Learn How To Write Proposals For Different Building Services so that you can continue to grow your Building Services Contractor business by expanding in to new services.
Learn Building Services Proposals
A Business proposal is a document used to persuade a prospective client into hiring you or your company for a specific job. A proposal is likely one of the most important documents you must learn to write. An effective proposal can be the deciding factor between you or another company.
Many freelancers or those just starting their businesses can struggle with getting a client and spending hours upon hours sending proposals only to be ignored. On the other hand, there are those that win over their clients and very rarely deal with rejections. By reading this article and putting the advice to good use, you will be able to form a client winning business proposal.
The Business Proposal Basics
To begin, there are generally two types of business proposals sent out:
- Solicited Business Proposals: Usually requested by clients or submitted in response to a job advertisement.
- Unsolicited Business Proposals: Given out to prospective clients when the client is not requesting one.
Generally, solicited proposals are more effective because they are tailored to the client and the job’s scope of work.
When a potential client offers an opportunity of business, you may feel pressured to submit a proposal right away. Give yourself some time to learn about the job offer and the client in order to get a good scope of the task. A day at most is what you should spend, no need to make the client wait more than that.
When gathering information be sure to take note of these things:
- Who is buying? Consider all parties that may be involved and their thought processes. Ideally you would want a good picture of their decision making/approval process.
- Identify “Pain Points” and how to solve them. **Pain points are a specific problem your client wishes to be solved in your industry. Ask your prospect questions about their experience with past products in order to identify their issues. You should have a good idea about your client’s problem.
- Budget constraints? Ask your client if they have a price in mind or have to adhere to a budget. You should avoid responding to jobs that don’t offer much profit.
- Identify a deadline. Most companies set deadlines to hit production schedules. Knowing how much time you have for the project will be helpful.
- Identify any possible solutions for the problem. After taking the previous questions into account, what’s your best game plan? Determine which of your offerings provide the most benefit depending on your client’s circumstances.
The above research should be ideally done in a meeting with the client prior to you writing the proposal. Ideally a Walkthrough for the job should be performed prior. A simple rule of thumb would be to send the proposal after the meeting, making sure to include a friendly greeting. You don’t want to send a proposal prematurely especially if you can’t accurately estimate costs. You also don’t want to send it too late and be beaten out by your competition.
Use A Business Proposal Template Or A CRM Tool
Designing a professional looking proposal can be quite daunting, so instead of trying to create a proposal filled with industry jargon, find one online. There are plenty of templates built for powerpoint or google slides or you can choose from the available to present your case. Another option would be to use a CRM or customer relationship management tool. There are many to choose from but we would personally recommend the app called Route which has a proposal generator tool.
The Route proposal generator is essentially a document templating engine designed for dynamically creating a BSC’s Service Agreement and Scope of Work. This saves time entering data and creating a proposal. It provides more thorough and structured data than existing tools and ultimately leads to a higher quality and more professional looking proposal that you can send to a prospective client faster than ever before.
As an example, imagine you just completed a walkthrough with Route for a cleaning contract. You're getting ready to review your notes and submit a bid on the work so you grab your handy cost estimating tool and figure out what you want to charge. From there you need to create a legal contract that outlines the services you're providing, expectations and costs, legal requirements, agreement duration and so forth.
The Proposal Generator pulls information gathered in the field while using the Walkthrough Builder. If a walkthrough was not performed, the Proposal Generator template is still structured for the needs of Building Service Contractors. Those needs pertain to the scope of work, obtaining and entering the important details about the prospect's space and the job's requirements.
Business Proposal Elements: What Goes In A Business Proposal?
While business proposals can take the form of a less structured proposal letter, they are often long documents that might include anything from engineering specifications to equipment lists to project staffing, depending on what’s requested.
Here is an outline of what should be included in your proposal. Most of these should be included in your business proposal:
- Cover Page and Cover Letter - After introducing yourself, this briefly goes over what you and your company do, your qualifications, and why you’re the best for the job.
