Common Mistakes When Writing a Business Proposal

There is no room for mistakes when writing a business proposal. Mistakes can me everything from missed opportunities to lost fortunes. Here are a few to avoid:

1. Making Unrealistic Revenue and Expense Projections
Don’t overestimate or underestimate estimated revenues and expenses. Your readers will notice numbers exaggerated in either direction. Funders possess an especially keen eye for suspect numbers. Unrealistic projections likely will lead to rejection of your proposal. Even if it gets a green light, those inaccurate numbers eventually will haunt the project and its stakeholders.

2. Failure to Define the Targeted Audience
Every business proposal appeals to specific people, organizations, or market sectors. Proposals without a target audience in mind will lead to rejection. It is, therefore, important to clearly state to whom you are targeting your proposal. In other words, who or what is the market for your product or service? If this is proving to be a difficult task, get help. A quick Internet search will provide plenty of resources, be they online or in-person. Target your audience to increase the chances that your proposal is accepted and, eventually, funded. Miss your target and your proposal gathers virtual dust on your hard drive.

3. Failure to Focus on Your Competition
Sometimes we believe that we have come up with the most brilliant and unique idea, and fail to understand that there are others out there who may be having similar or nearly identical ideas. Failing to identify our competitors – or confirming an open market – will lead to disappointment when the idea does not generate the expected excitement among funders and buyers.


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