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A Business Proposal

by Brittani Sponaugle

A business proposal is the most important part of your entire venture.


Without this, no one is going to take your idea seriously which can mean you
wont receive funding. Make sure you do thorough research on every facet of
your business idea so there are no uh-ohs down the road. To learn about
starting your own business try this online course: how to start a business.

Executive Summary

This is your chance to grab the attention of the reader in the most concise
and informational summary you can muster. Never let this run over one page
long. Also, do not write this portion until after you have done everything else,
all research, all numbers crunched and the entire packet completed. (You can
read about the full business proposal template in this article.) Since this
business is fairly new, the executive summary will not be as detailed (with
financial growth, charts and graphs) as it would if it were already well-
established.

Our mission is to provide a healthy and sustainable food option for our
consumers. As an organic and GMO-conscious business that practices zero-
waste policies, we not only feed our customers we educate them. Yampa
Valley Naturals was founded in 2012 by Maya Stone and Joseph Yebcavich.
We are a home based business seeking a permanent commercial location for
retail and wholesale purposes. Our products are organic treats such as
breads, granolas, jams and mushrooms that serve the population of the
Yampa Valley and beyond. We are Colorado Proud certified, part of the Main
Street Chamber of Commerce and have all necessary permits to operate
legally within Routt County.

The founders of YVN have years of experience in running successful


businesses, overcoming difficult obstacles and advocating for the organic
and GMO-free food scene. Combined, Maya and Joseph have 10 years of
mushroom growing, bread baking and retail experience. Maya served on the
city council in VA for sustainable food committee and Joseph is a
representative of the sustainability council in Steamboat Springs, CO.

We are prepared to invest 50% of the total needed start-up funds. They are
seeking the final 50% of funding to meet our financial goals from Mountain
West Bank and interested angel investors. There is also a Kickstarter
campaign active to aid us in this process. We foresee Yampa Valley Naturals
becoming a staple in the Steamboat Springs community; to educate the
public about the importance of local and organic food; to provide cost
effective healthy food options; and to develop partner programs with
Colorado Mountain College to enrich the Sustainability program and further
the local food goals of the valley.

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I. General Company Description

This section reviews your companys goals, objectives, and philosophy, as


well as goes over what the industry is like.

Company Goals and Objectives

Goals:

To be the leading organic and GMO-free food producer in Colorado


To have a store front with prepared food and products and food-to-
order
To educate consumers about the current and future state of the food
industry, plants and their health benefits and

Objectives:

To obtain GMO-free certification


To obtain USDA 100% organic certification
To have three full-time employees with salary and benefits
To encourage local food swapping

Business Philosophy:

Sustainable, Local and Organic is our motto.

Sustainable, because its important to reduce our footprint on the


fragile environment by recycling, reusing and repurposing.
Local, because stimulating the local economy is good for you, good for
me and good for the other members of your community. It creates a healthy
atmosphere for thriving business and happy people.
Organic, because eating products that are pesticide and preservative
free is crucial to your health.
The phrase is also an acronym for SLO food which is a movement to
counter the ever-so-popular fast food world we live in. SLO food
encompasses not only how your food is grown and where you buy it, but
where and how you enjoy it, too. SLO food intends to remind people to just
slow down. Food is meant to be enjoyed as a cultural event not as just a
means to survival.

Industry Description

The food industry is forever growing, changing and adapting to the


demands of the consumer. In recent years there has been an exponential
growth in the organic food market. Consumers are becoming more aware of
what they are ingesting and how important it is to choose preservative free
and pesticide free products. The organic industry is on the rise as sale trends
show for 2012. According to the Nutrition Business Journal, organic food sales
in the United States have increased from approximately $11 billion in 2004 to
an estimated $27 billion in 2012. Furthermore, according to the USDA
Economic Research Service, organic food products are still gaining ground in
conventional supermarkets as well as natural foods markets, and organic
sales accounted for more than 3.5 percent of total U.S. food sales in 2012.
We anticipate this positive growth to continue in coming years.

II. Products and Services

Describe in depth your products or services in this part of the business


proposal. Dont be afraid to go into even further detail than our example
below shows, based on your specific industry. Include advantages and
disadvantages you have over the competition.

Description of Products/Services

We produce and package organic products for wholesale, retail, and


foodservice. These products include but are not limited to:

Granola
Granola Bars
Trail Mix
Fruit Butters
Herbs (Fresh/Dried)
Mushrooms (Fresh/Dried)
Pastries
Cookies
Muffins
Cereals
Nut Butters
Artisan Breads
Competitive Advantages/Disadvantages

Yampa Valley Naturals has a distinct advantage as a local organic foods


producer. We dedicate a tremendous amount of time to research to ensure
the best organic, GMO-free ingredients in all of our products. While not every
product we sell is 100% organic and 100% GMO-free we strive to be. This
sets us apart from our competitors as no other business in town produces
sustainable, local and organic packaged food.

Living in the Yampa Valley can have its setbacks in the agriculture and
product creation sector due to our rather remote and high-altitude location.
Obtaining certain ingredients is already problematic but we need to again
dramatically narrow our search to meet our high standards of organic and
GMO-free ingredients.

