Why should we simultaneously discuss
grant proposals and business plans?
Because you will find many of the same elements
in the successful execution of either project.
THOROUGH RESEARCH & DOCUMENTATION
Regardless of whether you are a retailer seeking a loan, or a non-profit seeking donors and grants, you must be able to present a clear overview of your current and projected operations:
~ Market research, with statistics about your marketplace or service area, including the demographics of your target clientele.
~ A clear description of your organization, clarifying your goals and specifying how you differ from competitors.
~ Financial projections, with specifics regarding daily operations and plans for investing in facilities, equipment, and staff.
~ A timeline for achieving both your short- and long-term goals.
~ Comprehensive marketing, public relations, and sales campaigns, as well as special events and community service projects that offer potential for free media coverage.
VIBRANTLY ILLUSTRATE KEY INFORMATION
You have less than a minute in which to engage your reader's attention. Concrete images can be more valuable than words. Ask yourself and team members, "How can our message be highlighted? As a writer, I constantly seek creative means for varying the layout of the words I present. In addition to images, I employ color, shape, proportion, paragraphing, indentation and ornamentation (i.e. bullets and framing). This refreshes the reader's eyes by breaking up the monotony of extensive verbiage.
~ Illustrations, drawings and photographs should be bright, with good focus and contrast. Each must be pertinent to whatever point you are making, and serve as a memorable example of why your petition deserves positive attention and support. Check with your legal adviser about whether you need to obtain releases from individuals whose faces or other notable features may be visible.
~ Charts, tables, diagrams, and other statistical presentations must be well structured and labeled to ensure clarity in the meanings and relationships of their individual and collective parts.
HIGHLIGHT YOUR CORPORATE BRAND
Admittedly, there is no shorthand method for ensuring a business plan or grant proposal will yield the support you seek. Each topic I have explored here demonstrates one clear theme: The need to present an harmonious layering of complex details in an eye-catching format that is easy to understand. This same quality separates a casual doodle from a elegant pen and ink drawing in fine art; the professional artist has painstakingly built layers into his or her masterpiece, so that a depth of perspective is achieved that sweeps viewers into the heart of each scene.
Are you shaping a long-range business plan?
Refining a business plan is more
than a writing exercise!
When successful, it will generate:
~ Data for applications for grants and business loans
~Elements to utilize in planning promotional projects
~Proof of why someone should invest in your endeavors
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