How to Write Investment Proposals to Get Funded Every Time

Learn how to write an investment proposal that gets you funded. Our expert guide offers engaging examples and ready-to-use templates to ensure your success.


9 minute read

How to write an investment proposal

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Short answer

What is an investment proposal?

An investment proposal is a detailed presentation crafted to persuade potential investors by outlining a business's goals, financial projections, and growth strategies, effectively demonstrating its potential for future success and profitability.

An investment proposal will make or break your business dream

So, you've got a great business idea and you're ready to take it to investors. But here's the hard truth – investors are bombarded daily, making them quick to dismiss anything that doesn't immediately stand out.

A poorly crafted proposal doesn't just risk rejection – it threatens the very lifeline of your business idea.

But don’t worry, I'm here to help you write an investment proposal that breaks through the noise, grabs attention, and gets you funded.

Alongside expert advice, you'll find successful investment proposal examples and a set of practical templates to help you build a proposal that resonates with investors and gets them to act.

Let’s dive in!

What are the main types of investment proposals?

Each type of investment proposal requires a different approach and focus. By understanding these categories, you can craft a proposal that resonates with the right investors and increases your chances of securing the funding you need.

5 main types of investment proposals:

Startup investment proposals: Aimed at securing funding for new ventures, focusing on innovation, market potential, and growth strategies.

Real estate investment proposals: They detail projects in property development or purchase, emphasizing location value, revenue projections, and market trends.

Angel investor investment proposals: Tailored for individual investors, emphasizing personal connection, business vision, and long-term growth potential.

Venture capital investment proposals: Designed for high-growth startups, stressing scalable business models, strong management teams, and significant return on investment.

Equity investment proposals: They offer a share of the business in exchange for funding, detailing equity stakes, business valuation, and investor benefits.

What’s the difference between a business plan and an investment proposal?

The difference between a business plan and an investment proposal lies in their scope and purpose.

A business plan is a comprehensive roadmap outlining a company's business idea and growth strategy, while an investment proposal specifically targets potential investors, highlighting the business's profitability, future growth potential, and funding needs.

What to include in an investment proposal?

Putting together an investment proposal is like crafting a story where each chapter is crucial to winning over your audience – the investors. ‘Here's what you should convey to make your proposal a compelling narrative.

10 essential parts of an investment proposal:

Introduction (UVP + hook): Start with a bang by presenting your Unique Value Proposition and an engaging hook that captures the essence of your business.

Problem: Clearly define the specific problem or need in your market segment that your business addresses.

Solution: Describe your unique solution that sets you apart and is difficult for competitors to replicate.

Market size and opportunity: Paint a picture of the market size and the opportunity it presents, backing it up with data and research.

Business and revenue model: Explain how your business will make money, detailing your revenue streams and business model.

Traction and validation: Showcase any traction or validation your business has received, such as customer feedback, sales figures, or awards.

Marketing/Growth strategy: Outline your strategy for acquiring and retaining customers, and how you plan to scale.

Team (Authority & experience): Highlight the strength of your team, focusing on authority, experience, and how it contributes to your business's success.

Financials: Provide a clear overview of your financials, including past and projected revenue, expenses, and profitability.

Investment and use of funds: Detail the amount of investment you're seeking and how you plan to use the funds to grow your business.

Yes, it's quite a list, but each element is a key ingredient in the recipe for a successful investment proposal. Stick around, and I'll walk you through writing an investment proposal that hits all the right notes with potential investors.

How to write an investment proposal that gets you buy-in

Writing a business proposal for investors is a critical step in securing funding for your business. It's your chance to make a compelling case to potential investors about why your business is a worthy investment.

A well-crafted proposal can be the difference between securing the funds you need and missing out on a crucial opportunity. Let's dive into the key steps to create an effective investment proposal.

1) Know who you’re pitching to

Before penning down your proposal, start by researching your potential investors. Use platforms like Crunchbase or AngelList to understand their investment history, sectors of interest, and investment patterns.

Are they risk-takers or conservative? Do they prefer tech startups or are they inclined towards sustainable businesses? This knowledge will help you tailor your proposal to resonate with their specific interests and investment philosophy.

2) Balance business and emotional needs

Ever noticed how you're more drawn to products or ideas that tug at your heartstrings? That's because our decisions are often influenced by emotions, not just logic.

To create this emotional connection, dive deep into what motivates your investors. Use the "jobs to be done" methodology to frame your product as the perfect solution to their problem.

Think about the "job" your investor needs to accomplish and how your solution is the perfect "hire."

Paint a vivid picture of how your business addresses a genuine problem or enhances lives. This emotional appeal can transform your proposal from just interesting to truly compelling.

3) Create a strong executive summary

Think of the executive summary as your elevator pitch in written form.

In just a few sentences, you need to capture the essence of your business idea, the opportunity in the market, what sets you apart (your unique value proposition), and the investment you're seeking.

This section should be so engaging that investors can't help but want to read on.

4) Address the challenges your customers face

To really hit home with your proposal, you need to show that you get what your customers are going through. Are they frustrated with complicated processes, high costs, or just finding it hard to get things done?

By showing you understand these everyday headaches, you can better position your business as the ideal solution. It's about saying, "We know what you're dealing with, and here's how we can make it better."

This approach not only builds trust but also clearly demonstrates how your business can make their lives easier.

Here's a great example of a problem slide:

Investment proposal challenge slide

5) Tell a compelling story

Imagine you're watching a movie where the main character faces a challenge you've dealt with yourself. You're instantly hooked because you relate to their struggle. That's the power of using a relatable problem in your story.

For example, if your business offers a time-saving app, start your story with the all-too-common scenario of being overwhelmed with tasks and not enough hours in the day.

Then, introduce your app as the hero that swoops in to save the day, ending with a future where time management is no longer a stressor.

This approach turns your proposal into a story that your audience can see themselves in, making your solution not just appealing, but necessary.

6) Simplify your business model explanation

The business model is crucial but can be dry. Keep this section concise, visual, and easy to understand.

Use analogies or comparisons to familiar businesses ("It's like Airbnb, but for office spaces") to make your model clear and relatable. Avoid lengthy explanations that could lose your audience's interest.

7) Showcase your early product

Before an investor reaches for their checkbook, they'll often want to see what you've got up your sleeve.

Have you ever wondered why Apple Stores let you play with all their gadgets? It's all about creating that "ownership experience." Letting potential buyers try before they buy is a powerful way to seal the deal. You can use this same approach in your pitch.

If your product is still in the design phase, you can use design tools to create prototypes or wireframes. It's a great way to showcase your product's functionality and design without needing a single line of code.

And if you're working on a physical product but aren't quite ready for production, no worries. You can hire a designer to whip up a stunning 3-D rendering. It's all about giving investors a taste of what's to come, making them excited to be part of the journey.

8) Focus on benefits, not features

Instead of detailing every feature or the cost, focus on how your product or service will improve lives, save time, or reduce stress.

For example, if your product is an app that helps with budgeting, emphasize the peace of mind and financial control it offers, not just its technical specifications. This approach helps investors see the real-life impact of your business.

Here's an example of a solution slide:

Investment proposal solution slide

9) Present a solid financial plan

Your financial plan should provide a clear and realistic picture of your business's financial health and prospects. Include detailed projections for your income statement, cash flow statement, and balance sheet for the next 3 to 5 years.

Ground these projections in market research and realistic assumptions. This section is crucial to demonstrate that you have a well-thought-out strategy for financial management and growth, giving investors confidence in your business's financial viability.

Here's an outstanding example of a financial plan slide:

Financial plan slide example

10) Articulate why you can beat the market

Now's your chance to show why your business is the one to watch. Talk about what makes you different from the competition. Maybe it's a special technology you've developed, a unique approach you're taking, or a fresh insight into the market.

Also, lay out your marketing plan in simple terms. Show how you'll draw customers in and keep them coming back. This part of your proposal should radiate confidence and show that you really get the market and know how to make a splash in it.

11) Highlight the right team composition

A well-rounded team is often a key factor in a startup's success. Jeff Clavier, a founder and managing partner at Uncork Capital (the company that has funded the likes of Fitbit and Eventbrite) has this piece of advice to offer:

“The best startup teams are made up of one developer, one designer, and one business person. That way, all your bases are covered: You can dream up the idea, build it, and make it look good.”

—Jeff Clavier, Founder and Managing Partner at Uncork Capital

Jeff Clavier, Founder and Managing Partner at Uncork Capital

In your proposal, shine a light on your team's mix of skills. Talk about what each person brings to the table and how together, you're more than the sum of your parts.

This helps investors see that you've got the right people to turn your business dream into reality.

12) Be prepared for objections and tough questions

Think of objections and tough questions as a part of the conversation, not a roadblock. It's like a friendly debate where you get to show off how well you know your stuff.

To get ready, make a list of the tough questions you might get asked and come up with clear, concise answers. Get some friends or mentors to give you feedback on your answers, then practice them until you know them by heart.

Being prepared like this means you can handle any curveballs with ease, showing investors that you're not just passionate about your business, but you've also thought through every angle.

13) Include clear funding needs

When it comes to the funding part, think of it as laying your cards on the table. You need to be crystal clear about how much money you need and what you're going to do with it.

Break it down for them – how much will go into making your product even better, how much you'll spend on getting the word out (marketing), and the day-to-day costs of running your business (operational expenses).

This approach will demonstrate to investors you've got a clear, well-thought-out plan for every dollar you're asking for. It's about building trust and showing them that their investment is in good hands.

Here's a great example of a use of funds slide:

Use of funds slide example

14) End with a strong call to action

Remember, investors are swamped with proposals day in and day out. If they don't take action on yours right then and there, it's all too easy for them to move on to the next one.

So, at the end of your proposal, make it as simple as possible for them to take the next step. Whether it's reaching out for more information, setting up a meeting, or discussing further steps, your call to action should be clear and compelling.

It's like leaving a door open with a welcome sign – you're inviting them to continue the conversation, making it hard for them to walk away without taking action.

Here's an example of a smart CTA:

Investment proposal next step slide

Adding an 'Accept' button to your investment proposals is also a smart move. It's a simple way for investors to say 'yes' right away, making the whole process faster and friendlier.

In the fast-moving world of investments, a quick 'yes' can make all the difference, helping you close deals faster and get your projects rolling sooner.

Here's an example of a proposal with an accept button:

Proposal accept button example

Investment proposal examples investors can’t resist

Your investment proposal is your voice. It needs to speak volumes, not just about your business idea but also about your understanding of the market, your foresight, and your potential for success.

In this section, I'll show you examples of investment proposals that have mastered the art of persuasion, each one a shining example of how to capture investor interest.

AI investment proposal

This investment proposal is a prime example of how to present a tech-based solution in a way that's both comprehensive and compelling, making it an irresistible choice for investors in the AI space.

What makes this investment proposal great:

Comprehensive solution presentation: It effectively outlines an AI-powered solution to common market problems, demonstrating both innovation and practicality.

Strong market analysis: The deck includes detailed market size and opportunity analysis, positioning the product in a rapidly growing sector.

Competitive edge highlighted: The company clearly distinguishes itself from competitors by emphasizing advanced AI capabilities and broader market appeal.

Startup investment proposal

This proposal exemplifies how to effectively pitch a startup's vision and potential in a crowded market, making it an attractive option for investors looking for innovative business automation solutions.

Clear problem-solution dynamic: It effectively identifies key business challenges and presents a tailored, innovative solution.

Impressive market potential: The deck highlights a substantial market opportunity, backed by solid figures and growth potential.

Competitive analysis and differentiation: It provides a thorough comparison with competitors, showcasing unique advantages and superior features.

VC investment proposal

This proposal serves as a prime example of how to effectively pitch a tech enterprise to venture capitalists, emphasizing innovation and market readiness.

Targeted problem-solution approach: The proposal identifies specific industry challenges and aligns them with innovative, practical solutions.

Highlighting market growth potential: It emphasizes the vast market opportunity, supported by research and potential revenue figures.

Distinct competitive edge: It showcases unique advantages over competitors, focusing on scalability, integration, and user experience.

Light mode AI investment proposal

This proposal is a standout example of how to effectively communicate the potential and practicality of AI solutions to investors, making it an attractive option in the rapidly evolving AI industry.

Focused AI solution: The proposal highlights a comprehensive AI platform addressing key business inefficiencies and customer experience gaps.

Market demand and growth: It demonstrates proven success with increased revenue and customer satisfaction, indicating strong market demand.

Competitive positioning: It effectively contrasts its AI innovation and scalability against competitors, showcasing a clear market advantage.

Modern startup investment proposal

This proposal stands out for its innovative approach to solving key issues in the creative industry, presenting a compelling investment opportunity for those looking to support a platform that empowers creativity and innovation.

Bridging creative gaps: It highlights how the platform uniquely addresses the overlooked needs of the creative community, offering solutions that go beyond traditional creative tools.

Dynamic personalization: The deck utilizes dynamic variables for quick and easy customization of the platform, catering to individual investor preferences and needs.

Smart calendar integration: The editor offers an innovative feature to integrate with calendar tools, enabling a smart call-to-action (CTA) that enhances reader engagement and interaction.

Creative investment proposal

This proposal showcases a platform designed to revitalize the creative industry, featuring a unique blend of interactive storytelling and robust data-driven insights.

Engaging scroll-based design: The proposal captivates with a scroll-based layout, enhancing readability and engagement through its interactive storytelling approach.

Advanced data visualization : It features the option to add sophisticated data visualization tools to clearly communicate market trends, user engagement metrics, and financial projections.

Strategic market positioning: It effectively differentiates from competitors by providing a more immersive user experience and diverse funding opportunities.

Startup one-page investment proposal

This proposal is an excellent example of how a startup can succinctly yet effectively convey its vision and potential in the AI space, making it an attractive option for investors looking for cutting-edge technology solutions.

Concise yet comprehensive: It effectively distills complex AI solutions into a clear, engaging one-page format.

Strong focus on key areas: The proposal highlights the startup's impact on financial efficiency, user engagement, and reducing complexity.

Data-driven market analysis: It provides compelling market insights and statistics, showcasing the startup's strong understanding of the AI industry's potential.

Dark mode investment proposal

This proposal stands out for its unique dark mode design and smart incorporation of features like logo customization and reader analytics, presenting a modern and tech-savvy approach to investment proposals.

Clear investment and use of funds slide: It provides a transparent and detailed breakdown of funding needs and allocation, building trust with potential investors.

Logo placeholders and finder feature: It includes logo placeholders that can easily be customized using the logo finder tool, which allows you to extract logos from any website in just a few clicks.

Access to analytics panel: It offers an analytics panel to track how readers interact with the proposal, providing valuable insights for follow-up and engagement.

General investment proposal

This proposal presents a tech startup's innovative approach to revolutionizing financial management and user experiences, highlighted by a data-driven strategy for capturing market growth.

Responsive design: It ensures a smooth and consistent viewing experience across various devices, enhancing readability and engagement.

Adaptive content layout: The editor automatically adjusts added elements to the layout, so you don’t ever have to worry about accidentally breaking the design.

Embedding live data: It comes with the option to integrate real-time data within the deck, providing investors with current, dynamic insights into the startup's performance and market trends.

Investor introduction proposal deck

This presentation for an investment proposal skillfully introduces a new venture to investors, featuring a detailed timeline for strategic development, an engaging scroll-based design, and an innovative, interactive ROI calculator for real-time financial projections.

Timeline slide for roadmap: It offers a detailed and chronological roadmap, providing investors with a clear vision of the project's development and key milestones.

Scroll-based design: It utilizes a modern, interactive scrolling format that keeps the content dynamic, enhancing readability and investor engagement.

