Submitting Your Business Plan
When it comes to submitting your business plan you will need to consider a few points. How attractive your proposal is to investors should be an important issue. Investors will receive many proposals to review during the course of their working week and only a very small percentage will grab their attention. Never submit a proposal unless you are confident that the content and presentation is as good at it can be.
Presentation Is VitalHow your plan looks will be important. If you are not sure that you know exactly how your plan should look then there are examples to be found on the internet. Banks, building societies and other financial institutions will also have information packs with templates included showing how to set out business proposals. Make sure you follow the presentation style given to the letter. Proposals need to look professional especially if you have never written one before. Local business support services will also be able to give excellent advice on submitting and reviewing your proposal.
The Covering LetterYour covering letter will usually be the first item that an investor will look at. The covering letter should be clear and concise, and outline very briefly your idea and the funding needed. It will be a one page summary of the executive summary found with the actual proposal. Think of the covering letter along the same lines as a required covering letter when applying for a job vacancy. There is no need to go into great detail in the covering letter; that will all be contained in the executive summary and the actual proposal.
Check And RecheckBefore submitting your proposal you will need to thoroughly check and recheck the content. You may think checking through the proposal once is enough but nine times out of ten you will miss something. The something you miss could be as small a point as grammar or spelling mistakes. This may not seem like a big issue to the actual business plan but it may make a difference to the person reading the plan. They may take one look at the spelling and grammar mistakes and be immediately put off. Spelling and grammar mistakes will convey an unprofessional attitude. Something as simple as spelling errors in a plan can immediately spell trouble to investors.
Get Others To CheckBefore you are ready to submit your plan, and after you have checked through, ask someone else to do a recheck. A fresh pair of eyes will be able to spot mistakes that are glaringly obvious but which you may not have picked up on. Go to a business support agency and ask them to recheck your proposal. They may also be able to suggest any improvements or revisions needed to the business plan. The golden rule before submitting a proposal is to check, recheck and then check again.
Sending Your ProposalYou can send unsolicited business plans but it is always better to have contacted your investors first. By doing this you will know the appropriate person or department to send the plan to. There may also be some guidelines set out for submitting that must be adhered to. Certain financial institutions may require you to submit your proposal on their own application forms. This may be inconvenient if you have written out a 30 page proposal and the investor only allows five pages on which to submit. However, it is always better to check first rather than be declined because you have not followed the investor’s guidelines.
Don’t Hound The InvestorInvestors will normally give an indication of how long it will take to make their decision as to whether a proposal has been successful or not. An investor may need a lot of time to analyse the plan and give their finally decision; this could take weeks. Continually telephoning or emailing the investor will not be beneficial. Wait at least one week and then make contact. The investor may want more time to look over the proposal or may request an appointment to discuss the proposal in greater depth.
Investors and business finance managers are extremely busy, and gaining a decision on a business plan will not be instantaneous. The decision could take a matter or weeks or longer. Once you have submitted your proposal it is now out of your hands until the decision to fund or not has been made. The best route you can now take is to simply continue with your business plans and explore other funding options until you hear back from your intended financier.