Difference Between a Business Plan and a Business Proposal

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Many a time, my subscribers would call and ask me that they need a business proposal.

When I ask them more information to enable me to prepare a winning business proposal, in the course of interview them, I discover that what they need is a business plan and not a business proposal.

Many people don’t know the difference between a business plan and a business proposal.

These are two very different business documents, each serving a distinct purpose. A business plan and a business proposal are very different documents and I will explain to you so you understand why there are different and their purpose.


A Business Plan is a document that describes in detail how your business is set up. Business plans cover your business structure, your products and services, your market research and marketing strategy, and your complete budget and financial projections for up to five years. Both startups and existing businesses require business plans. Developing these documents requires a lot of research and number-crunching.

A business is needed for two primary reasons. First, as a guide and to monitor your business progress. See if you have achieved your milestones and meet your targets. It serves as a roadmap… A business plan gives you a workable strategy to follow for the period covered by the plan (may a year or 3 years or 5 years plans) . Your business plan is your blueprint to success — it outlines the steps to move from business idea to business success.


Secondly, if you are hoping to raise funds through a business loan, a venture capitalist, an angel or an incubator, don’t even consider approaching these moneylenders unless you have a thoroughly researched business plan in your hand. Experts estimate that it takes approximately six weeks to develop a business plan, so churning one up the day before your appointment with the banker won’t work.

A business plan is pivotal to the success of your business. A business plan contains execution plan and revenue model etc.



A business proposal contains information that you present to a prospect/client proposing a business arrangement.

There are two main categories of business proposals: invited and non-invited. The invited business proposal is when an organisation, individual or government invites a company or an  individual or the general public to submit a proposal. The proposal can be for the purpose of supply of equipment or anything or to bid. Sometimes they advertise public tenders inviting contractors to bid. You will be competing against all bidders that noticed the posting and responded. Similarly, some businesses will send Requests for Proposals (RFPs) to a selection of businesses that they are willing to consider as a potential supplier.


A non-invited  proposal is when you submit a proposal to an individual or an organisation without them inviting you. Is more or less  unsolicited proposal.  With this kind of proposal, if they like they would review and get back to you, but if they don’t like or it doesn’t fit into what they want, they would reject it.

Whether you are submitting an  invited proposal or non-invited business proposal, your proposal should be well-researched, detailed, precise and concise.



Proposals are in different forms. Proposal to supply, proposal to train staff of a company, proposal to provide cleaning service, medical service, maintenance among others.


So next time, don’t get yourself confused. Understands what there are meant for and use it accordingly.


If you need a business plan or a business proposal, we can help you to develop one. Kindly contact us on 07031542324 or [email protected]


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