As a business owner, whether small, medium or large scale, you will at one point in time have to write some business proposal.
In fact, for some businesses, you may have to write business proposal every week/month
To start with, what is business proposal?
For so many people, business proposal and business plan are both the same thing. That`s not correct. Business plans are the goals you set for your business and the step-by-step plans about how you intend to achieve them.
Business plan is useful for you to maintain focus in pursuing your entrepreneurial aims and objectives and it could be a good document to convince investors that you have a viable business project, so that they will be willing to raise capital for your business.
Business proposal is different in the sense that it`s not written as a goal for your enterprise or a document to negotiate capital. Instead, business proposal is the letter (or document) a business submit to the potential clients or customers with the intention of winning a business deal.
Now you see the difference.
When you`re writing business plan, you`re simply writing goals for your company. You will as well include some sections on the strategies and tactics you plan to use to achieve those goals.
In writing business proposal however, your intention is to use your letter, or document to win business from the potential customer.
Now that you`ve understood the differences, you may want to read about business plan. We have a good tutorial about business plan here.
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Should you still need a few clarification, here is it.
Let`s assume that you`re dealing in computer hardware and a company you know about is planning to open a new branch. You`re aware that this company usually need 25 computers for each of their branches.
Now you will want to write an application to let that company know that you deal in computer hardware and that your computers are the best around.
What you`re going to do here is to write a business proposal.
Let`s look at another example.
You are watching AIT (a popular African T.V station) one Tuesday evening as you hear an announcement about how your state government is planning to start cooking one meal per day for the primary school pupils of the state, so asking general public to apply to be cooks.
Since you`re into catering business and a good cook, you will then sit down to write a “letter”. That “letter” is writing as a bid to win the contract as the chief cook or as one of the cooks.
Such document you wrote is known as business proposal.
I think you get my point better now?
We write business plan as a goal for our business while we write business proposal as a document (or a letter) to win business for our company.