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Preparing a Business Proposal
By: Developer Shed
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    Preparing A Business Proposal
    by Jennifer Stewart

    If you dream of starting your own business, there may be just one, small
    thing standing in your way - lack of funds! One way around this, is to
    enlist the support of a "sleeping partner" - no, not that sort of sleeping
    partner! But someone who will provide the financial backing for you to set
    up your business (and allow you to keep control).

    There are many places that provide this start up help, such as banks and
    joint venture companies, but you can approach anyone you think might be
    willing to back you, if you have a business proposal prepared.

    Here's a brief outline of what you need to include in your proposal.

    Executive Summary
    Provide an outline of your vision for the business
    Briefly describe what already exists in this field
    The niche - as you see it and the benefits your business will bring
    Type of business proposed - benefits you will bring to the
    market niche
    Overall financial goals - anticipated sales and profits
    Funds required to start up business

    Business Profile
    You must provide details of the following:
    Business name
    Description of business - what it aims to do and its target
    Vision - ultimate goals
    Mission - value, service you'll offer
    The competitive advantage you have - eg flexibility, able to draw
    on wide base of talents, connections in the industry etc

    SWOT analysis
    This is where you analyse your proposed business, yourself and the
    competition - list examples under each of the following:
    Be honest with these - but only put in threats and weaknesses that you know
    you can meet and overcome successfully.

    Detail what your short and long-term objectives are for the business:
    at the end of the first 12 months of operation
    after 12 months

    Product and Market Analysis
    This requires some exacting research, so you can provide plenty of detail.
    Product / Service - description of what you're offering
    Price structure
    Industry description and outlook
    Market demand - percentage of market you think you can
    capture; competition share you think you can take etc

    Operating Plan
    Outline your resource requirements - what you need in order to
    operate and what this will cost.
    List the items and specify prices.
    Provide the name of suppliers.
    Use tables, graphs etc to support your claims.

    Management Plan
    Give specific details of manning levels:
    numbers of staff required
    any training needed
    experience of managers and their skills

    Marketing Plan
    Divide this into:
    Internal - how you'll win repeat customers and referrals
    External - how you'll get new customers
    Impact - how you'll target specific groups
    Detail how you'll go about targeting and selling to each group e.g.
    Service levels
    Special add-ons
    Publicity and direct approaches you'll make (specify targets e.g. music
    schools etc)
    Promotion (e.g. freebies, discounts, buy one get one free, every 6th
    something free, charity performances, openings etc).
    The actual product / service you're selling - explain exactly what it is or
    what it involves.

    Financial Plan
    Give details of:
    Projected sales
    Projected costs
    Projected profits
    Give specific details e.g. break down into gross profits, overheads, net
    profits etc.

    Action Plan
    Again, you must give details, consider using a table to show:
    Activities to be carried out
    When these will be done
    Who will do each

    Give a chronological sequence of action to show how you plan to start and
    develop the business.

    Provide plenty of graphs (use different styles), tables, facts and

    Get information from Bureau of Statistics on demography,
    socio-economic groups, age etc.

    Have an appendix and include any extra details (e.g. if you're
    planning to start a business which has a sound recording studio, include
    newspaper cuttings about bands bemoaning the fact that they can't get their
    CDs cut etc).

    If all this sounds a little daunting, keep reminding yourself of the
    rewards for all this hard work - you'll be able to start your business much
    sooner than if you had to work for a boss and save the necessary capital, or
    if you had to wait until you win the lottery!
    Jennifer Stewart has had her own web-based business at since 1998 and specialises in editing and
    copywriting for business people who would rather spend their time running
    their businesses than chewing on the end of a pen. For details of how you
    can start your own business, click here:

    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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