themselves?
  • Is there a specific problem that your client is dealing with?

After you've answered these questions, there are a few facts you should consider when writing your proposal:

  • The skills you possess that will allow you to solve your client's problem.
  • How your business can benefit your potential client.
  • How you can clearly present to your client why accepting your proposal will solve their problem.

If it's possible, you should contact your client to ask them these questions directly. Opening lines of communication with your client will make you seem more professional and will let them know that you take their needs seriously, which will make it more likely that they will accept your proposal. In some business proposals, it can be a good idea to describe your process for interacting with new clients. This can include your method for analyzing the client's problem and developing solutions.

Every business proposal needs to include a plan for how you will complete the project. Some clients will request that you provide them with milestone deadlines so that they can get an idea of how long the project will take.

Pricing is the most important part of a business proposal. When comparing your proposal to other proposals, the client will focus most of their attention on differences in pricing. In your proposal, you should list each service that you will provide to your client and how much these individual services cost. Make sure to state whether you plan to charge an hourly rate or if you prefer a monthly retainer.

Many businesses choose to use a template for their proposal. While using a template can certainly speed up the process of writing your proposal, you will need to be certain that you are including the right information. For instance, you will likely want your proposal to have a pricing table, which you may need to add to the template. Providing clients with different pricing options can make it easier to secure a contract.

Other Information to Include

Information about your payment terms should be available in the terms and conditions of your business contract proposal. If you want half of your payment before the project begins and the other half after you've finished the project, you can state this request in this section. You should also describe your policy for canceling the contract before it is set to expire. Describe how your client can cancel the contract and state the fees that will be due upon cancellation.

There are a few features you can add to your proposal that can make clients take notice:

  • To Get Started: In this section, you will describe what your client should do if they want to accept your proposal. For instance, you could request that your client sign the proposal and return it to you so that you can get started.
  • Proof of Your Work: Providing proof that you provide quality work can make your proposal stand out. Mission statements or executive summaries can show your client that you take your work seriously and will give their project the attention it deserves.
  • Experience or Education: Depending on your client's preferences, you may want to include proof of your experience or educational background.

If you need help drafting a business contract proposal, you can post your legal needs on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.