Interactive ROI calculator: It comes with the option to incorporate a hands-on tool for investors to calculate potential returns, adding a practical and immersive dimension to the financial aspects of the proposal.

Y Combinator investment proposal

This Y Combinator investment proposal is designed to guide founders in creating effective seed decks, focusing on clear problem-solution dynamics, impressive metrics, and a straightforward business model.

Problem-solution clarity: It directly addresses common issues faced by founders in raising seed capital, offering a clear and practical solution.

Impressive growth metrics: It showcases strong growth and retention statistics, emphasizing the effectiveness of the approach.

Simple yet effective business model: The deck presents a straightforward and scalable business model, making it easy for investors to understand and see the potential.

Interactive investment proposal templates

When it comes to creating the presentation for an investment proposal, there's a ton of pressure riding on this document. After all, it's the key to unlocking your business's future.

And starting with a blank slide? That's enough to make even the most seasoned entrepreneur sweat.

Interactive investment proposal templates can save you heaps of time and effort. They come with the layout, design, and essential sections already in place.

All you need to do is tweak them to fit your story. It's like having a map in a treasure hunt – you still get the thrill of the search, but without the fear of getting lost.

Grab one and see for yourself.

business proposal for investors

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How To Write A Proposal For Investors: The Ultimate Guide for 2021

How To Write A Proposal For Investors

Benjamin Reimann

Business proposals, investment proposal | investor proposals | proposal for investors | real estate proposal | writing investor proposals, september 23, 2021.

In the first quarter of 2021, US venture capitalists invested over $64 billion into private companies — that’s 43% of all VC money invested in the previous year.

The business world is seeing an unprecedented movement of capital and funding — and you’re perfectly poised to take advantage of it. Business operators and entrepreneurs will miss out big if they can’t master the art of the investment proposal.

But no need to worry — this ultimate guide on how to write a proposal for investors will walk you through everything you need to know. Ready to take your business to the next level?

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How to write a proposal for investors image two women reading paper

What Is An Investment Proposal?

A proposal is any business document outlining a plan to execute against a given goal or task. Many kinds of proposals exist in the world of small business and entrepreneurship, including partnership proposals , expansion plan proposals, and more.

Today’s special guest — the investment proposal — is a proposal constructed with the goal of obtaining investments from lenders, VCs, angel investors, and beyond. Typically, these funds are for a new project or company that will create a positive return on investment for lenders. A well-written business proposal should answer any questions investors have and get them excited about funding your project or business.

Steps To Take Before Writing An Investment Proposal

Before you even begin drafting your investment proposal, take these steps to guarantee you’re constructing a comprehensive and persuasive document:

  • Do your market research. It’s crucial to show your potential investors that you have a solid understanding of your competitive landscape, growth opportunity, and total addressable market. Not only does it demonstrate foresight and professionalism, but as a result it will also help contextualize the rest of your proposal.
  • Review your customer or client personas. Understanding your customers’ and clients’ issues and pain points means you know their desired solutions. By mapping out your customer journey, you can also uncover points of friction and opportunities for improvement. 
  • Research your investors. Would you rather get a mug with no design or a mug with your name on it? If you’re like most people, you’d probably choose the latter. Investors are no different. Customizing your business proposal for investors demonstrates care and thoughtfulness that potential lenders will appreciate.

Finally, come up with a succinct title for your business proposal to investors. Ideally, an investor could hear those three to four words and immediately understand what the project is generally about.

What To Include In A Business Proposal For Investors

Executive summary.

Your executive summary (or project summary) may be one of the most essential segments of the entire investment proposal. Coming in at the start of your document, your executive summary should condense the most important content from the rest of your proposal into a concise and easily digestible format. 

Since the rest of the business proposal will likely be very technical, this might be the only section of your proposal that your prospective investors read thoroughly. Therefore, you should try to make the summary as convincing as possible. Make sure to include these details:

  • Description of your target consumer. 
  • The problem you’re addressing. 
  • Your solution (project), a description of the product or service.
  • Benefits that your solution provides to your customers and investors.
  • The ROI your investors can expect.

That last one is critical — at the end of the day, your investors are simply wondering what benefit this investment provides them.

Description of the Company

Your introduction immediately after the executive summary should be an overview of the company or idea. Here are some core details you don’t want to miss:

  • The Opportunity. Start by reiterating the market opportunity your project or company is exploring. This will set the tone for the rest of the introduction.
  • Performance & Achievements. Describing the company’s historical performance is especially important if you’re already operating. Include a description of the business, the product or service it sells, and notable achievements of the past. If you’re not yet running a whole business, you can replace this section with information about you as an entrepreneur, current project stakeholders, and relevant market statistics.
  • Financial Report. If your company has been operational for some time, simply include some business records like a company financial report. For companies that are just beginning, other compelling statistics about the market size and growth will do as well.
  • Mission & Goals. Here, discuss your organization’s mission, values, and objectives. They should align with the problem your project is trying to solve.
  • Team. A brief introduction to your team indicates talent working to make the project a reality. Highly skilled and dependable employees are a good sign for any investor.

Once you’ve covered your bases here, it’s time to move on to the bulk of your investment proposal.

Description of the Project

In this section, you are laying down a business plan to capitalize on an opportunity. For it to hold any weight with potential investors, it must be well-researched and in-depth. Here are the sections you’ll want to discuss:

  • Market Research. The preparation you did before drafting this piece will come in handy here. Investors want to ensure their investment will make money — as such, it has to be invested in a high-growth or high-potential market. Leverage your most compelling statistics to get that idea across. Given your market’s competitive landscape, outline strategies you can use to get ahead of your opposition.
  • Sales Strategy. Just like a regular business plan, you need to describe your marketing strategy, pricing models, unit economics, customer acquisition costs, and more. Developing these ideas in the business proposal demonstrates a level of experience that investors will be happy to see.
  • Team Logistics & Operations. This proposal will serve mainly as a reference for your investors as they consider your offer, so provide all the details you can — about the supply chain, talent demands, team allocation, operating expenditures, and beyond. 
  • Timeline & Plan for Measuring Progress. Reasonable goals are measurable and time-bound, and your proposal should be too. A timetable gives your investors an idea of how long the agreement will last, as well as a series of deadlines they can measure your progress against.
  • Financing. Besides the executive summary, your section on project financing may be one of the most important. Your investors will want to know about their return on investment, predicted profits and losses, existing debt, and more. Providing this information ensures your investors know where their money is going and how it is being used.
  • Exit Strategy. You should inform your investors about what they can do to divest their funds if they want to exit the agreement. This section should also cover what the protocols would be if the project meets failure or terminal success.

So you’ve covered all your bases — but we’re not done yet.

Tips For Writing Your Proposal For Investors

As you’re building out your business plan for investors, keep these Do’s and Don’ts in mind:

  • Do — Keep it succinct. Investors are often very busy people, and they typically don’t have time to read an entire investment proposal. That’s why keeping your executive summary to about a page or two in length is a good idea. Otherwise, only include essential information and avoid any embellishments.
  • Don’t — Avoid the subject. Be explicit about how large of an investment you’re seeking and discuss why you need it along with how you will leverage it.
  • Do — Make it understandable. It might be tempting to use technical terms and jargon to demonstrate how well-versed you are in the field. But your investors are more concerned with actually understanding the document. Use approachable language in your business plan, and you open yourself up to many more investors.

Make sure you proofread once, then twice, and start sending your business plan out there!

Need Some Help Creating An Investment Proposal?

Here at Pure Proposals, our goal is to grease the wheels of your business trajectory by making proposals easier. Want to get started on that startup idea you’ve had for months? Maybe open a new location for your family restaurant? How about kickstarting a modernization effort in your SME? Whatever the case may be, we hope this guide has answered any questions you may have.

Feel free to get in touch with us to find out how PandaDoc Proposal Software can help you draft up the perfect investment proposal and much much more!

Frequently Asked Questions

What do investors look for in an investment proposal.

Amid the baseline qualities and information an investor looks at, they also prioritize several pillars. First, strong leadership. Next, a large market where the company has a competitive value proposition — ideally, an organization that is gaining momentum. Finally, many investors also look for companies that can generate consistent cash flow.

What is a fair percentage for an investor?

Different investors have different expectations for returns on investment. For example, angel investors may expect 20% ROIs, but career investors like venture capitalists are more likely to demand higher returns, even upwards of 40%. In high-growth sectors like technology, many VCs look for returns of 5x or higher.

How do you convince an investor?

Having a well-researched and thought-out business plan is the first step in convincing an investor. Any party you want to borrow money from will look for high demand, growth, and quantifiable results. So, do your best to provide statistics and proof of your company’s momentum.

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Investment proposals 101: How to write a business proposal for investors.

A woman writes a business proposal for investors.

Explore what an investment proposal is, how it can help you attract investors, and how to write one in four easy steps.

Getting an investor to believe in your business can be a daunting task. Ultimately, if you can create a clear, concise, and effective business proposal, you’ll put yourself in a much better position.

But how exactly do you write an investment proposal that’s compelling to an investor? What are the essential steps in the process? Read on to learn how to construct your own startup investment proposal template.

What is an investment proposal?

Though business proposals for investors can definitely get complicated, at their core, their concept is pretty simple. An investment proposal is a carefully constructed presentation, crafted for potential investors, that describes your business’s purpose and goals. This presentation is a tool for finding partners and investors who might want to contribute financial support to your project, business, or goal.

How to write a business proposal for investors in four steps.

Learning how to write an investment proposal doesn’t need to be terribly difficult. Fundamentally, you’ll just need to include a few important things, be ready to answer any questions that come up, and know what type of support your business is looking for.

Here are four steps you should abide by when learning how to write an investment proposal for your business:

  • Gather all your company’s existing information. This includes data on your business’s revenue, operating budget, expansion plans, and so on.
  • Integrate your information. You’ll want to put your goals, data, and financial needs into a concise, clean presentation .
  • Research thoroughly. This gives you the groundwork to resonate well with any investor you plan on presenting your investment proposal to.
  • Practice, practice, practice. Your investment proposal presentation is important. Be ready for every potential question.

How to present a business plan to investors.

Now that you know how to write a business proposal for investors, it’s time to consider how you will present it.

Here are a few tips to integrate into your presentation strategy:

  • Focus on storytelling. While quantitative data is important, focusing on presenting the information in a story-oriented way can help it to flow better.
  • Dig into details. Doing this helps you to remain transparent and give investors more confidence in their choice.
  • Research first. Before going into your investor proposal meeting, read up on who you’ll be speaking with. Then, you can tailor your presentation to match their interests and style.
  • Focus on your unique selling points. Otherwise known as your USPs, these focus on how you stand out from competitors . Focusing here instead of on features alone can make your presentation more compelling.

Make business-document-signing tasks easier than ever.

When it comes to drafting the perfect startup-investment-proposal template, make sure it’s clear, concise, and easy to navigate — especially when your investor is ready to sign on. Use Adobe Acrobat Sign to ensure you’re offering a streamlined way for your investors to sign on instantly and digitally.

business proposal for investors

How to Write a Convincing Business Plan for Investors

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Noah Parsons

9 min. read

Updated November 29, 2023

Raising money for your business is a major effort. You need lists of investors to reach out to and you need to be prepared for your investor meetings to increase your chances of getting funded . You need to practice your pitch and be ready to intelligently answer any number of questions about your business. A key to making this entire process much easier is to invest a little time and write a business plan . It’s true — not all investors will ask to see your business plan. But the process of putting together a business plan will ensure that you’ve thought through every aspect of your business and you’re ready to answer any questions that come up during the fundraising process.

  • Why do investors want to see a business plan?

The business plan document itself isn’t what’s important to investors. It’s the knowledge that you’ve generated by going through the process that’s important. Having a business plan shows that you’ve done the homework of thinking through how your business will work and what goals you’re trying to achieve.

When you put together a business plan, you have to spend time thinking about things like your target market , your sales, and marketing strategy , the problem you solve for your customers, and who your key competitors are . A business plan provides the structure for thinking through these things and documents your answers so you’re prepared for the inevitable questions investors will ask about your business. 

Even if investors never ask to see your business plan, the work you’ve done to prepare it will ensure that you can intelligently answer the questions you’ll get. And, if an investor does ask for your business plan, then you’re prepared and ready to hand it over. After all, nothing could be worse than arriving at an investor meeting and then getting a request for a business plan and not having one ready.

Beyond understanding your business strategy, investors will also want to understand your financial forecasts. They want to know how your business will function from a financial standpoint — what is typically called your “ business model .” They’ll also want to know what it will take for your business to be profitable and where you anticipate spending money to grow the business. A complete financial plan is part of any business plan, so investing a little time here will serve you well. 

  • What do investors want to see in a business plan?

There’s no such thing as a perfect business plan and investors know this. After all, they’ve spent years, and often decades, hearing business pitches, reading business plans, investing in companies, and watching them both succeed and fail. As entrepreneur and investor Steve Blank likes to say, “No business plan survives first contact with a customer.” 

If this is true, then why bother writing a business plan at all? What’s the value of planning and why do investors want them if they know the plan will shortly be outdated?

The secret is that it’s the planning process, not the final plan, that’s valuable. Investors want to know that you’ve thought about your idea, documented your assumptions, and are on track to validate those assumptions so that you can remove risk from your business. 

So what do investors want to see in your business plan? Beyond the typical sections , here are the most important things that investors want to see in your plan.

A vision for the future

Investors, particularly those investing in early-stage startups, want to understand your vision . Where do you see your company going in the future? Who will your customers be and what problems will you solve for them? Your vision may take years to execute — and it’s likely that the vision will change and evolve over time — but investors want to know that you’re thinking beyond tomorrow and into the future.

Product/market fit and traction

Investors want more than just an idea. They want evidence that you are solving a problem for customers. Your customers have to want what you are selling for you to build a successful business and your business plan needs to describe the evidence that you’ve found that proves that you’ll be able to sell your products and services to customers. If you have “traction” in the form of early sales and customers, that’s even better.

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When you’re pitching investors, you need to know how much you’re asking for. Your financial forecast should help you figure this out. You’ll want to raise enough money to cover planned expenses and cash flow requirements plus some additional funding as a safety net. In addition, you’ll want to specify exactly how you plan on using your investment . In a business plan, this section is often called “sources and uses of investment.”

A strong management team

A good idea is really only a small part of the equation for a successful business. In fact, lots of people have good business ideas — it’s the people that can execute well that generally succeed. Investors will pay a lot of attention to the section of your plan where you talk about your management team because they want to know that you can transform your idea into a successful business. If you have gaps and still need to hire key employees, that’s OK. Communicating that you understand what your needs are is the most important thing.

An exit strategy

When investors give you money to start and grow your business, they are looking to eventually make a return on their investment. This could happen by eventually selling your business to a larger company or even by going public. One way or another, investors will want to know your thoughts about an eventual exit strategy for your business.

  • What documents do investors want to see?

Even if investors never ask for a detailed business plan, your business planning process should produce a few key documents that investors will want to see. Here’s what you need to be prepared to pitch investors:

Cover letter

These days, a lot of fundraising outreach is done over email and you’ll need a concise cover letter that sparks investor interest. Your cover letter needs to be very brief, but describe the problem you’re solving for your target market.

Great cover letters are sometimes in a “story” format that hooks readers with a real-world, relatable example of the problems your customers face and how our product or service The goal of the cover letter isn’t to explain every aspect of your business. It’s just to spark interest and get a meeting with an investor where you’ll have more time to actually pitch your business. Keep your cover letter brief, engaging, and to the point.

