In IT, a business proposal for new equipment often passes through the hands of non-technical company stakeholders. How should an IT leader approach this task? Write the IT proposal with long, detailed prose? Or go high-level and get right to the point in terms that non-IT can understand?
We recommend the latter. Taking a Spartan approach with the writing helps your technology proposal resonate. Always write an IT business proposal in language that is clear and direct.
About this One-Page Proposal Template
Here we will guide you on how to write short but effectively. You will complete this template in 25 sentences or less! Follow the guidelines on the Word .doc below and you will have a narrative-style document that’s ideal for e-mailing stakeholders.
Alternatively, if you’re presenting in-person, you might leave intact the bullet-point structure of the document for easy talking points.
In either scenario, address each bullet with a single sentence. Go line by line in order. Tip: Some prefer writing the executive summary (located at the front of the document) as the last step.
If you feel like you need to increase length for clarity—do so after the initial writing pass. This speeds up the writing process. This is a copywriter’s trick you may apply to any proposal you might be drafting.
Executive summary (2-3 sentences, write this last)
- Neatly explain the purpose or scope of the proposal.
- Identify the equipment and personnel involved. Spell out frequently used acronyms in first reference.
- Characterize the ROI the company can expect from the project.
Background (3 paragraphs, 3 sentences each)
- What are we solving or pursuing?
- Identify the pain point or opportunity the proposal is addressing.
- Describe the impact of that it has on business operations.
- State how your proposed solution will address pain or opportunity; mention documented company practices (if any) that support the proposal.
- What do we need to complete the project?
- What are the technical specifications needed to implement the solution?
- Why is this the most cost-effective solution—short term, and long run?
- Describe your research process that lead you to this particular solution.
- What can we expect during and after project?
- Summarize the timeline and personnel involvement for rollout
- Characterize how business operations will be affected during rollout
- Illustrate how business operations after solution is in place.
Ideal outcome (3 sentences)
- How and when will the company experience the benefits of the project?
- What tangibles will the company gain from this proposal?
- What will the takeaways from the project look like, or what will we learn for future deployments?
Potential risks (3 sentences)
- Characterize the likelihood for the worst case scenario
- Set real, accurate expectations for any downtime or disruption
- Show an emergency backup plan preventing downtime or disruption should it occur
Alternatives (2-3 sentences)
- What are other solutions that you considered?
- How is the proposed solution better?
Budget (attach a spreadsheet)
- Part | quantity | vendor | price
- Personnel hours for installation
- Downtime costs
Writing tips for business proposals
- Keep your sentences short and try for a subject-verb-object structure for better readability.
- Prepare a rough draft in one fell swoop, take a break, and read again to eliminate unneeded passages and clarify writing.
- Have a colleague to proofread the document before submitting a business proposal for new equipment before sending to decision-makers.