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How to Write a Business Proposal (Examples & Templates)
By Aditya Sheth , Nov 21, 2022
The great Mark Cuban once said, “Sales cure all.” If a business doesn’t sell, it doesn’t make money and by extension the business fails. That’s why you need to write business proposals.
A well-written business proposal can often mean the difference between winning or losing a prospective client.
In this in-depth guide to creating business proposals, we show you how to close more deals, make more sales and crush your business goals — all by using easy-to-edit professional business proposal templates.
Here’s what this guide will cover (click to jump ahead):
What is a business proposal, what should you include in a business proposal, business proposal format, what are the types of business proposals.
- How do you write a business proposal? Business proposal templates
More business proposal examples + writing and design tips
- FAQs about business proposals
Looking for a shortcut? Watch this quick video for an overview of everything to include in your business proposal:
An effective business proposal is a document used by a B2B or business-facing company (this may not always be the case) where a seller aims to persuade a prospective buyer into buying their goods or services.
A business proposal outlines what your business does and what you can do for your client. It can be general like this business proposal example:
Or it can be more specific, like this business proposal template which focuses on proposing a project for the Newton Center Rail:
Or this business proposal sample, which presents a plan for a social media strategy and campaign:
To design a business proposal that holds the client’s attention, identify their pain points . Then provide your buyer with the right solution to alleviate those frustrations.
Return to Table of Contents
A business proposal usually aims to answer 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
You can see how this sample business proposal template covers the above points.
Notice how this proposal template addresses the same project like in one of the previous templates, but uses a completely different design style (more retro, while the previous business proposal template is more modern and minimalistic).
You can remove or add more sections depending on the goal of your business proposal. Essential, your business proposal can follow this format:
Table of contents
Executive summary, the problem statement, the proposed solution, qualifications, the timeline, pricing, billing and legal, terms and conditions, the acceptance.
We go into detail on how you can write a business proposal (plus different business proposal templates you can apply the tips to) in the next section . But you can also click on the format items above to learn how you can best write them!
If you aim to create a holistic business proposal, feel free to just edit from the two templates right above. You can also add your brand colors and logo to your design, using My Brand Kit :
Here’s another example of a business proposal template that you can edit:
Generally, there are three types of business proposals:
1. Formally solicited
A formally solicited business proposal is made when you respond to an official request to write a business proposal.
In this scenario, you know all the requirements and have more (if not all) information about a prospective buyer. You simply need to write the business proposal for your buyer to evaluate so you can begin the sales process.
2. Informally solicited
Informally solicited business proposals are written when there isn’t an official request for a proposal. A prospective buyer is interested in your services and asks for a proposal so they can evaluate it.
An informally solicited proposal requires a lot more research from your end. These types of proposals are usually created out of informal conversations. They are not based on official requests which often contain more detail.
Think of this as a marketing brochure or a cold email . Unsolicited business proposals will often take a generic, one-size-fits-all approach to business proposals. Unsolicited proposals lack any understanding of the buyer or their requirements.
But with additional market research , personalization and identifying customer pain points , you can propose a customized solution based on your buyer’s needs. This can be a very persuasive approach, such as in this business proposal example:
How do you write a business proposal? Business proposal templates
Before you start creating your business proposal template, you need to know what it comprises. At a high level your effective business proposal should include the following:
Below, you can see business proposal examples that demonstrate how to include these 10 sections.
Business proposal title
A compelling title could mean the difference between someone reading your proposal or ignoring it in favor of a competitor’s.
What makes a good title page? 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
The gray business consulting proposal template above contains all the details a prospect would want to know. The title also offers a strong tangible benefit to the prospective buyer. Honestly, “Who doesn’t want to grow their business?”
Return to business proposal content sections
The table of contents is a fundamental part of every winning business proposal template. It makes your proposal scannable and easy to read.
The people you will be pitching to are usually C-level executives. These are busy people who don’t have time to read your entire proposal in one go.
That’s why most of the business proposal examples in this list include a table of contents.
Adding a table of contents to your document makes it easy for them to go through it at their own pace. They can also skim through parts of the proposal that they deem more important. You can see how this abstract business proposal template uses the table of contents:
You can also make your business proposal template easier to navigate by adding hyperlinks to the document, particularly in the table of contents. This way your clients can jump to specific sections without having to scroll through the entire document.
It’s easy to add hyperlinks in the Venngage editor. Select the text you’d like to turn into a link, then click the link icon in the top bar. From there, select the page you want to link to! Then download your completed design as an Interactive PDF .
The executive summary is a staple in all kinds of annual reports , project plans and even marketing plans . It is a concise summary of the entire contents of your document. In other words, write a business proposal outline that is easy to glance over and that highlights your value proposition.
