In the construction industry, contractors typically win only 1 out of 6 bids they submit, translating to wasted resources preparing bids. While the statistics may seem negative, it is possible to increase your chances of getting picked. And how is this possible? By improving your bid proposals themselves.
In this blog, we will break down all the components of a winning bid proposal that can also serve as a checklist in creating your next bid. Once you have completed your new and improved bid, you will have a template for all the future bids of your company, which can save you time in the long run.
Developing Construction Bid Proposal
As soon as you discover a job opportunity, the bidding officially starts, and you will start to create your bid. If the project owner provides a bid sheet, bid form, or bid template, use it to fill up your proposal. If not, feel free to create your bid on a blank template, with the words “Bid Proposal” printed in bold on the first page.
Before adding anything else, make sure to consider all the fundamentals, like your company’s contact information, your logo, name, and other details that will help the client grasp the image of your business. You will need to provide the basic information regarding your company on the cover page, such as:
- Company logo
- Name of your company
- Contact information
- Name of the client you’re submitting a proposal to
- The date of the bid proposal and the time it expires
Proving a brief introduction to the project can also demonstrate that you have thoroughly reviewed the project’s scope and requirements to help your proposal get pushed to the next stage of the bidding process. Truthfully, most bids are already eliminated in the review phase since they failed to fully demonstrate the project owner’s demands. So, ensure that you take care to address all the necessary points in your bid for a greater chance of winning.
10 Important Components of a Winning Bid Proposal
1. Scope of Works
The Scope of Works summary is one of the most critical sections of the construction bidding process. With the specifications and details from the job proposal, you’ll want to create a complete summary of all the job components in summary. This section includes any photograph, strategies, illustrations, or information to supply the plan you propose to accomplish in the construction project.
This is the part of the bid proposal for specifics, including the list of materials needed, the number of workers, tools and equipment to use, and various other essential provisions. If there are any items or things that haven’t been determined yet or not yet included in the initial Request for Proposal (RFP), provide a clear list of all “Assumptions” or “For Clarification” with the reason of why they are part of your bid. This checklist will allow the client or the project owner to consider the requirements identified in the RFP and experienced enough about your field and construction projects to introduce elements the client missed or overlooked while preparing the RFP.
In a nutshell, the Scope of Works summary is the place to highlight your knowledge and understanding about the job, your ability to deliver according to the expected outcomes of the owner, as well as outline and breakdown “how” you’ll do the job. Fully engaging with the construction project’s requirements, you communicate to the client that you are the best option for the job, significantly increasing your chances of winning the project.
Once you have carefully evaluated the RFP, take time to give space in your proposal to voice any concerns or risks about the construction projects and their operation. Ensure to include any specific building code requirement, potential dangers, adjustments, or other concerns regarding the job you expect. This will show the client your knowledge of what you learned from your previous projects and your sincerity and needed introspection about going through the job safely as possible.
Making sure that a project is finished on time and according to the established budget is especially critical for prospective clients, who pay extra each day a project is delayed. Hence, including a complete and detailed schedule or timeline for the project in your proposal will heighten the owner’s confidence in your ability to meet the milestones on time and avoid any potential schedule creep. Additionally, make sure to provide an end-to-end schedule that includes procurement, preconstruction, operations, close-out, turnover, and post-construction.
One tool that can guide you in establishing an accurate and solid timeline is construction scheduling software, such as Pro Crew Schedule, which can help you consider every aspect of the project and get the shortest timeline possible- without sacrificing quality.
Include a list of all the resources you need to complete the project – this includes the construction tools and equipment you will need. Does the specified job require you to use your construction inventory? Make sure to include how much it will cost and the duration of days you’ll need to rent the equipment.
5. Cost Estimate
The next thing you have to include in your bid proposal, and probably the most important, is the cost estimate to complete the job. Make sure to provide a thorough and detailed estimate of your material takeoff, labor cost, equipment and tools, temporary facilities, variances, and indirect costs. If you are bidding for a construction project with multiple trades- such as electrical, HVAC, plumbing, or painting- include costs for each as well.
So while it is essential that your bid is as low as possible while still preserving the margins of the project, it is more worth considering that your bid is accurate. The more precise a cost estimate is, the lower your total cost will be, and the fewer change orders will take place once the construction operation begins. Construction estimating services are now available to enable contractors to upload plans online and get a detailed and accurate estimate within hours, crafted by an expert. If you don’t have the budget to hire an estimator, this option is worth considering.
Apart from your cost estimate, make sure also to include the costs additional to your contingencies and other mark-ups that should be considered that comprise the total price to complete the construction project to reality. This can consist of the material mark-ups brought by inflation or the added cost of hiring skilled workers instead of traditional ones for more quality work and shorter project duration.
After everything has been said, make sure to make a brief recap or summary of your overall bid proposal – especially your cost estimate. You need to be mindful that the bid you submit is only one of the number of proposals the project owner will review. With this, it is essential to make a concise and summarized version of all the things you have covered in your bid proposal.
Moreover, don’t forget to show your professionalism by thanking the owner for taking the time to consider your company and providing you an opportunity to take on their project. The concluding bid summary is also an excellent outline to prepare you to pitch your proposal if you are lucky enough to get to the interview stage of the bidding process.
8. Supporting Documents
If you are planning to hire subcontractors or trade contractors, make sure to attach a copy of your agreement(s). It’s always vital to include a sample contract for third-party contractors so that the project owner can visualize the conditions, terms, and payment schedule for potential negotiations before the start of the operations. If a sample contract is not yet established, include a standard agreement copy your company uses. Copies of insurances and liabilities are also critical.
Summing it up, including all the necessary documents and contracts to help the owner understand and evaluate your bid.
9. Branding and Presentation
As we have previously mentioned, include all the personal touched such as your company logo, picture, and branding as well as brand colors in your bid proposal presentation. Your branding will help your proposal stand out among your competitor and show a professional image. And while it seems common sense, always proofread your bid at least once before finally submitting it. We suggest having more than one set of eyes proof your final proposal to ensure typos and errors are caught before it’s too late.
10. Submit Your Bid Proposal
Once you have checked all the previous nine components outlined here, you are good to go to submit your final bid. Every issued RFP includes a specific set of instructions on how to submit your bid.
Most importantly, make sure to submit your bid before the deadline in the format (either physical document or digital files) delivered in the way requested in the RFP.
Want to learn advanced strategies to strengthen your bid proposals? Check out our article on Top 4 Surefire Ways to Help You Win Your Next Construction Bid.
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