If this is my first business attempt, what is the right loan amount to start? How to write a proposal or loan application? what should I know about partnerships?
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Please note that there is nothing like right amount to start with. All depends upon you nature and size of business that you need to start with.
However, there is right percentage (and not right amount) to start with for your first business loan. Make sure you put in at least 20% equity (i.e. your contribution). This means that if you need $100 to start your business, contribute $20 yourself and ask remaining from a bank for the loan. You commitment will show and throw good signal ad weight age on the lender.
So far as writing a business plan is concerned, please note that business starts with a strong business plan - it is the foundation and the building block of every company. A good business plan will not only be the blueprint of your business, it will also provide you with a good entry into many doors, including the door of investors and financial institutions.
The following link will give you in depth knowledge how a business plan should be like and how it should be written http://articles.bplans.com/writing-a-business-plan
Regarding your partnerships, you strongly need to know what kind of benefits the partnership will bring to your business and make it a point to highlight this in your business plan.
Hope this helps...