Here are ten of the most creative business proposal ideas from some of the best companies around. Take these ideas, use them as your own and let them inspire you to improve your business proposals.
The comparison checklist from Tony Isgrove
If there’s one industry you wouldn’t think would be at the forefront of proposal design and innovation, it’s probably the Painting and Decorating industry. Tony Isgrove and his team came up with something absolutely genius.
As part of his business proposal idea he includes a helpful checklist so you can easily compare his painting service to that of anyone else. This is how it looked:
Nothing revolutionary you might think, but this is where he’s so so clever. He’s setting the frame. Now not only is he plugging all the things they do, accreditations they’ve won etc but even if another painter ticks every single box, he would still only be just as good as Tony’s firm.
Absolutely masterful frame control there.
“Lets do this, mate” from Sampath
A simple thing with a deep psychological impact. Sampath, a growth consultant changed an otherwise normal piece of copy on the cover of his business proposal and created an awesome moment.
On covers in Better Proposals, you can edit the copy of the button from “Read Proposal” to anything you like. Usually people just write things like “Open Proposal”, “View Quote” or “Start Reading”.
He builds a fantastic relationship with his clients so this doesn’t seem weird and of course, in the wrong situation, this is terrible advice so tread with caution, but he changed his button name to “Let’s do this, mate”.
It creates a cool “Yeahhhhhhh!” moment and they are few and far between in proposals. Consider what you call the button on your proposal covers.
Testimonial on the page with the quote on it from Jigawatt
Jigowatt are a digital agency in the UK and do something that can only be described as sheer brilliance. They aren’t a cheap design agency and their pricing reflects that. What they do to “soften the blow” to people who might be expecting a lower price is add a testimonial which conveniently touts the ROI of Jigowatt’s services.
Absolute magic. It’s so good in-fact that we have completely stolen this business proposal idea for our proposal templates. Here’s how it looks: #SorryNotSorry
Personalised video introduction from Kevin at Blinkered
Kevin at Blinkered does something brilliant with his proposals. He’s a digital strategist based near Glasgow, Scotland.
He’s committed to making each of his proposals as personal as he can so he records a personalised introduction video for each and every client and embeds the video on the introduction page of his proposal.
Now only does this scream “I want the job” but it shows how ‘on the ball’ he is when it comes to winning business. I wish more people adopted this approach. What’s even better is he doesn’t use an iPhone in selfie mode. That wouldn’t be his style.
He gets his entire camera gear out in a mini-studio he’s created for himself and shoots it professionally. This is all about using your strengths to your advantage. He has awesome camera gear, speaks amazingly well and has a studio. Use it.
Personalising the cover from Tim
Tim Coe is a marketer and brand strategist from Lymington in Hampshire. He’s the author of the book ‘Your Utterly Seductive Proposal’ and has been featured on Grant Cardone’s TV show, has done business with a who’s who of business people in the UK and has spoken at every conference worth speaking at.
He takes personalising each proposal seriously much like _____ but does it in his own way. He personalises each cover dependant on the client and project. I love this.
Think about it. It’s the first thing they see so making an amazing first impression is really important. He uses unsplash.com and finds an appropriate picture then uses that as the background cover. An excellent touch and one you should employ.
Case study idea with a story from templates
Sometimes we get so boxed into pre-existing ideas we forget to step outside the box. I was on a flight to Barcelona recently to watch the football and the amazing 6-1 win over PSG, and on the flight I wrote a new business proposal template.
Only, I was on the plane, I had no internet so I wrote the content in Pages on my Mac which took me out of “business proposal writing” mode and more into a natural flow. When it came to writing the case study part I for some reason wrote it as if it was a personal introduction.
It was a little story of a guy called Jamie, and Jamie oddly enough had the same goals as the imaginary prospect and it only made sense we’d share this story seeing as we helped Jamie achieve all his goals.
Why is this effective? It’s different, it’s reading a success story without your “bullshit filter” on so it actually goes in your brain. Give this a try. Remember, the trick is to make it super personal.
Big coloured block exclaiming the goal of the project
What they’ve been used for most commonly is making a big point of the opening statement on the Introduction page. The trick with this is less in the design but more in the copy. If someone wants to double their revenue in the next 12 months and that is of paramount importance then something like this will give an epic first impression.
It grabs attention, forces them to take that piece of information in and sets the tone for the rest of the proposal.
Letting your client upsell themselves with the optional items in your business proposal ideas
Troy Dean from at WP Elevation – they’re one of our Premium Partners, suggests in his WP Elevation Blueprint Course that you should always allow your client to upsell themselves with a few extra add-ons.
It could be a monthly report, extra support, VIP treatment or any number of things but allowing them the chance to increase the deal size by clicking one button is a brilliant touch.
In fact, the business proposal idea was so good, we built it right into our pricing tables. Here’s how it looks.
If you want to impress your clients with technological brilliance as well as increasing the revenue you bring in from each client, look no further than this little beauty.
The fact that it’s web based to begin with.
How many times have you asked for a quote or a proposal and received a tacky, badly designed document with a brief description of the service and a price? Too often?
Sending a web based business proposal that arrives with a beautiful full screen cover, well formatted text and engaging to browse is far more interesting.
Projections from Tim’s proposal “picture the dream”
Here’s another brilliant business proposal idea from Tim Coe. If you’re creating a business proposal which contains future projections for your client then consider setting the stage nice and early with those projections.
I’m not suggesting replace the introduction. You should always have that opening summary, but this could immediately follow. This way, you’re hitting them with the main benefit nice and early, then painting this amazing picture for them sets the frame up perfectly.
Now, everything they read in the rest of the proposal is understood through these lens of knowing what year 2 and 3 could look like. Subtle tip here, getting people to “think big” before hitting them with the price is a great way of lowering the impact your price would have.
There are ten amazing business proposal ideas for you to jazz up your proposals, make them more engaging and fun to read. A lot of sending your proposal is of course about doing a good job for the agreed budget, but it’s also about making them feel like you’re the right company for the job.
A great way to do that is give them an organised, well formatted document summing everything up. If that is a complete mess, what does it say about your service? Conversely, what does it say if it blows them away?
I’ll leave you to work out which one you want to be.