If you get an investor meeting, you’ll almost certainly need a pitch deck to present your idea in more detail and showcase your business idea. Your pitch deck will cover the problem you’re solving, your solution, your target market, and key market trends. Read our detailed guide on what to include in your pitch deck here and for inspiration check out our gallery of more than 50 Industry Pitch Deck Examples .

Executive summary and/or one-page plan

You might not get a meeting right away. Your cover letter may generate a request for additional information and this is where a solid executive summary or one-page business plan comes in handy. This document, while still short, is more detailed than your cover letter and explains a bit more about your business in a page or two.

Read more about what goes into a great executive summary and how to build a lone-page business plan.

Financial forecasts

Investors will inevitably want to see your financial forecasts. You’ll need a sales forecast, expense budget , cash flow forecast , profit and loss, and balance sheet . If you have historical results, you should plan on sharing those too as well as any other key metrics about your business. Investors will always look deep under the hood of your business, so be prepared to share all the details of how your business will work from a financial perspective.

  • What to include in your investor business plan

When you put together a detailed business plan for investors, you’ll follow a fairly standard format. Of course, feel free to customize your plan to fit your business needs. Remember: your business plan isn’t about the plan document that you create — it’s about the planning process that helps you think through and develop your business strategy. Here’s what most investor business plans will include:

Executive Summary

Usually written last, your executive summary is an overview of your business. As I mentioned earlier, you might use the executive summary as a stand-alone document to provide investors more detail about your business in a concise form. Read our guide on executive summaries here .


The opportunity section of your plan covers the problem you are solving, what your solution is, and highlights any data you have to prove that people will spend money on what you’re offering. If you have customer validation in any form, this is where you highlight that information.

Market Analysis

Describe what your target market is and key trends that are occurring in this market . Is the market growing? Are buying patterns changing? How is your business positioned to take advantage of these changes? Be sure to spend some time discussing your competition and how your target market solves their problems today and how your solution is superior.

Marketing & Sales Plan 

Most businesses need to figure out how to get the word out and attract customers. Your business plan should include a marketing plan that describes how you’re going to reach your target market and any key marketing initiatives that you’re going to undertake. You should also spend time describing your sales plan, especially if your sales process takes time to close customers.

Milestones / Roadmap

Outline key milestones you hope to achieve and when you plan on achieving them. This section should cover key dates for product development, key partnerships you need to create, and any other important goals you plan on achieving.

Company & Management

Here’s where you describe the nuts and bolts of your business. How is your organization structured? Who is on your team and what are their backgrounds? Are there any important positions that you still need to recruit for?

Financial Plan

As I mentioned, you’ll need to create a profit and loss, cash flow, and balance sheet forecast. Your financial plan should be optimistic, yet realistic. This is a tough balance and your forecast is certain to be wrong, but you need to document your assumptions and plans for the business.

Finally, you can include an appendix for any key additional information you want to share. Product diagrams, additional details on how you deliver your service, or additional research can all be included.

  • What comes next?

Writing a business plan for investors is really about preparing you to pitch your business . It’s quite likely that you’ll never get asked for the actual business plan document. But, the process will prepare you better than anything else to answer any questions investors may have.

Create a business plan that maximizes your chances of securing funding

Content Author: Noah Parsons

Noah is the COO at Palo Alto Software, makers of the online business plan app LivePlan. He started his career at Yahoo! and then helped start the user review site From there he started a software distribution business in the UK before coming to Palo Alto Software to run the marketing and product teams.

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How To Write An Investment Proposal: A Guide + Free Template

Investment Proposal

Most startups look for funding . To get one, you’ll have to know how to draft an investment proposal . This is because this business presentation can help you reach financial support for your startup. 

So, what exactly do you need to include in an investment proposal? Here’s what you need to know. 

Table of Contents

How to Write an Investment Proposal

An investment proposal is a vital tool for any startup. It’s what will help you land a meeting with potential investors . Through the document, you can present critical information about your company, product, or project and potentially attract investors to fund it. 

Before you get started in writing an investment proposal, you will need to do the following:

Know your market and competition

Also known as the discovery or pre-development phase, you gather important data from a market analysis. The information you collect from this will help you eliminate risks that may arise from a lack of market demand, unexpected expenses, and other issues. 

Assess your product

If you already have an early version of your product, you can start drafting investment proposal to send out to potential investors. This way, you can figure out what your business goals are. 

Research your potential investors

You should also research what investors you wish to attract at this stage. Are they angel investors/groups? Or are you more interested in getting a bank or a venture capital firm to support you financially?

By preparing these things, you can make your investment proposal custom fit to who you are pitching to. 

Free Investment Proposal Template

Knowing how to write investment proposals can greatly benefit you as a startup owner. But it’s also wise to use an investment proposal template to understand where to start. 

business proposal for investors

Investment Proposal

What to Include When Writing an Investment Proposal

A winning proposal includes these key elements:

Company Introduction

Start your proposal with your company’s name and a brief description of your startup. You can also include information on what you do and your company’s current status. 

This lets the reader know who you are and what your business is about.

Identify the problem

In the next section of the proposal, state the problem you are trying to solve. Describe what it is that your customers need or try to achieve. Also, add information on your pain points and how your current status cannot meet your customers’ needs. 

Present a solution

Present a solution to the problems you previously identified. Since investors will be most interested in this part of the proposal, you have to ensure that it is written in a way they can easily understand. So, try to edit this part as much as possible if you can. 

A good tip: You can usually write this part last so you already have the information available to use.

Show your market research

It’s also a good idea to include the results of your  market research  in your investment proposal creation. This is your way of showing potential investors how knowledgeable you are about your product and its market. 

Show how your product can be profitable and how you intend to make that happen. 

Reveal your traction

Use a graph to show off your product’s traction in the market. This way, you can make this information visually interesting to potential investors. 

If you do not have any traction to present, it may be best to work on it before seeking funding . 

Investment Proposal

Identify your goals

Be open about your goals and how much funding you’re hoping to raise. It’s also wise to share how much of the budget will be used to reach your goals. 

At the same time, be realistic. Give your audience have a realistic figure instead of an estimate.

Present your team

Potential investors will also need to know who your team is. They need to know who they are working with, especially since they will fund your vision.

Make sure to present your key team members’ accomplishments in your company. 

Disclose your financials

Be open about your financials, especially if your legal and financial team recommends doing so. The information you need to include is your projected gains and losses, intended sources for funds, loans, and many more. 

You should also be clear about your project’s timeline. This will allow them to track how long you plan to accomplish each stage of your goal. 

Have an exit strategy

When writing an investment proposal, you should include information on how investors will get their return. You can also include information on potential plans for an acquisition, going for an IPO, or selling out to a buyer. 

Identify your monetization plans

Also, remember to include your monetization plans in the proposal. Remember to include your operating margins so you can be clear about your plans for your investors.

Know your challenges and risks

Every venture has its own challenges and risks. It’s important that you acknowledge what these are early on so you can prepare for competitive strategies to overcome them. 

Use Fill for Your Investment Proposal

Having knowledge on how to create investment proposal can be a big help to any startup owner. But if you’re pressed for time, you can use Fill’s investment proposal template. The site also allows you to collaborate with other members of your team without needing to be in one location.

Check out our template gallery by registering for a free account. You’ll easily find the template you need for your startup.

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How to Write a Business Proposal [Examples + Template]

Meredith Hart

Published: December 05, 2023

Free Business Proposal Template

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Propose your business as the ideal solution using our Free Business Proposal Templates.

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Here's what every new business owner needs: an extra 8 hours in the day, an endless supply of coffee, and, most importantly, a really strong business proposal.

how to write a business proposal: image shows a person holding a pen and another person typing on a laptop

A business proposal can bridge the gap between you and potential clients. Done correctly, and it will outline your value proposition and persuade a company or organization to do business with you.

Here, we'll take a look at the various kinds of business proposals and go over how to write one. We’ll also see some ideas and examples to help guide yours.

Know exactly what you need? Jump to one of the following sections:

What is a business proposal?

Types of business proposals, how to write a business proposal, business proposal templates, business proposal example, tips for writing a business proposal, business proposal ideas.

A business proposal is a formal document that’s created by a company and given to a prospect to secure a business agreement.

It's a common misconception that business proposals and business plans are the same. However, a proposal helps you sell your product or service — not your business itself.

Think of it this way: instead of assisting your search for investors to fund your business, a proposal helps you seek new customers.

Follow Along With HubSpot's Business Proposal Template


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There are two types of business proposals: unsolicited and solicited.

  • Unsolicited Business Proposals : With unsolicited business proposals, you approach a potential customer with a proposal, even if they don't request one, to gain their business.
  • Solicited Business Proposals : Solicited business proposals are requested by prospective clients so that they can decide whether to do business with your company.

In a solicited business proposal, the other organization asks for a request for proposal (RFP). When a company needs a problem solved, they invite other businesses to submit a proposal that details how they'd solve it.

business proposal for investors

Propose your business as the ideal solution using our Free Business Proposal Templates

  • Problem summary
  • Proposed solution
  • Pricing information
  • Project timeline

You're all set!

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Fill out the form to get your template.

Whether the proposal is solicited or unsolicited, the steps to create your proposal are similar. Make sure it includes three main points:

  • A statement of the organization's problem
  • Begin with a title page.
  • Explain your why with an executive summary.
  • State the problem or need.
  • Propose a solution.
  • Share your qualifications.
  • Include pricing options.
  • Summarize with a conclusion.

Before writing your business proposal, it's crucial you understand the company. If they've sent you an RFP, make sure you read it carefully, so you know exactly what they want.

I recommend having an initial call or meeting with any new clients to ensure you fully understand their objectives. Ask open-ended questions to understand not just what they want, but why they want it.

Once you've done your research, it's time to begin writing your business proposal. While there's no one-size-fits-all approach to writing a business proposal, there's several elements most proposals include. (I designed this example business proposal using Canva .)

1. Begin with a title page.

You have to convey some basic information here. Introduce yourself and your business. Be sure to include:

  • Your company's name
  • The date you submitted the proposal
  • The name of the client or individual you're submitting the proposal to

Your title page should reconcile engagement with professionalism. I think of it as your first tone-setter, so you need to make sure yours is sleek, aesthetically appealing, and not too "out there."

Here's an example of what a business proposal template looks like when done right:

How to Write a Business Proposal: Business Proposal Example Title Page

The executive summary details exactly why you're sending the proposal and why your solution is the best for the prospective client.

Specificity is key here. Why are you the best choice for them?

Like a value proposition, your executive summary outlines the benefits of your company's products or services and how they can solve your potential client's problem.

After reading your executive summary, the prospect should offer a clear idea of how you can help them, even if they don't read the entire proposal. Here's what one should look like:

How to Write a Business Proposal: Sample Executive Summary

3. State the problem or need.

This is where you share a summary of the issue impacting the potential client. This is your opportunity to show them you understand their needs and the problem they need help solving.

How to Write a Business Proposal: Example Event Overview

In the example above, I included several signals to showcase my expertise – that I've been in the photography biz for 10 years, that I've worked with over 500 clients, and that I've been featured a number of publications. 

As you approach this section, focus on presenting yourself as an authority. Consider leveraging tools like:

  • Case studies
  • Client testimonials
  • Relevant awards
  • Industry accreditations

6. Include pricing options.

Pricing is where things can get a bit tricky, as you don't want to under or over-price your product.

How to write a business proposal: Include Pricing Options

The pricing section of your proposal could include:

  • A detailed pricing breakdown, including packages, tiers, and add-ons or optional services
  • How product features and benefits align with pricing choices
  • Pricing for different needs and budgets
  • How your pricing compares with competitors
  • An FAQ section to respond to anticipated objections and explain your pricing strategy

7. Summarize with a conclusion.

After sharing the above information, simplify it all into one final section.

  • First, briefly summarize the proposal. Be sure to share your qualifications and why you’d serve as the best choice.
  • Then, to prompt further conversation, confirm your availability to go over the next steps.
  • At the end of the proposal, the goal is to have the client ready to work with you. So, be sure to offer your contact information for easy follow-up.

In need of some inspiration before you begin writing? Here are example business proposal templates from popular business proposal software companies you can use to help create your proposal.

1. HubSpot's Free Business Plan Templates

HubSpot Business Proposal Template

Download these Templates

We know how crucial a great business proposal is to your and your client’s success. That's why we've compiled 2 Free Business Proposal Templates for you to use and customize for any of your projects.

You'll gain access to a concise, one-page template (pictured above), as well as a longer template for you to refine your plan and proposal.

Download the templates now to get started on building your proposal.

What We Like

The one-page template is clear, straightforward, and easy to read — without skipping on the key elements of a business proposal. This format is especially useful for busy clients who appreciate brevity and clarity.

2. Web Design Proposal

Business Proposal Templates: Web Design

With advertising on social networks projected to reach $82.23 billion dollars in 2025 , it's in your business's best interest to have a plan for growing your client's social media presence.

To help you in that effort, the information in this social media marketing proposal includes an executive summary to help introduce your high-level ideas, an assessment of the client’s company to show your diligence, and a breakdown of billing to show how your company charges for posting, content creation, and analytics.

This template includes all the bells and whistles of a social media proposal packaged in a fun yet professional design. It also includes helpful writing instructions under each section.

8. Content Marketing Proposal

Business Proposal Templates: Content Marketing

Business proposal templates are helpful places to get started, but what should your business proposal look like when it's complete? This template should inspire you.

When pitching your content marketing services to clients, this template can help you organize your ideas. While it walks you through initial objectives and how to communicate your prospected results, one of the most helpful parts of this template is the pricing ideas it gives you when charging for your services.

In the business template example below, Social Portal Consulting (SPC) pitches a marketing proposal to Graphic Bean. At first sight, this proposal appeals to the creative. I recommend going a step forward and designing the layout in your or your client’s brand colors.

Business Proposal Example: Social Media

Besides the design, the social media icons quickly tell the prospect what platforms Social Portal is pitching. Because we see Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest icons, the client instantly knows that this proposal doesn’t include LinkedIn, YouTube, or other platforms.

While maintaining its design, this example outlines Social Portal Consulting’s plans efficiently. It begins by providing insight into Graphic Bean and its goals before elaborating on how SPC can leverage its expertise to help them achieve them.

This business proposal template includes an easy-to-follow timeframe for goals and objectives while keeping the client abreast of how payment will happen across the project.

Overall, this is an excellent example of how to combine the elements of social media marketing into a creative and concise business proposal. Finally, we'll leave you with some business proposal ideas to get you started on your own.

  • Start with an outline.
  • Keep it simple.
  • Stay on brand.
  • Quality control.
  • Include data and visuals.
  • Add social proof.
  • Use a call-to-action.
  • Create a sense of urgency.
  • Make the decision for them.
  • Incorporate video into your proposal.
  • Include up-sell and add-on opportunities.
  • Clarify your terms and conditions.
  • Include a space for signatures to document agreement.
  • Create a table of contents.

1. Start with an outline.

If you want to produce a thoughtful, effective business proposal, you need to have some idea of what you're hoping to achieve with it.

Before I dive into writing a proposal, I always outline the major sections of the proposal that I want to include. That way, I can stay focused and make sure my message stays intact as I write.

Use these free business proposal templates to make sure that your outline includes everything you need.

2. Keep it simple.

Ultimately, there's no definitive blueprint for how long a business proposal has to be. Yours should be however long it takes to convey the information you want to get across.

That said, I'm a firm believer in quality over quantity, especially when it comes to business proposals. Keep your sentences short and simple, and avoid including too much business jargon.

You want anyone who picks up your proposal to make sense of it. So, be straightforward and don't get too fancy. Aim for substance over flash.

3. Stay on brand.

Don't be afraid to let your company's personality shine through in your proposal. Stay true to your brand and show the client what sets you apart from your competitors.

