They say that "appearance isn't everything." It's the "inside" that counts. But I'm not so sure...
My friend Ashok is a graphic designer at a very successful design firm in Kolkata (formerly – Calcutta). But in their early days, they had the hardest time landing contracts. They'd send out professional proposals, but no one was interested. Why? Ashok says it boils down to "people in the visual arts world can be treated superficially... sometimes image is everything."
Things changed the day they embellished their proposal. Using fancier paper, a letterhead and an artistic signature was all it took to close deals like Madison Avenue mad men!
While the appearance of your proposal can easily be changed, remember that you need to start from a solid "inside."
The proposal - the formal business offer is essentially a sales pitch that will clearly demonstrate how, when and why you can successfully deliver products or services to the buyer.