A business plan is a guide for your business, a roadmap that outlines goals and details how you plan to achieve those goals. It is used to keep you on track (internal use) and to support any applications you might make when seeking investors, or when applying for commercial loans (external use). While a business proposal on the other hand is used to try to attract and acquire business. It pitches your business, product, or service to a potential client, vendor, or supplier. A client, vendor, or supplier might also request a business proposal from you when trying to evaluate whether or not you’re someone they want to work with, or whether or not you can provide the services or products they require. Write a good proposal and you might snag business; write a poor one, and you may lose out, even if you’re offering the best service out there.
Make a Winning Business Proposal! When you write a proposal, you’re really taking control of the future of your small business and brand, so you should put a good deal of thought and preparation into the final presentation.
Explain How You’re Going to Solve Their Problem. Be a problem solver. Outline your objective and method for addressing your prospective client’s problem and how you’re going to solve it for them. In the above example, maybe there hasn’t been sufficient A/B testing to determine what page design iterations works and which don’t. You could potentially offer this as part of your strategy to tackle their poorly converting site.
Detail the Cost and Time Involved. No client enjoys coming in over-budget for any job or project, but all clients appreciate knowing exactly how much time and money can be expected of them if they choose you for this specific project. Spell out the timeline of when and how you’ll do what with a best estimate. Are you going to interview your clients at the start of next month to figure out where their site is losing money? Will you begin wireframing your redesign iteration shortly thereafter?
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