We believe its valuable we share our experiences and give a word of advice to entrepreneurs looking for business or sponsorships from corporates... We hope this helps ...

  1. Never send a proposal in a Word document. No one has time to be scrolling pages... Use Powerpoint, its neater and easier to read.
  2. Don't send essays. No one has time to be reading your 4page background, 6 page introduction, 3 page motivation etc. Keep it concise but detailed, get straight to the point
  3. Don't lie in your proposal. If you know you're not sorted in certain areas or have never worked with people/companies you claim to, don't lie because if you get the business and you don't deliver up to standard, this will be revealed and... you will never get that business again
  4. After sending your proposal, don't call 3 times a day nagging for a decision. Be noticeable, not annoying.
  5. When you meet the client and you know you are not good at presenting/speaking. Arrive with someone who is really good to pitch with you; because if you can't talk the talk, the client will not be convinced. Never read your notes, the client can read... you are there to sell yourself. So do that
  6. Arrive on time. If you make a potential client wait on the very first meeting, you have made a bad impression, you now don't seem serious and want this as bad as you claim to. Never make them wait.
  7. Don't use their competitor's name to try get their attention. Don't lie and say their competitor wants this opportunity and if they don't take it now, it will be a loss. Never.
  8. If they want you to work for free or less than what you anticipated before they enter into a contractual agreement with you... Go for it (if its reasonable) and then work your butt off to prove yourself! If you don't get the business, you still got experience and thats another activity to add in your resume for better business opportunities.
  9. Don't overcharge. Don't try your luck for the sake of thinking "oh they are a big corporate, they have money." You don't know their budget and chances are they have used a similar service and have a benchmark of what this service/product usually costs, they will see you're bullshitting. Only get outrageous when you have earned your stripes.
  10. Don't give-up. If they say no, come back another time with something better.
  11. If they ask you to do something for them, do it fast and do it well. Think of this as building a relationship and not as a transactional business thing. When clients see how well you do your job and how fast you get back to them in communications, you will earn their trust.
  12. Hope this helps you, brave young South African entrepreneur...