Basic Small Business Proposal Outline
How do you write a business proposal? Do you need ideas on developing a business proposal outline?
Are you looking for funding for your new or existing business? Then you need a business plan. Other words for a business proposal are a business plan. Your business plan is a document that gives investors and lenders the information they need to know to about your business in order for them to if it is worth investing in or not.
Your business plan is the first step in putting together and organizing your thoughts. You will have to follow the following guidelines if you really want investors and lenders to get interested in your business. To organize your thoughts you will need to make a business plan outline.
We are going to consider 10 sections and 23 sub sections in the business plan outline below. So in the first section we will discuss the following.
HOW TO DRAW AN OUTLINE OF A BUSINESS PROPOSAL
Section 1: Executive Summary
The most important part of your business plan is your executive summary. This is the section where if not properly presented will not get any investor to read through the rest of your business plan. Start your summary with a concise explanation of what your company does. Next your have to explain what uniquely qualifies you to succeed.
Furthermore include in your executive summary a synopsis of your financial projections for the next five years. This will include your expected revenue, expenditure and revenue and annual profits. Explain why you seek funding and what you intend to use it for.
Section 2: Company overview
In this section as the phrase implies, you are expected to present a brief history of your company. This should answer the questions, how and where your company was formed and what type of legal entity are you and what you have accomplished to date. Also all key milestones your company has achieved should also be stated.
Section 3: Industry Analysis
Your industry analysis should be divided into two sub sections. These are market overview and relevant market size.
This section describes and discusses the size and characteristics of your target market. For example if you want to start a waste management business. You should discuss the size of the waste management market and also describe other players of the waste management business such as recycling businesses in your market, government intervention, and how these players affect your market share.
4-Relevant Market Size
The relevant market size can be described as a more specific detail of the size of your market. It is the annual total number of customers who would acquire your product or services assuming you have a one hundred percent market share.
Section 4– Consumer Analysis
Your consumer analysis section is divided into two sections sub-sections described as follows.
These are the group of people you intend to market your product or services to. This group consists of both your current and prospective customers.
This section describes the value you are adding or the customer needs you are addressing for people to patronize you.
Section 5– Competitive analysis
This section outlines the list of companies who provide the same solution or fill the same customer need as you.
8- Indirect competitors
Indirect competitors are companies that provide the same solution you provide or fill the same customer need as you but in a different way.
9- Competitive Advantage
This is where you present that unique value or character you have that gives you the edge or unfair advantage over your competitors.
Section 6– Marketing plan
Your marketing plan has the following sub headings.
10- Products and Services
You will have to clearly define and give details of what product and what services you are selling.
Detail your pricing strategy here. In this section you will have to describe how your pricing relates to the competition.
This details the strategy you will use to attract new customers to use your product or services.
13- Distribution Plan
This section outlines how your customers will get access to your products or services. This could be through direct sales, online or through designated distribution locations.
Section7– Operations Plan
Your operations plan has the following sub sections.
14- Key Operational Processes
The daily routines your business has to go through are your key operational processes. In this section you will detail your typical day at work.
This is the section where you list targets you aspire to achieve and the set time frame for which you intend to achieve those set goals.
Section 8– Management Team
This is the section where you give the details of your management team members and their back grounds.
16- Management Team Spaces
Particularly if you are a startup, this is the section where you indicate gaps or spaces in your management team that need to be filled in future. Identify those positions and qualifications of personnel required to fill them.
18- Board Members
Detail your board of directors or Advisors if you have any.
Section 9– Financial Plan
Your financial plan has the following sub sections.
19- Revenue Model
In simple terms, this section details how you make money as a company, Your company’s different revenue streams should be clearly indicated.
20- Financial Indicators
In this section you will indicate the highlights of your income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statements. The details you leave for your appendix.
21- Funding Requirement and Use of Funds
To get funding for your company you have to specify how much you need and what you will use it for.
22- Exit Strategy
In particular if you are seeking for equity funding you have to detail your exit strategy. The most common exit strategy is to sell your company to a larger company. If so you will have to detail the types of companies who will be interested in buying your company.
Section 10– Appendix
As stated earlier your detailed financial documentation and other documents of interest are presented here. By the above format your business proposal outline has all it takes to get you the funding you seek for your business.
What exactly is a business proposal? This is the document that explains your offer to a prospective client. Your offer could either be a service or a product.
Your business proposal should contain the following elements:
Information About Your Company/Business: This section describes who you are, what your qualifications are, as well as why a client would take you and not your competitors.
Thorough Knowledge of the Problem: This should reveal that you have a thorough understanding of the problem, and that you have listened and have done your research too, knowing exactly what your client needs.
Pricing and Methodology: How well have you defined the approach you will take in solving the client’s problem, and how much exactly will you be charging your clients?
Without further ado, the following will give you the details of the elements which are supposed to be in your business proposal outline:
The title page will include the basic information such as your company’s name, the contact information of your company, the logo of your company, the name of your potential client as well as the contact information, the date, and a title. This way, you will ensure your proposal is tailored in a neat and well organized manner.
Would you run into your prospective client and jump right into the project specifics without first giving an introduction of yourself? Of course not! This is why you would need a cover letter.
The cover letter is that introduction that gives brief information about your company, the brief background information concerning the company, a general overview about how your company came about, as well as an overview of what distinguishes your company from the others.
You must strive to keep this section of your business proposal very friendly, and try to encourage your reader to connect with you with any questions in mind. It should end with a salutation (thank you) and signature.
Table of Contents
You would include this section too in your business proposal unless of course your business proposal is really brief. This table of contents would come in an outline form. This part gives the reader the guide on what to expect from the business proposal document.
Also, if you would be sending it in electronic format, you could create it in such a way as for it to be easy for your reader to revisit sections of the business proposal document without necessarily having to navigate through many pages to where the section is.
The executive summary of your business proposal will help set the scene for why you are sending the business proposal document in the first place, as well as why the client has to read it. You must try to relate your business offerings to the problems of your prospective client so as to make the document worth reading, relevant and engaging too.
The executive summary will take shape depending on what you are offering the client as well as the industry your client is in. The tone sometimes will have to change too depending on the audience who will be reading it.
It is in this section that you propose the solution you have in mind. You should give full description of the expected outcome of the project as well as the timeframe too. In addition, you should be able to address the needs of the prospective client and give them the feeling that you are just the perfect person for the job.
The proposal section only gives a general overview of the solution you proffer. It does not go into the full details and specifics. This section gives the prospective client the specifics. You should be able to anticipate the questions your prospective client would need answers to, and you should be able to lead them through the process while explaining every detail of what they are to expect and the timeframe too.
This section is where you allow your prospective client to fully know your company, including every detail, such as what makes your company the best, information about past awards and successes, photos of people they will be engaging with, client testimonials, etc.
You have to be very specific in this section. You should create a pricing table clearly showing each product or service and making sure it is paired with the accurate pricing information that could be provided as best as possible. You want to ensure the prices are kept reasonable; not too high to scare your prospect away; and not too low either.
Terms and Conditions
This is the section where you have to spell out the duration of the agreement, spell out payment dates, go through the timetable again for completion, specify how and when the business proposal could be amended, and any other further details. Basically, this section has to do with whatever things you and your prospective client are agreeing to.
Agreement and CTA
This is the section where the “by signing below you agree to” appears. This section explains exactly what the signature of your prospective client actually means. You could also include “be at ease to contact us if you have any queries. We look forward to doing business with you” after which, comes your signature boxes, and that would be all.