Construction Bid Writing: Do’s and Don’ts
The process of creating bids and proposals for the construction industry can be a tedious and time consuming process. If done incorrectly, it can also be a complete disaster and waste of time. But don’t fret, there are methods to generating bids without the unnecessary headaches. Below are a few helpful hints to successful bid writing.
Use a Proposal Library Instead of a Template
You’ve written a successful bid and want to use it as a template to reuse over and over again, right? Wrong. That practice can lead to a simple and avoidable mishap. One of the biggest mistakes a contractor can make is writing a proposal and forgetting to take the previous client’s name out. There is an easy way to avert this disaster.
Instead of using a template, create a “Proposal Library.” This library can be a simple word document where you store all of the good content from your previous bids. Use sections that were well written that highlight your company’s strong suits, including anything that makes you stand out from your competitors. You can then insert the parts that meet the RFP’s requirements. The last step is to polish all the featured information to create a consistent writing style. Make sure these files stay up-to-date.
Avoid Jargon and Unnecessary Technical-Speak
Keep language concise. Identify who your audience is for the proposal and write to their knowledge level. Not everyone reading the bid is fluent in the construction industry terminology. Avoid using industry jargon when you can. Think about Occam’s razor: the simplest explanation is the best and most reasonable explanation. Don’t use filler language, keep your message clear.
A good rule of thumb is to read the directions and requirements of an RFP at least three times before getting to work. Read them again when you finish your first draft. Triple check to make sure you’ve fulfilled each of the RFP’s demands. This may seem simple enough, but is something that can be accidentally overlooked. A small RFP mistake can land your bid in the discard pile.
Make Drafts and Ask for Feedback
Don’t procrastinate. Leave yourself enough time to finish a draft and have a fresh set of eyes edit and critique it before submitting. A rushed bid can turn disastrous because spelling and grammatical mistakes can get your proposal turned away, no matter how informative the content.
Finally, if you lose an RFP, try to ask for feedback when possible. If you can learn from failed attempts, it will better prepare you for the future.
Want more helpful tips about the construction trade? Visit the CLC website today!