Starting your own business can be very rewarding—you get to do what you love, be your own boss and answer only to your customers. An important step in entrepreneurship is writing your business proposal. A good business proposal clarifies your business idea, could be used as a sales tool when shown to potential clients, and may even be requested by the bank offering you a business loan.
Section titles can vary, but most proposals are broken down into the following sections:
The Executive Summary is usually one paragraph that briefly describes who you are and what your business idea is. Short biographies of the people involved in your business may be placed here, as well.
The Mission Statement details exactly why this business is necessary and what you are setting out to do.
The Product or Services section elaborates on exactly what you are selling. Ask yourself “what’s so great about my idea? What makes it different from other similar products?”
The Market Analysis examines the competition in your field, detailing both trends and growth in your chosen industry. Supporting statistics and charts are vital. Sometimes an outside resource may be hired to write and research this section for you.
Marketing and Promotion should be a huge part of your initial plan. What if you opened a restaurant and nobody knew? A solid marketing plan detailing the actions you will take to insure such a thing never happens can make or break a small business.
5 Tips for Making Any Business Proposal Sing:
• Enlist the help of experts. Many books have been written on the subject and people who have written successful business proposals understand the jargon used in the business world.
• Show some personality. A proposal for a traveling coffeshop-on-wheels will look different than one describing a computer repair shop. Use the lingo of your field to demonstrate expertise and overall passion for this dream!
• Proofread, and then proofread some more. It’s difficult to present a professional image when an important document is filled with typos and poor grammar.
• Add visuals. The proposal should be a pleasing, easy-to-read package. Clip art, clean layouts and eye-catching graphics engage readers, making your idea easier to understand.
Shawna Kenney has written successful business proposals for Zune Arts, Boost Mobile, MCA Records, RRE Enterprises and herself.