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.
Every project is different. But every winning proposal follows the same basic structure. Once you understand this structure, you’ll save time and land more clients. Instead of starting from scratch, you can create a proposal template you can customize for every project.
Although business proposals present the same information and have the same layout, it’s important to take time and make each one unique. Each project is different, even if it’s with the same company. Remember, a business proposal must show how you or your company can help a potential client.
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.
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