The goals of your executive summary are:
- Introduce your company to your buyer
- Provide an overview of your company goals
- Showcase your company’s milestones, overall vision and future plans
- Include any other relevant details
This gray business proposal example has a detailed yet short executive summary including some social proof in the form of clients they’ve worked with:
Take note of how precise this business proposal example is. You want to keep your executive summary concise and clear from the get-go. This sets the right tone for the rest of your proposal. It also gives your buyer a reason to continue reading your proposal.
Pro Tip: Try to write an executive summary such that, even if your prospective client doesn’t read the entire proposal (with a good executive summary, they most likely will), they should have a clear idea about what your company does and how you can help them.
The point of writing a business proposal is to solve a buyer’s problem. Your goal is to outline the problem statement as clearly as possible. This develops a sense of urgency in your prospect. They will want to find a solution to the problem. And you have that solution.
A well-defined problem statement does two things:
- It shows the prospect you have done your homework instead of sending a generic pitch
- It creates an opportunity for you to point out a problem your prospect might not be aware they had in the first place.
This bold business proposal template above clearly outlines the problem at hand and also offers a ray of hope i.e. how you can solve your prospect’s problem. This brings me to…
The good stuff. In the proposed solution section, you show how you can alleviate your prospective buyer’s pain points. This can fit onto the problem statement section but if you have a comprehensive solution or prefer to elaborate on the details, a separate section is a good idea.
Spare no details regarding the solution you will provide. When you write a business proposal, explain how you plan to deliver the solution. Include an estimated timeline of when they can expect your solution and other relevant details.
For inspiration, look at how this business proposal template quickly and succinctly outlines the project plan, deliverables and metrics :
At this point, the prospect you’re pitching your solution to likes what they’re reading. But they may not trust you to deliver on your promises. Why is this?
It’s because they don’t know you. Your job is to convince them that you can fix their problem. This section is important because it acts as social proof. You can highlight what your company does best and how qualified your team is when you write a business proposal for a potential client.
This free business proposal template showcases the company’s accolades, client testimonials, relevant case studies, and industry awards. You can also include other forms of social proof to establish yourself as a credible business. This makes it that much more likely that they will say yes!
Pro Tip: Attaching in-depth case studies of your work is a great way to build trust with a potential client by showcasing how you’ve solved similar problems for other clients in the past. Our case study examples post can show you how to do just that.
To further demonstrate just how prepared you are, it’s important to outline the next steps you will take should your buyer decide to work with you.
Provide a timeline of how and when you will complete all your deliverables. You can do this by designing a flow chart . Or add a roadmap with deadlines. Pitching a long-term project? A timeline infographic would be a better fit.
If you look at this abstract business proposal template below, even something as simple as a table can do the trick.
The timeline is not always set in stone, rather it’s an estimation. The goal is to clarify any questions your potential client might have about how you will deliver for the underlying B2B sales process.
On this page, you can outline your fees, payment schedule, invoice payment terms , as well as legal aspects involved in this deal.
The key to good pricing is to provide your buyer with options. A pricing comparison table can help with this. You want to give your client some room to work with. Make sure you’re not scaring off your client with a high price, nor undervaluing yourself.
Breaking up your pricing in stages is another great way to make sure your potential client knows what he’s paying for. Look at how this simple business proposal template does this:
The legal aspects can slot right into the terms and conditions section. Alternatively, you can add them in the signature section of the proposal to keep things simple.
Summarize everything you have promised to deliver so far. Include what you expect from your prospective buyer in return. Add the overall project timeline from start to end, as well as payment methods and payment schedule. This way, both of you will be clear on what is being agreed on.
This step is very important as it outlines all the legal aspects of the deal. That is why the terms and conditions section of your proposal needs to be as clear as possible.
I recommend consulting a lawyer or your legal team when working on this section of the business proposal. If you’re a business veteran and understand the legalities of your business, you can use the same terms and conditions across all your proposals.
The final step of this whole process. Your client has read your business proposal and they want to buy what you have to offer.
Add a small section at the end of your proposal to get the necessary signatures. This way, you and your client can sign the proposal and the partnership becomes official.
Be sure to also include your contact information in your business proposal template. It acts as a gentle prompt to your client to contact you in case they have any questions.
Now that you know how to write a business proposal, let’s look at how you can optimize your proposal to deliver results!
Below you’ll find some winning business proposal templates and examples to get you started. I’ve also included some design tips to keep in mind when you’re creating your next business proposal:
1. Know your audience
If you have some clarity on who your ideal buyer is — their pain points, their budget, deadlines, among other things — you’ve already won half the battle.
If you are a business that helps clients with everything from running giveaways or helping grow their blog , identify which customers to pitch. This is a sure-shot way to close the deal.
