January 18, 2018


Project management advice, tips, tools and recommended resources for existing and aspiring project managers.

10 Key Elements To Writing a Project Proposal

How to write a project proposal

Writing a project proposal is certainly one of the key competent areas for a service professional. The project proposal is your sales piece that will ultimately “sell” your services to the prospective client.

How to write a killer project proposal


To be successful, your project proposal should perform the following:

  • show that you understand what the client is looking for
  • prove that you are the best person for the tasks at hand
  • convince the prospect that either they can afford you or they cannot afford not to hire you

To accomplish all this, your project proposal should have the following key elements:

1. Client’s Requirements and Goals

The summary of the client’s requirements and goals is a critical part of your project proposal. Take the time to really understand what your prospect is looking for to ensure a better outcome. Furthermore, by showing how well you’ve paid attention to your prospect’s needs, you’ll set yourself apart from your competitors.

2. Tasks Involved and Your Fee for Each

List down the main tasks you’re going to do, along with the fee you will charge for each. Provide enough detail that anybody will be able to say when you have delivered or completed the task.

For example, if I’m going to write a sales page for a client, I’ll say that it will be at least 1,000 words long, will include graphics, and will be submitted in a HTML file.

3. Breakdown of Each Task with Costs

It’s not enough to simply say what big tasks you will do. Break them down so your prospect appreciates how much work and skill it takes to complete each one.

In my sales page example above, I could specify that writing the sales page includes:

  • doing market research to better understand my client’s target market and what his competitors are doing
  • choosing appropriate photographs
  • design and layout of the sales page into a HTML file
How to write a killer project proposal


4. Delivery Schedule

Make it clear how long it will take you to complete each task and how milestones should be approved by the client.

5. Work Process

Describe how you usually work with clients. Will you have a meeting after the client approves your proposal? Describe how you will to track all client communication.  Be specific now so you and your client won’t be in for surprises later on.

6. Mode of Payment

In this part, specify how you want to get paid. Do you require a deposit or full payment before starting on a project? Describe means of payment for example, electronic bank transfer.

How to write a killer project proposal


7. Samples or Proof That You Can Do the Job

Make it easy for prospects to decide that you’re suitable for this project. Attach samples of work, or links to samples that show how you’ve completed similar projects in the past.

8. Clear Indication of the Next Steps

Tell your prospect clearly what he should do if he either wants to proceed with the project, or if he has further questions before he can make a decision.

Say something like, “If you need clarification on my proposal, please email your questions to me.”

9. Invoice for First Payment

Obviously, you should include this only if you require a deposit before you start a project.

10. Contact Information

Make sure your project proposals include your name and contact details–including your email address even if you are emailing your proposal. Don’t assume your prospect will simply hit the “reply” button, or take the time to find your contact information if he doesn’t see it right away.

Always ensure that your project will deliver as per client requirements and outline that clearly in your project proposal.

For basic project templates and guidelines on how to write a project proposal (Work Order) to deliver any project successfully, click here

How to write a killer project proposal

Ring Tail Lemur

These beautiful photos were taken during our recent holidays, when we visited Monkey Land in Plettenberg Bay, about 450km from Cape Town, South Africa.

By Linky Van Der Merwe

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  1. Dear Linky,
    big thank u for your sharing…all of your topics are very useful for me….I look forward to more information from you..
    best wishes.. Wayan – Bali – Indonesia