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How Do I Write a Business Proposal?

How do I write a business proposal? Where can I get some information?

By Jean from Deltona, FL

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December 13, 20100 found this helpful

Go to GOOGLE and type, "business proposal" and you'll find lots of sites that will help you. Also, check out the government sites: business.gov and the government's site to help small businesses entitled "Small Business Administration" at www.sba.gov.

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December 13, 20100 found this helpful

Here is a sample business plan from a small bsn program that I used. Just fill in the info and set it up. This is a very comprehensive one especially if you want to get investors involved. you can read others online and use this one as a guide.

This is a sample outline for a business plan to be used by a start-up operation to request funding.

J In most cases, it is equally appropriate for existing businesses and those not pursuing funding.

There is no single right way to layout a business plan - feel free to add, subtract, and rearrange ~D~Ni, as is appropriate to your business and writing style. (If you do delete sections, make sure that the

. 0 information involved either does not apply to your business or is addressed sufficiently inother

~ sections of the plan.)



I. Executive Summary

Finish this section after you have finished the others. (You may wish to BEGIN this section

first, however, to help organize the major issues in your mind).

Use this section to summarize the major points to be addressed in the rest or the plan. You

can follow the outline for the rest of the plan for the format of your executive summary. If you

do, summarize each subsection with a bullet-point sentence or two.

II. Capital Plan

A. Sources of Funds

How much money will you need? From what sources? Under what terms?

B. Uses of Funds

How will you use the money? Begin with a table that outlines the major use of funds

categories (such as building purchase, build-out, equipment, franchise fees, working

capital reserves, etc.) and amounts required, then follow it up with a paragraph or two

describing each use of funds category in greater detail. If possible, explain how the

expenditure will help you become more profitable. (For example, if you are buying

inventory, explain how much revenue that inventory can support If purchasing real

estate, calculate the estimated rent expense saved over the life to the loan.)

C.Repayment of Funds

Illustrate your ability to repay the loan from operating cash flow by presenting a chart that

compares projected annual cash flow with projected annual loan payments.

Briefly describe the total values of personal and business assets available for use as

collateral in securing the loan.

If you or your spouse will continue to receive a paycheck from an employer after the

establishment of your business, discuss it here.

III. Background Information

A. Ownership & Corporate Format

What kind of business (such as sale proprietor, LLC, S-Corporatlon) is it/will it be? When

was it/will it be established? In what state is it/will It be chartered? Who are the owners

and what percentage do/will they own?

B. History of the Business

For existing businesses: talk about the major milestones of development including

opening, break-even, changes to products/services, important personnel additions,

and relocations. For new anticipation of talk about the preparations and planning you've done so far in

the company.

C. Industry Overview

What is the and overall trends of the

Resources: Trade Associations, FCPL BRC, Internet

D. Objectives

Explain your quantitative (such as profit and sales targets) as well as qualitative (such as

market position) goals for your company. If possible, briefly explain your overall strategies

for reaching those goals.

E. Implementation Timeline

What are the major tasks and milestones to be reached as you move forward. For each,

provide an estimate of how long it will take to accomplish.

F. Future Opportunities

Use this section to describe future opportunities you hope to pursue, but don't yet know

enough about the hows, whens, and ifs to include them in your financial projections.

IV. Products and Services

A. Overview

Briefly provide a basic overview of the products and services your company will provide.

B. Description of Products/Services by Category

For each major product/service category, describe: the nature of the products/services in

the category, pricing and pricing policies, direct costs involved.

Do the math: If you will provide a limited number of standard products/services,

provide a chart projecting annual totals for projected unit sales within each category,

average prices for each category, and projected sales based on projected units and


V. Management, Staffing, Strategic Partners, and Professional Support

If feasible, provide a table that summarizes your projected staff and payroll for each of

the first three years of operations.

A. Management Team

Provide profile for each owner who will participate in operations as well as each major

manager. Discuss major job responsibilities as well as specific skills and experiences of

each manager that qualifies them to handle the job at hand. Touch on career highlights

here and include complete resumes in the attachments. Discuss compensation.

B. Staffing

If your staff will be modest, provide descriptions of each job title here. If you have

particular people already selected for these positions, discuss their qualifications. If not,

discuss the qualifications required for successful candidates. Discuss how staffing needs

will change as the company grows. Discuss compensation.

C. Strategic Partners

Strategic partners are others who have a major effect on the way you do business, but

are not part of your organization. These can include vendors, general contractors (if you

are a subcontractor), subcontractors, landlords, collaborative marketing partners, and


D. Professional Support

Briefly list professionals you will use and describe how you will use them. These can

inciude bookkeepers, services, consultants, insurance

brokers, designers, and others. A sentence or two for each is sufficient

VI. Operations

A. Hours and Days of Operation

How will your hours and days of operation be configured to meet the needs of your


B. Location & Facilities

Location - where will the business be located? Is location important to the success of

your operation? How will this location contribute to that success? What businesses and

potential customers are nearby? For retail businesses, provide traffic counts if you can.

