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How to Write a Business Proposal

Updated on March 6, 2008

Developing a great business proposal is one of the most important things you can do for you new venture. Chances are that you are trying to solicit investment capital from prospective investors with your business plan.

Your intended audience will include:

  • bankers
  • venture capitalists
  • corporate management
  • distributors

Remember to be persuasive, and to direct your presentation to the needs, desires, dreams, and aspirations of your audience.

You Need To:

  • Get the investor’s attention.
  • Motivate them, and get them excited about your proposal.
  • Appeal to their needs and understand the nature of the problem they want solved by investing in your business (how will this investment benefit them?).
  • Convince your audience that you have a well-thought-out business plan.
  • Prove to them that there is a market for your product or service.
  • Demonstrate that you have the management and operational skill to accomplish your plan.
  • Demonstrate that your business will make enough money to provide the promised returns to your investors.

Writing Your Business Proposal

Cover Page – Your cover page should be decorative, but use this as an opportunity to present your logo and business name.

Table of Contents The proposal should look professional, so you should include a table of contents at the beginning of your report.

Executive Summary Provide a detailed overview of what your business is, the services it will provide, where it will be located, and your target customers. You should also outline your budget goals and needs. The business plan should also include something like a four-year plan.

Mission Statement Your company should have a mission statement that serves as a reminder of the business goals and purpose.

Key Environmental Forces This is an opportunity to describe why your company will be successful. For example, say you want to open a shop in an airport that offers spa services. You can explain how the rapid pace of technological advancements has influenced business globalization, further increasing travel and working time. Thus, more people are traveling and needing relaxation services while waiting in airports.

Objectives and Strategies You should list clear objectives that outline your company’s goals. Include actual dates for when the company will open for business, a goal for when the company will break even financially, and performance goals within the first six months (just to name a few examples). You should outline the detailed strategies your company will use to achieve these goals.

Retail Mix Plan- Take the opportunity to describe your company’s plans:

  • Merchandise Plan
  • Customer Service Plan
  • Store Location Selection (facilities available and design)
  • Pricing Strategy
  • Promotional Plan

Human Resource Plan Outline your goals for forming a management team, hiring employees, and the employee structure of your company. Provide analysis of pay wages, job descriptions, and benefits the company will offer.

Financial Plan Make solid statements about your company’s financial goals, like: The key element to our financial plan is initiating, maintaining, and improving the factors that create and increase our cash flow.

Appendix Use the appendix to provide examples of what the store/offices will look like and floor plans. You can provide a map that will show your company’s location. You can show an example of your pricing plans for customers. Present profiles for the vendors that will serve your company.

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    • Wondering SLO profile image

      Sheldon Overlock 

      3 years ago from Maine

      Thank you for the Hub. I am in the starting fazes of writing my first proposal and your hub has set me on the right track and answered some of my biggest questions. Thank you!!!

    • profile image

      Mary 

      5 years ago

      Basically to follow up on the up-date of this topic on your wistebe and would wish to let you know how much I prized the time you took to generate this helpful post. Within the post, you spoke on how to actually handle this issue with all comfort. It would be my personal pleasure to get together some more ideas from your blog and come as much as offer others what I have benefited from you. Many thanks for your usual great effort.

    • profile image

      Sarah 

      5 years ago

      Next time you wash your hair, Shampoo everything above your aipmrts.That includes your whole Head, Face Neck, Shoulders and as much of your back as possible..Buy some Selsun Shampoo' for Dandruff. . This is EXCELLENT for all types of skin ailments.and will clear your Acne in about a week. Many of the other treatments are rather mild for serious Acne, so keep them for future use after your face is better. Selsun shampoo, cleans DEEP into the skin pores and is a powerful anti-bacterial, anti-fungal cleanser. Take care to rinse your face thoroughly after shampooing to remove all traces of Selsun'(Take a long shower ) because It has a slight drying effect, so alternate with a good quality Lanolin based soap to restore the natural body oils removed by the shampoo

    • profile image

      JJ 

      7 years ago

      not bad, helped me alot

    • profile image

      IN2deep 

      7 years ago

      Really Great Information

    • profile image

      Alice Clark 

      7 years ago

      A business proposal is a written proposal presented from a vendor that is intended to elicit business from a prospective buyer. It differs from a business plan, which is primarily constructed to obtain start-up capital by detailing the organization and operational aspects of the business to demonstrate its profit potential.

    • Neil Ashworth profile image

      George Poe 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Great info!

    • Phillyfreeze69 profile image

      Phillyfreeze69 

      8 years ago

      Very concise overview of one of the most essential elements for aspiring business owners. The business plan is the road map that can keep the entrepreneur on course. Thanks for the refresher.

    • Neil Ashworth profile image

      George Poe 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Nice hub. Some good information here. Thanks for the info..

    • profile image

      Frank Crandell 

      8 years ago

      I could not imagine launching a business without having a plan in place. I think of it as a map of things I want to achieve during the first 3 months, 6 months and so on. Nice hub.

    • forlan profile image

      forlan 

      9 years ago

      great guidance for bussiness owner

    • ilovehubbing profile image

      ilovehubbing 

      9 years ago

      Nice article!

    • profile image

      Rick Johansson 

      10 years ago

      Nice article! It always helps me to imagine my customer is sitting across from me in a restaurant. That way I can write a more customer-oriented proposal...whereas I find myself writing to myself!

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 

      10 years ago from Georgia

      Ah. Lucky for you. Bad for me. Ha. I think it's time for bed for me. Hopefully, the short rest will lead me to a few more business hubs for the 'morrow. You need sleep too. Lots and lots.. till about noon CA time. Give me time to catch up. ;-)

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile imageAUTHOR

      Stacie Naczelnik 

      10 years ago from Seattle

      Thanks Whitney. I'm known for keeping meticulous notes at every conference and meeting I attend, so I have some of these resources on hand.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 

      10 years ago from Georgia

      Stacie I swear you just have all these great idea laying in and around your desk. :-( Your killing me. I sure wish my internet hadn't died earlier today; I could have poped out another Music hub, but music is interesting to me. Business is much harder. You seem to be throwing out these hubs with ease. They're great. Very informative.

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