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10 Game Changing Business Proposal Ideas from Creative Business Owners

If you're struggling with your business proposals and are looking to better understand the whole process, this is the blog for you.

We've collected ten of the most creative business proposal ideas from some of the best companies around.

These ideas will work no matter the types of business you're in. Use them to inspire you and improve your business proposals.

Whether you're a small business, a new business or running a big and successful team, a little bit of inspiration could go a long way.

Let's take a look at our favourite business proposal ideas that can help you improve your business plan.

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.

However, they understand the importance of visuals and creative expression. It's safe to say that their business proposals are beautiful and easy to get through.

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:

Tony isgrove business proposal checklist

Nothing revolutionary you might think, but this is where he’s 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.

When you include something like this in your business proposal, it elevates your services to a new level.

Not only are you showing your professionalism and authority amongst the competition, but also that you have a great business plan. Make your small business stand out with this genius tip.

“Let's 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.

signup for a betterproposals trial account

 

 

On covers of documents created with Better Proposals, you can edit the copy of the button from “Read Proposal” to anything you like.

business proposal cover ideas

Usually, people just write things like “Open Proposal”, “View Quote” or “Start Reading”. A skilled content or essay writing service provider can help you to write better call-to-action lines.

Not Sampath.

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.

business proposal personalized cta ideas

We urge you to customize your proposals, from the content, down to the call to action.

Our free proposal templates are a great starting point, but you need to show your client that they're not just a number.

Make sure to use their words when describing the problem at hand. It will show them that you listened. The focus of the proposal should be on the client.

Your business idea is only interesting to them if you show the benefits their company can expect. Whether it's as simple as - more money or an easier way of attracting investors, or getting involved in the local market, make sure to outline it.

Don't be afraid to get creative with your business proposal. Do a little social media stalking to find out what your potential clients love and work in into the proposal.

Testimonial on the page with the quote on it from Jigawatt

Jigowatt are a digital agency in the UK that does 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 that we have completely stolen this business proposal idea for our proposal templates. Here’s how it looks: #SorryNotSorry

testimonial above quote idea

All of our free proposal templates come with a pre-designed pricing section. That means that all you have to do is find the best way to price your services. Here's a handy guide for that.

It's helpful no matter the type of business you have, whether you freelance, are looking to start a business, run a small business or something else.

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 executive summary page of his proposal.

Not only does this scream “I want the job” but it shows how ‘on the ball’ he is when it comes to winning new 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 professional camera gear out in a mini-studio he’s created for himself and shoots it like a high-budget movie. This is all about using your strengths to your advantage.

He has awesome camera gear, and video editing tools, speaks amazingly well and has a studio. He is as professional as he can be and that makes the entire business proposal document elevated, which is why this is such a good idea.

business proposal intro video idea

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 but does it in his own way. He personalises each cover depending 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.

It makes his business proposal engaging from the very start. The more you customize your proposals, the better the outcome will be.

tim coe personlised business proposal cover idea

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 game 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, and 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.

This is a popular marketing strategy, since providing clients with examples showcases that you're the right person for the job.

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.

meet Jamie

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 and creative. That's the only way to create a successful case study.

Big coloured block exclaiming the goal of the project

We launched feature blocks in January 2017 and they’ve been used in almost every business template and business proposal that’s been sent since. An absolutely massive hit.

Proposal templates

 

 

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 and 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.

business proposal intro benefits

It grabs attention, forces them to take that piece of information in and sets the tone for the rest of the proposal.

When writing your business proposal, make sure to outline the benefits your clients can expect. It makes it more engaging for them.

Letting your client upsell themselves with the optional items in your business proposal ideas

Troy Dean from 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.

Sometimes, we run into brilliant business proposal ideas and we build them into our templates.

You can see this example in our pricing tables. Here’s how it looks.

optional products

If you want to impress your clients with technological brilliance as well as increase 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 business proposal and received a tacky, badly designed PDF 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 is engaging to browse is far more interesting.

mobile view ms word vs better proposals

Our unofficial tagline here at Better Proposals is “Death of the PDF”. It’ll never die but we can try and make it obsolete with these amazing proposal ideas.

proposal university design cta

 

 

Benefits of web-based proposals

If you're wondering about the benefits of web-based proposals, here are just the most popular ones:

  • Proposal templates
  • Digital signatures
  • Payment integrations
  • Proposal analytics
  • A simplified follow-up process
  • Integrations

Proposal templates

Writing a business proposal from scratch is harrowing work. Luckily, if you're using Better Proposals, you can rely on our prewritten templates.

They are free for all of our users and help you speed up the proposal-creating process since you don't have to worry about the proposal structure.

We offer a wide variety of proposal templates. You can easily find the right one for you, whether you're a:

  • freelancer
  • small business
  • software company
  • digital marketing company
  • sales team etc.

Digital signatures

All of our business proposals are web-based, meaning your clients can easily agree to your terms by typing in their names.

esignature block

The typed-in name will get turned into a legally binding digital signature.

Payment integrations

Furthermore, your clients can pay using your business proposal payment gateways. You can choose between PayPal, Stripe or GoCardless.

payment integrations

Proposal analytics

The proposal analytics will show you the progress of your business proposal. You will be notified every time they are opened, forwarded, signed and paid.

business proposal analytics

A simplified follow-up process

Moreover, once your business proposal is opened, we'll notify you how much time the client spent on each of the sections, making your follow-up process easy.

proposal section time spent
If the client went straight to the price and closed the proposal, you know that they're just looking for a cheap solution.

However, if the spent time on your timescales and executive summary, you know how to structure your follow-up email.

Integrations

When you have an online proposal tool, you can integrate all the other sales and marketing tools like CRMs and more.

better proposals integrations

It will help you speed up the whole sales process and create proposals that utilize all customer data you've collected so far.

When you're running a small business, every proposal counts.

You can't afford to lose any potential clients by sending bad proposals. You have to get creative and spend some time on the writing process.

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 replacing the introduction. You should always have that opening summary, but this could immediately follow.

When utilizing this business idea, you’re hitting them with the main benefit nice and early, and then painting this amazing picture for them sets the frame up perfectly.

Now, everything they read in the rest of the business proposal is understood through the lens of knowing what years 2 and 3 could look like.

A 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.

telling the story

Conclusion

We've collected ten amazing business proposal ideas for you to jazz up your proposals, and make them more engaging and fun to read.

business proposal templates

The process of sending your business 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 to 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.

The only thing that's left to do is to sign up for a free trial and fall in love with Better Proposals.

Adam Hempenstall's profile image
Adam Hempenstall is the CEO and Founder of Better Proposals. He started his first web design business at 14 and has since written four books and built an international movement around sending better proposals. Having helped his customers win $500,000,000 in the last 12 months alone, he’s launched the first ever Proposal University where he shares best practices on writing and designing proposals. He co-runs a once-a-year festival called UltraMeet and is a massive FC Barcelona fan.