How to Write an Investment Proposal [Template + Examples]

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Stephanie Trovato
Stephanie Trovato


As a writer, I’m extremely familiar with the concept of proposals. We write these sorts of proposals to convert clients, persuade buyers, and grow our business in the short term. However, investment proposals are a bit different — these proposals are written with a unique purpose for a specific audience and with some high stakes attached.

Men agreeing on investment proposal

An investment proposal is the key to long-term business growth for many businesses, so it’s important to get it right.

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In this article, I’ll define investment proposals, compare them to the business proposal, and then break down the components. I’ll provide a template, look at investment proposal examples, and even hear some tips for writing from a professional.

Table of Contents

Investment Proposal vs. Business Proposal

Chart showing investment versus business proposal features

Business proposals are a bit more commonplace than investment proposals — and the two types are different in crucial ways. Here’s a summary of the similarities and differences between these proposal formats.


The key similarity between an investment proposal and a business proposal is the drive to convert. Each proposal seeks to win over its audience for their desired action, which is ultimately to close a deal.


  1. Audience. The audience of an investment proposal is a potential investor, whereas the business proposal is intended to attract a customer or client.
  2. Focus. A business proposal focuses on the product and its benefits to the client, whereas an investment proposal focuses on the business and the potential returns to the investor.
  3. Content. A business proposal includes very specific features and benefits about the product, whereas an investment proposal includes a few elements that aren’t often present in a business proposal, such as:
    1. Company financial details.
    2. Market assessments.
    3. Legal documents.

Pull quote from post on purpose of investment proposal

Technical writer Anthony Muhye shared his insights regarding crafting an effective investment proposal, stating, “You have to not only be able to secure funding, but also simplify and transmit the startup's mission and vision.”

There’s both a tactical and high-level mission, then, in an investment proposal: to convince but also to add context.

There are ten key pieces that define an investment proposal. While you can customize your presentation and organization, I recommend including components from each of these areas.

  • Executive Summary

  • Business Description

  • Market Analysis

  • Products/Services

  • Marketing & Sales Strategy

  • Management/Organization

  • Operational Plan

  • Financial Plan

  • Risk Analysis

  • Appendix

The executive summary gives an overview of what’s to come in the business proposal, summarizing what the business is and why the investor may want to provide funds to empower the business. It’s brief and a great place to start for an investor entertaining potential business investments.

The business description breaks down what your business is, describing its function, a quick overview of the products or services, and some background information. You may also describe a mission statement or overall goals for the business here.

Here, you’ll inform your investor about the market your product will sit within. You’ll identify your target market and Ideal Client Profile and then conduct a competitive analysis, identifying major competitors and your approach to positioning and differentiation.

In this section of the investment proposal, you’ll break down the product or service you’re providing in detail. You’ll discuss pricing, positioning, and how your product or service is necessary for the market. You’ll include statistics about product demand and explain your stage in product development and growth.

Here, you’ll discuss your approach to marketing and sales. Depending on your business stage, you may already have some marketing and sales strategies in place. If you’re an early-stage organization, you’ll discuss your plans to grow in these areas. Discuss sales strategy for revenue creation, as well as distribution channels, advertising, and content channels.

In this section of your plan, you’ll talk about the organization of your business and any people on the executive or management team thus far. If you’ve hired external consultants or if you have an advisory board, you can also highlight them here.

In the operational plan section, you’ll talk about production processes and logistics. This could include manufacturing plans, facility locations, and anything else related to the execution of your product or service.

The financial plan section of your investment proposal speaks to specifics regarding financial projections and your business’s historical performance: income statement, cash flow statements, and balance sheets. You’ll also perform a break-even analysis and provide a projection of return on investment.

This part also outlines funding requirements, the use of funds, and an exit strategy for investors. This is the meatiest part of the investment proposal. You should pour significant resources into bolstering this section.

Here, you’ll provide an assessment of potential risks and obstacles your organization will face as it grows. You’ll provide solutions to those risks to demonstrate you have a plan if those obstacles arise. You can also include contingency plans here, playing out a few different potential scenarios.

In the appendix, you can include legal agreements, research reports, patents, resumes, and any other piece of information you find relevant and compelling for your investor.

How to Write an Investment Proposal [+Template]

Because there are so many different elements of a great proposal, we’ve created an investment proposal template to help guide your writing process.

The goal of an investment proposal is to answer your potential investors’ questions before they even have to ask — and this template will help you achieve it.

Investment Proposal Template

[Company Name]


1. Executive Summary

  • Business Name: [Your Company Name]
  • Location: [Company Location]
  • Business Description: Brief description of the business or project.
  • Funding Required: [Amount of Funding Needed]
  • Purpose of Funds: Briefly describe what the funds will be used for.
  • Summary of Financial Projections: Highlight key financial metrics.

Pro tip: Keep this section short. Investors are often moving through a lot of proposals in a short amount of time, so you want to write a compelling and informational executive summary that they can navigate quickly.

2. Business Description

  • Business Overview: Detailed description of the business or project.
  • Mission Statement: [Your Mission Statement]
  • Business History: Brief history, including key milestones.
  • Objectives: Short-term and long-term business goals.

Pro tip: Emphasize the business history if your business has experienced milestones that might be convincing to your investor. Otherwise, draw attention to your business’s project description and its goals.

