What Is the Standard Business Proposal Format?

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  • Written By: Grace Ferguson
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 28 February 2015
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A standard business proposal format is designed to address all general bases in a proposal. When an individual sets out to write a proposal, he may choose to write it in a standard format, particularly if the customer he is targeting did not give him a specific format to follow. Each section responds to six key elements.

The first element, "Who," addresses who will perform the job, who will manage the job, who the customer will contact if there is an issue, and who is responsible for what tasks. The next element is "What," which states what needs to be done, what requirements are needed to complete the job, what the customer can expect, and what the task will cost. "Where" simply states where the job will be performed, and where delivery will occur.

The standard business proposal format also states the "How" of the project. This can also be referred to "Methods," and is an action plan. It includes how the work will be performed, how the job will be managed, how systematic monitoring and evaluation will be attained, how customer service will be achieved, how the project will benefit the customer, and how long it will take to complete it. Business often involves risk, so the standard business proposal form also explains how these risks will be alleviated.


The "When" element of the standard business proposal format explains when the project will begin, when important milestones will be scheduled, when the job will be completed, and when payment is required. This format is not complete unless it outlines "Why" the individual has selected the approaches he has chosen, and why the client should choose him.

The standard business proposal format generally includes both a concise, descriptive heading and a theme statement. The theme statement is the conclusion the individual preparing the proposal wants the client to reach after reviewing the section. For example, a proposal for a construction plan may state that the company making the proposal has the procedures, resources, and experience necessary to begin the project immediately, without risk. Thereafter, the narrative begins.

The standard business proposal format, though not specifically tailored for the client, answers the most probable questions he may have. It also never strays from the other purposes of the proposal. This includes explain to the client that the company understand all required elements of a job, and persuading the client to select the proposal.



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Post 2

In proposal writing, a strong emphasis should not be granted simply to style, but to strong logical analysis. Many GRE tests today do not grade the writing section based on how elaborate or convincing you may seem in answering a given problem, but in how solid your argument is. Once you get to the higher levels of education, you are required to see flowery language and good style as secondary to solid logic.

Post 1

In a business proposal, it is necessary to cover all the bases and small details. "Doing your homework" will be very important, as you will not be able to fool or convince anybody by mere rhetoric or personal charisma. Businesspeople know form learning and experience that there is more to trusting someone than simply liking them. You have to know that the people you are trusting with your money are going to deliver.

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