The Complete Guide to Writing Effective and Award Winning Business Proposals: Step-by-Step Instructions


What do you do when you are trying to get your company off the ground and attract new customers? You write a business proposal, which is essentially a bid for business that can be either solicited or unsolicited. Business proposals cannot be thrown together at the last minute; they take a large amount of planning, writing, and revising.

The Complete Guide to Writing Effective and Award Winning Business Proposals will walk you through the process, providing you with an easy to ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (11) from $1.99   
  • New (4) from $16.22   
  • Used (7) from $1.99   
Sending request ...


What do you do when you are trying to get your company off the ground and attract new customers? You write a business proposal, which is essentially a bid for business that can be either solicited or unsolicited. Business proposals cannot be thrown together at the last minute; they take a large amount of planning, writing, and revising.

The Complete Guide to Writing Effective and Award Winning Business Proposals will walk you through the process, providing you with an easy to follow and easy to understand method of writing a successful business proposal. In this new book you will learn about the various parts of a business proposal, including the cover letter, contact details, executive summary, solution description, success stories, references, costs breakdown, case studies, company profile, methodologies, and project milestones and deadlines. You will also learn the five key elements of effective business proposals: solutions, benefits, credibility, samples, and targeted.

Furthermore, you will learn how to write persuasively, how to analyze your proposal, how to write an effective vision or mission statement, how to understand and meet your client s requirements, how to write client-centered proposals, how to establish credibility, and how to structure a letter and a formal proposal. In addition, this book is filled with outlines, suggestions and tips.

The Complete Guide to Writing Effective and Award Winning Business Proposals will teach you how to create consistently successful proposals that bring in new clients and contracts and impress your peers and senior management. Whether you are a new business trying to win contracts or you are an established business hoping to pick up some new tips, this book will help you achieve your goals.

Atlantic Publishing is a small, independent publishing company based in Ocala, Florida. Founded over twenty years ago in the company president’s garage, Atlantic Publishing has grown to become a renowned resource for non-fiction books. Today, over 450 titles are in print covering subjects such as small business, healthy living, management, finance, careers, and real estate. Atlantic Publishing prides itself on producing award winning, high-quality manuals that give readers up-to-date, pertinent information, real-world examples, and case studies with expert advice.  Every book has resources, contact information, and web sites of the products or companies discussed.

This Atlantic Publishing eBook was professionally written, edited, fact checked, proofed and designed. The print version of this book is 290 pages and you receive exactly the same content. Over the years our books have won dozens of book awards for content, cover design and interior design including the prestigious Benjamin Franklin award for excellence in publishing. We are proud of the high quality of our books and hope you will enjoy this eBook version.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781601382344
  • Publisher: Atlantic Publishing Group Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/10/2008
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,209,900
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 9 Chapter 1 Business Proposals 101 13 Chapter 2 Ethical Considerations: What Not to Write 41 Chapter 3 Key Elements in Successful Proposals 51 Chapter 4 Focus on Your Audience 53 Chapter 5 Selling Your Proposal 73 Chapter 6 Selling Points and Value Statements 101 Chapter 7 The Business Proposal Writing Process 111 Chapter 8 Legal Considerations in Proposals 139 Chapter 9 Using Definition and Description in Proposals 143 Chapter 10 Using Creativity Techniques to Plan Your Proposal 151 Chapter 11 Gathering Data for Your Proposal 157 Chapter 12 Costing a Proposal 171 Chapter 13 Designing and Formatting Your Business Proposal 177 Chapter 14 The Letter or Memo as Proposal 191 Chapter 15 Formatting and Preparing Your Proposal for Printing 199 Chapter 16 The Executive Summary 207 Chapter 17 Mission Statements in Proposals 213 Chapter 18 Using Case Studies in Business Proposals 217 Chapter 19 Using Visuals in Proposals 221 Chapter 20 Presenting Your Proposal 231 Chapter 21 Sales Proposals to Customers 253 Chapter 22 Internal Proposals 257 Chapter 23 White Papers as Proposals 259 Chapter 24 Government Contracting Proposals 261 Chapter 25 Business Startup Proposals 265 Chapter 26 A Success Story: Learning From Your Mistakes 275 Chapter 27 A Proposal Checklist 281 Resources 283 Author Biography 285 Index 287
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2009