3. Market Analysis

  • Industry Overview: Description of the industry and its trends.
  • Target Market: Detailed analysis of the target market and customer demographics.
  • Market Needs: Explain the market need your business addresses.
  • Competitive Analysis: Analysis of competitors, their strengths and weaknesses, and your competitive advantage.

Pro tip: Whenever possible, draw upon visual aids to explain the nature of the market and competitive analysis. Visuals aid in comprehension and can help make a strong case for your organization.

4. Products or Services

  • Product/Service Description: Detailed description of the products or services offered.
  • Unique Selling Proposition (USP): What makes your product/service unique?
  • Development Stage: Current stage of development and any future plans.

Pro tip: When discussing future plans, be sure to use concrete details. Rather than speaking abstractly, include timelines and specifics regarding price, manufacturing, and product type.

5. Marketing and Sales Strategy

  • Marketing Plan: Strategies for promoting your product or service.
  • Sales Strategy: Sales tactics and channels.
  • Pricing Strategy: Pricing model and rationale.
  • Distribution Plan: How products/services will be delivered to customers.

Pro tip: Provide evidence that your marketing strategies, sales tactics, and pricing models are based in fact. Give data whenever possible that demonstrates your approach as the strongest strategy.

6. Management and Organization

  • Management Team: Information about key team members and their roles.
  • Organizational Structure: Company’s organizational chart.
  • Advisors and Consultants: Information about any external advisors or consultants.

Pro tip: For investors, the marketing team details are important — especially for early-stage investors who don’t have significant history to draw upon. Be sure to frame management team achievements intentionally to foster trust.

7. Operational Plan

  • Operational Workflow: Overview of day-to-day operations.
  • Facilities and Equipment: Description of physical locations and equipment.
  • Technology: Any technology or software used in operations.
  • Production Plan: If applicable, details about production processes.

Pro tip: When you write your operational workflow, work with subject matter experts within your organization to gain detailed insights into how day-to-day processes look. For early-stage startups with small teams, the CEO and founder may be aware of the day-to-day processes, but for large companies, you may need to consult specific heads of various portions of your organization.

8. Financial Plan

  • Financial Projections: Detailed financial projections for the next 3-5 years, including
    • Income Statement
    • Cash Flow Statement
    • Balance Sheet
  • Break-even Analysis: When the business is expected to break even.
  • Funding Requirements: Amount of funding needed and allocation of funds.
  • Use of Funds: Detailed breakdown of how the funds will be used.
  • Return on Investment (ROI): Expected ROI for investors.

Pro tip: Take advantage of SaaS tools to provide the most insightful, accurate forecasts of future financial achievements. HubSpot offers forecasting software that provides insightful reports on a monthly or quarterly basis.

9. Risk Analysis

  • Risk Factors: Identification of potential risks and challenges.
  • Mitigation Strategies: Strategies to mitigate identified risks.
  • Contingency Plans: Plans for unexpected events.

Pro tip: A thorough risk analysis is one of the most convincing parts of the investment proposal. Take time with your team to consider all potential opportunities for pushback and, if you have a mentor, lean on them to help offer outside perspective.

10. Appendices

  • Resumes of Key Team Members
  • Market Research Reports
  • Legal Documents
  • Product Photos or Prototypes
  • Additional Financial Documents

Pro tip: Providing significant reports is a great way to provide evidence for convincing — but make sure to include an easy-to-flip-through format. If you’re handing out a physical copy, include a table of contents with tabs. For digital proposals, use a table of contents with jump links for easy navigation.

Investment Proposal Examples [+Tips]

Let’s take a peek at some investment proposal template examples from a few different sources to see what some fully produced proposals can look like in action. I’ll also share some tips.

Tip #1: Include infographics and charts.

Screenshot of investment proposal template with graphic element

Image Source

What I like: This visual is a great thing to include in your proposal, as it breaks down market analysis in a comprehensive and quick-to-understand way. It does a country-by-country breakdown, which is vital for global companies, and some quick pie-chart breakdowns of users. Potential investors can quickly gather key information from simple visuals like this.

Tip #2: Deliver need-to-know information quickly and clearly.

Screenshot of investment proposal example with overview section

Image Source

What I like: This project overview template is a great example of providing context for the potential investor. This section (which is like a combination of an executive summary and business description) is a strong way to kick off your proposal, providing a foundation of knowledge about your business and about their investment opportunity.

Tip #3: Keep things simple.

Screenshot of investment proposal with simple design and clear information

Image Source

What I like: This slide keeps it short and simple. While some parts of the investment proposal should be lengthy and dense, others can be summarized succinctly. It’s important to ensure you’re not making your proposal longer than needed — this slide is a great reminder!


Writing an investment proposal is a massive undertaking. I think it’s helpful to compare it to writing a business proposal, especially if you’re unfamiliar with this type of proposal. A business proposal is intended to educate and convince — and an investment proposal is the same.

The biggest surprise to me about the investment proposal was the richness of its content. While a business proposal might include a handful of detailed sections, an investment proposal requires a lot of statements, charts, and legal documents to be convincing.

The key to a great investment proposal is gathering as much material as possible to make a compelling argument. Refer to this template as a guide as you write your investment proposals to ensure you check all the necessary boxes and create a winning document.

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Topics: Startups

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