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Chapter 13 Proposals and Formal Reports

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1 Chapter 13 Proposals and Formal Reports
Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Mary Ellen Guffey Copyright © 2008

2 Preparing Proposals Introduction
Explain why the proposal is being made. Develop a persuasive “hook.” Suggest excellent results, low cost, or exclusive resources. Identify a problem or name a key issue or benefit.

3 Preparing Proposals Background, problem
Discuss the proposal’s significance, goals, or purposes. For unsolicited proposals, describe an existing problem. For solicited proposals, show that you fully understand the problem and its ramifications.

4 Preparing Proposals Proposal, plan
Present your plan for solving the problem. Describe implementation and evaluation. Outline a schedule showing dates.

5 Preparing Proposals Staffing
Explain the specific credentials and expertise of the key personnel for the project. Show how your support staff and resources are superior to the competition.

6 Preparing Proposals Budget
Itemize costs carefully. Proposals are contracts. Present a deadline for the bid figures.

7 Preparing an Effective Business Plan
Letter of transmittal or executive summary Explain your reasons for writing. Provide contact information for all principals. Describe your business concisely. Introduce parts of your plan. Ask for support. Table of contents List topics and page numbers

8 Preparing an Effective Business Plan
Company description Identify business form (proprietorship, partnership, corporation?) Specify business type (merchandising, service?) For existing businesses, explain founding, growth, sales, profit. 8

9 Preparing an Effective Business Plan
Product/service description Explain what you are providing and how it will benefit customers. Describe why your idea is better than existing products or services. 8

10 Preparing an Effective Business Plan
Market analysis Discuss market characteristics, trends, and projected growth. Describe customer behavior, complementary products and services, and barriers to entry. Identify your customers and how you will attract, hold, and increase your market share. Specify the strengths and weaknesses of competitors.

11 Preparing an Effective Business Plan
Operations and management Explain how you will run your business: location, equipment, personnel, and management. Emphasize experienced and well-trained staff and advisors.

12 Preparing an Effective Business Plan
Financial analysis Outline a realistic start-up budget. Present an operating budget that projects costs. Explain how much money you have and will need. Appendixes Provide extras such as managers’ résumés, promotional materials, and product photos.

13 Formal Report Components
Title page Balance the following lines: Name of the report in all caps Receiver’s name, title, and organization Author’s name, title, and organization Date submitted

14 Formal Report Components
Letter or memo of transmittal Announce topic and explain who authorized it. Briefly describe the project and preview the conclusions—if the reader is supportive. Close by expressing appreciation for the assignment, suggesting follow-up actions, acknowledging the help of others, and offering to answer questions.

15 Formal Report Components
Table of contents Show the beginning page number where each report heading appears in the report. Connect page numbers and headings with dots. List of illustrations Include a list of tables, illustrations, or figures showing the title of each and its page number. Place on the same page with contents if possible.

16 Formal Report Components
Executive summary or abstract Summarize the report purpose, findings, conclusions, and recommendations. Gauge the length of the summary by the length of the report and by the organization’s practices.

17 Formal Report Components
Introduction Explain the problem motivating the report. Describe the problem’s background and significance. Clarify the scope and limitations of the report. Consider reviewing relevant literature. Consider describing data sources, methods, and key terms. Close by previewing the report’s organization.

18 Formal Report Components
Body Discuss, analyze, and interpret the research findings or proposed solution to the problem. Arrange the findings in logical segments that follow your outline. Use clear, descriptive headings.

19 Formal Report Components
Conclusions and recommendations Explain what the findings mean in relation to the problem. Make enumerated recommendations, if requested. Suggest actions for solving the problem.

20 Formal Report Components
Appendix Include items of interest to some readers, such as data-gathering tools like questionnaires. References and bibliography If footnotes are not provided, list all references in “Works Cited” or “References.” Optionally, include a bibliography showing all the works cited (and perhaps consulted) arranged alphabetically.

21 End

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