Mapping user personas for your ideal buyer can help bring some clarity. It will also help you position your business proposal correctly. This improves the chance of your buyer moving your business proposal to the “Yes!” pile.
2. Put your brand front and center
If your company follows certain brand guidelines, incorporate them in your business proposal templates. Consider how business proposal examples like the one below highlight brand identity:
From the color palettes to the company logos , everything follows their brand guidelines. The result: a business proposal that’s consistent across the board.
Pro Tip: Switching this template to match your brand assets is actually pretty easy. Venngage’s My Brand Kit feature allows you to import your color palettes, logos as well as font choices. Any Venngage template can now be your template.
You can also consider this sample business proposal template:
Design companies sure do know their design. They did a phenomenal job keeping their brand colors consistent while opting for a black design. This unique color scheme also makes their white logo prominent throughout the proposal.
3. Try less text, more visuals
Have you ever read a proposal and thought to yourself, “Wow, this is all text and has no images, I love it!”? Yeah, me neither.
The free business proposal template below is a perfect example of the “less is more” principle. It does a phenomenal job of communicating what it needs to. By substituting some of the text with icons and visuals, you get a clean business proposal that’s much more scannable.
Want to keep things strictly professional? Instead of icons, you can always add your team’s headshots. This shows your buyer exactly who they’ll be working with.
Check out this formal business proposal format for some inspiration:
4. Switch up your business proposal designs
It doesn’t hurt to go above and beyond once in a while. Jazz up your business proposal template with some extra colors. This helps make your business proposal more engaging. It also helps your buyers retain information faster.
The business proposal example alternates between black, white and grey backgrounds. It still manages to maintain consistency in its branding . Just switching up your backgrounds once in a while can also bring in some variety to an otherwise standard business proposal.
This SEO business proposal sample proves that it’s possible to switch up the colors in every other page. But it still maintains the same color scheme across the entire proposal just like a professionally designed website :
Pro Tip: Not a color expert? Our guide on picking colors can help you pick the right color scheme for your proposals.
FAQ about business proposals
What is the purpose of a business proposal.
Essentially, a business proposal aims to streamline the B2B sales process (which is often complex) between you as a seller and a buyer.
It does this by serving the dual purpose of acting as a source of information. The proposal also acts as a sales pitch aimed at convincing your buyer why they should buy what you have to offer.
What are the best practices for business proposal design?
- Do a thorough spell-check. The goal of your business proposal is to convince your buyer why you’re the perfect person for the job. A proposal with typos or grammatical errors communicates the opposite. A thorough spell-check before you send your proposal is a must.
- Let your brand shine. As discussed before, writing a business proposal is all about knowing your ideal buyer and focusing on their pain points. But that doesn’t mean your business proposal template has to be boring. Demonstrate how different you are compared to other companies. You can do this through your brand guidelines, by using more visuals, switching up your proposal design or showing off your personality in your writing.
- Download your business proposal as a PDF. This allows you to attach other collaterals with your business proposal. These can include a company explainer video or case studies showcasing the work done with past clients. Also, who doesn’t love saving paper?
How long should your business proposal be?
The length depends on the scope of the work as well as the complexity of the project. Here is a one-page business proposal template:
Can your business proposal template really be one page? Yes, as long as you understand who your buyer is and their pain points. You should also have the ability to communicate everything your ideal buyer needs to know about your business in a succinct manner.
Or if you’re feeling adventurous how about just two pages? Often, clients prefer if you go straight to the point and avoid all the fluff.
For example, this green modern marketing proposal template wastes no time in getting down to brass tacks:
There is no one size fits all approach when it comes to deciding how many pages you should include in your business proposal template. And at the end of the day, “the only rules are the ones you set for yourself”.
At the end of the day, writing winning business proposals that sell is all about you understanding your buyer, their potential pain points and positioning yourself as someone who can alleviate those pain points.
Now that you know how to write compelling business proposals, what are you waiting for?
Take action and start creating your own business proposals to close more deals and grow your business today!
More business communications templates + writing tips you might be interested in…
31 Consulting Proposal Templates to Close Deals
How to Write a Project Proposal [10+ Templates]
20+ Professional Business Letterhead Templates + Branding Tips
How to Write a White Paper [Tips & Templates]
A legal disclosure document containing information about an investment offering to the public
What is a Prospectus?
A prospectus is a legal disclosure document that provides information about an investment offering to the public, and that is required to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or local regulator. The prospectus contains information about the company, its management team , recent financial performance , and other related information that investors would like to know.
Investors use the legal document to determine the growth and profitability prospects of the selling company to decide whether they will take part in the offering or not. In the U.S., the legal name of the public filing is an S-1 .