4. Quality control.

I've made it a habit to add an editing/QA step in my writing process. During this step, I do a quick spelling and grammar check before hitting send.

So, as you draft your proposal, and after checking for the basics, keep scanning this document until it's just right.

Check to make sure your proposal:

  • Meets client needs and expectations
  • Highlights your value proposition
  • Is well-structured and easy to read or skim
  • Complies with legal, ethical, and regulatory requirements
  • Looks professional and engaging

5. Include data and visuals.

You want your business proposal to capture your prospect's attention and help set you apart from any other ones they might have received. One of the best ways to do that is to include hard, quantitative data that helps stress the value of your business.

Use relevant, compelling figures that highlight what you have to offer. This can establish authority and make your proposal more convincing. It also helps to include visuals such as charts and graphs to enhance your proposal.

6. Add social proof.

From my experience, you can only be so convincing when you're personally talking up how great your business is — which is why adding social proof is key to establishing credibility.

At the end of the day, prospects are skeptical. They may not take you at your word. But they'll likely trust peers and fellow customers. That's why including elements like customer quotes and testimonials can go a long way.

7. Use a call-to-action.

I've learned that the best proposal in the world can only take you so far if you don't clearly define the next steps. That's why you have to make sure the reader knows what to do after reading your proposal.

A clear call-to-action is the best way to get there.

Define and highlight exactly what they should do to act on the interest your proposal has generated. Without that guidance, you might leave your reader in limbo.

HubSpot customers : Use this CTA builder to create powerful customized CTAs.

8. Create a sense of urgency.

No one wants to feel as if they missed out on a great opportunity. From my experience, prospect tend to drag their feet and put off making a decision if there isn't a sense of urgency.

So, as you create your business proposal, your goal should be to add a degree of urgency. When prospective clients read your business proposal they should feel that the best time to sign up for your service is now .

One way I accomplish this is by stating short and long-term goals for their business. They'll have to wait for the long-term goals, but I make the short-term goals so enticing that they'll be ready to begin a collaboration.

9. Make the decision for them.

Craft your copy in a way that seems like saying "no" to the proposal would be stepping over dollars to pick up pennies. Your offer should go above and beyond their expectations. Do everything in your power to remove friction and objections along the way.

10. Incorporate video into your proposal.

If you're creating an online proposal using document file formats like PDF, add multimedia elements. This will enhance the proposal experience, make your document richer, and keep them engaged.

Try adding a video at the beginning as an intro to your proposal. Or, put a video in the project breakdown to verbally discuss some of the more confusing parts.

Extras like this can make an impression. This tip works especially well with prospects who are visual or auditory communicators.

Pro tip : HubSpot Video makes it easy to record and embed video into a website or email for a big proposal boost.

11. Include up-sell and add-on opportunities.

They say you won't receive unless you ask. And readers won't explore the upper tiers of your solutions if you don't give them the opportunity.

So, share some upsells and add-ons about your business that they can act on. Call out a specific pain point and how this extra can add value.

With this step, balance is important. Show them everything your business has to offer without overwhelming your recipient.

12. Clarify your terms and conditions.

Your business proposal should include details on your project timeline and payment schedule. This summary is basically what you and the client agree to if they accept your proposal.

How to write a business proposal: Example Terms and Conditions

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business proposal for investors

How to Write an Investment Proposal For Startups - (With Templates)

To write an investment proposal for startups, begin with a clear title, followed by an executive summary detailing the startup's mission and objectives. Identify the market gap, propose your solution, and outline project details. Research market competition, plan monetization, and present your team and financial needs. Finally, conclude with signatures.

business proposal for investors

Lets go through the steps to write an investment proposal for startups:

1. Investment Title: Clearly state the title of your investment proposal

The investment title serves as the headline of your proposal, setting the tone and context for what's to follow. It should be straightforward and descriptive, allowing potential investors to instantly understand the focus of your proposal. The text should be understandable to anyone who reads it, not just your peers.

Think of it as the title of a book; it should pique interest and provide a hint of the story inside. For example, "GreenTech Solar Solutions: Revolutionizing Renewable Energy in Urban Homes."

2. Executive Summary: Offer a concise overview of the startup's mission, objectives, and the Value proposition

This is the introductory section of your good investment proposal and one of the most crucial parts.

In a few paragraphs, the executive summary provides a snapshot of the entire startup's project investment proposal itself, highlighting the startup's core mission, its primary objectives, and the unique value it offers to the market.

business proposal for investors

  • Mission: Clearly define the purpose of your startup. Why does it exist? What overarching goal does it aim to achieve? For instance, "Our mission is to provide affordable, sustainable energy solutions to urban households."
  • Objectives: Outline the specific goals your startup wants to accomplish in the short and long term. This could include targets related to market penetration, revenue, and development efforts or product development, such as "Achieving 20% market share in the city's renewable energy sector within three years."
  • Value Proposition: Describe what makes your startup stand out from the competition. What unique benefit or advantage does your product or service offer to customers? This could be in terms of innovation, cost-efficiency, usability, or any other distinctive feature.

For example, "Our solar solutions harness advanced technology to deliver 30% more efficiency at 20% less cost than existing products in the market."

3. State the Problem or Need: Identify the market gap or problem your startup aims to address

Every successful startup addresses a specific problem or fulfills an unmet need in the market. This section is where you articulate that problem or need to potential investors.

Be clear and specific, painting a vivid picture of the current landscape and why there's a demand for a solution. Use data, studies, or trends to back up your claims.

business proposal for investors

For instance, "In today's urban settings, 60% of households struggle with high electricity bills, yet only 15% have access to affordable renewable energy solutions."

4. Propose a Solution: Describe the product or service that addresses the identified problem

Having established the problem, this section is your chance to shine by presenting your startup's offering as the answer.

Describe your product or service in detail, showcasing how it addresses the identified problem or need. Highlight its unique features, benefits, and the technology or methodology behind it.

business proposal for investors

For example, "GreenTech Solar Solutions offers modular solar panels tailored for urban homes. Using cutting-edge photovoltaic technology, our panels are compact, efficient, and easy to install.

They not only reduce electricity bills by up to 40% but also come with an intuitive app that lets users monitor and optimize their energy consumption in real-time."

5. Project Details: Provide a comprehensive overview of the project, its stages, and its end goals

This section delves deeper into the intricacies of your startup project. Break down the various phases of the project from ideation to expected completion.

Highlight key milestones, timelines, and resources required at each stage. It's essential to give investors or venture capital firms a clear roadmap of how your business plans to take your startup from its current state to its vision.

business proposal for investors

For instance, "Phase 1 involves research and development, slated for completion in Q1 2024. By Q3, we aim to launch a pilot program in three cities. The final phase, in 2025, will see a nationwide rollout."

Discuss the end goals in terms of market reach, revenue projections, and any other relevant metrics.

For example, "By the end of 2025, we aim to cater to 500,000 urban households and project annual revenues of $20 million."

6. Review Your Product: Give insights into the development, features, and functionality of your product or service

This section is your opportunity to delve into the specifics of your product or service. Discuss the research and development process, shedding light on the challenges faced and how they were overcome.

Highlight the unique features of your product, emphasizing what sets it apart in the market.

For instance, "Our solar panels underwent two years of rigorous R&D, during which we collaborated with top renewable energy researchers.

business proposal for investors

The result is a product that's not only efficient but also user-friendly. Features include a weather-adaptive system that adjusts energy absorption based on climatic conditions and a sleek design that seamlessly integrates with modern home aesthetics."

Also, discuss the functionality in terms of user experience, benefits, and potential upgrades or expansions in the future. "Users can easily install and manage the panels with our dedicated app, which also offers energy-saving tips and real-time consumption data."

7. Research Your Market and Competition

When we talk about market analysis, it's not just about knowing the number of potential customers.

It's about diving deep into the demographics and understanding their behaviors, preferences, and pain points. It involves studying market trends, predicting future shifts, and identifying opportunities that your startup can leverage.

business proposal for investors

For instance, if you're launching a tech product, you'd want to understand the adoption rates of similar technologies, the barriers to entry, and the technological infrastructure of your target market.

On the other hand, competition analysis is about understanding who your competitors are, what they offer, and how they operate. This includes studying their business models, marketing strategies, customer reviews, and market share.

But it's not just about identifying their strengths; it's equally crucial to pinpoint the weaknesses or gaps in their offerings. This can provide invaluable insights into market niches or unmet needs that your startup can address.

8. Market Size and Potential: Estimate the size and growth potential of your target market

This subsection should provide quantifiable data on the current market size and its potential growth. Use relevant statistics, studies, and forecasts to support your claims.

For instance, "The renewable energy market for urban households is currently valued at $50 billion, with a consistent annual growth of 8%. Based on our analysis, with the increasing awareness towards sustainable living and the rise in electricity costs, this market is projected to double in size by 2030."

Understanding the market size and its potential gives investors a clear picture of the opportunity at hand.

business proposal for investors

It allows them to gauge the returns on their investment and the scalability of your business plans for your startup. Furthermore, showcasing that you've done your homework in terms of market research establishes credibility and can instill confidence in potential investors.

9. Competitors: Analyze key competitors and differentiate your solution.

Every market has competition, and understanding who they are and what they offer is vital for any startup. Begin by listing key competitors, both direct and indirect, and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. Look into their product features, pricing strategies, customer reviews, market share, and brand presence.

Tools like SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) can be instrumental in this endeavor.

business proposal for investors

For instance, "While Brand X offers a similar solar solution, our product boasts a 20% longer battery life and is 15% more affordable. Moreover, Brand Y, though popular, has received consistent customer complaints about their after-sales service, an area we excel in."

Differentiating your solution is paramount.

10. Planned Marketing and Sales Methods: Detail your marketing and sales strategy.

Marketing and sales are the engines that drive a startup's growth.

Detailing your strategies in these areas shows potential investors that you not only have a great product but also a concrete plan to get it into the hands of customers.

business proposal for investors

Begin with your marketing strategy. How do you plan to create awareness about your product?

Will you use digital marketing methods like SEO, PPC ads, social media campaigns, or more traditional methods like TV and radio ads? Maybe a combination of both?

For instance, "Our primary focus will be on digital marketing, leveraging SEO and targeted social media ads to reach our urban audience.

We'll also collaborate with influencers in the renewable energy space for broader reach."

Next, delve into the sales strategy. How will you convert interested prospects into paying customers? Will you have a dedicated sales team? Maybe an online sales funnel? Or partnerships with retail outlets?

For example, "Our sales strategy will pivot on a robust e-commerce platform and collaborations with home improvement stores in urban areas. We'll also have a dedicated sales team for B2B clients."

11. Describe How You Plan Monetization: Explain your revenue model and potential profit margins.

Start by detailing your revenue model. Is your cash flow from it a one-time purchase or a subscription-based service?

Do you have multiple revenue streams, such as product sales, advertising, affiliate marketing, or licensing?

business proposal for investors

For example, "Our primary revenue stream comes from the direct sale of our solar panels.

Additionally, we'll be offering subscription-based maintenance services and partnering with other green tech brands for affiliate marketing."

Once the revenue streams are laid out, delve into the profit margins. This involves breaking down the costs associated with producing and delivering your product or service and subtracting them from your selling price.

Highlighting healthy profit margins indicates good business health and viability.

For instance, "For each solar panel unit sold, our production cost stands at $200, and our selling price is $350, yielding a profit margin of 42.8%."

12. Project Financing: Outline the required investment, allocation of funds, and projected return on investment

This section is particularly crucial for investors with not enough financial support.

It helps provide a clear picture of how their financial support will be used and what returns they can expect.

Start by outlining the required investment. This should be a comprehensive breakdown of the funds you're seeking and why.

business proposal for investors

For example, "We're seeking an investment or private market funding of $2 million: $1 million for manufacturing scaling, $500,000 for marketing campaigns, and $500,000 for hiring key personnel."

Detail the allocation of funds. This provides transparency to investors and shows them that you've meticulously planned out your financial strategy.

For instance, "Of the total investment, 50% will be allocated to scaling up production to meet anticipated market demand, 25% will be channeled into marketing to build brand awareness, and the remaining 25% will be used for talent acquisition to bolster our operational capabilities."

Conclude with the projected return on investment (ROI). This is what investors are most keen on and changes the startup financing picture significantly.

13. Risk Analysis: Discuss potential risks and your strategies to mitigate them

In the world of startups, risks are inevitable. From market uncertainties, and technological disruptions, to competitive pressures, challenges abound.

A robust risk analysis not only identifies these hurdles but also outlines proactive strategies to either circumvent or manage them.

business proposal for investors

Whether it's hedging against market fluctuations, investing in continuous R&D to stay technologically relevant, or diversifying product lines to combat competitive threats, having a mitigation plan in place instills confidence in potential investors about the startup's resilience and foresight.

14. Present Your Team: Introduce team members, their qualifications, and roles

The strength of a startup often lies in its team.

This section should spotlight key team members, emphasizing their qualifications, past achievements, and specific roles within the startup.

business proposal for investors

Showcasing a team with a blend of experience, financial management knowledge, expertise, and passion can assure private or angel investors that the startup's vision is backed by individuals with the capability to actualize it.

This helps your to obtain financial support easily.

15. Operational Team Logistics: Describe the operational plan, communication strategies, and project execution methods

Operational efficiency is crucial for any startup's success.

Detailing the operational plan provides a roadmap of how the startup functions daily, from supply chain management to customer service protocols.

business proposal for investors

Additionally, outlining communication strategies ensures that there's a streamlined flow of information both internally and with external stakeholders.

Describing project execution methods further demonstrates the team's approach to tasks, ensuring projects are completed efficiently and effectively.

16. Build a Working Prototype: Showcase a prototype or demo to give a tangible understanding of your offering

While ideas are the foundation of any startup, a tangible prototype or demo brings these ideas to life.

Showcasing a working model of the product or service offers a concrete representation of the startup's vision.

business proposal for investors

For investors, it provides clarity on the product's functionality, design, and user experience, making a successful investment proposal.

17. Gather Information about Investors: Research and tailor your proposal to potential investors' interests

Every investor has their interests, investment criteria, and focus areas.

Researching potential investors ensures that the proposal is tailored to resonate with their specific interests and investment philosophies.

business proposal for investors

Whether they prioritize sustainable ventures, technological innovations, or market disruptors, aligning the startup investment proposal template with their preferences increases the likelihood of securing their investment.

18. Include Up-sell and Add-on Opportunities: Highlight areas for additional revenue and growth

business proposal for investors

Beyond the primary product or service, showcasing opportunities for up-selling or add-ons indicates a proactive approach to revenue generation. Highlighting these avenues demonstrates the potential for increased customer lifetime value and diversified revenue streams.

For example, a software solution might offer basic functionality at one price point, with premium features or integrations available as add-ons.

19. Customer Testimonials or Case Studies: If available, share feedback or success stories related to your product or service

business proposal for investors

There's immense power in word-of-mouth and firsthand experiences. Including customer testimonials or detailed case studies provides credibility to your startup's claims.

It offers potential investors tangible proof of the product's efficacy, customer satisfaction, and the impact it has had in real-world scenarios.

20. Avoid Irrelevant Information: Keep your proposal concise and focused

business proposal for investors

While it's tempting to include every detail about your startup, it's crucial to discern what's pertinent to a professional business proposal.

Extraneous information can dilute the core message and make the proposal cumbersome.

A focused, concise investment proposal template or investment proposal presentation template not only respects the investor's time but also ensures they grasp the key points without distraction.