III. Marketing Plan

First, include a section on economics here. Because this is drastically


different for every industry, we have not include an example here. However,
here are some of the questions you should seek to answer with your
economics section:

What is the total size of your market?


Is there a current demand for your product?
What are the trends?
Is there growth opportunity?
Are there any barriers you face to being successful as a start-up?
Start-ups have a bit more of a challenge when writing the business
plan. Improve your chances of success by taking this business plan for
start-ups course.

Next, include a section about customers. Identify your targeted


customers, their characteristics, and their geographic locations, otherwise
known as their demographics.

Customers

Our target customers range from young to old and they will primarily
be residents of Routt County, CO. Our products cater to the sweet tooth of
kids, the health nut to the diabetic elderly. There is one important theme
here and that is: S.L.O.

Our most popular customer groups will most likely be Steamboat


Springs residents with at least a middle-range income. Typically these
customers will be eco-conscious or health-conscious citizens and could very
well be in the education, health, or food sector.

You should also include a section on your competitors. List major


competitors by name in this section if possible.

Competition

Surprisingly, none. We have been unable to locate a company with


similar values and/or products located in the Yampa Valley. There are local
farms that produce fresh herbs, but this is only a small portion of our entire
product inventory. Insofar, we have seen no signs of local gourmet
mushroom farmers or any local organic foodservice companies. Restaurants
in town primarily carry big name organic foods in their shops and we intend
to become the new local source for high-quality organic products at the
retail, wholesale and foodservice levels.

For a lot of Steamboat residents, locally produced foods are more


appealing than ones produced from corporations. At a talk held by the Yampa
Valley Sustainability Council in April entitled: Local Foods, speakers asked the
approximately 100 Routt County citizens what their idea of local was. The
results were impressive. More than 80% of the room considered local foods
to be produced only in Colorado. Out of that 80% almost half considered local
to be only produced in the Western Slope area which encompasses
Steamboat Springs. These people are our target market and we have no true
competitors at this moment.

How will you get the work out to customers? Include this information in
the next section. You should include not just direct promotional strategies,
but also branding strategies and budget information.

Promotion

Currently we are relying heavily on word-of-mouth. Our business


financial structure right now cannot hold as many clients as we are receiving
inquiries from which is why we are seeking a loan. Once we are able to aptly
expand our operations we intend to use local print media (newspaper, other
publications), social media, email, flyers and our previous product exposure
at local businesses.

Yampa Valley Naturals is reserved, yet hip, organic and sustainable,


small town gig. We like folk music, a good hike and nice glass of wine, were
not hippies but were considerate of our environment and those in it. We seek
to portray a contemporary and simultaneously back country feel with our
products. They are sleek, yet cozy and familiar yet exotic. If we manage to
make our customers feel any of these then we are on the right track.
Promotional Budget

Monthly spending really depends on our sales. We anticipate


approximately 1 shipment of paper a month, 1 shipment of business cards
every 6 months. Annually this equals $630 a year. Our prices are comparable
to a bit higher than our competitors. After much research we have realized
that because our products are primarily made with organic, GMO-free and
local ingredients. We do not have any direct competitors in Steamboat
Springs that produce and package their own organic and local foods for sale.

We have already see our customers make their decision on the quality
of our product over the price. We initially had incredible affordable prices as
we didnt understand our market yet. We have driven the prices up
considerably and have actually seen an increase in our sales.

V. Sales Forecast

Use a sales forecast spreadsheet to prepare a monthbymonth


projection. Here is also a startup expenses worksheet to use.

Make sure that this information is extremely detailed and describes not
just the projection, but details about why youre predicting these sales and
expenses. This part will be most scrutinized by anyone considering giving
you money.

VI. Operational Plan

Explain the daily operation of the business, its location, equipment,


people, processes, and surrounding environment.

Production

We are producing our products in our home kitchen currently. We


intend on producing all products on site once we obtain a certified
commercial kitchen and retail space. We plan to keep a tight rein on
inventory by implementing monthly inventory checks and will adjust our
methods on a regular basis accordingly.

Location
We started off as a cottage kitchen business working out of our home
kitchen. We now operate out of a commercial kitchen in town, use our home
mailing address as our business location and our products are sold via
events, farmers markets, third party, and on our website.

Our ideal location is a small shop off of the main street. Oak Street,
which runs parallel to Lincoln Ave. (the main road) has great boutiques and
unique shops that would be a great fit for us. There is ample street parking
and rent is cheaper.

Legal Environment

Yampa Valley Naturals has already obtained a city sales tax license, a
state sales tax license, a wholesale and retail manufacturer license and
insurance through Mountain West insurance agency. We have no trademarks
and are unsure as to zoning at this point as our location is still to be
determined.

Personnel

Yampa Valley Naturals will be run by the founders, with a possibility of


hiring one or two part-time employees depending on business. We have
factored in these salaries into our forecasts. If we do bring on employees
there will be extensive training required to ensure that our product quality
and customer service is always consistent. Pay will begin at $12 an hour for
part-time employees. We will not offer health insurance.

For more in depth information about how to complete a full business


plan, forecasts and all, check out this easy online course: writing a business
plan draft. Itll walk you through all you need to know! There is also a great
article on how to write a winning proposal. There is so much information at
your disposal use it!