Business proposals are a written document that helps you assess if your business idea is feasible. If you’re looking to start your own business, it’s important to learn how to write a business proposal. A compelling proposal also comes in handy if you’re looking to apply for small business loans. However, it’s not easy to communicate your entire business idea on a piece of paper. To help you write an engaging business proposal, here are seven effective tips you should know about.
1. Know the Your Target Market’s Problem
If your business idea doesn’t solve a problem, toss it out the window. You don’t have to solve poverty or world hunger, but it should be enough to create value for money. Let’s say your community doesn’t have a pizza restaurant. You would naturally solve that problem by putting up your pizzeria.
You’re proposing your idea because it can solve a problem, so be sure to highlight the said problem throughout your entire proposal. Instead of highlighting the features of your product/service, focus on providing solutions for a problem that’s been making things difficult for your targeted audience. Your prospects would rather know what’s in it for them, rather than the benefits of your products.
2. Identify Your Unique Selling Point
Your readers will find it more interesting if your proposal is centered on your audience and what you can do for them. Aside from mentioning the solution to the problem, you should also highlight your business’ unique selling proposition (USP). By identifying your USP, you’ll increase your chances of winning new contracts.
3. Take the Time to Map Out Your Proposal
We’ve already established the importance of a business proposal, so be sure you don’t wait until the last minute to create one. It’s best to compile a business plan ahead of time so you can thoroughly map out your essential elements. For example, you can begin by writing the background of your company, pricing strategies, etc. It’s important you capture and then articulate the strategic aspects of your proposal.
4. Outline Your Solution to the Problem
You’ve identified the problem and provided the necessary solution. But the problem is that you’re not the only one who can solve this problem. There may be other entrepreneurs seeking to put up a pizzeria in your area. With that in mind, it’s important to establish your competitive advantage on how your solution solves this problem.
Your business proposal should detail your expertise so your target market can understand why your solution is the ideal one. If you work with professionals, you can also include their experience and how it is beneficial to your audience. You should do whatever makes you stand out among the competition.
5. Use Engaging Words
Let’s face it – business proposals are boring. It’s important to capture the attention of your readers and keep them engaged. How? By using a positive and compelling vocabulary. Think about what your target market wants to achieve and then choose the right words that highlight your solution. Be straightforward and keep it simple; you don’t have to impress them with complex vocabulary. You also should not fill your proposal with filler words like “very”, “just”, “really”, etc.
6. Double Check to Avoid Small Mistakes
This next point may come across as a given, but you’d be surprised how many entrepreneurs overlook small mistakes in business proposals. Before submitting, be sure that your proposal is easy to understand, well laid out, and appropriately signed. You should also check your grammar and spelling.
First impressions are crucial in the entrepreneurial world. Your business proposal is one of the first things lenders and investors will use to assess you and your company, so best you come across as an established professional.
7. Ask Other People to Read Your Business Proposal. Before Submitting
Even if you’re careful to avoid small mistakes, you may have overlooked certain parts of the proposal. To lessen the risk of this occurring, ask at least three people to read your proposal and help you identify areas they see as needing improvement. Ask questions such as:
- Are there certain areas that I need to elaborate more on?
- Are there any errors?
- What do you think about the idea? Are you on board with it?
- Overall, is it easy to understand?
Encourage them to give you an honest assessment so you can make the necessary edits if need be. Keep in mind that the goal is to make your proposal easy to read, yet compelling.
Small Business Loans for Your Company
Writing a business proposal can be time-consuming. However, if you’re looking to start a business or apply for small business loans, there’s no easy way around it. You have to be specific in your goals and specify exactly how you’re going to achieve that because lenders will definitely want to see that. If you need additional working capital, crafting a good business loan is your best bet in increasing your chances of approval.