21. Keep It Simple: Ensure your proposal is straightforward and easily understandable

business proposal for investors

Complex jargon or overly technical descriptions can alienate potential investors. The goal is to convey the startup's value proposition in a manner that's easily digestible and resonates with both industry veterans and those less versed in the sector.

A compelling investment proposal is straightforward, ensures comprehension, and reduces potential misinterpretations.

22. Include a Space for Signatures: Provide a section for both parties to document their agreement

business proposal for investors

While it might seem like a minor detail, providing a designated section for signatures underscores the proposal's seriousness and intent.

It serves as a formal invitation for collaboration, indicating readiness to move forward once both parties are in agreement.

This section should be structured to include spaces for names, signatures, titles, and dates, ensuring comprehensive documentation of the agreement.

Sample Business Proposal Template- Example

business proposal for investors


1. Investment Title: [Name of the Project or Business Venture]

2. Executive Summary:

  • Brief overview of the company or project
  • Mission and vision statement
  • Objectives and goals

3. Market Analysis:

  • Overview of the market segment targeted
  • Market size and growth potential
  • Current trends and consumer behaviors

4. Competitor Overview:

  • Major competitors in the market
  • Strengths and weaknesses of competitors
  • Unique selling propositions (USPs) that differentiate your offering

5. Product/Service Description:

  • Detailed overview of the product or service offered
  • Features and benefits
  • Pricing strategy

6. Marketing and Sales Strategies:

  • Target audience and segmentation
  • Marketing channels to be used (digital, print, events, etc.)
  • Sales strategy and funnel

7. Financial Projections:

  • Revenue forecasts for the next 1-5 years
  • Breakdown of costs and expected profits
  • Return on investment (ROI) projections

8. Team Introduction:

  • Brief bios of key team members
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Relevant experience and qualifications

9. Risks and Mitigations:

  • Potential challenges and risks faced
  • Strategies to address and mitigate these risks

10. Up-sell Opportunities (if applicable):

  • Additional products or services that could be offered
  • Pricing and expected revenue from these

11. Customer Testimonials (if available):

  • Feedback from current or past customers
  • Case studies showcasing the success of the product/service

12. Conclusion:

  • Recap of the major points presented
  • Call to action or next steps

13. Signature Space:

  • Space for the proposal presenter and the potential client or investor to sign and date

FAQs: How to Write a Business Proposal for Investors

How do you write a business proposal for an investor example.

To write a business proposal for an investor, start with a clear title and an executive summary of your business.

Provide details about the market need, your proposed solution, current financial data and projections, and your team. Highlight the ROI for the investor and include any relevant testimonials or case studies.

How do I ask an investor to invest in my business?

When approaching an investor, do thorough research about them, ensuring your business aligns with their investment interests.

Prepare a compelling pitch and a detailed business proposal for investors. Clearly communicate the potential returns and the unique value proposition of your business. Always be transparent about risks involved.

What do investors look for in a business proposal?

Investors typically look for a clear value proposition, a viable market, a solid revenue model, and a competent team.

They also evaluate the potential ROI, risks involved, and the scalability of the existing company or business. Strong financial projections and a clear differentiation from competitors are also crucial.

How do you write a simple business proposal?

For a simple business proposal, start with an introduction about your business. Describe the problem or need in the market, and how your product or service addresses it.

Outline your pricing and sales strategy, provide a brief market analysis, and end with a call to action or next steps.

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business proposal for investors

Investment Proposal: Asking for a Helping Hand

Investors can help your business get off the ground. But, finding investors is easier said than done. One reason is that there’s a lot of competition out there. In 2021 alone, there were 5.4 million new business applications in the U.S. Cutting through the competition may seem daunting. But with the right investment proposal, you can catch the attention of investors and get the influx of cash your business needs.

What is an investment proposal?

An investment proposal is a document or presentation created to convince potential investors to invest in your small business. The proposal can cover operational funds in general or specific projects or goals. 

A successful investment proposal must:

  • Be supported by the proper research
  • Have a convincing argument
  • Showcase the importance of potential investors and their ROI (return on investment)

Investment proposal vs. business plan

While they may seem similar at first, investment proposals and business plans are different. The main differences between an investment proposal and a business plan are purpose and audience. 

An investment proposal helps find potential investors. A business plan helps define the goals of a business and determine how well it’s doing. You can secure funding with only a business plan. But if you want to raise a large sum of money, an investment proposal is the best way to catch the attention of angel investors, venture capitalists, and other heavy hitters. 

Generally, a strong business plan will come before an investment proposal. The business plan organizes the vital information about your business you’ll use in your investment proposal. 

Preparing your investment request

An investment proposal isn’t as simple as asking for some extra cash. You’ll want to set aside some time to draft and rework your investment proposal to make sure that everything is perfect. But how do you prepare the proposal? 

Before you start your investment proposal, you should:

  • Conduct a discovery phase (e.g., market research )

Know your product

Know your financials, conduct a discovery phase.

During a discovery phase, research and discover what your market looks like. Some key questions to answer are:

  • Who’s my competition?
  • What are their strengths and weaknesses?
  • What makes my company or product unique in comparison?
  • What does a customer’s journey look like for my product or company?
  • Who is my ideal customer?

A discovery phase doesn’t only help you know what the landscape looks like; it’s a time to find and meet the needs of potential customers. 

After the discovery phase, you should take a closer look at your product and answer these questions:

  • Does my product meet the needs of my potential customers?
  • How does it stack up to the competition (e.g., price point, potential uses, design, etc.)?
  • What’s my profit margin for each product sold?

Be honest with yourself and think about the big picture. What’s the best-case scenario for funding, and what’s the worst? If you know exactly what you need, and when you’ll leave the table empty-handed, you’ll have a better argument when delivering your investment proposal.  

Research potential investors

You can’t just ask anyone on the street to help boost your business. Make sure to talk to the right people and know exactly what they can and can’t offer. Some investors may be more willing (or able) to help than others. 

Here are a few investors to keep on your radar. 

  • Angel investors : Angel investors are often accredited investors that use their own money to invest in small businesses. In return for their investment, angel investors often become part owners of the company. Remember that angel investors typically invest in a company or a product they believe in. In other words, you’ll want to look for angel investors that align with your company’s ideals. 
  • Corporate investors: Depending on what your company offers, you may find some corporations interested in funding your company. Why? Corporations may support startups to help find new technology and acquire new assets (e.g., tools or software). Keep an eye out for corporations with special needs for your product. 
  • Personal investors: Personal investors can include friends, relatives, and crowdfunding platforms. Crowdfunding platforms are a great way to connect directly with customers at the very beginning of your business. If you use crowdfunding, you can offer gifts to crowdfunding investors when you reach certain milestones. If you’re thinking about friends and relatives as potential investors, make sure they know the risks before they commit. 
  • Venture capitalists: Venture capitalists make capital investments for an ownership share and role in your company. Venture capitalists typically invest in businesses with a high potential for growth. If you’re trying to woo venture capitalists, you should highlight your company’s potential for growth and offer a timeline for their ROI.

The six parts of an investment proposal include: 1. Executive summary; 2. Details of products or services; 3. Company performance to date; 4. Planned marketing and sales method; 5. Team members and tools; 6. Key financials of your business.

6 Parts of your investment proposal

Remember that your investors want to make (and not lose) money when they invest in your company. The sole purpose of your investment proposal is to convince investors they can make money if they back your company.

Think of your investment proposal as a good story. You want to keep your investors interested and informed while they read your story. And, you want the story to convince investors they must invest in your company. No matter how you tell your story or sell your investment proposal, always keep in mind the most important question to the investor: What’s in it for me?

So what goes into telling the perfect story to investors? Here’s what you should include in your investor proposal:

  • Executive summary
  • Details of products or services
  • Company performance
  • Planned marketing and sales method
  • Team members and tools
  • Key financials 

1. Executive summary

Your executive summary tells the story of your business and answers questions like: 

  • Who are your ideal customers?
  • What is the customer problem your business or product solves?
  • What’s the expected return on investment?

Be specific when answering these questions by describing how your product meets the customer’s needs in a new way. Does your product offer the investor a unique chance to invest in the next big thing? If so, it’s worth mentioning.

When telling the story of your business, don’t worry about getting personal. Your personal story of leading your company, or your company’s story in general, can go a long way in convincing investors to work with you. 

2. Project details

The project details section explains your product or services and how you plan to bring them to life. In this section, cover all the questions that might come up about your minimum viable product (MVP). 

Here are some questions to think about:

  • What’s my minimum viable product?
  • What are the cost of goods of my MVP?
  • What are the projected production volumes, unit prices, and market share of my product/company?
  • Who are my future competitors?

When answering these questions, get as detailed as possible. Laying out the numbers in eye-catching infographics can help. Make sure to let your investors know you have what it takes to bring your small business goals to life. 

3. Company performance

If you’re starting out and don’t have a long financial history, focus on the wins you’ve had in the past. What products or companies have you worked with? What about other team members in your current business? Focus on what you and your team have already accomplished and present market statistics to show the potential of your new business. 

If your company is already up and running, include a business description and showcase historical and current financial data. 

Include key financial reports for your business, like your:

  • Profit and loss statement. Your profit and loss statement is an overview of your business’s financial performance. It summarizes your revenue, total expenses, and your profit (or loss) for a specific period. The profit and loss statement lets you know how your company has done in the past. 
  • Balance sheet. Your balance sheet lets you know what your business owns and owes for a set period. A balance sheet also shows your assets (e.g., property and equipment). What else is on a balance sheet? You’ll also find information on your liabilities (e.g., money you own) and shareholder’s equity. 
  • Cash flow statement. A cash flow statement details cash inflow and outflow every month and can be a great way to project into the future. When looking at your cash flow statement, go over several periods (e.g., months, quarters, years) so you and potential investors have a good sense of how cash healthy your company is now and can be in the future.
  • Financial reports are just a click away
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4. Planned marketing and sales method

It’s time to switch to the competition and your plans to come out on top. Present your research on the market, your competitors, and their products. The focus of this section of your investment proposal is to explain how you’ll stand out from the competition. 

Include your:

  • Customer profile
  • Marketing strategy
  • Pricing models

5. Team members and tools

A company is only as good as its team members and the tools they have at their disposal. Make sure to show off your current team. They are the ones that are going to help the company achieve its goals after all. For this section, it’s good to be both holistic and specific. 

So, think about answering some of these questions:

  • Where’s the company located?
  • What’s the layout of your office or storefront?
  • How many employees do you have on staff?
  • How long have they been with your business?
  • What are your hiring plans for the future (e.g., positions to fill as you grow)?
  • What equipment or technology do you have to meet your goals?

6. Key financials 

Now that we’ve made it to the ask, make sure your numbers are both precise and necessary. Don’t just include numbers because you have them. Remember, the investment proposal should convince investors to back your company. Only include the numbers that give a realistic look into your company’s health. 

Make sure that you specify:

  • The funding you’ve already secured
  • Forecasts for future funding
  • Timeframes for production, sales, and ROI for investors
  • An exit plan for investors when they fulfill their investment objectives or your company can’t meet profit expectations

Don’t let your business’s accounting needs get in the way of what you love, like running your business. Patriot’s online accounting software makes small business accounting a breeze. Create invoices, pay bills, and generate financial documents with just a click. Try it for free today.  

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How to Write a Business Proposal — 2022 Guide and Template

business proposal for investors

A business proposal can make or break your chances of securing a new client. Write a great one, and you’ll likely snag their business.

Write a poor one, and you might lose out—even if you’re offering the best service out there. So, how do you write a business proposal? What is the proper format? What do you need to include?

While it all depends on your industry, and whether or not you’re offering a product or service, writing a business proposal is pretty straightforward. We’ll answer all those questions and more throughout the course of this guide. 

What to expect with this business proposal guide

Whether you’re starting fresh or need to look at a specific section, here’s what we’ll be covering in this guide. 

  • What a business proposal is
  • The differences between a business proposal and a business plan
  • The format of a business proposal
  • How long to make your business proposal

How to write a business proposal

You can download a free business proposal template here to start writing up your own proposal as you work through this article. By the end, you’ll be prepared to develop a well-written business proposal that can explain your business clearly and win more clients. Let’s get started.

What is a business proposal ?

A business proposal is a document you’d send to a prospective client, outlining the service you’re offering, and explaining why you’re the best person for the job. 

It’s a pitch by a business or individual to complete a specific job or project, to supply a service, or, in some instances, to be the vendor of a certain product.

What are the different types of business proposals?

A business proposal can be either solicited or unsolicited. With a solicited proposal, the prospective client will put out a request for proposals; with an unsolicited business proposal, you are approaching a client in hopes of attracting their business, even though they did not explicitly request a proposal.  

While both are commonplace, a solicited proposal is an easier sell, as your prospective client has already decided that they want to make a purchase or use a service, and they’re evaluating possible vendors or businesses.

With a solicited proposal, your prospective client might have issued an RFP, or “request for proposal.” This is exactly what it sounds like—they want you to send over a business proposal so they can take a look at it.

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Differences between a business proposal and a business plan

A business proposal is not the same as a business plan . This is the most common misconception, but while there are areas of overlap (like your executive summary ) the two are different.

That being said, you can certainly pull information from your business plan while writing your business proposal—in fact, that’s a great way to start.

But don’t confuse the two; they are distinct and separate. In short, a business plan represents the cohesive strategy of how your business operates and makes money. A business proposal is an official pitch to clients selling your products or services. 

A business proposal outlines a particular product or service offered by an established business to a prospective client.

You’re trying to sell your prospective client on your product or service, not on your business itself. You’re not after funding, as you are with a business plan, you’re trying to make a sale.

A business proposal is also not an estimate; although you’ll likely touch on costs and pricing in your business proposal, an estimate is much more informal and just a quick look at the costs, not the whole picture.

What goes into a business proposal?

Your business proposal should address the three Ps:

  • Problem statement: What your customer’s current problem is
  • Proposed solution: How your business solves that problem better than other solutions
  • Pricing: How much that solution costs compared to alternatives

If you’re stuck on how to start, maybe try brainstorming first; start with these three points, and you’ll have a rough, bare-bones version of your business proposal.

Once you’ve done that if you’re ready to go more in-depth, here is a step-by-step look at how to format your business proposal.

Your business proposal should start with a title page, which should include your name, the name of your company, the name of the person to whom you’re submitting your proposal, and the date submitted.

Table of contents

Depending on how long your business proposal is, a table of contents is a nice touch. Include it after your title page, and before you launch into any details. If you’re delivering it as a PDF, including anchor links down to each section, so it’s easy to get to specific areas. 

Executive summary

Introduce your proposal with a great executive summary, one that really sells your business and the products or services you provide—it’s about why you’re the right company for the job. You can draw from your business plan’s executive summary here, too.

Statement of problem, issue, or job at hand

Following your executive summary, go on to discuss the problem that the client is currently facing. Think of “problem” or “issue” loosely; after all, their main problem may just be finding the right person to complete their project. But be sure you understand why they want the product or service they’re seeking. If the proposal is for developing a brand new website, make sure you understand what they want to get out of the site—better sales, more content management flexibility. 

This is the place to show your new client that you understand their needs , and fully grasp the issue they are trying to solve. Take this opportunity to restate the issue they are facing in your own words so that they know you understand what they are looking for.

Approach and methodology

This section shows how you plan to tackle your potential client’s problem, and the steps you’ll take to carry out your plan.

This is where you’ll get into the nitty-gritty of how you actually plan to fulfill your client’s needs. While earlier sections might have been a bit surface-level, this section of the business proposal is where you’ll go into detail about what steps you’ll take to solve their problem.

Be careful of going into too much detail, though—keep the jargon to a minimum. Your client should be able to follow along and get a clear sense of your plan, but you don’t want to drown them in minutiae.


