The past few months has been eye opening for me in terms of proposal writing and what makes a good Business Proposal. I started writing Business Proposal for friends as a means of sharpening my writing skills and earning extra income.
I’ve been hooked ever since.
I have now transitioned to working for various business clients by helping them write Business proposals for fund raising purposes.
My intense focus on Proposal writing skills has given me insights into what investors are looking for when they request a proposal and how that can be fine-tuned for success.
Your product has to be compelling
Investors are looking for new markets, virgin territory and a unique concept where there’s opportunity for growth. If your Business idea stated in the Proposal looks like any other business, there’s a likelihood for it to be thrown out of the window.
Fresh ideas and unique ways of solving problems are salient points investors look out for. That’s why storytelling is important. Every mundane idea under the sun can be made interesting if it has an exciting story attached to it.
In a proposal I worked on for a Technology platform, I developed a story of an important age demographic that had growing income and I told stories of how that demographic have adopted a certain lifestyle hence the Technology Platform stood a better chance for the product to be adopted by our targeted audience.
This piqued the interest of the investors and brought them on board to fully assess the market and bring in an investment.
Create a Simple Structure
The era where Business Proposals were long and winding document that didn’t cut to the chase are days of old. Proposals in the past had many pages and could pass as a nonfiction book. Most of the time, readers are left scratching their heads in finding the essence of the proposal.
Investors may not have all the time to read several pages of a proposal so having a well-structured proposal that cuts to the chase will be better appreciated. This also accounts for why “The Elevator Pitch” is so popular. Because grand ideas behind a business should be able to be discussed by two minutes or less.
As I continue to finesse my proposal writing skills, I have deduced a simple framework that guides me in all my proposal writing.
- Statement of the problem
- How the proposal idea aims to solve the problem
- The budget needed in solving the problem
- Outcomes (what will happen after a successful roll out of the project)
Don’t make it boring
Use infographic, pictures, images etc to make the proposal reading an interactive and fun experience.
When I started writing proposals, I downloaded samples from various websites and I couldn’t read past the first few pages because they were flat out boring. It was almost as if the Proposal existed to confuse me.
This concept of your average entrepreneur rattling for hours about their business idea somehow finds itself in proposals too where the writer goes overboard in establishing the business idea. I aimed at escaping this writing trap by writing business Proposals that improves the reading experience by providing illustration, infographics and images where necessary.
Proposals should be dynamic
Business Proposals are meant to be dynamic
For many entrepreneurs, once the proposal is written there’s no flexibility for editing as it is seen as a complete document replete with data projections and financial numbers therefore there’s no room for change.
But it should be understood that things change and circumstances change therefore proposals should also have