So you have a smashing idea that will rock the world, what’s next? It’s time to sell the idea. Be it to raise capital, to work with partners or to basically sell into clients, writing business proposals is key. Bearing in mind that your audience will make their decision within the first five minutes, there simply is no room for mistakes. Here are 5 commonly made mistakes to avoid:
1. Thinking You Don’t Need One
Business proposals are not only for times when you need investments, it makes you thoroughly think through the business to uncover potential opportunities and pitfalls. Potential partners and clients alike will want to know about your business before they decide to work with you.
2. Being Blatantly Boring
If your proposal is unable to keep the attention of your audience past the initial few pages, it will never make it to their heads. Ensure that content is relevant, accurate and concise; it doesn’t hurt to make it attractive, with good layout, designs, and media. Microsoft PowerPoint is an excellent and easy to use tool that allows you to come up with a great presentation. Microsoft PowerPoint is not only available offline, but online too – which empowers you to work just about anywhere with an Internet connection.
There are tons of tips available online to create that outstanding presentation. At Tutsplus.com, there are step-by-step guides to making your business proposal.
3. Thinking That You Can Get Away With Being Sloppy
Whilst communicating in a tone that represents your business is important, sloppiness is definitely not the way. Spelling errors, grammar mistakes, missing punctuation, inconsistency and incorrect information are things that are often overlooked. If spelling mistakes sprout out (Microsoft Office applications come with spell check!) and a sentence can’t be written properly, how will your audience entrust their money or business with you? Have a 2nd person read through the proposal to better spot such mistakes. Alternatively, there are online tools like Grammarly which is free to use.
4. Speaking in Tongues
Yes, there are technicalities involved, you want to be seen as an expert and you want to impress, but do not make your audience feel too alienated. Industry jargon stays within operations, keep it simple and clear for your audiences to understand. If there is a need to include large amounts of technical information, include that in the Annex, not in the main proposal.
5. Flighty Assumptions
As with any plans, there are assumptions to be made. Situations and market conditions are fluid and for sure information changes. However, unrealistic assumptions or over-optimism makes the proposal unbelievable. Simply put, no one is going to buy it. So keep grounded and tie necessary assumptions to facts, as closely as possible. Your audience has access to market information as well so always take a reality check.