At the end of the estimating process comes the proposal — the culmination of all your hard work. Make your hard work pay off by going the extra mile to ensure your proposal is professional-looking and accurate. Your proposal represents your company to potential clients — make sure it’s primed to win with these four important steps.
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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.)
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.
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.
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.