Differences Between a Formal Research & Business Proposal

A formal research proposal differs greatly from a business proposal. While the two types of proposals may appear similar, there are crucial differences in the overall goals, sections, purposes and uses. Knowing these distinct differences makes it easier for a writer to effectively complete and write formal research and business proposals.

Proposal Goals

In any proposal, the overall goals are often outlined in the proposal’s overview section or in the basic proposal introduction. The goals for a formal research proposal differ greatly from a business proposal. This is because a formal research proposal often focuses on finding specific information or data that can help the business make better decisions, whether it is for the budget, market or customers. Business proposals often suggest new products or services, which means that the goal is often to make money for the business. While the formal research proposals often have a theoretical approach, the business proposals often have a practical approach in how to do things to make money.

Proposal Sections

While both types of proposals have an introduction and a conclusion, the other sections may differ. For example, a formal research report will have a research methods section that discusses how the information and data will be found, while a business proposal may not have a methods section. This is because a business proposal is to suggest a product, where the research methods have already been conducted. Similarly, the formal research proposal may also have a brief discussion of how much the research will cost, while the business report will have a full-out budget that allows the company to start to project in question immediately.

Research’s Role in Business Proposals

The order they are completed is also a major different between the formal research proposal and the business proposal. The formal research proposal is often completed to determine whether the business should even attempt to make a change, such as implement a new product or make budget changes. The business proposal is after the formal research proposal. While the research proposal determines the overall demand for the products or services, the business proposal discusses the best way of developing and marketing them.

Overall Uses

The formal research report has a different use than the business proposal. The formal research reports are commonly used by product developers and financial analysts to determine whether the company should develop another product. The business proposal is often used to determine the best way of entering the market once the product has been developed. The theoretical and practical themes of the proposals also play a role in their uses for the business.


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