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How to Package Your Proposal

In the retail food business, the package is as important as what is inside the package. Retailers must emphasize whatever will attract the buyer because it is a buyer's market. Thousands of retail products are vying for the consumer's money. The same is true in the case of venture capital. Thousands of proposals are vying for the venture capitalist's money. The packaging can draw the venture capitalist to your proposal. You might write a great business proposal, but if its physical appearance is sloppy, it might not be picked up by the venture capitalist for weeks, and when it is picked up, what a sight! The venture capitalist's first impression of the proposal would be so colored by the poor packaging that he might turn down the business proposal without reviewing it in detail.

It cannot be emphasized enough that a venture capitalist receives hundreds of telephone calls and dozens of business proposals every week. If your business proposal is to compete with all the others sitting on the VC's desk, you must have a distinctive proposal. So you need to know the basics of how to package a winning business proposal.

Copies

You should not send an original to the venture capitalist. You should have crisp, clean copies, preferably on white paper with margins wide enough for the venture capitalist to make notes. A margin of one inch on all sides is the standard. The copy paper you use should be of high quality; it should not be the old variety that has an oily touch and a foul smell. It should provide a crisp, clean imprint on every page. Colored paper is optional. It does not impress most venture capitalists, but it might appeal to a few. You can copy on the back and the front or just on the front of each page.

Style of Type

You should not use an unusual style of type such as script. A type that is easy to read is essential if people are to process your business proposal quickly. The type should be dark and sharp in the original and in the copies. Submitting handwritten items is forbidden unless it is absolutely necessary.

Graphs and Pictures

Generally speaking, graphs are fine if they are of high quality, but they are usually not essential in a business pro-posal. Bar graphs of sales are not as effective as numbers. Pictures of the product or literature on the product should be attached to the business proposal in order to give the venture capitalist a better idea of the subject, but such material should be of good quality.

Copying Articles

You should copy articles carefully in order to make sure the copies are of good quality. A poor-quality copy of a newspaper article will not invite the venture capitalist to read it. Generally, articles are not recommended as part of your proposal.

Cover

If possible, the cover on your proposal should be an attractive color. Also, the cover sheet should be of heavy paper so that your proposal will stand out from all the others sitting on the venture capitalist's desk. Perhaps a bright yellow page with your logo in the middle and name at the bottom would invite the venture capitalist to pick it up and read it immediately. Once he opens it up, of course, the summary sheet should grab attention and draw the VC into the proposal. You might wish to use a picture of the product on the first page in order to attract attention. Again, you are selling, so make sure your product's package catches the eye of the venture capitalist.

Binding

There are many ways of binding business proposals today. A staple probably will not hold your business proposal together. If an ordinary staple will hold it together, it is probably not long enough. Certain heavy-gauge staples are acceptable, of course. If such a staple is not available, you have three options: you can use a three-ring binder, have the proposal professionally bound, or put a large clip on it so that the venture capitalist can take the clip off and turn the pages. Of the three options, most venture capitalists prefer a professionally bound proposal. Otherwise, most would prefer to have a large clip. Most venture capitalists dislike three-ring binders only because they are almost impossible to store. While most venture capitalists prefer professional binding, they are perfectly willing to take any of the three options if they receive a professionally prepared proposal.

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