Go ahead, brag a little—this is the section of your business proposal where you get to convince your potential client why you are the most qualified person to take on the job.

You can mention any relevant education, industry-specific training, or certifications you have, your past successful projects of a similar nature, years of experience, and so on.

Schedule and benchmarks

Be clear with your potential client: How long will your proposed project take?

Making sure you and your prospective client are on the same page from the outset will help make sure that the relationship stays positive for both of you, and that you don’t set your client up with unrealistic expectations.

While you might be tempted to underestimate how long it will take you to complete the project, don’t. Don’t promise what you can’t deliver!

If you’re offering a product, this section might not be applicable to you, so feel free to omit it. The business proposal format is flexible, so tailor it to suit your business and industry.

Cost, payment, and any legal matters

Here is where you get down to brass tacks and state the cost, and payment schedule if necessary.

How you structure this section will largely depend on the particular project or service you are offering. A section entitled “Fee Summary” may be sufficient if one-time payment is required; otherwise, a “Fee Schedule” list or pricing table might be more appropriate. Always refer back to the client’s RFP whenever possible, to make sure you’re supplying them with all the information they need to help make their decision.

If there are any legal issues to attend to, such as permits or licensing, include this information here. Feel free to add a section entirely devoted to handling the legal side of the project if need be.

This is your final sell—don’t be afraid to detail for your prospective client all they have to gain by choosing you to complete the project.

Impress upon your clients why you are the best choice, and all the ways in which their business will benefit from choosing you and your business as their solution.

How long should a business proposal be?

When it comes to the format of a business proposal, this is the million-dollar question without an answer. Remember in school, when you’d ask your teacher how long an essay should be, and they’d reply, “as long as it takes to answer the question.”

The same applies to your business proposal. It ultimately depends on your industry, the scope of the project, and the client’s specifications in terms of detail and elements included.

Make your pitch stand out with SBA-approved business plans. All the info investors and lenders need to evaluate your business. Get LivePlan.

That being said, the tighter your initial proposal can be and the more directly you can make your point, the easier it will be to pitch it to clients. Start by following the business proposal format above as a guide, and you’ll be well on your way to creating a winning business proposal—and securing new clients.

Editor’s note: This article was originally written in 2018 and updated for 2021.

AvatarBriana Morgaine

Briana Morgaine


Briana is a content and digital marketing specialist, editor, and writer. She enjoys discussing business, marketing, and social media, and is a big fan of the Oxford comma. Bri is a resident of Portland, Oregon, and she can be found, infrequently, on Twitter.

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Blog Business

How To Create A Winning Business Proposal Presentation

By Krystle Wong , Jun 28, 2023

How to create a business proposal presentation

In the corporate landscape, a good business proposal presentation can be a game-changer to seal the deal with your prospective client or investors.  

Think of your business proposal presentations as your chance to showcase your groundbreaking ideas, products or services to potential clients, investors and stakeholders. Whether you’re convincing investors to fund your dreams or clients to choose your services, creating a compelling presentation can make them go, “You know what? I’m sold!”

A good presentation simplifies the complex. It breaks down complicated concepts into bite-sized pieces that even those who are not in the industry can understand. I know I know, it’s no easy work and you’ve got enough on your plate — so let our selection of pitch deck templates take the load off the design work. 

Customizing a compelling business proposal presentation takes only minutes thanks to Venngage’s user-friendly drag-and-drop editor. Just so you know, some of our presentation templates are free to use and some require a small monthly fee. Sign-up is always free, as is access to Venngage’s online drag-and-drop editor.

Now that you’ve got one less thing to worry about, let’s get back to business on how to create and deliver a winning proposal presentation. 

Click to jump ahead:

What makes a good business proposal , 10 tips to create an effective business proposal presentation, 8 steps to deliver a winning business proposal presentation, create a business proposal presentation that will win over your clients with venngage.

If you’ve read our guide on how to write winning business proposals , you’ll know that a successful business proposal is one that answers the following questions: 

  • Who you are and what your company does
  • The problem your buyer is facing
  • The solution your company offers to alleviate the problem
  • How your company will implement this solution effectively
  • An estimate of resources (time, money, etc) required to implement the solution

Well, picture this: you’ve spent countless hours crafting a comprehensive business proposal that has the potential to revolutionize your industry. But here’s the catch – you need to condense all that information into a presentation that grabs attention, engages your audience and leaves a lasting impression. 

It’s not easy, but it’s also not impossible. If you have an important proposal presentation coming up, I highly recommend you check out this guide on how to summarize information for presentations . 

A good presentation gets things moving! Check out the top qualities of awesome presentations and learn all about how to make a good presentation to help you nail that captivating delivery.

Now, before we dive deep into the tips and tricks of creating and delivering a successful business proposal presentation, here are some business pitch deck templates to help you get inspired and win over new clients and investors . Alright, let’s get started!

Still working on your business proposal? Check out our selection of business proposal templates designed by our professional team.

In this competitive business environment, a good presentation gives you an edge over your competitors. It allows you to showcase your unique selling points, competitive advantages and differentiates you from others in the industry.  

Whether it is securing a new client, securing funding or obtaining a favorable business agreement, a successful presentation can ultimately bring significant opportunities and long-term business growth. 

Tip number one: always start with a solid presentation layout . Your presentation should emphasize the most important aspects of your business proposal, ensuring that they stand out and resonate with your audience. To do that, here are 10 tips along with some professionally crafted business proposal presentation templates to help you ace your next business proposal presentation. 

1. Crafting a compelling storyline

A strong narrative structure is the backbone of any successful proposal presentation. Start with a captivating opening that grabs attention and clearly articulates the problem or opportunity at hand. Present your solution with confidence, providing solid evidence and data to support your claims. Finally, conclude with a powerful call to action that leaves your audience inspired and ready to take the next steps.

A timeline graph can help you organize your ideas as you create a compelling storyline for your presentation and make your content more engaging.  Determine the important events or milestones that are relevant to your presentation topic. This will provide a sense of direction and structure for your storyline.

business proposal for investors

2. Focusing on the problem and solution

One of the keys to an effective business proposal presentation is highlighting the problem or challenge your audience is facing. Clearly communicate how your proposal provides a viable solution in bullet points, emphasizing the benefits and advantages it offers. Show your audience that you understand their pain points and present your proposal as the ideal answer to their needs.

This example of proposal presentation talked about the challenges that beginners face when going to the gym and how they provide the solution for it.

Problem Agitate Solution Pitch Deck Template - Problem

3. Using a consistent and professional template

To create a polished and cohesive visual experience, choose a clean and professional slide template that aligns with your brand colors. Consistency in design throughout the presentation not only enhances the overall look but also reinforces your professionalism and attention to detail.

business proposal for investors

Last-minute presentations are the worst, but don’t panic! Customize one of our professionally designed business presentation templates to save time and hassle.

4. engaging with visuals.

A picture is worth a thousand words and in the case of your proposal presentation, visuals can be your secret weapon. Visuals play a crucial role in capturing your audience’s attention and making complex information more digestible. Utilize charts, graphs, images and diagrams strategically to support your key points and reinforce your message. 

As a business owner, a well-thought-out finance pitch deck provides a platform to outline the business’s strategic direction and growth plans. It allows you to highlight your unique value proposition, competitive positioning, marketing strategies and expansion plans. Here’s a template I figured you could use:

business proposal for investors

No idea what goes into your financial pitch deck? This guide on how to make successful pitch decks for start ups might help. 

5. addressing potential objections.

Many business proposal presentations fail to anticipate potential objections or concerns audiences might have. Showing that you’ve considered challenges and providing persuasive counterarguments or solutions boosts your preparedness and increases the credibility of your proposal. Addressing objections head-on demonstrates your ability to handle potential hurdles and builds trust with your audience.

6. Using multimedia elements in your slides

To add depth and variety to your presentation, consider incorporating multimedia elements such as videos, audio clips, interactive charts or animations. These elements help illustrate concepts, showcase product demonstrations or provide real-life examples, making your proposal more engaging and memorable.

business proposal for investors

7. Incorporating interactive elements

Depending on the platform or setting of your presentation, incorporating interactive elements can enhance engagement. Live polls, Q&A sessions or group exercises encourage active participation, clarification and a deeper understanding of your proposal. Creating opportunities for interaction keeps your audience engaged and invested in the presentation.

8. Testing the readability and accessibility of your slides

Ensure that your slides are easily readable on different devices and screen sizes. Test for color blindness accessibility by using tools or viewing your presentation in grayscale. Consider incorporating alt text for images to make your presentation accessible to visually impaired individuals. Ensuring readability and accessibility demonstrates your commitment to inclusivity and professionalism.

business proposal for investors

Sometimes, using a simple presentation template makes all the difference as they promote effective communication, minimizes confusion and ensures that the audience can grasp the main points effortlessly. Try it out for your next presentation!

9. practice, practice and practice again.

Even the most well-prepared presentation can fall flat if you stumble through it. So, practice, practice and practice some more. Rehearse your presentation until you feel comfortable and confident. Pay attention to your tone, pace and body language. Incorporate pauses for emphasis, maintain eye contact and engage with your audience. I promise — the more you practice, the more comfortable and effective you’ll become as a presenter.

10. Ending with a memorable closing statement

Leave a lasting impression by crafting a memorable closing statement. Summarize the key benefits of your proposal, reinforce its importance or leave your audience with a thought-provoking quote. End your presentation with a call to action that inspires action and demonstrates the urgency of taking the next steps.

business proposal for investors

Ready to get started? Pick from these engaging presentation templates that can get your audience hooked on your presentation till the end.

Your business proposal presentation can be the key to securing new clients, partnerships or investment opportunities. That said, delivering a winning presentation requires careful planning, effective communication and a deep understanding of your audience’s needs. 

Follow these 8 essential steps to deliver a persuasive and impactful business proposal presentation:

Step 1: Understand the requirements

Before diving into your business proposal presentation, take the time to clearly understand the requirements. Familiarize yourself with the format, time limit, submission date and any specific guidelines provided by the audience or client. This ensures that you meet their expectations and deliver a presentation that aligns with their needs.

Step 2: Research your audience

To make a lasting impact, conduct thorough research on your audience. Gain insights into their industry, needs, challenges and goals. This information allows you to tailor your presentation to their specific interests, speak their language and demonstrate the relevance of your proposal. It will also help you show that you understand their pain points and present your solution as the perfect fit for their requirements.

For example, this business proposal presentation targets food entrepreneurs and manufacturers who are passionate about the plant-based lifestyle to attract franchisees for their local green ingredients franchise. 

business proposal for investors

Step 3: Plan your content

A well-organized presentation keeps your audience engaged and makes your proposal more compelling. Develop a clear and logical structure to help strengthen your message and deliver a winning business proposal presentation. Define the key points you want to convey and outline the flow of information and make sure your content effectively addresses the audience’s pain points and emphasizes the benefits of your proposal. 

The opening moments of your presentation hold immense power – check out these 15 ways to start a presentation to set the stage and captivate your audience.

Step 4: Create compelling slides

Design visually appealing slides that support your content and enhance its impact. Use a consistent template that aligns with your branding and maintains a professional look. Incorporate high-quality visuals such as relevant images, charts or graphs to convey information effectively. 

Creativity is important but keep the design clean, uncluttered and focused on conveying your message clearly. Remember, visually engaging slides capture attention and reinforce your professionalism.

business proposal for investors

Don’t know where to start? Here are 5 ways how you can design winner presentation slides . Or you could browse our library of creative presentation templates that’ll easily set your presentation apart from competitors.

Step 5: engage your audience.

Active audience engagement is key to a successful business proposal presentation. Encourage interaction throughout your presentation by asking thought-provoking questions, seeking input or incorporating interactive elements like polls or group exercises. Show genuine interest in your audience’s feedback and questions as this builds rapport and demonstrates that you value their perspective. Engaging your audience creates a dynamic and memorable experience.

Giving an online presentation? Here are some tips on how to adapt your in-person presentation into a virtual presentation that will leave a lasting impression. 

Step 6: communicate with clarity.

Focus on the key messages and benefits of your proposal. Clear communication is vital to conveying your ideas effectively, so be sure to use language that is easily understandable and free from jargon. Support your points with concrete examples or stories that resonate with your audience. By communicating with clarity, you ensure that your message is easily comprehensible and memorable.

business proposal for investors

Step 7: Adapt and respond

Flexibility is crucial when delivering a business proposal presentation. Pay close attention to your audience’s reactions, questions and feedback. Be prepared to adapt your presentation on the fly to address their specific needs and concerns. 

The trick is to listen attentively and respond thoughtfully, demonstrating your ability to cater to their requirements. This flexibility and responsiveness build trust and show that you genuinely care about meeting their expectations.

Step 8: Follow up

After concluding your presentation, don’t let the momentum fade away. Follow up with your audience to address any remaining questions, provide additional information or clarify any points. 

Following up with your audience helps maintain the relationship and keeps the conversation going. By staying in touch, you demonstrate your commitment to their success and increase the chances of moving forward with your proposal.

Have another round of presentations coming up? Give it your best with these tips on how to improve your presentation skills . 

A business proposal presentation is not just a chance to present your business idea; it’s a prime opportunity to showcase the unique value, potential and profitability of your business concept 

By following the tips and tricks in this article, I’m confident that business professionals like you can easily win over potential investors and prospective clients.

Venngage offers a wide range of pre-designed templates specifically tailored for business proposals. With the help of Venngage’s presentation maker , creating visually appealing and professional business proposal presentations becomes easier than ever.

Step 1: Sign up for a Venngage account (P.S. It’s free!). 

Step 2:  Browse through Venngage’s template library and choose a business presentation template that suits your needs (they’re all created by our expert in-house designers).

Step 3: Replace the placeholder text in the template with content from your business proposals.

Step 4: Customize your business presentation in just a few clicks with our user-friendly drag-and-drop editor tool. Modify various elements such as text, colors, fonts, backgrounds and layout. Enhance your presentation with visual aids such as images, icons, charts and graphs.

Step 5: Share your presentation publicly or upgrade to a business account to export the presentation to PowerPoint or PDF. You can also choose to present straight from Venngage’s presentation software.

business proposal for investors

Exxon Suit Should Prod SEC to Tighten Shareholder Proposal Rules

Lawrence Cunningham

ExxonMobil Corp. recently attracted significant attention after suing two climate activists who sent a shareholder proposal asking that the company set stringent targets to slash its greenhouse gas emissions and those of its customers.

If implemented, the proposal would effectively place a hard limit on the company’s growth and ability to deliver returns for its shareholders, a clear misuse of a process intended to give shareholders a voice on important issues that affect their economic interests.

However, shortly after being confronted with the prospect of having a court of law—instead of the Securities and Exchange Commission—review whether their proposal was legal, the activists, Arjuna Capital and Follow This, decided to withdraw . Their action is likely tacit acknowledgment that the proposal ran afoul of the SEC’s rules governing shareholder proposals.

While this episode may appear to be an Exxon-specific issue, it’s a sign of a bigger problem: how the SEC has allowed the misuse of shareholder proposals by a few individuals and groups with private agendas despite their own rules. Activists now routinely use the process to promote political causes, regardless of how they affect the company’s shareholders or its bottom line.

In the past, companies could rely on the SEC to act as a neutral referee and apply its rules to let companies exclude such proposals. But Exxon lost trust in the SEC, fearing that it wouldn’t get a fair hearing under its current leadership. That is why Exxon isn’t dropping their lawsuit, as they explained: “We believe there are still important issues for the court to resolve.”

