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.
In its simplest form, 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).
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.
This document provides you with a free business proposal template. Feel free to adjust it to suit your needs. No two businesses will use exactly the same format, so it’s important that you understand what the purpose of the proposal is. What are you trying to achieve? Does the format help you do that? If not, adjust it so that it does!
Ultimately, a business proposal is comprised of three parts:
To learn more about how to write a great business proposal, check out our latest article:
Secure New Clients with a Great Business Proposal »
*It’s worth noting that a business proposal is not just an estimate. While you will likely touch on costs in the proposal, an estimate is much more informal, and doesn’t take the whole picture into account in the same way a business proposal does.