A business proposal is a crucial component for any business looking for funding. A proposal is what helps banks, angel investors, and other sources of funding understand what you and your company are all about. This proposal is not just a collection of facts and figures. It’s a representation of your passion and what you can put into your company. Writing a killer business proposal can be what kick starts the success of your company. Here are five tips to help you make the best proposal possible.
Tip One: Tell a Story
A business plan full of numbers and projections is useful, but it’s not something that will set you apart from all the other businesses out there. Instead, your proposal should tell a story. Highlight why you started the company, what problems you need to solve, and the reasons why you and your team are the perfect people to run this business. Let your passion shine through and your investors are more likely to respond in your favor.
Tip Two: Explain a Problem and How You Will Solve It
To convince an investor to fund your business, discuss to your investors a need that is currently in the market, and then spell out how you plan to solve it. The details on how you intend to profit from this problem should be explained last. Doing these let you explain the reasons why your business exists at all.
Tip Three: Don’t Go Overboard
It’s easy to get trapped in the thinking that the longer your proposal is, the better it will be. In some situations, less is more. There is no recommended length for a business proposal. Some people can lay things out in ten pages, while others need fifty to explain their plans. Don’t bog your readers down with unnecessary information. Stick to the pertinent facts, regardless of the length.
Tip Four: Make it Stand Out
Investors can go through hundreds of proposals a year. Most of them look the same and get passed over. What will make yours different? A compelling story. Build a narrative around an opinion you have: this problem exists and this is how I think it should be solved. Add in figures and statistics where needed, but don’t let them be the driving force. The narrative that ties all these facts together will be what makes your proposal stand out.
Tip Five: Revise and Edit
Don’t write a business proposal and not look back at it before showing to investors. Any business, but particularly those that are just getting started, will change constantly. Your proposal needs to reflect these changes. You will also receive feedback from investors you have presented your plan to. Listen to what they have to say and make changes where needed.
It is not unusual to tweak your plan on a daily basis when you are just starting out. Investors will understand that the specifics of your plan will change, so don’t worry about making alterations. Remember that they are investing in people – you and your team – and not a set of numbers on a piece of paper. Again, it is your story that will get an investor’s attention.
A business proposal is a constantly changing document. Its power lies in the story it tells, not the facts and figures it displays. Understand that this proposal is about people. It is about you, your team, and your take on a certain problem. Investors who have an understanding of the people behind an idea will be more likely to consider a proposal.
For more advice on how to express yourself much better though writing, refer to our post “10 Building Blocks of Great Copywriting.” If you have tips you’d like to share about writing a business proposal, feel free to comment below!
Jason writes for the Proformative.