- Table of Contents - Lays out every part of your proposal in an efficient, organized place.
- Overview of the Problem or Need - Identifies the issue or need client is looking to solve.
- Recommended Solution/Strategy - Here’s where you offer a solution or a business plan in order to solve your client’s problem.
- Fee Summary and Schedule - Outlines what you will be charging, what for and when you will charge.
- Estimated Project Schedule - Plan out the project and try to set deadlines in order to gauge progression.
- Follow Up and Terms and Conditions - Dictates the next steps and where to contact you.
This outline ensures you start with the reader of the proposal in mind. First, you talk about the business problem, then the solution, and then pricing.
Project Objectives and Scope of Work
The first thing you want to do before outlining the scope of your project is to define the objective of your business proposal. It’s important that you know and articulate your objectives so that you never lose sight of the reason you’re writing the proposal. This helps shape your outline and your proposal. It is also a good practice to state the objective, either in your cover letter or in the recommended solution of your business proposal.
In order to create an effective proposal objective, ask yourself the following:
- What is the purpose of this proposal?
- What are the needs of the prospect or client?
- What problems will you be solving with your products or services?
- How does your solution solve the prospect’s problem?
After answering, draft a quick proposal objective statement that is centered around your client’s or prospect’s needs.
Ideally it could resemble something like this: The objective of this business proposal is to demonstrate how (Business name) can solve the problem of (Client problem) for (Client) by (Solution or strategy).
Outlining the Project’s Scope
A project’s scope is a list of everything it will deliver and should take into account features, functions, tasks, costs and scheduling.
In order to outline the scope, ask yourself the following questions:
- Who: Who will do all the contacting? Who will do the labor? Who will manage? Who will the client call in case of an issue or emergency?
- What: What the job entails. What needs to be done and what will be required to finish it. What can the client expect at the end of the project?
- When: When will the job begin? Any milestones or goals and objectives defined? When will the project be finished? When will payment be due?
- Where: The location of the project. Where will it be done?
- How: How will work be done? How will it be managed? How will you ensure quality assurance.
- Why: Why is your plan outlined this way? Why should your client choose you and your company for the job.
Estimation of Labor Costs
You would likely want to have all your costs done early on in the proposal process, or at least have a broad estimation. The cost of labor, services, tools and anything else you can account for, as well as what you are going to charge the client. All of this should have been done during the initial Walkthrough.
The Route Walkthrough builder can help you outline the tasks of a job and who will be working on it, you can also use the Route Bid Estimator to help you decide on a rough price based on industry standards.
Finally, after getting all the previous work in order, you should be more prepared to begin drafting a business proposal.
Start Drafting the Proposal
One of the easiest ways to write a persuasive and organized business proposal is using a CRM software like Route (mentioned earlier).
A lot of people do all the necessary research, but they find themselves agonizing over every detail of their proposals’ presentation. This causes them to put off submitting as many proposals as they should. That’s why software like Route’s Proposal Generator can help mitigate the stagnating pitfalls that come with over analyzing all the details of a proposal.
Start with an introduction that summarizes your business and the project, followed by a body that fleshes out all the details (including a pricing table, photos, charts or diagrams) and a conclusion that tells the customer how to proceed. Be sure to explain about your company, why you’re the best for the job, past successes, and even past client reviews if available.
After the Proposal is completed, proofread it for any grammatical or spelling errors. One last look through and your proposal should be ready to be sent out.
The Follow Up
Give your client a couple days to respond, they may have a large number of proposals to look through and decide on what companies to call back. Be prepared to answer any questions the client may have concerning your proposal after submission. Write a follow up email a day later asking if the client needs clarification or if any questions come up, also thanking them for the opportunity to do business.
Although business proposals can vary depending on the company and job being performed, most of the outlined subjects above prove to be essential to writing an effective and attention grabbing proposal. Don’t forget to tailor it personally for the client and you should be well on your way to getting loads of job opportunities.