Creating a proposal for your contracting business can be quite the process, especially if you want to do it well. First, you need to effectively and clearly communicate why your contracting business is the best choice for completing a job compared to your competitors. Second, it will need to paint a picture of what your plans are for the job at hand. It’s crucial to have a professional-looking, well-written proposal in order to win more business and help your contracting business run effectively and continue to grow. With today’s technology, there are tools like the JobFLEX proposal app for contractors that can help make creating proposals a lot easier. Tools like JobFLEX include templates that can make sure you check all the boxes of what should be included in a proposal.
Essential Components of a Proposal
When writing a proposal, there are many components that are necessary to include. It will be a lot easier for your contracting business to win a job if these components are included in your proposals:
1. Job Description/Scope of Work
This first section of the proposal should include the specifics of what you are going to do to complete the job. You should address how you plan to complete the job along with addressing any pain points you might foresee with the project. Overall, this section should be brief, yet thorough as this will be the first thing a potential customer will look at to see if your company is a good fit.
2. Breakout of Costs
While we don’t advise going into too much detail with itemizing your costs, it’s good to provide a breakout of your general material and labor costs. Too much detail can lead to unnecessary haggling with customers over minor details like an extra tube of caulk, and who has time for that?
3. Total Cost
It’s vital that you make the total cost clear and easy to find on your estimate. If this is at all confusing or unclear, you’re sending the wrong signal to a potential customer as they’re likely to think you’ll be difficult to work with.
4. Payment Schedule and Terms
This is a huge item that many contractors mess up. You’ll want to make it very clear when and how you should be paid. We’re always big proponents of making sure you get a significant down payment before starting a project as it will help you manage your cash flow. Consistently requiring 30-50% up front will help you run your business more efficiently. On top of down payments, you’ll also want to spell out when the final payment is due, whether it’s on receipt or if there is a window for them to make their final payment(s).
5. Contact Info
This might seem like a no brainer, but you’ll want to make sure that you’ve got up to date, accurate information for the project’s salesperson in case the customer has any questions they need to follow up on. Also, companies move from time to time, so making sure that your company address is up to date is also important in case the customer refers back to the quote to send you a check when the project is finished.
These five items are critical components of a successful estimate for contractors. A tool like JobFLEX will allow you to set up a standard template that includes all these items on your new quotes and allows you to update them as needed if any of your details change down the line.
Additional Items to Consider
For most small contracting businesses, the items above are everything you’ll need as part of an estimate. That said, if you’re looking at larger projects or you have more demanding customers, it may not hurt to consider some of these other items as part of your proposal.
1. Contractor Certifications
This section can include any necessary and relevant contractor certifications that your company possesses along with any professional organizations your general contractor business belongs to that are relevant to the job.
2. Project Description and Timeline
If you have a long term or highly detailed project, it can be helpful to more thoroughly describe the project including any special features or other important details that could potentially make or break the project. Also, for longer projects it can be helpful to include a general timeline of when the project will start, any key milestones to hit, and when it is expected to be completed.
3. Special Circumstances/Unforeseeable Conditions
This is a special section that will detail any special circumstances or unforeseeable conditions that could potentially occur during this project. If you’re dealing with a project that includes extenuating circumstances, it can be good to include a section like this as there could be extra expenses incurred that will need to be paid. This protects your contracting business from getting into a bad situation and left on the hook to cover the costs to purchase materials due to something happening that’s out of your control.
In the case that your work or materials include warranties you can include them here. Some potential customers appreciate these details as it offers some additional peace of mind.
How a Proposal App Can Help
There is quite a lot that goes into creating a contractor proposal when you are writing it yourself. From trying to remember all the necessary components that need to be included to maintaining an organized look to your document, it can get overwhelming very quickly. A proposal app can save you the headache of trying to remember all of this and keep you from making crucial mistakes that could cost you a potential job. A tool like JobFLEX can provide you with proposal templates to ensure that you create accurate and professional proposals every single time. You can check out our web app on our free trial page or you can download the Android app from the Google Play Store and try it out yourself.