Specifically, the SEC’s rules seek to screen out proposals that are illegal, irrelevant, or inappropriate. For example, shareholders must own a minimum amount of stock for a certain time to file proposals. Companies can exclude proposals that interfere with their daily operations or that have been voted down repeatedly.

These filters are necessary because political proposals are cheap publicity tools for activists, but costly and burdensome for companies and other shareholders. They create distraction , expense, and litigation risk. They also pressure boards to make decisions that may harm the company or its shareholders.

The Exxon case is a perfect example. The activists have filed a shareholder proposal that Exxon’s owners have rejected twice before. Rather than help Exxon, the proposal would force the company to abandon its core business and invest in new ones, overriding its management’s judgment on product mix or research and development.

But two years ago, the SEC reinterpreted their rules in a way that has eroded confidence in the agency. Specifically, its staff said it would no longer let companies exclude proposals as irrelevant if they raised a socially significant issue—such as abortion, guns, race, or climate.

This weakening of the filter led to a surge in political proposals and a drop in the SEC’s willingness to exclude them. Other shareholders show little interest and average support for political proposals fell by half and only 3% won a majority. Tellingly, most political shareholder proposals come from a handful of activists.

The SEC’s leadership has also proposed to weaken the filters even more. For instance, it wants to make it easier for political activists to resubmit rejected proposals by changing the wording slightly from year to year.

Given this situation, it’s important for the court to affirm Exxon’s opinion and push the commission to properly enforce their rules. Expect other companies to follow. This may immediately restore some rationality to the shareholder proposal process.

If that happens, activist groups will have to shift resources to the many other ways to pursue their goals, without abusing the SEC’s rule. They can campaign, lobby, advertise, or use social media. They can also invest in or divest from companies they like or dislike.

Congress created the SEC with a single simple mandate: to protect investors—not facilitate political debate. Contemporary pressures have distracted it from that role. The Exxon lawsuit is likely to restore its priorities, but the effects on the SEC’s reputation are harder to predict.

The case is Exxon Mobil Corporation v. Arjuna Capital, LLC , N.D. Tex., Docket No. 4:24-cv-00069, complaint filed 1/21/24.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg Industry Group, Inc., the publisher of Bloomberg Law and Bloomberg Tax, or its owners.

Author Information

Lawrence Cunningham is special counsel at Mayer Brown and professor emeritus at George Washington University, but the views expressed above are his own.

Write for Us: Author Guidelines

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jada Chin at [email protected] ; Daniel Xu at [email protected]

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More From Forbes

How to ensure business continuity in the face of internet disruptions.

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Ryan is the President and Chief Operations Officer of GeoLinks , a leading Internet and Digital Voice Provider.

Businesses that want to remain competitive need to proactively plan for unforeseen circumstances that could potentially hinder business continuity, such as internet disruptions. When your internet connection goes down, it not only disrupts your communication channels internally but also cuts you off from vital external stakeholders such as suppliers, customers, distributors and sales partners. Additionally, the reliance on cloud applications and the potential loss of revenue further highlights the urgency for businesses to prioritize measures that ensure uninterrupted operations in the face of internet disruptions.

Throughout my career in telecommunications, I've observed that strategic technology investments are vital to guarantee seamless business operations. Rather than adopting a passive stance, business leaders should actively seek out and invest in innovative strategies and solutions that safeguard business continuity.

Below are three key things businesses should consider to ensure business continuity in 2024.

1. Network Redundancy

The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the necessity for flexible working options and forced many businesses to transition into remote models. Even after the pandemic, a significant percentage of companies retain a remote work option. According to Buffer, 64% of companies were fully remote in 2023 and this trend will likely continue, with a prediction that 32.6 million Americans will work remotely by 2025. Network redundancy, the process of data flowing seamlessly when a primary network component or link fails, becomes critical as businesses rely heavily on consistent and stable internet connectivity for both in-office and remote work setups, making it important to maintain business continuity.

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Having internet failover—a backup internet connection that creates redundancy—in place helps safeguard your business from the vulnerabilities of single-connection failure. Technologies like software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN) can easily establish and manage internet failover protection for a single-branch or multi-branch operation. At GeoLinks, for example, we maintain multiple internet paths and diverse connectivity options to guarantee 100% uptime for our business clients and team.

Business leaders should diversify technological investments, including a dedicated fixed wireless circuit, a fiber connection, a 5G hotspot, or other alternatives to mitigate risks and avoid dependency on a single solution.

2. Disaster Recovery Plan

In light of the recent outage that left businesses in south Dallas without internet, the importance of having a disaster recovery plan for internet disruptions becomes even more evident. According to a LogicMonitor study, 96% of organizations experience an outage in a 3-year period, while 95% experienced at least one brownout, defined as "an occasion when less electric power than usual is supplied to an area."

Given that internet connectivity is critical for modern businesses, a well-structured disaster recovery plan is crucial for minimizing the impact on business continuity during unforeseen events, such as bad weather, a cyberattack or system failures. This plan should outline how to quickly restore internet connectivity and minimize the impact of internet disruptions.

To develop an effective plan, businesses should start by conducting a thorough assessment of their current network infrastructure. Identifying potential vulnerabilities and single points of failure is key to shoring up defenses against unexpected outages. Gathering feedback from managers and employees is equally important, as their insights can reveal overlooked aspects and areas that may not have been fully addressed in the initial planning stages.

Integrating diverse technologies, like long-term evolution (LTE), can help improve a disaster recovery plan. LTE is a high-speed wireless communication standard that quickly fills the gap when the primary connection is disrupted. Well-designed networks utilize diverse technologies. Leveraging these technological resources helps to maintain productivity, guarantee smooth communication with stakeholders and safeguard revenue streams.

3. Unified Communications

As technology continues to evolve, the importance of adapting and incorporating these advancements for business continuity increases. Unified communications (UC), which integrates different communication tools into a single system, helps with the modern demand for on-the-go business connectivity.

One key element of unified communications is the incorporation of digital voice technologies. Such technologies allow businesses to make and receive calls via high-speed broadband internet connections, replacing the need for traditional phone lines. Consequently, businesses can maintain seamless communication regardless of location.

Artificial intelligence (AI) can be further leveraged for business continuity, with a 2022 Deloitte survey revealing that 76% of respondents plan to increase investments in AI to gain more operational benefits. In terms of business continuity, AI enables automated customer service outside regular business hours. Incorporating tools like digital voice and AI ensures businesses can operate more smoothly and maintain continuity.

Maintaining business continuity requires planning and investment.

As business leaders, it’s important to recognize that no company is exempt from unexpected disruptions. By investing in network redundancy, establishing disaster recovery plans and embracing technology advancements like UC and AI, businesses can optimize operational efficiency, revenue and long-term success.

Forbes Business Council is the foremost growth and networking organization for business owners and leaders. Do I qualify?

Ryan Adams

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Wall Street’s Climate Retreat

BlackRock, JPMorgan Chase and State Street are quitting or scaling back their ties to an influential global investment coalition.

By Andrew Ross Sorkin ,  Ravi Mattu ,  Bernhard Warner ,  Sarah Kessler ,  Michael J. de la Merced ,  Lauren Hirsch and Ephrat Livni

Protesters on a Manhattan street hold up a banner that questions BlackRock’s commitment to protecting the climate.

A $14 trillion exit

Climate hawks have long questioned the financial industry’s commitment to sustainable investing. But few foresaw JPMorgan Chase and State Street quitting Climate Action 100+, a global investment coalition that has been pushing companies to decarbonize. Meanwhile, BlackRock, the world’s biggest asset manager, scaled back its ties to the group.

All told, the moves amount to a nearly $14 trillion exit from an organization meant to marshal Wall Street’s clout to expand the climate agenda.

The retreat jolted the political landscape. Representative Jim Jordan, the Ohio Republican who compared the coalition to a “ cartel ” forcing businesses to cut emissions, called for more financial companies to follow suit. And Brad Lander, New York City’s comptroller, accused the firms of “caving into the demands of right-wing politicians funded by the fossil-fuel industry.”

The companies say they’re committed to the climate cause. JPMorgan said it had built an in-house sustainable investment team to focus on green issues. And BlackRock will maintain some ties to the coalition: It has transferred its membership to an international entity.

A recent shift by Climate Action raised red flags. Last summer, the group shifted its focus from pressuring companies to disclose their net-zero progress to getting them to reduce emissions.

State Street said the new priorities compromised its “independent approach to proxy voting and portfolio company management.” And BlackRock, which has become a political lightning rod over its embrace of climate considerations in investing, said those tactics “would raise legal considerations, particularly in the U.S.” (Hence the transfer to an overseas division.)

Political heat on environmental issues remains high. House Republicans, including Jordan, have opened an investigation into the firm and other Wall Street giants into whether their support of environmental, social and corporate governance considerations for investing violates antitrust rules.

Thomas DiNapoli, New York State’s comptroller, told DealBook that he was “disappointed” by private asset managers backing away from the climate group. (He announced on Thursday that the pension fund for the state’s government workers would restrict investments in Exxon and seven other oil and gas companies because of their sustainability track record.)


The S.E.C. approves the deal to take Donald Trump’s social network public. Shares in Digital World Acquisition Corporation, the blank-check company that agreed to merge with Trump’s Truth Social, jumped 16 percent on the news . At current prices, Trump’s stake in the post-merger company is worth nearly $4 billion on paper.

The Justice Department reportedly plans to review the proposed sports super-app. Antitrust officials will examine the joint venture that would combine content from Disney, Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery for potential harm to consumers and sports leagues, according to Bloomberg. Company executives say the venture is meant to address cord-cutting and won’t enable collusion, but skeptics say it would reduce competition for sports rights.

A Chinese electric vehicle giant is said to be weighing building a factory in Mexico. BYD, which recently surpassed Tesla as the world’s biggest seller of E.V.s, is reviewing potential locations for a plant , according to The Wall Street Journal. That could enable the carmaker to export to the U.S. without incurring hefty tariffs, but it would face stiff opposition from American rivals.

The soccer superstar Kylian Mbappé plans to say goodbye to Paris Saint-Germain. Mbappé told the French club that he will leave when his $215-million-per-year contract expires at the end of the season, raising questions about which team could afford him. (Betting odds are on Real Madrid of Spain.) In other sports news, Rob Manfred said he’ll step down as commissioner of Major League Baseball in 2029.

New pressure to tighten the reins on A.I.

The race to advance the field of artificial intelligence is growing more intense. The latest: OpenAI on Thursday unveiled Sora , a product that can generate Hollywood-quality (for the most part) videos from text prompts within a matter of seconds.

OpenAI’s new tool, and others like it, will undoubtedly put more pressure on regulators to put limits on A.I., especially given the dangers the technology poses for upcoming elections should it fall into the wrong hands.

Sora shows how quickly A.I. is advancing. Ten months ago, versions of the video-generating technology produced four-second clips that were blurry and choppy. OpenAI’s product, by contrast, makes 60-second content that resembles work from a major studio.

Sora is far from the only video-from-text generator out there; Google, Meta and others are also on the case.

That alarms A.I. watchdogs. “I am absolutely terrified that this kind of thing will sway a narrowly contested election,” Oren Etzioni of the University of Washington told The Times. Regulators are already wary of A.I.’s potential for election mischief, given incidents like a series of robocalls in New Hampshire that featured faked comments masquerading as President Biden’s.

Part of new A.I. legislation that Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York has proposed — broadly meant to criminalize some deceptive uses of the technology — includes requiring the disclosure of A.I. use in all political communications.

Tech giants are aware of the risks. OpenAI’s Sam Altman said at the World Economic Forum last month that he was wary of how his company’s products might be misused. Companies like Meta are also pushing for industrywide steps like labeling A.I.-generated content .

OpenAI isn’t releasing Sora widely yet, with researchers and others testing it first. The company will also tag Sora-produced videos with watermarks identifying it as A.I. generated, though those can be removed and are difficult to spot.

It’s unclear how far companies are willing to go to restrain the promising technologies. Lessons might be learned from their efforts to police political content: Katie Harbath, a former public policy executive at Meta’s Facebook, told The Wall Street Journal that tech platforms are struggling with what is permissible and which penalties are acceptable. “A lot of them have been more like, ‘It’s probably better for us to be as hands-off as possible,’” she said.

In other A.I. news: Altman has reportedly sought to play down how much money he’s seeking to reshape the A.I. chip industry. And the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected OpenAI’s effort to trademark “GPT.”

“A reminder that nobody from @FTC will ever give you a badge number, ask you to confirm your Social Security number, ask how much money you have in your bank account, transfer you to a CIA agent, or send you texts out of the blue.”

— Lina Khan , the F.T.C. chair, responding to an article in The Cut by Charlotte Cowles, a financial columnist, about how she got scammed out of $50,000 that has since gone viral.

The typo that caused an “eye-watering” stock rally

In a week full of market-moving head scratchers — including the hotter-than-expected inflation report — the earnings release typo that briefly spurred a huge rally in Lyft’s stock still stands out.

“I don’t recall anything quite so egregious, where we had a stock go up basically 60-plus percent after hours,” Steve Sosnick, the chief strategist at Interactive Brokers, told DealBook. “It was eye-watering.”

A recap: On Tuesday, Lyft told investors that it expected its profit margin to grow this year by 500 basis points, or 5 percent, well above what market watchers were expecting.

… Except that the company later said the release should have read 50 basis points, or 0.5 percent. “This was a bad error,” David Risher, Lyft’s C.E.O., told Bloomberg , “but it was one zero in a press release.”

That “one zero” was a big deal. The company’s shares jumped 62 percent in a matter of minutes, adding hundreds of millions in market value, then sank when the company clarified the number. (It rallied again on Thursday after a slew of analysts upgraded their price targets for the stock.)

The initial surge was a reminder of the ubiquity of A.I.-driven electronic trading, and how the technology can trigger a market frenzy . “The algorithms are faster at reading the data than people are,” Sosnick said. When bots read an extra zero in an earnings release, they are programmed to pounce. In the case of Lyft, it was buy, buy, buy.

Wall Street has grown dependent on algorithms for well over a decade, with sophisticated retail investors following suit. Advances in natural-language processing, a branch of artificial intelligence, enable these programs to comb market-moving events — including company press releases, newswire stories, social media posts — and trade on it.

Expect these systems to be focused on Friday’s University of Michigan consumer sentiment report and next week’s Nvidia earnings report.

A.I. proponents want to take things further, using generative A.I., the technology behind chatbots like ChatGPT, to make these systems quicker and smarter . (Of course, these systems still have significant flaws, including their occasionally hallucinating — tech speak for “making stuff up.”)


Barclays is reportedly fielding offers from private equity firms like Brookfield Asset Management and CVC Capital for its payments business, which could be valued at $1.3 billion . (Bloomberg)

The latest hedge fund bet is on cocoa , to the tune of $8.7 billion. (FT)

A former executive at BlackRock is setting up shop at Lingotto, the investment firm backed by the billionaire Agnelli family, to make deals involving esoteric assets . (WSJ)

Amazon is contending that the National Labor Relations Board is unconstitutional , a legal argument recently advanced by SpaceX and Trader Joe’s. (NYT)

“New York City is suing TikTok and Instagram for ‘addicting’ children ” (The Verge)

Best of the rest

Aleksei Navalny , the Russian opposition leader, collapsed and died at the penal colony where he was being detained, according to state media. (NYT)

Boston faces a tax deficit of nearly $1 billion as the office-building crisis intensifies. (Bloomberg)

“The Insatiable Ambition of LeBron James ” (WSJ)

We’d like your feedback! Please email thoughts and suggestions to [email protected] .

