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How to Write a Security Business Proposal

Updated on April 12, 2013

How I've helped security businesses sell their services

You are probably already a master of security. However, do you know how to win new clients with a proposal pitch? Anyone can slap an estimate sheet together but that doesn't usually cut it anymore. You need to put a polished presentation in front of your potential client to help show you can be trusted to perform.

Precision and attention to detail is just as important making your pitch as it is when you are delivering to the client - and your pitch will form your clients initial impression.

I've spent over a decade helping companies put together polished pitches that help make that first impression and the structured approach I've developed has been distilled into an easy-to-use proposal package that anyone can use.

A 'Security' Proposal Pack Theme
A 'Security' Proposal Pack Theme

Getting your security proposal written

Bodyguard services, equipment installation, security plan design, etc.

Some of the most interesting clients who call me are those who own businesses that offer security services. They do a variety of things, such as run protection services such as bodyguards and security guards for hire, design software security programs, offer consulting or investigation services, or sell and install security cameras and alarms of various sorts. And those are just the areas they're willing to about.

These people are experts in their fields, but most have never written a business proposal. Don't sweat it; I tell them, you know what you can do for your clients; that's half the battle. They also feel more confident when I explain that there is a basic structure that make up every business proposal:

Security professionals tend to be mission driven, detail oriented and used to executing a plan. Once I explain this is the same way a proposal will be written it makes it easy to understand.

Section 1) introduce your organization;

Section 2) demonstrate that you understand what your prospective client needs;

Section 3) describe your goods and services and present your costs; and finally,

Section 4) convince the client that your organization is the best pick to handle the job. That doesn't sound like such a tough writing project, does it?

If you follow this four-section structure, creating a proposal for a security related business should be a fairly straightforward project. How many pages should a proposal contain? As many as it needs, and that all depends on the complexity of the project. An average proposal is five to ten pages long. A complex proposal could have dozens or even hundreds of pages. A very short proposal might include only a Cover Letter, a Work Order or a Products or Services Provided page, and a Price List.

You should always keep in mind that the secret of success is to tailor your proposal to the specific party it is addressed to. What goods or services does that person or organization need? What are their restrictions and concerns? You may need to do some research to answer these questions, but the time you spend getting to know your potential client will pay off because you can create a customized proposal that is more likely to beat out your competitors.

I know the idea of customizing each proposal sounds daunting, especially when you want to pitch your ideas to a lot of clients. But keep in mind that the entire proposal doesn't need to be unique: you will naturally use many of the same pages in multiple proposals. Your goal is to include enough customized information so that the readers of each proposal will see that the proposal you've given them is targeted to their specific needs. To be persuasive, you must gain their trust, and that takes some personalized effort.

Start by introducing your proposal with a Cover Letter and Title Page. In the Cover Letter (which is usually printed on your company letterhead), explain who you are and include all your relevant contact information. The Title Page is simply a label page for your specific proposal. Here are a few examples: "Security Services Proposed for the Grand Opening of the Baylor Center," "Installation and Alarm Monitoring Services for Central Community College," and "Proposed Analysis and Software Security Plan for XGW Corporation." You get the idea.

My Proposal Kits on Amazon

Or shop direct and download Proposal Packs from There are hundreds of design themes available. These are just a handful of the more popular ones for security companies. See what else I have available on the Proposal Kit website.

Proposal Pack Security #2 - Business Proposals, Plans, Templates, Samples and Software V18.0
Proposal Pack Security #2 - Business Proposals, Plans, Templates, Samples and Software V18.0

This design uses green-toned graphics of locks and badges to remind proposal reviewers that your organization has expertise in security.

Proposal Pack Security #3 - Business Proposals, Plans, Templates, Samples and Software V18.0
Proposal Pack Security #3 - Business Proposals, Plans, Templates, Samples and Software V18.0

The true blue color, crosses and badge icons of this style signal clients that your organization is as dependable as they come.

Proposal Pack Security Design Theme
Proposal Pack Security Design Theme

Spell out the details

A security proposal needs to be focused on the job - spell out the details

Next up after the introduction is a section that is focused on the potential client. Here, your goal is to include topics that show your understanding of the client's needs. Depending on the complexity of the project you are proposing, you may or may not need to start off with a summarized list of important points (this page is for busy execs to skim and is known as an Executive Summary or a Client Summary). Fill in this client-centered section by describing your prospective client's goals, requirements, and concerns. Don't talk about your goods or services yet. That section comes next; keep this part focused on your clients. You are describing their need for your goods and services.