Prospectus for a stock or bond issue
When a company is issuing stocks or bonds , it publishes a prospectus to provide investors with all the information that they need to make an informed decision. The issuer provides both a preliminary and a final prospectus. A preliminary prospectus is the initial offering document that provides details about the proposed transaction. The final prospectus is offered when the offering’s been finalized and is being offered to the public for subscription.
Information in the final prospectus includes the number of shares issued, offering price, company’s financial data , risk factors, use of the proceeds, the dividend policy, and other relevant information. This information helps an investor make an informed decision on whether to invest in the company.
Prospectus for mutual funds
A mutual fund prospectus is a legal disclosure document that the SEC requires mutual funds to file and make available to interested investors. The details provided in the document include the fund’s objectives, risks, performance, distribution policy, executive team, investment strategies, etc.
A mutual fund may provide a summary prospectus, which is a few pages long and contains important information that investors require. It may also issue a statutory prospectus, which is long and extremely detailed, to provide investors with as much information as they may need to make a buying decision. Mutual funds are required to give investors the document after the purchase of shares. Investors can also access the information on the fund’s website.
Components of a prospectus
The following are the components of a prospectus:
Image of facebook’s S-1 .
#1 Overview and history of the company
The prospectus gives an overview of the company since its creation. It provides a chronology of events that have occurred over the years, such as those that have helped the company experience growth. It also includes information about the founders, company registration, and initial service offerings. This section may also include an overview of the company’s strategy and what management believes is its competitive advantage or “unique selling proposition” (USP).
#2 Services/products offered by the company
The services/products section lists the core economic activities undertaken by the company. The company provides information about the services and products provided to customers, and any additions to its operations over the years.
#3 Management profile
A prospectus also includes information about the company’s executive management . It outlines the management team’s experience and education qualifications that make them a good fit for the company. Investors want assurance that the company’s executives have what it takes to safeguard their investments.
#4 Desired deal structure
If the issuer is an existing company that has issued securities before, it may provide an overview of its current capital structure and how the new issue will affect the structure. For example, when selling bonds, the investors will be interested in knowing the level of the company’s debt and its ability to pay. Equity investors will want to see the current equity ownership structure and how their investment will influence the structure and the expected rate of return .
#5 Use of proceeds
A company will often offer an issue of securities when it is unable to raise capital internally to finance a large investment. For example, the company may want to expand its operations to other geographical locations, acquire proprietary technology, purchase large machinery, finance the production of a new line of products, execute mergers and acquisitions (M&A) , etc.
#6 Security offering details
The prospectus also provides information on the number of securities that are being offered to the public and the price for each security. It should also state the expected rate of return on the investor’s funds. This section also provides information on the subscription period when interested investors can purchase the securities.
#7 Financial information
The prospectus should provide investors with information about the company’s past financial performance . The information may include EBIT, net profit, stock performance, etc. The security performance can be compared to a known benchmark such as the S&P 500 or Dow Jones Industrial Average.
#8 Risks involved
The prospectus should disclose the risks that investors face when investing in a mutual fund. For example, an international mutual fund may include a disclosure detailing the currency risks that investors face when investing in the fund.
Other risks that a company may reveal include possible capital restrictions, government regulations, individual investors holding large numbers of stocks, etc. The disclosures protect the company from accusations that it withheld vital information that caused the investors to incur losses.
Prospectus in the United States
When a company intends to issue securities to the public, it must file the prospectus with the SEC . The security issue must wait for the SEC to declare the registration statement effective before they can finalize the sale. The registration statement is only approved if the federal agency is satisfied that the security issuer has complied with all the rules governing disclosure.
However, there are certain exemptions when filing a prospectus with the SEC. If a security issue is from a company that has been consistent with their 10-K Form filling and reports a market capitalization above the required threshold, the company may issue a simplified version that incorporates the information into their 10K filings.
Prospectus in the United Kingdom
In the United Kingdom, a prospectus is required for a security that will be offered to the public or that wants to register on a regulated market such as the London Stock Exchange (LSE). The security issues are governed by the Prospectus Rules, an extension of the Prospectus Directive in European Law, and must be approved by the FCA – Financial Conduct Authority.
Thank you for reading CFI’s guide to Prospectus. To expand your learning and advance your career, the following CFI resources will be helpful:
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- What's in a Prospectus?
Investigating New Offerings
How to get a company's prospectus.
Investopedia contributors come from a range of backgrounds, and over 24 years there have been thousands of expert writers and editors who have contributed.
A company's prospectus is a formal legal document designed to provide information and full details about an investment offering for sale to the public. Companies are required to file the documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) . The prospectus documents must be made available to a prospective public investor prior to purchase. Investors are encouraged to read and understand the terms of the offering before making a purchase decision.
