By John Tellis at February 15 2020 13:07:29
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.
Thinking of sending out a one_size_fits_all cover letter, along with a list of services and associated prices? That's a mistake commonly made by inexperienced proposal writers. Don't do it. A proposal is not a brochure. A proposal is a document intended to persuade someone to give you their business or funds. To be successful, you must gain their trust and make them understand that you can deliver the services to those who need them. A price list cannot substitute for a real proposal.
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.