Facilities - describe the actual location, including total square footage, allocation of

space, parking (if appropriate). Discuss office & computer equipment, as well as other

equipment and vehicles required. If renting, describe the lease. Describe how your

facilities needs will change as the business grows.

C. Licensing, Permitting & Other Regulatory Issues

Describe the regulatory requirements for doing business, including any certifications,

licenses, permits, registrations. Also discuss any zoning or building regulations. For home

based businesses, discuss any homeowners' association restrictions. Discuss your

current status in regard to those requirements.

Resources: BLIS, Planning & Zoning, Comptroller's Office, Clerk of Circuit Court

D. Other Operational Issues

Address any other operational issues that have not been covered in other sections.

Retitle this section and add others as appropriate.

VII. Marketing

A. Marketing Targets

Provide as much detail as possible about your most likely customers. Who are they?

What is important to them? Where are they? Do they have things in common that makes

it possible to efficiently reach them with marketing messages?

Also, don't forget about and current customers as a productive source of business.

Referral sources should also be a marketing target.

Resources: FCPL Business Resource Center (Best Customers, Reference USA), Trade Associations,


B. Distribution

Discuss how your products and services will get into the hands of their users. Will you

sell direct? With you sell through retailers? Wholesalers? Many companies use a

combination of these approaches. Talk about the relative merits and challenges of each

distribution model you will use. If you will use wholesalers and/or retailers and have

identified specific candidates, discuss them and your expected relationship with them.

C. Competitive Environment and Positioning

Discuss your direct competitors and your comparative strengths and weaknesses.

Remember, very few businesses truly have ;(no competition" - even if no one in the

marketplace exactly what you do, customers often have the of simply not

buying from anyone, buying alternative types product or service, or buying over the

Internet How will you po~>lticmyourself against these options as well as your direct

D. Marketing Tactics

What tools will you use to your

major m8lrkE~tingtactic (such as

as well as subsections

and services? Create a section for each

internet promotions, direct trade shows,

TV dVlO1rtisinq,radio advertising,

etc.), as applicable. Describe how and when you will use these tools and how your tactics

will interact for cohesive, organized marketing campaigns.

VIII. Financial Summary

A. Sales

Present a chart summarizing your annual projections for total sales in each of the next

three years. If appropriate, make it a "stacked" chart providing a visual presentation of

each sales category's contribution to total annual sales.

B. Profits

Present a chart summarizing your annual projections for total sales, gross profits, and net

profits in each of the next three years.


Based on three-year projected totals and the equation [income::: expenses + profits],

provide a pie chart that presents the percentage of total income equaled by each major

expense category (such as costs of sales, rent, payroll, minor expenses combined into a

single "all other expenses" category), and profits.

D. Break-Even

Based on three-year projected annual averages and the equation [profits::: variable cost

% x sales - fixed costs], provide a chart illustrating projected profit at various potential

sales levels. If your cost structure will change dramatically from year to year, you may

need to provide a separate break-even analysis for each year.


- Projected Income Statement (Cash Basis) - 3 years, monthly

Minimum requirements: 1 year monthly, plus 2 years quarterly. It's easier just to do all

three years on a monthly basis, Include a cash flow calculation section after profit


- Projected Balance Sheet, 3 years

- Resumes

- Others, could include: Product Information, Letters of Interest/Sales Contracts, Reprints,

Marketing Materials, Others

Notes on Formatting

It's important to make your plan as readable and navigatible for the reader. This can help your

readers digest the contents and keep their bearings within the document:

1. Include page numbers at the bottom of each page (except page 1)

2. Line spacing - choose the 1.5 line space option

3. Start a new page with each section that is indicated by a roman numeral (II. Capital Plan, III.

Background information).

4. Don't over-indent. Your subheads will help divide the sections. You don't need to indeed entire

subsections to set them apart.

5. Fully justified type (right margin and left margin) makes your contents look most organized.

You can indent the first line of each paragraph if you choose to, but simply skipping a space

between paragraphs with no first-line indent is now more common.

6. With word processing software, it's no longer necessary (or expected) to add 2 spaced after

each period. Period-space-space is a hard habit to break, so you may want to wait until the

plan is completed and run a universal find/change, finding ". "and replacing it with ". ".

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December 13, 20100 found this helpful

Ditto to what Vaylmer says here. I wrote my first business proposal two decades ago with suggestions/guidance from the SBA before the internet was accessible so definitely Google 'business proposal' for an extra heads up over my experience and visit your local SBA for one on one, face to face help too for good measure. Good luck to you with whatever your business venture is! The proposal I ended up putting together greatly aided in getting my business open all that time ago! Although I sold the business three years ago I can happily say that it is still in existence. :-)

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