After the client-centered section comes your chance to show that you have the solutions to the needs you just described. Explain what you are proposing to do, using pages that describe how your goods or services solve their problems. Ask yourself what the client will want to know about your plan. Odds are that you'll write topics with titles like Security Plan, Services Provided, Safety Plan, Benefits, Services Cost Summary, Products, Price List, Warranty, Guarantee and so forth. Include whatever information you need to describe exactly what you intend to provide and how much it will cost.

Pages in this project-oriented section will vary according to what you are proposing. A company that sells computer security systems will include details about recommended Hardware and Software, Specifications, and Installation Schedule, as well as specialized Certifications held by their employees. A bodyguard service will probably need descriptions of Personnel and details about their Training Plan, as well as a discussion of Discretion, some Contingency Planning pages, and so forth. A company selling security devices would include pages about their Equipment, Maintenance and Service Plans, their Customer Service procedures, and any Warranty or Guarantee they offer. A private investigation agency might use pages with titles like Confidentiality, Background Check, Surveillance, and Investigation to describe their services.

A federal grant or contract for a security improvement project will require specialized government forms and templates to ensure compliance with RFP requirements. A business security proposal may need to include a plan for the continuation of the business and use templates such as Contingency Planning, Disaster Recovery Plan, and Risk Analysis.

After you've described exactly what you propose to do, you'll write the final section, where you provide information about your company. Your goal is to conclude your proposal by persuading the reader that you can be trusted to deliver the goods or services you have described. You'll want pages that describe your organization and experience, with titles like Company History, References, Qualifications, Our Clients, Capabilities, and Experience. Be sure to include any Awards and Achievements you've received, as well as Referrals and Testimonials-it's always most persuasive to have your previous clients sing your praises.

Proposal Pack Flag Design Theme
Proposal Pack Flag Design Theme

Make it solid

Your proposal needs to look as solid as your security services are

That's it! The proposal is written. Now, take a little time to make your proposal visually stand out from the competition. You can incorporate color and graphics by using your company logo, choosing custom bullet points and fonts, or adding colored page borders. Don't go overboard, though. Stay professional.

I shouldn't have to tell anyone to be sure to carefully proofread and spell-check every page, but there, I said it anyway. If your proposal seems carelessly thrown together, the reader may conclude you're careless, too. It's always hard to spot errors in your own work, so it's a good idea to have someone who is unfamiliar with your proposal do the final proof. Spell check cannot catch words that are correctly spelled but misused or a reused past proposal that still has another clients name in it.

Save your proposal as a PDF file or print it, and then deliver it. Although it's common to email PDF files to clients nowadays, a printed proposal delivered in person may impress the client more. If new business is particularly valuable to you and especially if you have a lot of competition for work, then you need to put your best effort into the proposal and delivery.

You can see that each proposal for a security business will include different pages to reflect the variety of businesses and projects. And for maximum success, each proposal should be tailored to meet the needs of the party receiving it. But you can also see that all security proposals should follow a similar format and structure, and you can reuse a lot of pages in multiple proposals. So the first proposal you write will be the most labor-intensive. After that, you'll become more efficient with each subsequent proposal.

You don't need to start from scratch, either - you can find templates for all the pages mentioned in this article in my Proposal Pack. Each template contains instructions and provides examples of information to include on that proposal page. The package also contains sample proposals, including samples for a variety of security related businesses. Using my Proposal Pack will give you a giant stride forward toward creating your own winning business proposal and you will benefit from years of work that have gone into developing this proven system.

One of over 500 Proposal Kit testimonials

The business proposal software is an amazing way for all small business owners to expand their business. I have looked some other business proposal software and by far Proposal Kit is the best. - Darrell Luwal, Luwal Investigations & Security

My Proposal Writing Tools for Security Professionals - Getting a boost with your proposal writing already started

Most security professionals don't have the time or experience to start writing a detailed business proposal from scratch. Leveraging tools I've developed that provide pre-written material and samples can save time and help prevent errors commonly made by new writers.

Are you in the security profession? Did my lens provide helpful information?

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