- A prospectus is a formal document that is required by and filed with the SEC that provides details about an investment offering for sale to the public.
- This document is used to help potential investors make a more informed decision on whether or not to invest.
- EDGAR is a public online tool that allows individuals and analysts to search for and retrieve corporate prospectus filings.
- Investors may also seek to obtain a prospectus through their broker or by contacting a company's investor relations department.
Mutual funds and hedge funds must also offer potential investors a prospectus; however, here we focus on firms' prospectus prior to a corporate IPO or secondary offering.
What's in a Prospectus?
Company prospectus documents have become increasingly accessible with the advent of the internet. Most companies have a corporate website with a section labeled Investor Relations that should have available a wide range of company documentation, including quarterly and annual reports . Many investment websites may also offer links directly to a company's or fund's prospectus documents.
The prospectus document is issued to inform investors of the potential risks involved with investing in a particular stock or mutual fund. The information provided in the prospectus also serves as a form of protection for the issuing company against any claims that information was not fully disclosed or detailed prior to the investor putting money into an investment.
Companies that wish to offer stock or bond for sale to the public must file a prospectus as part of the registration process with the SEC. Companies must file a preliminary and final prospectus. However, the SEC has specific guidelines as to what's listed in a prospectus for various securities.
The preliminary prospectus (sometimes known as a red herring ) is the first offering document provided by a security issuer and includes most of the details of the business and transaction. However, the preliminary prospectus doesn't contain the number of shares to be issued or price information. Typically, the preliminary prospectus is used to gauge interest in the market for the security being proposed.
The final prospectus contains the complete details of the investment offering to the public. The final prospectus contains any finalized background information as well as the number of shares or certificates to be issued and the offering price .
A prospectus will include the following information at a minimum:
- A brief summary of the company’s background and financial information
- The name of the company issuing the stock
- The number of shares
- Type of securities being offered
- Whether an offering is public or private
- Names of the company’s principals
- Names of the banks or financial companies performing the underwriting
Some companies are allowed to file an abridged prospectus, which is a prospectus but contains some of the same information as the final prospectus.
The first offering is detailed by the preliminary prospectus provided by the security issuer, which outlines information about the company, it's business plan and structure, and the transaction in question. The preliminary document also discloses names of the company's principals, details about the amount the underwriters are earning per sale and specifies whether the offering is public or private.
The final prospectus contains details and information about the finalized offering, including the precise number of shares or certificates being issued and the offering price of shares.
In the case of mutual funds , a fund prospectus contains information on and details about its objectives, proposed investment strategies , perceived potential risks, projected performance, distribution policy, fees and expenses and fund management.
In the U.S., all companies filing with the SEC must supply their documentation to a service known as EDGAR , or the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval System. The EDGAR website allows you to get all the filings of a company, including its prospectus and annual reports, which include financial statements. The EDGAR database can be searched using the company ticker symbol. EDGAR’s Companies & Other Filers Search will list a company's filings with the most recent filings shown first. Most of the filings made through EDGAR are available for download or can be viewed for free.
Canada has a similar website known as SEDAR , or System for Electronic Documentation Analysis and Retrieval, which provides company filings on the web. Like EDGAR, the SEDAR website provides easy access to public company documentation.
As an example, the figure below, produced from EDGAR, shows a sample prospectus for the company PNC Financial Group's offering of corporate bonds maturing in the year 2024.
We can see the following information listed:
- Securities offered, which are senior notes that pay 3.50%
- The maturity date of the notes, which is January 23, 2024
- The issue date, which has yet to be determined
- How interest will be paid and denominations to be issued
- Use of proceeds or how the money raised will be spent, which might include financing operations, paying down debt, or buying back stock
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Examples of a Business Prospectus
by Steve Milano
Published on 26 Sep 2017
A business prospectus is a document that describes a stock offering, mutual fund or potential financial venture, or it can outline the operations of a going concern. These prospectuses help attract potential investors or allow potential partners or purchasers of a business to understand the workings and risks of involvement in a specific venture.
Some business prospectuses relate to investment opportunities in the form of stock in a particular company. This helps potential investors learn about the business and its risks and opportunities. Before purchasing stock in a company, investors often want to know as much as they can about the business. Prospectus information includes data about the company’s earnings, assets, liabilities, products, services and management team. Companies that are planning to offer stock for the first time in an initial public offering, or IPO, prepare and distribute preliminary and final prospectuses. Publicly traded companies wanting to sell more stock create prospectuses in addition to providing annual reports.
Mutual Fund Prospectus
A mutual fund prospectus includes information about the fund’s offer, fees, past performance, managers, risks, terms and goals or investing strategy. Like a stock prospectus, a mutual fund prospectus is a document that must meet U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission requirements. The SEC requires a statutory prospectus, which is a very detailed document, and a summary prospectus, which provides highlights.
