Simple & Clear Business Proposals

by karynsig

I am waiting on many individuals to make a decision if they want to hire me or if they don’t. I am currently working on multiple projects and I also submitted good quantity of proposals in August.

I guess the approach of submitting extremely formal proposals probably got me into trouble because many people did not get it. I will have to clean my process into making a general proposal and then sending a contract once they agree. Maybe once they agree and are interested I can continue clarifying by sending a contract so we are clear on what we (my team and myself) are offering.

I guess creating a document to make sure to cover all your points and having all parties with a clear idea of what is will be agreed upon can be difficult.

Pricing is the Key Part

If you pricing is out of the budget of the person requesting your services then it might not even be worth it to continue the conversation. I have fallen into the trap of offering my services at a discount and it has only hurt my possibility of making future profit on other projects because my client is always expecting a discount. Be clear on pricing and this will allow you to move forward and have a conversation that might come out to be very beneficial for parties involved.

The Technical Aspects on the Agreement

In most industries there are many technical terms that are not to be understood outside of the specific industry. Make sure you clarify and provide very clear examples or a place where a person can do a bit more of research so they can understand the information that has been presented to them. Maybe a glossary of terms at the end of the contract will help clear any misunderstandings.

Stay away from the Acronyms

Acronyms change from place to place and industry to industry. In my case my first experiences with overuse of acronyms was in the military. I remember watching a Renaissance Man a Movie where Danny Devito plays a civilian instructor for the Army and they drive him crazy when he gets on base with the acronyms. Make sure you use acronyms that are widely known if you need to use them and provide a brief explanation on what it means.

Outline the Investment in an Easy Way to Understand

Another mistake I see on many proposals is that the investment the person has to make is not clear. It is preferable to outline the cost with as much detailed needed so nothing is left out.

It is key to be detailed but never forgetting to be brief. If the area where you detail your pricing and investment looks to complicated by itself make sure you can simplify it.

Most of these tips are more aligned towards proposals when your client is a small business but I have found that many of these items can be applied in larger business proposals.

What other items do you make sure are clear enough when it comes to that?


  1. Prometeo on September 5, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Regarding pricing, I remember I used to work at a fuel station in Cayey. The owner had a part where he sold beverages, snacks and other things. These other items were so pricey you would think they were gourmet or something. On day I asked him why did he priced those items so high. He told me that people come to gas stations to fuel their cars, if the want something else they should go to the supermarket but if they didn’t want to make the trip there they should pay a little more because he was there to sell gasoline not groceries. 

    The interesting thing is that people bought the items at the overprice he sold them. Strange but still he made a profit and never lowered prices. 

    • Raul Colon on September 6, 2011 at 1:32 pm


      I see this many times. If it is a convenience then you might be able to create a profit in some specific items and keep your business going. In the Fuel Stations case that is where they make most of their income reason why here in Puerto Rico they make you get out of your car and walk into your there convenience store when in other places you can pay your gas from at the pump with your credit card.