By Gregory Daigle at February 08 2020 12:48:33
Every entrepreneur has been there. You need to write a business plan to get your idea off the ground and have no idea how to approach it. The first thing most people do is Google, "Sample business proposal." Why? Well, it's quite simple really. They want to get a head start on the process by looking at what someone else has written. It is an understandable position to take if you are under pressure and need a boost. What people don't realise is that there are inherent dangers in using a sample business proposal.
Next, add topic pages that show you understand the needs of your client or the program. Depending on how large the proposed scope of work is, you may or may not need to precede the detailed pages with a brief summary. This summary section (often just a page or two) is normally called an Executive Summary for corporate clients, or a Client Summary for a less formal project. Now, proceed to describe the specific prospective client's requirements, goals, and desires. This is not yet the place where you talk about yourself. This section is all about the client or community to be served (such as when asking for funding for a community project). Use templates such as Needs Assessment, Goals and Objectives, Benefits, and Community.
Finally, to wrap up your proposal, persuade your client or funder that you are the right choice for the job by adding pages like About Us / Company History, Capabilities, Our Clients, References, Credentials, Awards, and Testimonials. Include everything you need to convince your client or funder that you can be trusted to deliver on your promises. Conclude your proposal with a call to action: ask for the client's business or support, tell the customer where to subscribe or purchase your goods or services, or request a meeting for further discussion.
The only time we would recommend using a sample business proposal is if you are approaching a bank for finance and they provide an example of what they would like to see. However, banks don't provide samples, they provide templates, which is basically them trying to educate entrepreneurs before they apply for finance. In this case this is the bank endorsing a structure for the proposal so it is OK. It still leaves all the blanks to fill in though so it isn't really a full solution to your problem.