Business Proposal Template – Life can be Easy!

A Business Proposal is a document that provides a compelling business case for an organization/lending institution to commit funds to new initiatives. This document also helps entrepreneurs make a pitch to angel investors or venture capitalists to secure funding for initiatives that are deemed too risky by banks for lending. A Business Proposal should be detailed enough to be a self-explanatory document for the recipients to help make an informed decision. A Business Proposal Template helps the author put together the Business Case by organizing the content in a logical manner and ensuring that all relevant details are captured. You will often be able to keep much of the information the same and this makes life easier!

What sections constitute the Business Proposal?

A Business Proposal Template lists the various sections of a Business Proposal and has guidelines on how to complete the sections. This article lists the various key sections in the template and provides some guidelines on what needs to be completed as a part of these sections.

Executive Summary: This section should summarize the entire Business Case and is usually written last, though this is the first section that is a part of the template. This section would include the following information organized into sub sections:

1. Objectives: Explains why the initiative is being undertaken and what it proposes to accomplish
2. Benefits: Lists the benefits that are proposed to be delivered through the initiative, preferably in quantifiable terms
3. Approach: The approach that is being taken, a phased approach or a big bang approach and the rationale for the same
4. Key milestones and timelines: List of key milestones the business intends to accomplish, the period by when these are expected to be achieved, the costs and the associated timelines

Business Background: This section should describe:

1. The current business background, if any
2. The business opportunity
3. Why it is being considered and
4. How it is proposed to achieve the objectives
5. Details of Key Management Personnel

Market Analysis: Market Analysis should include:

1. Market segmentation and identification of target markets
2. Details of marketing strategy and sales strategy
3. Projected revenues for at least three years
4. Milestones

Financial Plan: The Financial Plan is a critical component of the overall Business Plan and is an important evaluation criterion for funding the business. The Financial Plan should include:

1. Projected Income Statement for three years
2. Breakeven Analysis
3. Projected Cash Flow statement
4. Projected Balance Sheet

Generation and evaluation of Alternatives: This section should detail the various scenarios considered and the associated financial outcome. The scenarios should include the ‘Most likely’ and ‘Least likely’ scenarios and the criteria for evaluation of these alternatives.

Implementation Plan: This section should describe how the alternative chosen above is proposed to be implemented. If not an exhaustive plan, an overview of how the plan would be implemented should be provided.

Quantifiable Benefits: Providing the business benefits that can be traced back to the business opportunity helps in better evaluation of the proposal. The benefits should be represented in the form of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Appendix: The Appendix to the proposal should contain all the detailed analysis, the results of market research, the supporting data, charts and reference material that was used to prepare the business case.

It is imperative to present a well-organized Business Proposal to ensure that funding is secured from venture capitalists or private equity players. A Business Proposal Template ensures that the author of the Business Proposal can use this as a starting point and complete all the relevant sections. The template can be customized to suit the business context for which it is prepared and the extent of information required by the audience.