Some prospectuses describe a potential business that an entrepreneur or group will launch if it can find funding. The prospectus often contains data from the proposed business’s marketplace but will rely on projections for startup and operating costs, sales, revenues and profits. The prospectus describes the product or service, provides biographies of key stakeholders, estimates income and expenses, gives a marketplace overview and provides a SWOT analysis -- a description of the venture’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Unlike a business plan, a prospectus is shorter and less detailed and does not include information on how the business will be run.
A prospectus for an existing business shows how a business has operated and is operating and its potential as an investment. The business might be seeking a silent partner, a co-owner or someone to buy the business outright. This type of prospectus contains information about the company’s product or service and its history, competitors, essential staff members, financial performance and projections for future performance. The prospectus might be seeking money to expand the business, open new locations, upgrade machinery or increase distribution capabilities.
Stock and mutual fund prospectuses must meet SEC requirements. Companies planning an IPO of stock provide preliminary and final prospectuses, depending on the stage of their offering. If you review a business prospectus for a potential or existing business, look for disclaimers and legal statements that attest to the accuracy of the information and a statement that the preparer of the prospectus has disclosed all material information, such as pending lawsuits, legal judgments, liens, past fines and potential risks.
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How to Write a Prospectus
Last Updated: November 22, 2022 References Approved
This article was co-authored by wikiHow staff writer, Jennifer Mueller, JD . Jennifer Mueller is a wikiHow Content Creator. She specializes in reviewing, fact-checking, and evaluating wikiHow's content to ensure thoroughness and accuracy. Jennifer holds a JD from Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 2006. There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 81% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 114,841 times. Learn more...
A prospectus is, in effect, a research proposal. The purpose of this document – be it a single page or dozens of pages long – is to sell your idea to the appropriate professor or research committee. You may be writing a prospectus for an undergraduate research project, a grad school study, or a doctoral dissertation. A prospectus also is used to apply for grants or other funding from universities or nonprofit organizations.  X Trustworthy Source Investor.gov Website maintained by the Securities and Exchange Commision’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy providing free resources about investing. Go to source
Things You Should Know
- State your topic of study and the questions you intend to answer; then, explain how and why your study will answer those questions.
- Outline the chapters of your prospectus and each stage of research, and include an estimate of the project's costs and timeline.
- Use standard formatting unless otherwise instructed, with a table of contents and bibliography.
- Carefully proofread your prospectus before submitting it for evaluation.
Describing the Goals of the Study
- Your topic isn't as broad as an entire subject such as history or sociology. Rather, you're going to list a specific aspect of that subject, such as "The Causes of World War II" or "The Impact of Globalization in Latin America."
- This topic generally would be far too broad to write a single paper (or even a single book) about and even begin to cover it in a more than superficial manner.
- In a shorter prospectus, such as for an undergraduate research paper, you typically won't need to devote more than a sentence to your topic before moving on to your research questions.
- Before you start formulating your questions, you may want to look at other research projects in your discipline to get a good idea of the types of questions typically asked.
- For example, a history question may involve extensive research and synthesis of that research to discover any patterns that may emerge.
- In contrast, questions in the social sciences such as political science may be based more on data gathering and statistical analysis.
- In a short prospectus, this may simply be a bullet-point list of specific questions you expect to address through your research.
- A longer prospectus, such as a grant proposal or dissertation prospectus, typically devotes several pages to discussing the specific questions that your research will address.
- The more advanced you are in your discipline, the more crucial this portion of your prospectus is going to be.
- If you're writing a prospectus for a research project in an undergraduate course, your professor likely won't expect you to contribute something new or profound to the field. However, graduate research and dissertations typically attempt to make a unique contribution to the area.
- You may need to do some preliminary research before you can write this portion of your prospectus, particularly if you believe you are the only person ever to do research seeking specifically to answer the questions you've listed.
- Any statement you make regarding the importance of your research should be supported by research, and you should be able to defend those assertions to the people reviewing your prospectus.
- You want your thesis statement to be as clear as possible. If you find it difficult to craft a clear answer to the questions you've presented, it may be that your questions aren't as clear as they could be.
- Keep in mind that if your question is vague or muddled, you're going to have a hard time coming up with a clear, definitive thesis statement.
- At this level, you're not just selling your idea, you're also selling your own knowledge, passion, commitment, and skills as a researcher to find the answers you seek.
- For grant applications, information about yourself as a person and your personal interest in the topic you plan to research also can be important. When deciding which projects to fund, having a personal commitment or dedication to a particular issue may give you an edge.
