The Dangers Of Using A Sample Business Proposal
If you are looking to write a business proposal for your business then at some point you will have typed “Sample Business Proposal” into the Google search engine.
Why? Well, like many people you want a head start in the process. It can be very daunting for someone whom has never written a business proposal before and the idea of a sample business proposal that has already been completed can be very tempting.
You do not have to look very far for a sample business proposal on the Internet. There are literally thousands of them. The problem is that they were written by someone else for their business, not yours.
Even if you find a sample business proposal that mirrors your industry and business model exactly it was written for someone else and is therefore not unique to your business.
Why is that important? I just want some ideas to help me!
It is important for a whole myriad of different reasons. After years of working in banking and also operating in private equity investments it became increasingly obvious to me when entrepreneurs had “borrowed” ideas or formats from other proposals.
At first glance the proposal looks fair enough but the devil is in the detail.
When entrepreneurs use sample business proposals to convey their ideas and strategy they frequently add information and concepts, which they think adds value to their proposal because it looked great in the sample business proposal.
READ MORE: How to Write a Business Proposal
The reality is that to the seasoned investor it just doesn’t gel with the point they are trying to make and raises more questions than it answers.
Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Be Wary
Of Using A Sample Business Proposal For Your Business
Reason Number 1
Using a sample business proposal will subconsciously encourage you not to immerse yourself in the business planning process.
This is critical to building an intimate understanding of your business proposal and will prepare you to answer investor questions.
Having a sample business proposal in front of your when you compile yours detracts from your individual thought process and can dilute the emphasis of your proposal.
Reason Number 2
There is such a thing as the correct format for a business proposal. Obviously it varies from business to business but it is critical that your proposal covers off the key elements that investors will look for.
Of the many thousands of sample business proposals on the Internet many of them are incorrectly structured and fail to deliver the message to the appropriate audience.
If you are just starting out there is a good chance that you won’t know what is correct and what is wrong. This increases the chances of you copying a weak sample business proposal, which will decimate you chances of conveying your unique proposition to investors.
Reason Number 3
Put simply, mistakes… sample business proposals are littered with them. I am referring specifically to the technical details and methodologies used to convey the proposition.
Using a sample business proposal can make you think that because it has been held up as a great example of a sample business proposal on someone’s site that it is a good example. In many cases this just isn’t the case.
It’s scary how many well-intentioned entrepreneurs are walking into meetings with a business proposal that contains basic mistakes.
Financiers and investors will stop reading the instant they come across a material mistake. It destroys confidence in you, the entrepreneur, and your proposal. Basically your chances of investment or funding evaporate there and then.
There are good sample business proposals out there but they will not reflect your unique proposition or convey a valid business proposal to the investor.
People become entrepreneurs because they have something inside them that drives a passion to be unique and to succeed on their own terms. These are common traits among entrepreneurs. If you have read this far then these traits must resonate with you.
With that in mind, why would you even want to copy a sample business proposal? Be true to yourself and create a business proposal that reflects you, not someone else.
Investors can spot the unique proposals a mile off and they are the ones they invest in. Make sure yours reflects you and delivers the message you want to get across.
Your chances of success will increase substantially.