When you are into doing projects, any projects, you need to establish connections with your prospect clients. It has always been that way, unless you are selling services as a vendor. But if you are, for example, a contractor for carpentry or a building contractor, it is necessary that you establish a good relationship with your future clients. But that is not always the case. What if you need to get that project closed, what if you want to win in a bid, what if you want to get that grant? That is when you need to have a proposal.
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Contractor Request for Proposal FedSource Example
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What is a proposal?
Simply said, it is a means of saying something to someone to get something from him or her. In business, a proposal is a business letter written by the seller to the prospective buyers. In the letter, the seller expresses his or her intention that he has the available services that the client needs. In the letter, the seller draws out all the materials, resources, skills to impress the buyer.
Contractor’s Proposal Example
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A proposal is like a bidding process. In a bidding process, sellers compete each other to win in deal. For example, there is a need to erect a building. You as a seller will not be the only person to win in a deal. There will be many others in the competition. And if it is a competition, you need to be on the top. And clients assess your offer by the kind of proposal you make. It boils down to saying, the winner is the one who makes the best proposal. It sounds off the mark, but try to offer your service to someone without having to show an impressive display of presentation, and you will understand what this means.
But that does not mean your experience, your background, your skills will not become a factor. They are a big factor. But a proposal is like a curtain in a concert, it is not the main dish of the concert, but some people will make an impression out of it. There are just people who will judge the book by its cover, no matter how hard you try to conscientize them. There is not really wrong in judging a book by its cover, but there is something wrong when a book is judged before one has read its content. And not all people who say something will say something because of what they have read, but because of the impressions they have deduced from something. And proposal is the mastermind of all impressions. So it is all about making a good proposal, but how do you make one?
Contractor’s Bid Proposal Example
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Proposal Making, a Step by Step Process
Proposal making is a process. Basically it starts with the thought of winning a bid. Here are steps in making a good one.
- Know the Audience. Knowing the audience, that is the prospective clients, should be on the top of the list. As they say, know your enemies before going to war, before you attack them. It should be put into mind that the audience is also the one to read your proposal. So forget about who you are, your services, and just think about your client, and how you can make an impression on your proposal. Like a young boy to a young girl, think about how pretty she is. So you would be asking questions like, how old is the company? What is the company all about? What are the products and services of the company? What are the clients of the company? Do they do exports, do the do imports? Is it a BPO company? How many employees do they have? Is it owned by a corporation? Is it composed of lawyers, because it could be a law firm. Is it a company with just one office or build, or does it have many branches. Is the main office in the USA, or in Canada? Do they sell cars, or just car parts?
- Knowing the Concern at Hand. Now you have known the prospective client and its product and services, you are now ready to find and identify its problem. The premise is this: Everyone has problem. That is, all companies have problems. But we do not have the same problems, we do not have the same level of difficulty of problem. And even if faced with the same problem, the said problem will be treated differently by every individuals. Knowing the concern is as important as knowing the person, the client, the company. So you should be asking, what is it the matter at hand? What solution are they looking for? What is it that they need? Is it a legal issue?
- Preview. After being confronted with the problem, you have identified it, and you have known the audience, the client, it is now time you assess the problem. By assess, you try to check if you can handle case yourself. Or do you need a team to assist you do the project. Is the project too difficult realize? Can you really provide a project proposal for the client?
- Scope and Limitation. After making a look around, you have made a some preview, and maybe a grasp of what the matter is all about, you need to go to the details. If you realize that you are really going to propose a project, you have to go deeper to the issues. You have to go macro, and micro. You have to see the minute details. You have to go fine tuning. You have to go from meter to centimeter. The keyword is detail. So for example, the client needs a building for his new office, you now have a grasp how big is the issue. This is not just a project about repairing a an air conditioner. This is not just about repairing the floor of an office. This is big, so will you be willing to accept the project?
- Outline. Are you all set and ready? Will you take the project? Will you do the proposal? What do you think are the things you need to prepare to push through the project? You have the answer, but you need to put them into writing.