- Depending on the type of research you plan to do, you also may have to outline your position and your access or ability to gather various types of information, such as archives or classified documents.
Explaining the Organization of the Study
- Keep in mind that this is just a plan – nothing's set in stone. At this early stage, your paper likely will change as you get into your research or start gathering the data and crunching numbers to work on your project.
- You can create specific paragraphs or an outline, or you can write this section in a single seamless narrative. For shorter papers, that's probably all this section will be – essentially a couple of paragraphs that tell the readers how you anticipate you'll organize the final report on the project.
- For example, if you're doing a statistical analysis, you must first gather the data, then compile statistics from that data, then analyze the statistics you create.
- For scientific experiments, this is the place where you'll describe the steps in the experiment.
- If you're doing a project in the humanities, the stages of your research may not be as clear-cut as they would be if you were doing a research project for a more scientific discipline.
- For graduate research projects or dissertations, the timeframe may be more open-ended. In these situations, you should provide an estimate in your prospectus of when you believe your project will be completed.
- Coming up with a timeline and ultimate deadline of when the research will be completed is particularly important if you're applying for a grant.
- How long you think it will take to complete your research affects the feasibility of the project, which is ultimately how your prospectus will be evaluated. Be realistic in what you can do within the time constraints you have.
- Keep in mind that while you may be able to get an extension if your research ends up taking longer than you anticipated in your prospectus, you also may be expected to justify the reasons you need more time or explain why the initial estimate in your prospectus was incorrect.
- This is especially important if you're applying for a grant, as the people who review your prospectus will want a detailed breakdown of what you intend to do with the money if you're awarded the grant.
- Typically you'll need to include expenses such as fees for access to archives or for copying, any costs for data collecting, and rentals of lab or other equipment.
- You also should include a list of any resources you plan to use for which you anticipate there being no cost, such as use of the university library or computers and employment of student volunteers.
Formatting Your Prospectus
- The guidelines also typically will include details on which citation method you should use, and may include details on using a particular style guide that will govern word usage, grammar, and punctuation rules.
- Your assignment information also may specifically state how long each section is supposed to be, and which sections must be included.
- Type your prospectus in a standard, legible font such as Times New Roman or Helvetica.
- Typically you'll have one-inch margins on all sides of the paper, and your text will be double-spaced. Include page numbers if your prospectus is more than one page.
- Follow the guidelines from your professor or department in regard to creating a cover sheet or using special formatting or headers on the first page.
- If footnotes or end notes are required, set these up in your word processing app before you start working on your prospectus.
- The table of contents essentially is a list of chapters for your final report, and gives the readers of your prospectus an idea of what the final report will look like and how long it will be.
- Some professors or departments require an annotated bibliography, in which you not only cite the sources you plan to use but provide a detailed description of what the source is and how it fits into your research.
- Check the guidelines from your professor or department to make sure you're using the correct citation method for your bibliography.
- Reading your prospectus backwards is a good way to proofread and catch errors you might have missed otherwise.
- In addition to editing for grammar and punctuation, you also should check your language carefully. Make sure everything is written in a formal, professional tone.
- Keep your audience in mind as you edit. While you may be writing your prospectus for professors or a department committee that has full understanding of your project's topic, you shouldn't assume any particular level of understanding. Rather, your prospectus should be written so that it can be understood by a generally intelligent person without any special knowledge in your field.
- Be realistic about what you can accomplish through your research. Writing a prospectus that seems narrow in scope, but feasible, is better than writing a prospectus that seems overly ambitious and impractical. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Don't worry if your final paper or study ends up deviating from your prospectus. This often happens when you get further into your research, and is to be expected. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
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- ↑ https://www.investor.gov/introduction-investing/investing-basics/glossary/prospectus
- ↑ https://www.wichita.edu/academics/fairmount_college_of_liberal_arts_and_sciences/english/deptenglish/WritingaResearchProspectus.php
- ↑ https://english.washington.edu/sites/english/files/documents/ewp/academicresearchpapersequence_grollmus.pdf
- ↑ https://www.slu.edu/arts-and-sciences/theological-studies/student-resources/pdfs/prospectus-template.pdf
- ↑ https://writing.wisc.edu/handbook/assignments/planresearchpaper/
- ↑ https://poorvucenter.yale.edu/writing/graduate/writing-through-graduate-school/prospectus-writing
- ↑ https://www.investor.gov/introduction-investing/investing-basics/glossary/mutual-fund-fees-and-expenses
- ↑ https://examples.yourdictionary.com/reference/examples/table-of-content-examples.html
- ↑ https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/science-fair/writing-a-bibliography-examples-of-apa-mla-styles
- ↑ https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter/writingprocess/proofreading
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Business Prospectus Template
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Writing a Business Prospectus
- 120,399 views
If you are writing a business prospectus, these are the steps that you should follow. One of the best documents that you can use to market your business to potential investors is the business prospectus.