    The Complete Guide to Writing Effective and Award-Winning Business Proposals

    With a title like "The Complete Guide to Writing Effective and Award-Winning Business Proposals," Dr. Jean Murray's book promises a lot- and delivers. It offers step by step instructions that are every bit as detailed and extensive as the title, and the scope that it covers is matched only by the thoroughness with which it is written.
    To begin with, the organization of this book is excellent. Dr. Murray starts with the very basics of business proposals, moves on to their writing, discusses many special considerations, and finally overviews several variations on the standard proposal. This wealth of knowledge is divided into sensible chapters, which in turn are divided into sections with large, easy to find headings. Within each section, the liberal use of bullet points makes the information very accessible. It easy for readers to skip what they do not need while focusing on more relevant areas- that is, assuming there was anything a reader wanted to skip. All of the basic information in the book makes for good review of business writing essentials, while the more in depth topics are so well covered that reading through them is almost always rewarding. Dr. Murray's case studies provide further advice from industry experts on special subjects such as presentations and the use of humor.
    One very small glitch in the presentation of this information is the occasional over-explanation of secondary or tertiary topics like the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator-information that is easily obtained elsewhere and in this case only served to disrupt the flow of more useful information. This was a rare occurrence, however, and it is hard to fault an author for explaining concepts too thoroughly. Over all, I rate this book at four out of five stars thanks to its thoroughness and great organization.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 19, 2009

    Effective and Award-Winning Business Proposals

    Creating a business proposal is, to say the least, a daunting process. Not only do you have to consider writing the proposal, but you also have to understand the presentation of that information to a potential client. Dr. Jean Wilson Murray's book, The Complete Guide to Writing Effective and Award-Winning Business Proposals: Step-by-Step Instructions, successfully analyzes every element a small or large company needs to reach its ultimate goal: selling their product. This guide is definitely complete.

    Straightforward and persuasive, Murray's book asks and answers pertinent questions for anyone interested in writing an effective business proposal. Several chapters are devoted to avoiding problems that business owners must specifically contend with and provides solutions to those problems. From explaining the writing process to properly valuing the services offered to the client, this helpful book simplifies complex issues into valuable information.

    The book also presents case studies and practical advice concerning what clients need from a business proposal and what companies need to include in that proposal, focusing on persuasive writing techniques and information management. Lastly, the book emphasizes the planning, creating, and submission of the presentation. If any book understood the meaning of the word "complete," this one is it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2008

    A Great Read

    The Complete Guide to Writing Effective Award Winning Business Proposals Author: Jean Wilson-Murry, MBA PhD Reviewer: R. Ginger Robinson The very first thing you notice about this book is the eye-catching cover. This fabulous packaging makes you look forward to what is contained inside. I have been told quite a few times life to shoot a proposal a customer¿s direction and been at a loss of what and how to include my information. Everybody knows that the pricing is included, but it¿s the additional unknown territory that can be so confounding. Also the aspect of whether they may think you¿re charging too much and so many other issues. With just the first chapter the author whet my appetite with key information that was promised to be covered in detail in later chapters. The first chapter itself included the reasons why an individual would need a proposal, the definition of the RFP, and formatting. I don¿t know about anybody else, but I had shied away from even bidding because I wasn¿t sure what RFP even meant. She surfaced valid points such to keep bidders on track and focused on logistics rather than just the opportunity to bid. She outlined the numerous types of proposals, their purposes and the book itself is written in they way that reminds you to write your proposal. This book is written in such a conversational style that I felt many times that the writer heard my questions because it wasn¿t too long after my questions were formed, that they were answered. There was information that I didn¿t agree was a blanket issue and that information was countered with the fact that it wasn¿t all inclusive, still in all, key information to pay attention to in the proposal process. At times the book was repetitive, but I think necessarily repetitive so that information could be soaked in. This is not a book to be quickly perused and tossed to the side. There are several areas covered in a short amount of time with helpful checklists of do¿s and don¿ts and memorable shortcuts such the 7 C¿s, six hats thinking, and AIDA format. She keeps the readers attention even through legal issues that must be address with explicit explanations of procedures, working, and preparation. Ms. Wilson-Murry¿s writing style delivers the information promised in the first chapter exploding into examples, clear cut analogies and constant delivery of the information necessary to write a successful business proposal. I can honestly say that this is a book to be read many times for the healthy cornucopia of information contained in its pages. There is information on different types of proposals, even the fears that are encountered in tackling a proposal and how to overcome those fears. She guides you through the process of prepping the proposal, writing and formatting it, the fonts, paragraph styles, layout, proofreading, even visual techniques. There is so much that goes into the proper appeal to a potential customer and this author addresses all of those concerns. She even has a checklist of what to do and resources to guide you further if necessary. Upon finishing this book, I felt as though I had been given every component necessary to complete a proposal that would have the maximum impact to any potential customer in order to make them a bonafide long standing customer. I also believe that there are tactics outlined in this book that can be used to aid in changing your overall attitude towards any business venture you wish to tackle. Ms. Wilson-Murry reinforced one important rule that must never be forgotten that no matter the proposal, you should never sell yourself short. I enjoyed this book completely and plan to read and refer to it again and again. Out of 5 stars, I give this book 5 stars.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2008