- Make an Outline. An outline will guide you trough the rest of the project. Without an outline, it would be harder for you to execute your plans. You know how and what to do? But how do you do it, systematically speaking? The answer, Proposal.
- Budget Proposal. You want to show the client your outline. But you also want to show to them the budget. The budget can be a determining factor if they should pick you up, if they should pick you as the winner in the bidding. If the budget is too high, you risk being declined. If the budget is too low, you risk not getting a profit, and it is your loss. So it should be a balance between the two.
- Proposed Action Plan. You already have an outline, a proposed budget. But you also need to write the details of your plan. You will mention in the title or outline, Building Proposal. But how do you build the building?
- Time Table. You can not waste the client’s money by delaying the project. So a time table, a time frame must be produced. It is good that both of you are able to see the cards so when there is a need to make some clarifications, it can be given attention immediately.
- Conclusion. Perhaps you can wrap up by saying nice things about your client before you end your proposal. Maybe indicate that you are glad for being invited by the company. Express how you are thankful that among many others, you are one where the client showed interest. That being said, you can add something by may be giving some discounts to the client. Say, instead of 1 million USD for the project, you would just offer it to them for 900 USD. Or may be just say something like 10 percent discount. The client upon reading that, would be impressed. And that may affect his decision which proposal he would choose. Also indicate how a client may be able to reach you. In case if your proposal may not be chosen, at least he can still can reach you for another projects.
Contractor’s Change Proposal Form Example
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Proposal making is an exciting job. Scary but exciting. Scary because you would have no clue as to the decision of your clients, whether your proposal would pass and be approved, hence you would be hired. But exciting, because like winning a lotto, the feeling of winning in a bid is a combination of shock and awe.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Contractor Proposals
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Other External Considerations
Proposal is like applying a job. Or it is like courting someone. You do not know if your proposal will be approved or be discarded. But that is what makes it interesting. That is what makes it challenging. There is a lot of competition outside. Everything is doing almost the same thing, with the same intention at the back of their mind. But do you have the edge?
Proposal Form Example
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Other factors will play a role such as connections. If you have a connection with the client, chances are you will be drafted. But it may not necessarily mean your proposal was better than all the others who submitted. But that is part of business. Connections may not be found in any business strategy books, but it is a big deal. Nobody wants to talk about it, but it is there.
Contractor Proposal Michigan Example
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If you are presented with two dishes of the same menu, of the same food, but cooked and prepared by two different chef, respectively speaking. Without tasting the two, and just by looking at it, which do you think would you choose? Our answer would simply be to choose the one which is well presented, perfectly decorated, deliciously attractive. This calls not just the way you make your proposal, the way how the proposal was written. But also, how you present yourself before your clients.
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You can not tell the people not to be carried away by stereotyping. It is good not to stereotype people, but you can not dictate them how they react. If they see something, they will always react according to their own programmed, used, responses. You can not tell them to believe that just because you wore slippers, you have no degree in engineering. What you can do is present yourself decently without letting others try to believe what you believe, while at the same time, give them an impression that you can do something without trying to change their beliefs. You do not have to show them a three hour video presentation about your accomplishments, but at least you have somethings to show.
Response to the Contractor’s Proposal Example
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Having considered everything, you really have to look at your proposal from a different perspective. Try to distant yourself, and you can see the whole picture, the whole package. Sometimes, you get too fixated by what we try to present within the limits of the paper. Sometimes, you can be too confident with what you have, such as a whole array of experience, or the number of projects you have accomplished, the number of structures you have built. But you are only seeing something from just one angle, from yourself. So try to look your packaging if it is really desirable enough from another perspective.
Request for Proposal Example
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There are many proposal templates that can be found on the internet. The topics are countless, in fact, you really have to figure out which one is the right one. It could be about courtship proposal, it could be a proposal on art exhibit, it could be a proposal on making thousands of balloons, and it could be a proposal on building a church, a house, an edifice, a mall. Nevertheless, you can make your own which can be more personal. In doing so, the client may find it attractive if you make your own.
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