Whether you are bidding for a small or large project, submitting a cost proposal is always a must. This is where a contractor site all the project costs—from services down to materials—accordingly. Once the cost proposal business document is accepted, it will be the sole reference in the forecasting of the budget for a certain project. Hence, creating an absolute and reasonable one is important. So, if you want to know more about what a cost proposal is and see well-written cost proposal sample templates, scroll down below!

What is a Cost Proposal?

A cost proposal is a document that presents ample and substantial cost information on a project. It is one of the essential business documents that should be present during project proposals. This type of proposal form covers broad data in a business proposal, especially compensation for services and the cost of equipment and services. Cost proposals must be written in a professional and organized manner since it will serve as the budget for a certain project. A cost proposal is also subject to cost analysis to determine whether or not the following information is accurate. 

FREE 10+ Cost Proposal Samples and Templates in PDF

Below are some well-made cost proposal sample templates with suggestive professionally written content and figures that you can choose as a reference. These are also customizable and downloadable anytime. Check them out!

1. Cost Proposal Template

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2. Cost Proposal Form Template

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Size: 270 KB

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3. Sample Cost Proposal

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Size: 192 KB

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4. Example of Contract Cost Proposal

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5. Format of Cost Proposal Template

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6. Cost Proposal Offer Form Template

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7. Sample Budget Cost Proposal Template

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Size: 410 KB

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8. Cost Proposal in PDF Template

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9. Cost Proposal Form Example

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10. Indirect Cost Proposal Format

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11. Simple Event Cost Proposal

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How to Make a Cost Proposal

Cost proposals are one of the most important documents in every project plan since they can help determine the feasibility of a project. That is why it has to be well-written and communicates essential and relevant data concisely.

According to an article from Medium, writing a good and winning proposal for various uses has the possibility of closing 80% or more of the deal. So, if you have no idea how to create a realistic cost proposal for a proposed project, you might as well follow the simple tips we provide below. Here’s how.

1. Determine the Readers of the Cost Proposal

Before you begin creating a realistic cost proposal, you have to study and determine the appropriate people that will read your proposal first. Presenting a valuable proposal will not guarantee you a contract if you do not present what your readers want to see. Thus, it is important to assess and reflect the essential data that will satisfy your readers. Simply put it this way, write the figures and words that matter.

2. Site the Cost Proposal Objective

Once you have already determined who will read your cost proposal document, the next thing you need to do is to showcase your objective. In this case, you may pen down an introduction—a brief overview of the core idea of the cost proposal sheet. Make sure you pinpoint the main objective of the document to provide a clear and accurate understanding to your readers.

3. Create an Outline for the Cost Proposal

After you have placed an introduction for your cost proposal, it’s time to create the proposal outline. With this, columns and rows will be of good use. However, make sure that your table is enough to carry out large data so that you can input all the necessary details in your proposal.

4. Input Labels into the Cost Proposal

Once your cost proposal outline is done, the next thing you need to do is to place labels. These will serve as indicators and guidelines as to what information must be entered in each row. Nonetheless, make sure that the labels you input in your cost proposal business document must mirror your overall objective.

5. Include Basic Details in the Cost Proposal

Complete your cost proposal document format by adding the basic details of it, such as date and time, request for proposal (RFP) number, name of the offeror, contact information, etc. It is also essential to provide a brief description of the project—project name, location, and project timeline. End your cost proposal with a statement that certifies that the data mentioned in the proposal are accurate. Then, leave space for signatures.

What are the types of cost proposals?

A cost proposal has two basic types that contractors may use, depending on the contract. The first type is the upfront cost proposal. It is mostly required in a request for proposal (RFP) and is subject to the Truth in Negotiation Act (TINA). This type of cost proposal is present before winning a contract. The second cost proposal type is the incurred cost proposal. It is the type that all contractors must issue.

What are the elements of the cost proposal?

There are two elements that complete a cost proposal—the projection of costs and the relevant data that supports the estimate. The data in a cost proposal document must bear these significant figures—labor hours, bill of materials, indirect costs, indirect costs, etc. These details should be present in your proposal to provide an accurate and elaborate cost estimate.

What is the difference between a cost proposal and a cost estimate?

The difference between a cost estimate and cost proposal is that a cost estimate refers to a ballpark of an expected cost of services that is roughly based on previous projects. On the other hand, a cost proposal talks about in-depth components. It not only tackles the services and equipment needed for a project but also the overall scope of the work. However, these two are of the same value, depending on your objectives.

A cost proposal helps organizations identify the overall cost of a project—service fees and materials needed. It also allows them to determine the scope of the work, asses the things that need to be done, evaluate the standard guide on how to do each task, the schedule, identify additional services, and many more. That is why it is essential to have cost proposals to attach in a business or project proposal before building a project. So, upon creating a cost proposal, make sure that you present all the needed data to make your document valuable and professional. You may browse the sample cost proposal templates that we have provided you above.

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