    Succinct and Informative

    In this book, Dr. Jean Murray does a great job describing all of the elements of writing business proposals. The book lays out the reasons why business proposal are needed, who primarily requests business proposals, and what are the reasons for submitting business proposals. She artfully describes how to use a proposal to sell one¿s company and obtain the purpose for which the proposal was written. Also, the book does a good job describing the various legal ramifications involved in writing a proposal. She explains the precautions and legal safeguards which need to be taken when writing various business proposals. The book also informs one how to properly arrange and format the contents of the proposal thus, making it more aesthetically pleasing to its audience while adhering to the format requested by the company for which the proposal was written. The book explains how appropriate design and formatting can set you apart from the other proposals which companies receive and which will in turn increase the likelihood of having your proposal accepted. In particular, the chapter explaining how visuals are used in proposals was superb in showing how data should be visual expressed in a proposal. In conclusion, this book provides important and detailed information for businessman and women at every level. Its information is given in a succinct straightforward manner which can be understood by a high school student, but this information has the detail and depth which make it useful to any CEO.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2008

    How to Write Business Proposals

    Do you want to know how to write effective sales proposals to clients or internal proposals to top management? How about loan proposals to potential investors? You¿ll find that and more in this step-by-step guide by Jean Wilson Murray. THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO WRITING EFFECTIVE AND AWARD-WINNING BUSINESS PROPOSALS is divided into three sections--planning, writing, and presentation. If you¿re wondering where to begin, start with Chapter one, ¿Business Proposals 101.¿ After you become familiar with the basics, find out what you shouldn¿t do. Some ethical considerations are involved in writing business proposals, namely avoiding the inclusion of ¿incomplete, misleading, or inaccurate information¿ about your product or service. Murray outlines the different types of business proposals and spells out what needs to be done to create a successful proposal, from beginning to end. This book targets professionals who are faced with writing their first business proposal. That group includes not only new business owners, but also freelance writers, architects, sales people, graphic artists, and other professionals.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2008

    The Complete Guide to Writing Effective and Award-Winning Business Proposals: Step-by-Step Instructions by Jean Murray

    Murray¿s book takes the mystical proposition of a business proposal and cracks it open to show the reader its parts. A business proposal is one of the most important pieces of paper you¿ll need to start a new business: if you write a clear, professional proposal, you increase your chances of attracting not only backers but also clients and local support. The Complete Guide to Writing Effective and Award-Winning Business Proposals dissects the business proposal and shows the reader its parts: there¿s a section on everything from the cover letter you¿ll need to write, the costs you¿ll need to break down, and the profile of your business or company that you¿ll need to craft. Murray does a nice job of not only listing and discussing the business proposal¿s parts, but she also explains the elements to crafting a successful proposal. The five key elements Murray writes about are solutions, benefits, credibility, samples, and targeted. This book is particularly great for people who are just starting out with business proposals. Professionals might find some of the book¿s content redundant. For example, someone who¿s just starting out would want to know when a business proposal is needed (i.e. who requests them), but someone who¿s been in the game a long time isn¿t necessarily going to need this information. The great thing is that this book will not only help you learn the parts of a business proposal, but it will help you learn how to write persuasively, an area some books do not cover. This way, your proposal will not only impress people but will persuade them to trust you and your ideas. If you¿re looking for a breakdown of the seemingly mysterious business proposal, this book is the right one for you. Starting from the beginning, the book will walk you through the business proposal process. One standout section of the book is the piece discussing the legal side to business proposals. This is an areas that some people may overlook because they¿re focused on funding, profits, and barometers of success. Murray writes sharply about the safeguards you¿ll need and the things to consider when crafting a proposal. It¿s this detail-oriented approach that makes this a great book for people just starting out in the world of business.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)