Many quake when tasked with writing a business proposal. There are people you can hire to write the proposal for you, myself included, but there are some important pieces of information only you can provide. Below you will find a list of helpful hints designed to place your proposal on top of a banker’s stack of prospects:
- Include a Cover Letter, introduce your company or project, a brief overview of what you will do or provide, and the benefits from what you propose.
- A statement of work or a technical approach. This describes a more detailed list of what you will accomplish.
- Include hard numbers. A current Income and Expense report AND projected financials after one, three, and five years. Use conservative and realistic figures to reflect the increase in your gross income, and any change in expenses. The goal is to show profit.
- A marketing plan. Be specific. If using social media as a selling platform, provide numbers of Friends, Fans, Followers, or other connections. If sending email blasts, how many are in your database.
- A timeline, or schedule of how you will use the loan proceeds. If products are proposed, then provide descriptions. Include goals and major milestones.
- A management plan describing how you will organize and supervise any work performed.
- Qualifications that describe your unique ability to do what you are proposing. Highlight relevant prior experience.
- Contracts and Pricing. Include contractual terms.
- Competitive Analysis. Tell who your competitors are, and make sure you include how you are similar, plus how you are different. Provide a clear understanding of how you will set yourself apart and succeed.
- If you have a Frequently Asked Questions page on your website, mine it for pertinent elements so your banker will have a clear understanding of what your business is, and why you are the right person running it. If you don’t have a FAQ list, now is the perfect time to start one.
- Hard facts to support your premise that this loan will be repaid in full. Bankers do not want to own your collateral. They need to know that borrowers have the willingness and ability to repay.
- Mentally put yourself in the banker’s shoes. If you were him, with this type of business, what would be your concerns, questions, confusions, etc.? Answer these in your proposal. Bankers are people too, and it’s amazing what little things like this can do to help get you what you want.
- Finally, if you can’t comfortably alleviate the fears of your banker, you may have one of two problems. A. The loan amount is too high, and should be reduced. B. You truly don’t have the ability to repay, and would be better off not increasing your debt.
- Keep all of your information concise. In today’s world of sound-bytes, don’t write long-winded pages that cause your banker to put the proposal down in frustration.
- Purchase two inexpensive but nice portfolio covers or binders at an office supply store. Make duplicate copies, so you can follow, while your banker reviews the professional presentation you hand him or her.
- Don’t forget you can use Business Proposals to dazzle your boss. They aren’t just for borrowing money. A well-thought-out, clean proposal can prove your value to the company and help you get a promotion, or at least help you keep your job.
Anita FreshFaith @ Work
Ezekiel 43:11 (b)
New International Version (NIV)
Write these down before them so that they may be faithful to its design and follow all its regulations.
Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business Expert, Certified Personality Trainer, Communications Specialist, speaker, and writer. She lives in Missouri.