Having a vision for a business is easy – actually bringing that vision into reality is something else entirely. That is ultimately why a business proposal is so important. It shows people that you’ve put time and effort into honing this idea for the organization you want to create and that you not only know the obstacles you might face, but also how to overcome them.
If you’re about to write a business proposal of your own, there are a few key things you want to keep in mind.
Writing a Business Proposal: Breaking Things Down
The first step to complete when writing a business proposal is also one of the most important: crafting your introduction.
Here, you’ll provide the most succinct overview that you can of A) what your company will do, B) how that is different from other, similar organizations operating in the same market and C) why an audience will care about what you have to offer. Consider it the thesis statement of everything that will follow.
Next, you’ll move onto the Table of Contents. Here, you’re giving a brief overview of everything that someone is about to read in the business proposal that follows.
This will be followed up by your executive summary, which will answer the important questions like “Who,” “What,” “Where,” Why” and “When.” Unlike the introduction, which is where you illustrate that you understand the overall goals of your business, the executive summary is where you show that you understand the people that you’re asking to help you on this journey you’re about to embark on.
At that point, you can move into the project details. This is where you begin to show what your product or service will do and what problem it will help solve on behalf of a target audience. In essence, this is your chance to explain that you’re not just a “solution in search of a problem” – that you’ve identified a real, unfulfilled need out there that you and you alone have an opportunity to address.
From there, you’ll want to go into more detail on your deliverables and milestones. In essence, you’re asking yourself “what does success actually look like?” As the old saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day – and a successful business won’t be, either. With the “Deliverables and Milestones” section, you can get specific about when first drafts of designs will be sent over, when manufacturing will begin, when you can expect to start the shipping process, etc. Being as realistic as possible here is key.
You can then move onto the budget – another area that you need to be as realistic as possible in. Break everything down into the smallest details and try to estimate an accurate cost for each component. That includes not only the costs of designing, manufacturing and packaging your products but also things like social media services, Internet copywriting and more.
Finally, you can tie everything together by way of a thoughtful conclusion. This is where you summarize all of the main points you’ve just made in a way that not only shows that you’ve given a great deal of thought to your business, but that you also have a clear vision about what you’re trying to accomplish and how you will get to that point.
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