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Common Startup Business Proposal Mistakes

Source: JeongGuHyeok/Pixabay

One of the most common mistakes first-time entrepreneurs make is failing to prepare for what could happen on a bad day or week in terms of how they might respond if their plan is not accepted. Most new business owners are so excited about the idea they want to present, they fail to take the time to research how their potential partner is feeling. It’s important to remember that you are not just asking for money; you are asking someone else to join your vision and share the responsibility of seeing it through.

Here are some common mistakes entrepreneurs make when preparing a business proposal:

Stating An Inaccurate Price:

Trying to get the most out of your idea while spending as little money as possible is a natural tendency.

Trying to get the most out of your idea while spending as little money as possible is a natural tendency. But, you should never underestimate how expensive something will be just to save on expenses. This includes not only how much it costs you, but also how much it might cost potential partners or customers. It’s easy to get carried away with your idea and other benefits, but remember that the return on their investment should also be taken into account.

Forgetting To Fully Vet Key Employees:

When writing a business proposal, don't forget to not only describe the skills of everyone who works for you, both now and in the future, but what value they bring to your business. This is especially important if you’re still in the idea stage and before you launch, as companies often invest in companies that employ enthusiastic entrepreneurs who may not necessarily have all of the skills necessary to successfully complete their vision.

Forgetting To Research Other Similar Businesses:

Failing to research how others are approaching the same idea means you are entering uncharted territory. It’s possible that someone has already done it better on a larger scale or with more of an impact than you ever thought of. Maybe your idea just doesn't have enough potential for success.

Not Including Your Plans For The Future:

When you are preparing a business proposal, it can be easy to focus on how you currently achieve or have achieved the goals of your vision. However, it is equally important to include what you plan to do in the future if everything goes according to plan. This includes milestones that need to be completed and financial goals that need to be met.

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Not Thinking Of Your Competition:

How you plan to go about achieving your vision is already a challenge, but it would be even more difficult if someone else had done this before you and failed. Not only do new business owners have to show their potential partners why they can succeed where others have failed, but they must also present a plan to counter business proposal examples of competitors.

Not Being Honest About What You Don't Know:

The biggest hurdle to success is the unknown, so it’s important not to avoid mentioning anything that could come up in the future that might change your plans. Don’t be afraid to admit when something is out of your control or that you are not initially aware of something. As long as it’s the truth, there is no harm in being honest about it.

Not Taking Time To Prepare:

Just like any other formal proposal for doing business, you need to take time to research what you plan to discuss and set aside time to finalize your proposal well in advance of the meeting. It’s not always easy, but it can be helpful to take time beforehand to gather all of the necessary information and write down how you intend to present everything.

Common Startup Business Proposal Mistakes

Source: Venngage

Investing Too Much Time In Creating A Flashy Presentation:

While you want to create an eye-catching document for your potential partners, it’s also important to focus on writing down all of the relevant information. Remember that the goal of your proposal and pitch deck is to give them enough reasons to take action and invest their business with yours.

For a business proposal design that balances grabbing attention and getting the message across, go with Venngage.

Thinking That You’re Finished Too Soon:

As soon as your proposal is complete, it can be tempting to send it out to everyone on your list. But, don’t forget to take time to review everything one last time before hitting the send button. Make sure that no typos or errors have slipped through and check for any possible holes that might need to be filled.

Failing To Include Contingencies:

Having a plan B isn't just for politicians. Any investment you are hoping to obtain might fall through, so having a plan for what will happen if that happens is crucial. It’s best to have an action plan in writing before you even approach any potential investors or partners.

In Conclusion

Nathalie Nicole Smith states that working hard and staying true to yourself are sure ways to win in life.

While there may be many more mistakes made with regard to business proposals, these are some of the most common. Be sure to spend ample time researching your idea before you present it, because no matter how great an idea may seem, there will always be others who have already done it better or addressed weaker points that you likely would have overlooked.