Andrew Ross Sorkin is a columnist and the founder and editor at large of DealBook. He is a co-anchor of CNBC’s "Squawk Box" and the author of “Too Big to Fail.” He is also a co-creator of the Showtime drama series "Billions." More about Andrew Ross Sorkin

Ravi Mattu is the managing editor of DealBook, based in London. He joined The New York Times in 2022 from the Financial Times, where he held a number of senior roles in Hong Kong and London. More about Ravi Mattu

Bernhard Warner is a senior editor for DealBook, a newsletter from The Times, covering business trends, the economy and the markets. More about Bernhard Warner

Sarah Kessler is an editor for the DealBook newsletter and writes features on business and how workplaces are changing. More about Sarah Kessler

Michael de la Merced joined The Times as a reporter in 2006, covering Wall Street and finance. Among his main coverage areas are mergers and acquisitions, bankruptcies and the private equity industry. More about Michael J. de la Merced

Lauren Hirsch joined The Times from CNBC in 2020, covering deals and the biggest stories on Wall Street. More about Lauren Hirsch

Ephrat Livni reports from Washington on the intersection of business and policy for DealBook. Previously, she was a senior reporter at Quartz, covering law and politics, and has practiced law in the public and private sectors.   More about Ephrat Livni

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Treasury proposes rule to extend anti-money laundering regs to investment advisers


  • The Treasury Department's corruption watchdog on Tuesday issued new proposed regulations to require investment advisers to abide by anti-money laundering (AML) rules similar to what banks do.
  • The new rules, if adopted, would require covered investment advisers to file Suspicious Activity Reports, SARs, to FinCEN, and to disclose additional client information.
  • They would apply to investment advisers who are registered with or report to the Securities Exchange Commission.

The Treasury Department's corruption watchdog on Tuesday issued new proposed regulations that would extend major pieces of the anti-money laundering (AML) rules that apply to banks to some investment advisers.

The new rules , from the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN , would require covered investment advisers to file Suspicious Activity Reports, SARs, to FinCEN, and to disclose additional information about their clients under specific circumstances.

The new rules would apply to investment advisers who are registered with or report to the Securities Exchange Commission, leaving out what FinCEN estimates to be at least 17,000 state-registered investment advisers.

The proposed regulations stop short of requiring investment advisers to adopt formal customer identification programs, like banks do. Nor would they mandate that advisers report the beneficial ownership information to FinCEN for their clients that are legal entities, like LLCs.

But these few exemptions may not last very long. FinCEN said it intends to pursue both of these regulations in the near future, according to a fact sheet about Tuesday's AML proposal.

Investment advisers manage tens of trillions of dollars, but until now, they have been largely exempt from the AML regulations arising from the 1970 Bank Secrecy Act and subsequent legislation. These rules govern banks and other " financial institutions ," as defined by FinCEN, like stock brokers and casinos.

"Right now there is a patchwork regulatory coverage in the investment advisor sector," FinCEN director Andrea Gacki said on a call with reporters on Monday. "These gaps in regulations allow illicit actors to shop around for an advisor who does not need to inquire about their source of wealth."

Treasury investigations have found that money launderers, tax evaders and other criminal actors exploit U.S. investment advisers as an "entry point to invest in U.S. securities, real estate, and other assets," according to a FinCEN statement.

In some of these cases, officials found instances of China and Russia investing in "early-stage" companies to access sensitive data and new technologies.

FinCEN has been trying to fill in these cracks for over two decades.

In 2003 and 2015 , FinCEN proposed similar rules that would have expanded BSA provisions to cover investment advisers.. to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. But in both instances, the rules were never finalized.

Tuesday's announcement marks the third attempt, and comes amid a "tremendous surge in the use of investment advisors for illicit finance," a senior FinCEN official said.

"We've seen abuse of investments by nation-state actors, Russia, China...oligarchs relying on us investment advisors to to move, to hide their funds."


Millennial millionaires are maxing out an investment account that offers a triple tax benefit. Here's how it works and who's allowed to open one.

  • A health savings account offers a triple tax advantage, making it an attractive investment tool.
  • To use an HSA, you have to be enrolled in a high-deductible health plan.
  • Financially savvy people are maxing out HSAs, not touching the money, and letting it grow tax-free.

If you want to avoid taxes, a health savings account is one of the best accounts to use because of its triple tax advantage.

HSAs were introduced in 2003 when Congress passed the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act. They were designed to help people with high-deductible health plans, or HDHPs, save for health-related expenses, but financially savvy individuals are using them to enhance their retirement nest eggs.

Brennan Schlagbaum, who paid off more than $300,000 worth of debt with his wife, Erin, before building a net worth of nearly $2 million, has his investments spread across seven types of accounts . "My HSA is my favorite by far," he told Business Insider.

BI verified the Schlagbaums' net worth by looking at account screenshots and a copy of their personal balance sheet.

How an HSA works and who can open one 

An HSA is a savings vehicle that lets you contribute pretax dollars for health costs, but it can also be used as an investment tool.

As with an IRA, you can invest your HSA balance in mutual funds, stocks, or ETFs, depending on what the plan offers. Note that some HSA administrators require you to hold a minimum cash balance in the HSA outside what you invest.

Also, like an IRA, an HSA has a contribution limit. In 2024, individuals can contribute up to $4,150, while the limit for families is $8,300. If you're 55 or older, you can contribute an extra $1,000.

What sets the HSA apart from other investment vehicles is its three-pronged tax benefit: You can contribute pretax dollars (reducing your taxable income), your contributions and earnings grow tax-free over time, and you can withdraw your money tax-free to cover qualified medical expenses (including things like copays, lab fees, and vaccines).

If you withdraw money for something other than a qualified medical expense, you'll pay ordinary income taxes on the withdrawal and owe a 20% early-withdrawal penalty — that's if you're under 65. After 65, you can use your HSA money to cover any expense without incurring a penalty, but the funds are subject to income tax.

HSAs don't have a "use it or lose it" policy like flexible spending accounts, another savings vehicle that can help with healthcare costs. Any unused funds in your HSA automatically roll over to the next year.

To use an HSA, you have to be enrolled in an HDHP, a type of health-insurance plan that typically has lower monthly premiums but higher out-of-pocket costs.

Additionally, to qualify, you cannot be enrolled in Medicare, and you cannot be claimed as a dependent on another person's tax return.

An HDHP isn't the best choice for everyone. It's typically well suited for people who are very healthy, don't plan on seeking medical care frequently, and have the liquidity to cover potentially high out-of-pocket expenses. You'll want to compare plans and look closely at the deductible and out-of-pocket max before signing up for an HDHP.

The millennial millionaire strategy: Maxing out the plan, not touching the money, and letting it grow tax-free

Since an HSA allows you to invest your savings, if you can cover your medical expenses out of pocket and let your HSA funds grow tax-free over time, you could have a sizable account by the time you hit retirement.

Say you opened an account at 30 and deposited $100 each month into an S&P 500 index fund. Assuming an 8% return, by the time you hit 70, you'd have over $310,000 in that account alone. If you deposited $345 a month (roughly the max you can contribute as an individual in 2024), you'd end up with over $1 million by 70.

That's what the Schlagbaums are doing: maxing out their account. While they technically can use their HSA funds for medical costs, they opt not to touch that money so it can grow.

"I'm going to let that money sit there and invest for years to come," Schlagbaum said.

The contribution limit is "a sign that it's a really good account from a tax-savings perspective," he added. "We want to max it out and leave that money in there because it's a huge benefit the government is giving us."

Lauren and Steven Keys, who built their seven-figure net worth through savvy saving and investing habits , also max out their HSA.

Like the Schlagbaums, the Keyses could use their HSA funds for their medical costs, but they prefer to pay out of pocket with their cash flow so their HSA funds can remain untouched.

"We save all the receipts from all our health-related expenses, which you're allowed to save for an indefinite period of time," Steven Keys said. That way, they can reimburse themselves from their HSA at any time. "We haven't needed the money, so we haven't done it, but that's available."

The Schlagbaums do the same thing. They save every health-related receipt in an email folder and track their health-related expenses in an Excel spreadsheet.

"The Excel template says the date, the time, what it was for, and the amount, and then I can cross-reference to my email folder," Schlagbaum said. "So in the future, I could pull, let's call it, $30,000, theoretically. I'm not going to; I'm going to let it sit there and invest. That's the whole point."

business proposal for investors

Watch: Mark Cuban explains why a 401(k) is a no-brainer

business proposal for investors

  • Main content


  1. 10 Investment Proposal Template to Use [+ Quick Guide]

    An investment proposal is a document that showcases your business as a suitable opportunity for potential investors who have shown interest in your company. This document details crucial information such as your company's objectives, market analysis , plan of action, budget and a clear return on investment (ROI) strategy.

  2. How to Write Investment Proposals to Get Funded Every Time

    Writing a business proposal for investors is a critical step in securing funding for your business. It's your chance to make a compelling case to potential investors about why your business is a worthy investment. A well-crafted proposal can be the difference between securing the funds you need and missing out on a crucial opportunity. Let's ...

  3. How To Write A Proposal For Investors: The Ultimate Guide for 2021

    Learn how to write a persuasive and comprehensive investment proposal for investors with this ultimate guide. Find out what to include, how to structure, and what tips to follow. Get tips on market research, customer analysis, financial report, exit strategy, and more.

  4. How to Write an Investment Proposal [Guide with Examples]

    A business proposal for investors starts with a cover page, followed by a table of contents. The body of the document should begin with an executive summary. In this summary, you should include your value proposition - that is, a short statement that conveys information about your target customer, their problem, your proposed solution, and ...

  5. Investment proposals 101: How to write a business proposal for investors

    Though business proposals for investors can definitely get complicated, at their core, their concept is pretty simple. An investment proposal is a carefully constructed presentation, crafted for potential investors, that describes your business's purpose and goals. This presentation is a tool for finding partners and investors who might want ...

  6. Investor Proposal Template

    An investor proposal, also known as an investment proposal or a business proposal, is a document that is created to obtain funds from potential investors. These potential investors can be VCs, angel investors, funding groups, an independent entity, etc.

  7. How to Write the Best Business Proposal for Investors

    How to write a business proposal for potential investors. 4. Structure your professional business proposal (top elements) 1. Newoldstamp - Email signature marketing. 2. Mailchimp - Email builder and sender. 3. Hubspot Email Marketing - Marketing automation platform.

  8. How to Write a Convincing Business Plan for Investors

    Investors will inevitably want to see your financial forecasts. You'll need a sales forecast, expense budget, cash flow forecast, profit and loss, and balance sheet. If you have historical results, you should plan on sharing those too as well as any other key metrics about your business.

  9. How to Write a Business Plan For Investors

    Identify the three to four key factors that make your company a great opportunity and make sure they're included in this section. 3. Team Overview. This is where you introduce your team and how you'll work together to bring the business to life. An ideal Team Overview section makes the case not only that your team is the right team for the ...

  10. How to Write a Business Plan That Investors Will Like

    Here are eight sections that a business plan should include: Executive Summary: This is an overview of the rest of your business plan. It will summarize things like your mission statement, plans, goals, structure, and financial needs. Keep this section short. Company Description: This section will identify the key parts of your business model ...

  11. How To Write An Investment Proposal: A Guide + Free Template

    Show your market research. It's also a good idea to include the results of your market research in your investment proposal creation. This is your way of showing potential investors how knowledgeable you are about your product and its market. Show how your product can be profitable and how you intend to make that happen.

  12. How to Write a Business Proposal (+ Examples & FREE Templates)

    Here are the essential elements to include: Your name along with your company's name. The name of the prospect (or their business) The date you're submitting the proposal. CREATE THIS PROPOSAL TEMPLATE. The gray business consulting proposal template above contains all the details a prospect would want to know.

  13. How to Write a Business Proposal [Examples + Template]

    Here's an example of what a business proposal template looks like when done right: 2. Explain your "why" with an executive summary. The executive summary details exactly why you're sending the proposal and why your solution is the best for the prospective client. Specificity is key here.

  14. Free Investment Proposal Template

    Proposal templates. Choose, create and customize your perfect business proposal, bid proposal or project proposal with our free templates. Quickly create professional proposal documents which cover your project's objectives, scope, milestones and budget - and grab your client's attention immediately. Find the proposal template that you need ...

  15. How to Write a Business Proposal in 2024 (+ Templates)

    Template #13: Conference Proposal. Propose your event planning services to clients with an interactive digital document that will grab their attention and make them want to get in touch immediately. Include proposals in the sales cycle and offer sales reps a chance to personalize the document according to the client.

  16. How to Write an Investment Proposal For Startups?

    Identify the market gap, propose your solution, and outline project details. Research market competition, plan monetization, and present your team and financial needs. Finally, conclude with signatures. Lets go through the steps to write an investment proposal for startups: 1. Investment Title: Clearly state the title of your investment proposal.

  17. Investment Proposal: How to Prepare, Parts, and More

    An investment proposal is a document or presentation created to convince potential investors to invest in your small business. The proposal can cover operational funds in general or specific projects or goals. A successful investment proposal must: Be supported by the proper research. Have a convincing argument.

  18. How to pitch your business idea to investors

    Spend as much time on your script as you have on your slides. Practice in front of your team, friends, and family before your first call with an investor. " Start by writing your key messages as ...

  19. How to Write a Business Proposal

    A business proposal is a document you'd send to a prospective client, outlining the service you're offering, and explaining why you're the best person for the job. It's a pitch by a business or individual to complete a specific job or project, to supply a service, or, in some instances, to be the vendor of a certain product.

  20. How to Write a Business Proposal

    A business proposal is a document crafted to convince potential clients, investors, or partners to take a particular action, such as purchasing a product or service, investing in a project or forming a partnership.

  21. Write your business plan

    Learn how to write a business plan quickly and efficiently with a template. Choose between a traditional or lean startup format, depending on your needs and goals. Convince investors with a clear and concise description of your business, market, financials, and funding request.

  22. How To Write A Business Plan (2024 Guide)

    Describe Your Services or Products. The business plan should have a section that explains the services or products that you're offering. This is the part where you can also describe how they fit ...

  23. How To Create A Winning Business Proposal Presentation

    In the corporate landscape, a good business proposal presentation can be a game-changer to seal the deal with your prospective client or investors. Think of your business proposal presentations as your chance to showcase your groundbreaking ideas, products or services to potential clients, investors and stakeholders.

  24. Exxon Suit Should Prod SEC to Tighten Shareholder Proposal Rules

    The Exxon case is a perfect example. The activists have filed a shareholder proposal that Exxon's owners have rejected twice before. Rather than help Exxon, the proposal would force the company to abandon its core business and invest in new ones, overriding its management's judgment on product mix or research and development.

  25. How To Ensure Business Continuity In The Face Of Internet ...

    Artificial intelligence (AI) can be further leveraged for business continuity, with a 2022 Deloitte survey revealing that 76% of respondents plan to increase investments in AI to gain more ...

  26. BlackRock, JPMorgan and State Street Retreat From a Climate Group

    BlackRock, JPMorgan Chase and State Street are quitting or scaling back their ties to an influential global investment coalition. By Andrew Ross Sorkin, Ravi Mattu, Bernhard Warner, Sarah Kessler ...

  27. Sam Altman Seeks Trillions of Dollars to Reshape Business of Chips and

    The OpenAI chief executive is pursuing investors including the U.A.E. for a project possibly requiring as much as $7 trillion.

  28. Treasury proposes rule to extend anti-money laundering regs to ...

    FinCEN attempted to impose anti-money laundering rules on investment advisers in 2003 and 2015, but the proposals were never finalized.

  29. How an HSA works and who can open one

    A health savings account offers a triple tax advantage, making it an attractive investment tool. To use an HSA, you have to be enrolled in a high-deductible health plan. Financially savvy people ...