By Felix Stapleton at January 20 2020 11:39:20
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.
To propose a partnership with another company for a mutually beneficial business arrangement, show how the partnership will benefit both parties (mostly focusing on the partner). Use templates such as Amenities, Cost/Benefit Analysis, Strategic Position, Competitive Analysis, and so on. A good example of a partnership would be an adventure tour service provider pitching an arrangement with a local hotel. Marketing a sports company or team? Then you'll include topic pages with titles like Marketing Plan, Market and Audience, Sales Plan, and so on. If you are writing a business plan to start or expand a business, include financial details with topics like Funding Request, Repayment Plan, Location Analysis, Competitive Analysis, Budget, Cash Flow, Balance Sheet, Company Operations, etc.
They lead to entrepreneurs skimming over the research component leading to a proposal that is disjointed and fails to make a cohesive business case. Having a sample business proposal as a guide detracts from the entrepreneur engaging fully in the business planning process in that they will have only a cursory understanding of the finer details of their proposal. It will not prepare the entrepreneur for detailed questioning around their business strategy and by association their financial projections. We have seen this all too often in presentations for equity finance. It is glaringly obvious when someone does not understand the proposal intimately and this devastates credibility and trust, virtually nullifying your chances of convincing an investor to part with their cash.
What is The Solution? This might all seem a little bleak but there is an easy solution to this dilemma and it demands a little more of your time and effort in return for a deeper understanding of your business. You have to learn to write a business proposal rather than using a sample business proposal to take a short cut. Don't do the latter as it will make the experience of approaching investors and financiers unnecessarily painful and will dilute your experience of creating your vision from scratch and your strategic understanding of your own business. Plus, you will be found out!