People put a lot of faith in their plumber, and they should! Your job allows your client to keep their facility moving quite literally. Without you, there would be no running water, flushing toilets, or functioning drains.
Being a great plumber requires great skill not only on the jobsite but on paper, as well. You must be able to sell your plumbing services in your proposal.
Where do you start when writing a plumbing proposal? What are the steps you should take to ensure your business stands out against the crowd? How do you present the estimate?
All these questions will be answered throughout this article. If you’re ready to improve your own plumbing proposal writing, let’s get started with an introduction.
Introducing Yourself In The Proposal
If you have read the other articles in the series about proposal writing for contract workers, you’ll see a familiar theme; we always start by talking about how to formally introduce yourself in the proposal. We do this by writing mission statements and cover letters.
Plumbing is a great industry to write a mission statement. You have a specific goal in mind for every project and the results of your work will be noticeable immediately.
If you haven’t ever written a mission statement, we encourage you to read some of the other articles in the series. There are great examples of mission statements in our janitorial cleaning proposals article or our window washing proposals article.
For this example, we are going to use the same structure we used in the window washing article. In it, we say that a good way to break down a mission statement is to start with the work you do, move on to your personal commitment to the job, and finish by saying something about your employees and experience. See example below.
“[Your Company] Plumbing exists to design, install and maintain a full range of plumbing and heating systems with customer service and efficiency as the cornerstones of our business. Our experienced, certified personnel ensure exceptional plumbing services and a friendly, professional demeanor with every visit.”
In the first sentence we explain the type of work we do and our personal work philosophy. In the second sentence, we talk about our staff and how their professional skills and their attitudes influence our business.
Another way to structure a mission statement is to start with a company focus, move on to “what” and “how” you do business, address your target market, and finish with customer benefits. To learn about this more detailed approach, check out this article for great writing tips.
An important tip to note is that you should never overstate your qualifications for a job.
According to requestletters.com, the best way to win a plumbing bid is to thoroughly understand the work, accurately come up with a cost and time estimate, and show your licensing to do the job. Speak with confidence about your services but if you don’t have experience in a certain area, don’t pretend like you do; this is highly damaging to your business reputation.
Testimonials And Experience
One of the fastest ways to increase the number of eyes on your plumbing business is by sharing reviews and testimonials from your happy clients. If you’re already using our platform Route, you can access client reviews on the app. Find reviews wherever you can, and encourage your clients to leave you feedback. Compile your best feedback onto a page to come after your introduction. People love to see real world opinions from other people.
After your testimonials, the next in your plumbing proposal is to highlight your project experience.
In the requestletters.com article, the author mentions that your relative job experience is important in showing your credibility as a plumber. Distinguish whether you trying to land a bid for a commercial or residential job, then give some examples of similar jobs you’ve completed.
How you frame up your experience will vary from job to job, so practice presenting it in different ways, and use the Internet as a resource.
As a plumber, you’re going to see a variety of different jobs come through your door. Each new project you start will need a set of recommendations in the proposal.
Here you will tell your prospect what needs to be done. This should be detailed but not too lengthy- ideally a few sentences. Larger projects or complete plumbing redesigns might need a longer set of recommendations.
Go through each part of your walkthrough a write a brief description of the services you are going to perform based on your notes. If this is a new plumbing installation, include your design plans. If this is a repair, explain where the repair will be made and how. The important part is that you communicate the required action step necessary to complete the task at hand. The cost will come later in the estimate.
If you like, you may include a “goals” or “expected outcomes” section. This is just one design tip and it may not be right for every project. If this is a major industrial job or a particularly complex undertaking, goals and outcomes might be relevant. If you’re just fixing someone’s clogged toilet, you don’t have to set a goal or tell them the outcome. Look online for examples of plumbing proposals to see when and where this may be necessary.
Project Summary Page
Before you present the prospect with an estimate, it is smart to summarize everything you’ve told them thus far. It may seem repetitious to you, but reinforcing the important part of your proposal to your prospect is a good thing.
The difference between the recommendations and the summary is that the summary should be a quick read; it should contain the plumbing service to be done, and the specific parts and the brand you will be using. This will give the prospect everything they need to know at a glance.
Creating A Plumbing Estimate
When it comes time to write the estimate for your plumbing proposal, the good news is, you’ve done most of the work already. Factoring in a price is the final step.
There are many ways to create a template for your plumbing estimate. We recommend using a software program to help you make a polished contract, like the one available through Route.
Route’s proposal generator is a great tool for plumbers who want to make their contract stand out. There are dozens of templates to choose from, and you can select things like tasks and service frequency from convenient drop-down menus.
The user experience on Route is perfect for those who haven’t written many plumbing proposals.
There is an editor window on the left of the screen where you create the design and format of your contract, and the window on the right of your screen shows you the preview of the contract in real-time as you type.
To learn more about the proposal generator, visit https://getroute.com and start a free trial. You can use the Route software platform for a month at no charge with access to our responsive team who can walk you through every part of the program.
While you’re checking out the Route website, let’s go over what to include in the contract.
No matter what method you choose to draft your contract, the important thing is that you communicate service and price.
Since you’ve already explained and summarized what you’ll be doing earlier, all you need to do is write out the service to be done in one column, and put the price in another column.
When factoring in price for your plumbing proposal, you need to consider your labor, your supplies, and the time it will take you to complete the job.
In addition to materials and labor, you also need to think about permits and licensing. Record any permits you need to obtain and the price of the permit on your contract.
If you are struggling to come up with a base hourly rate, there is a simple way you can figure it out thanks to this handy formula from academy.getjobber.com.
Start by determining the amount of money you would like to make per week, then divide that by the total number of billable hours you can work per week.
Next calculate your overhead and profit margin, and add that to your base hourly rate to get your net billable rate.
Then gather all your material and labor expenses, extraordinary charges, taxes, and permits.
Determine your total labor hours and multiply it by your hourly rate.
Finally, add together steps three and four to get your final quote.
To read their full article on plumbing quotes, click here.. It’s a wonderfully informative read for plumbing contractors.
Plumbing Proposals Conclusion
Writing a good proposal for plumbing services requires patience, attention to detail, and strong sense of written communication.
To be successful and land the bid, you should be representing yourself in a professional and friendly manner.
This means starting out with a strong mission statement or introduction. You don’t want to waste too much time talking about yourself, but you want your prospect to know you are a qualified professional with great customer service.
Reinforce this belief by providing testimonials and reviews from clients. Always encourage your prospect to leave you a review when you are done.
Give your prospect your proposed recommendations on a separate sheet. Include as many details as necessary but don’t include extraneous information. Accurately communicate the job to be done, using pictures if necessary.
Summarize the recommendations at the end by restating each plumbing service briefly so the prospect can do a quick review. This step may only be necessary for large, industrial jobs.
When writing the plumbing contract, use a software program like Route’s proposal generator to create a customized contract in minutes.
Make sure you’ve spent some time to come up with accurate numbers in your estimate. Reference the tips and articles cited to help you determine what your hourly rate should be.
Don’t forget to get all the proper licensing and insurance before taking any jobs. Check for the local requirements in your areas for the proper permissions.
Finally, present your plumbing proposal with confidence. You are a hard worker who cares about every aspect of your business. This is the first step in starting a great client relationship.
Follow the information within this article and the resources mentioned within it and you’ll be writing top-notch plumbing proposals that will benefit you and the good name of your company with every new project you take.