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Investment proposal template

What is an investment proposal?

An investment proposal is a document presented to potential investors that describes your business’s goals, how funding helps you achieve them, and the return on investment it could mean for the investors.

This template is used as a tool to help potential investors see the financial aspect of your proposal and the expected return if they choose to invest. It helps you focus on showcasing the profitability, growth prospects, market potential, and risk mitigation strategies that will help you succeed.

​Business plan vs. investment proposal

Business plan Investment proposal
Purpose and goal Outlines idea Seek funding
The reader Wider target audience, including internal stakeholders and investors Investors
Timing Created before launching business to present to stakeholders for feedback For more detailed information and exit strategy when an investor expresses interest
Content emphasis Holistic view Financial details

The difference between a business plan and investment proposal lies in each of their purposes. A business plan is a document that outlines a specific business idea, project, or venture to persuade potential clients, partners, or stakeholders to engage in a business relationship.  

On the other hand, an investment proposal is a document prepared to attract potential investors who are interested in providing financial resources to support a business that will yield returns on their funds.

Who can use the investment proposal template?

An investment proposal template can be used by various individuals and entities involved in seeking investment for a business venture. Those who can benefit from using an investment proposal template include: startups, small and medium-sized enterprises, project managers, nonprofit organizations, business advisors, and more.

Investment proposal for startups

Investment proposal templates would be particularly helpful for entrepreneurs and startups looking for a starting point in creating a compelling document to present to investors in raising capital for their business ventures.

Why should businesses use an investment proposal template?

Creating a compelling investment proposal may increase your chances of securing investment. Some advantages to using an investment proposal template include:

  • Time-saving: Investment proposal templates provide a pre-designed structure, allowing you to avoid starting from scratch.
  • Flexibility: Investment proposal templates provide a framework that can be customized to suit your specific investment opportunity.
  • Professional formatting: Templates help create a positive impression on potential investors with a polished and well-designed layout.
  • Improved clarity: Templates help you present information in a clear and logical manner, enhancing readability and ensures that your investment proposal is easy to understand for potential investors.

How do you write an investment proposal?

Our investment proposal template will help you generate data and charts for the financial portion of your investment proposal. Here’s how to do an investment proposal in Excel:

Step 1: Download investment proposal Excel template.

Step 2: Enter all estimated revenues and expenses for the project/company/investment for the next 10 years.

Step 3: Enter the capital investment needed over the next 10 years.

Step 4: Enter the rate of return expected by the investor.  

  • Industry standards suggest 10% to 20% for most investors.
  • All remaining data and charts will automatically populate based on the revenue, expenses, capital investment, and rate of return that were input in previous steps.

Step 5: Export "Investment Proposal" tab as a PDF and include the financial data in your investment proposal document to investors.

You can find more detailed instructions on how to use our investment proposal template upon download.

What is the format of an investment proposal?

The format of a investment proposal may vary slightly from one startup to another, however, we encourage outlining your proposal as follows:

  • Investment title
  • Executive summary of your business
  • Project/investment details
  • Company performance for the past 3-5 years
  • Planned marketing and sales methods
  • Team structure and logistics
  • Project/investment financials (information from this template)
  • The investment ask
  • Detailing the use of funds
  • Conclusion

Investment proposal best practices

When writing an investment proposal, follow these best practices for your best chance of making a good impression.

Keep it short and simple

Investors are cut from the “time is money” cloth. They want the need-to-know information to decide whether there’s an opportunity to get a return on their funding.

After creating the first draft of your investment proposal, run through it with a critical perspective. It’s worth sharing it with some trusted people to get an outsider’s opinion on what connects and what doesn’t.

Focus on the benefits to the investors

Keep the focus of the investment proposal on how you’ll use the money and the expected return to the investor. Clearly communicate any estimations or assumptions you made as part of the process.

You have something to gain from getting an investment. But remember that you’re trying to communicate a mutual benefit.

Append with additional documents

If you’re using tables, charts, or other additional documents to prove a point, attach them as an appendix rather than in the body of the investment proposal itself.

You want that information to be available for anyone who wants to dig deeper, but otherwise it will bog down the experience for those that are less inclined for such a deep dive.

Set out milestones

As part of outlining a timeline that an investor can expect a return on their money, include milestones or deadlines for expected results. For example, if you need investment for a new piece of equipment, outline when it will be purchased, installed, and employees trained up to use it.

Customize your presentation to the audience

Investors review proposals on a regular basis. To make yours stand out, individualize it to the people you’re presenting to.

Do some research into the people you’re presenting to including some past investments they made. Making references to their past investments or industries they’ve put money into shows a care and attention to detail that will make you stand out.

Investment proposal FAQ

What is the purpose of an investment proposal?

The purpose of an investment proposal is to present a business opportunity in a clear and compelling manner to convince investors that their funds will yield returns.

What information is included in an investment proposal?

An investment proposal varies from one startup to another, but typically includes the following information:

  • Executive summary
  • Business description
  • Market analysis
  • Investment opportunity
  • Financial projections
  • Management team
  • Risk assessment

What should be done before starting an investment proposal?

Before you start working on an investment proposal, get the following ready:

  1. Research the market: Take some time to see how much investment is being done in the niche your business occupies. Look to competitors for success stories you hope to replicate.
  1. Determine an exact amount you want: Investors want you to present how much you need, not for them to set the amount. Account for all costs you want the investment to cover to come to an amount.
  1. Gather information about investors: Get some background on who you’ll be talking to them for any indicators of what makes them tick. You might find some background information that helps you speak to their unique interests.
  1. Prepare your documentation: Update your financial reporting and prepare forecasts that help you create a story about how the investment will lead to shared success.
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