A business proposal is a request by a business or individual to complete a specific job or project; to supply a service; or in some instances to be the vendor of a certain product. It is not a business plan. While you might use your business plan to help inform your business proposal when you’re writing it, these documents are not one and the same.
One of the most crucial skills that small business owners, solopreneurs and freelancers in any industry have to master is making the perfect proposal. Proposals are absolutely essential to your success, as they have the power to land you new clients and projects that can take your brand and income to new heights.
Types of proposalsProposals are produced for many different purposes, but they can be split into two categories: solicited and unsolicited.
- The solicited proposal usually begins with a request for a proposal (RFP). Many companies will use an RFP template to give potential suppliers details of what they are looking for in a bid. It will usually give a timeline of when items are due and what they are looking for in the document.
- The unsolicited proposal is initiated by the person who writes it. The writer usually submits it because they have an idea they want to pitch or they want to sell something.
Business Proposal vs. Business Plan. Quite often, the terms “business proposal” and “business plan” are used interchangeably, giving you the impression that they are one and the same. But they are not. A business plan is a “formal statement of a set of business goals” and how these would be achieved. These documents sometimes can be included in a business proposal.
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