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This is similar to the executive summary. The business prospectus should concisely and clearly describe the goals of the organization and the required investment.
How to Write a Business Prospectus
One of the best documents that you can use to market your business to potential investors is the business prospectus. This is similar to the executive summary. The business prospectus should concisely and clearly describe the goals of the organization and the required investment. The prospectus may vary in length but as long as the essential details are covered, you can have the best prospectus that you can present to investors. Some business owners also claim that the prospectus is the short cut of the business plan but there are those who believe that it’s the final step in creating the plan.
Well, whatever your beliefs are, your end goal should be to attract investors. So, how will you write the business prospectus? One the first page, you will need to describe the mission of your organization. The page should also contain the location, founding date, website, annual budget, people served or geography, the summary of the social problem targeted, social impact, key accomplishments, goals for a certain period, required financial investment, and the different ways to invest. You can also include the in-kind needs as well as the impacts that the financial supports will have to the organization.
- How B2B Prospecting Takes Place
- About Prospectus of a Company
Business Prospectus Writing Tips
The body of the business prospectus will now consist of the details of the outline found on the first page. It will serve as a supplement to the outline. You have to make sure that the body will over the need, opportunity, solution, social change model, organizational health indicators, social impact, economic impact, strategy performance, and the financial sustainability. Clearly define all social problems that can be addressed by your organization and how you will do it. You have to create a graphic or text that will serve as the model to help investors in better understanding how you can solve the issues. Try to explain how your organization’s approach can fill the need. The indicators mentioned earlier will show how healthy your organization is.
The financials should explain the financial model and the revenue strategy that you’re going to use. You should provide the percentage for the revenue on the current year and the projected percentage in the next 3 years. State the amount that you need for the 3-year operation of your organization. You should also provide the board members and staff as well as the key team. You can also add some success stories in the prospectus if you want like statements from a student, teacher, or parent. Start writing your business prospectus today.
- Steps to Make a Business Budget A business owner need to be aware of the steps on how to make a business budget to serve as the guide in reaching what you want to achieve.
- Steps to Make Budget Spreadsheet If you learn how to make budget spreadsheet, you will have an organized manner of budgeting of your funds. Also, you will feel less stress in settling your financial concerns.
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- Thomas Phasha said on September 15, 2013 Mall of the north.next to Polokwane Limpopo South Africa. i am trying to apply for the business space. i have been ask to submit my business prospectus. i want to sell mens clothing
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An effective business proposal is a document used by a B2B or business-facing company (this may not always be the case) where a seller aims to persuade a prospective buyer into buying their goods or services. A business proposal outlines what your business does and what you can do for your client.
A prospectus is a legal disclosure document that companies are required to file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The document provides information about the company, its management team, recent financial performance, and other related information that investors would like to know.
ordinary course of business, to which the company or any member of the group is a party, for the two years immediately preceding the date of the Prospectus, including dates, parties, general nature of the contracts, terms and conditions, and amount of any consideration passing to or from the company or any other member of the group. 6.
GLOBAL · EXPERIENCED · FAST TURNAROUND · SAME DAY QUOTES. 1. Identify Your Investors. While you may be asking why the investors come as number one, and what does that have to do with writing a prospectus, the ... 2. Profit Generation. The entire point of a business and for those seeking to raise ...
A prospectus will include the following information at a minimum: A brief summary of the company’s background and financial information The name of the company issuing the stock The number of...
Examples of a Business Prospectus Stock Prospectus. Some business prospectuses relate to investment opportunities in the form of stock in a particular... Mutual Fund Prospectus. A mutual fund prospectus includes information about the fund’s offer, fees, past performance,... Proposed Business. Some ...
Connect with Harvest Business Advisors today – email [email protected] or call 443.334.8000 For the financial pages we suggest you summarize the following information: Sales Revenue Cost of Goods Sold Gross Profit Margin Major Expenses such as rent, advertising, payroll Other Expenses Profit Add Backs:
Outline the chapters of your prospectus and each stage of research, and include an estimate of the project's costs and timeline. Use standard formatting unless otherwise instructed, with a table of contents and bibliography. Carefully proofread your prospectus before submitting it for evaluation.
Business Prospectus Template. Download this Business Prospectus Template Design in Word Format. Easily Editable, Printable, Downloadable. A Proper Business Prospectus can help investors understand who you are, what you do, and whether you are a smart investment for them.
One of the best documents that you can use to market your business to potential investors is the business prospectus. This is similar to the executive summary. The business prospectus should concisely and clearly describe the goals of the organization and the required investment.