Business report vs. business proposal.
Learn the difference between a business report and a business proposal and when to use each.
One is designed to analyze situations and suggest improvement. The other is for generating business. Discover more about the difference between business reports and business proposals and the best use for each.
What’s a business report?
A business report is for analyzing business situations — either hypothetical or real — and then providing suggestions for improvement. They can be formal or informal depending on the recipient, but a formal business report should include at least the following:
- Cover sheet with a title, company name, address, and date
- Table of contents for reports ten pages or longer
- Report summary
- Introduction with the report’s background and methodology used
- Main body with organized headings and subheadings
- Conclusion with recommendations for improvement
- Appendix, including supporting graphs and/or charts
Informal business reports can be much shorter. If you include the problem and a few suggestions, an informal report can be just one or two pages. Ask the recipient which format they prefer before you begin.
What’s a business proposal?
A business proposal is a document that asks another company to do business with you. Most business proposals are sent by suppliers to win contracts or projects and should include at least the following information:
- Project scope
- Products or services to be delivered
- Project cost
- Completion date and milestone timelines
When you write a job-specific business proposal, be sure to include information like target market reports. The more detailed your proposal, the better. If the client approves your bid, they’ll accept the terms and sign your business proposal.
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