4 Tips for Creating Professional Construction Proposals that Help You Win More Bids

Construction Estimator Shaking Hands

Before a construction project starts, the bidding process is a crucial step. This often rigorous process begins when the project owners hire a general contractor based on the contractor’s project proposal or project bid. But how do construction contractors present their bids to a potential client?

The answer is using a construction proposal template. It outlines all the details clients want to know, allowing you to answer questions and win their business bids more professionally.

Making a proposal is a project in itself, and as the project manager, you can assemble all the elements of your proposal together with your team in one online location. Create tasks and phases, attach files to the project, set due dates, schedule reminders, and update progress. All these tasks are now simplified and enable you to have a professional construction proposal.

What is a Construction Proposal?

A construction proposal, or bid, is used in the construction bidding process when trying to win business. It includes detailed project information, such as quotes from suppliers that give an idea of how much the raw materials for the construction project will cost. There are quotes from subcontractors for the work they will do in the construction project.

Available free online construction proposal templates capture all the information of a construction bid in an outline filled in by the general contractor and sent to the project owner seeking submissions. There is a place for the client to sign if they accept the bid, which then acts as a legally binding contract, though in some cases, a signature can be required as an acknowledgment.

Why use a construction proposal?

A construction proposal is a critical construction management document because it’s used to acquire work. A bid is not different from a sales call, only in this case, you have a motivated project owner. You need to convince the potential clients your construction firm is right for the job.

The project proposal outlines the scope of the project, including costs. This is often the first step to a legally binding contract. Therefore, if you are awarded the job, you want to ensure you include accurate, pertinent information to avoid any costly misunderstandings later on. To beat the competition, you must have the best bid that meets their needs and provides you with a profit. Construction bidding is a complicated process; the last thing you must do is waste time.

A construction proposal comprises project scope, costs, and more. Fortunately, construction project management software efficiently organizes all that data. The project manager helps you present a competitive project proposal In a timely manner. You and your team can choose from five different project views when executing projects.

Users of Construction Proposals

Construction proposals are majorly used by:

  • General building contractors; A clear construction bid template can help you win projects.
  • Project owners; Having a standardized form for the construction bidding process saves time.
  • Construction project managers; Any site manager must be familiarized with the construction bidding process
  • Construction companies; Construction management templates help firms streamline their processes.

How to create professional construction proposals

Many construction companies overlook the importance of professional construction proposals. However, a good proposal shows how well you understand your client’s business and gives you a chance to showcase your skills. Below are some actionable tips on how to create professional proposals.

Customize it with your logo and branding

Your proposals should have a consistent and professional look that is easily recognizable as that of your company’s. Simply put, your proposals need branding. 

Branding includes your logo and, if desired, other graphics, such as a banner image. Establish how you want your proposals to look, including branding and layout, and make it a standard template that every estimator at your company should follow. It will help your company look more put-together and stand out from the competition. 

(ProTip: With ProEst, you can generate proposals directly from your estimates and easily customize with your company’s logo and graphics.)

Proof it carefully for typos

Think typos and spelling errors don’t matter? After all, you’re bidding on a construction project, not a magazine article.

Think again. Your proposal will make an impression — possibly a first impression — and if you miss a typo, it will leave the reader wondering what else you overlooked. Show them that your company takes pride in their attention to detail by making your proposal spotless. 

Don’t let the reader stumble over a typo when they should be paying attention to your bid. The reader might not consciously notice that your proposal is typo-free — but they’ll notice that your proposal seems more put together than your competitors’ proposals if they do have typos. 

Construction Estimator Reviewing Estimate

Take the time to review before submitting

Bidding is a time-sensitive process, but spending an extra ten minutes reviewing a proposal before submitting it could help determine whether you win the bid. 

One good rule of thumb is to always have someone else on your team read through it. Getting fresh eyes on the proposal might reveal something you’ve overlooked — such as a typo, an error, or something that’s missing. 

If you’re doing the final check yourself, it’s always a good idea to set the proposal aside and review it again after you’ve spent some time away from it. Depending on how close you are to the deadline, you might review it the next day, after lunch, or after taking a short break to work on something else. The time apart will give you a chance to think of anything that’s missing and allow you to return to the proposal with fresh eyes. 

Make sure the data is accurate

Your proposal can look as put together as possible, but none of that matters if the bid isn’t accurate. Inaccurate proposals can not only result in fewer awarded bids, but also in awarded projects that end up going way over budget and damaging your company’s reputation. 

When creating your proposal, you need to make sure that you’re accurately transferring the data from your estimate. The best way to do this is by using industry-specific estimating software with built-in reporting, instead of spreadsheets. That way, you won’t have to worry about reentering information and can feel confident knowing that everything in your estimate appears in your proposal. 

And if your estimating software produces consistent, accurate results, your proposals will be more competitive and the jobs you win will be less likely to go over budget — leaving your clients with a positive impression of your company. 

Building and maintaining a professional, trustworthy reputation is just the start of building a precon strategy that will bring you more business. Want to learn even more ways to win more bids? Download our free executive report, 7 Ways To Win In Precon.