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By Roy Rasmussen

In the construction business, winning bids is everything. Even a small increase in your winning percentage can mean a substantial boost in revenue. One easy but important way you can boost your bid winning percentage is by making your bid proposals look more professional. A good-looking proposal makes you stand out from rival bidders and increasing your odds of winning the contract. Here are three simple but effective keys to making your bid proposals look more professional and win more contracts.

Branding

Your bid proposal design should be integrated with your branding strategy. Your branding defines how your prospects and customers perceive your company. An effective branding strategy makes you stand out from the competition, improving your chances of winning a bid.

To create a brand for your construction business, a fundamental step is deciding the values you want your company to be known for. Survey your target market to identify which values are most important to them in a construction contractor. For instance, you might find that your potential customers value professionalism, reliability or trustworthiness. Consider as well any desirable qualities specific to your market niche, such as what type of building project you typically take on. Once you’ve determined which values you want to emphasize, develop a brief mission statement that sums up your values.

Logo Selection

After you’ve defined what you want your brand to communicate, the next step is to build it into your logo. A logo should express the highlights of your brand.

Logos for construction companies should communicate strength and durability and the most effective logos communicate your message immediately through an image or style without relying on words. A professional design agency can help you brainstorm an effective logo. Your logo can then be used on your proposals, as well as at other points where customers interact with your company, such as your letterhead, website and social media profiles.

Template Structure

The structure of your bid proposal can also show professionalism and make your bid proposal more persuasive by clearly communicating the value you offer, the price you’re asking, and the terms and conditions of your bid. The structure can also make it easier for you to calculate costs, make it simpler to compare costs across projects and help you reduce expenses and delays caused by miscommunication.

The best way to ensure an effective bid structure is to use a template. A good bid template should use the language laid out by the Construction Specification Institute’s CSI codes to avoid confusion when quoting prices. Consider including the following sections:

  • General requirements
  • Existing conditions
  • Markups
  • Adjustments
  • Bidding requirements
  • Comments
  • Documents and attachments
  • More about the bid, such as project start and end date

Once you’ve designed your template, store it in a digital location where your project managers can easily access it.

All of the above are simple ways to make your bid proposals more professional, clearer and more persuasive, improving your odds of winning valuable contracts.

Roy Rasmussen, co-author of "Publishing for Publicity," is a freelance writer who helps select clients write quality content to reach business and technology audiences. His clients have included Fortune 500 companies and bestselling authors. His most recent projects include books on cloud computing, small business management, sales, business coaching, social media marketing, and career planning.

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