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.
Because proposals are so time intensive, it’s best to avoid starting from scratch. Most people start with a proposal template of that’s similar to what they need, then customize it for their specific situation. Templates will only get you so far. For additional time savings, and faster turnaround time on your proposals, software and more focused tools goes a long way and helps close deals faster.
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.
Another thing to remember when writing a business proposal is to always put yourself in the shoes of your potential clients. Doing this will help you provide information on things that they would most likely ask, such as “Why should we pay you this much amount for the solutions you’re offering” and “How can these changes benefit me?”
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