An Overview of the “Blueprint for Building A Better Proposal”





An Explanation of How That System Works


This is the third post in the Blueprint for Building A Better Proposal series. The first focused on the importance of communication between contractor and customer and the problems that can happen without it. The second listed the foundational pieces of the proposal system

In this post we’ll take an overview of the process and how the different pieces fit together.

STEP 1 – Gathering Information

Once you’ve been contacted by a potential customer schedule a meeting to discuss the customer’s dreams and find out what they hope to get from this project. At this initial meeting you will gather information –

  • Measurements and dimensions, existing and new

  • Building materials, existing and new

  • Pictures of pertinent areas and existing construction

  • Customer’s design ideas and finishes

The information gathered in this meeting can be recorded in a variety of ways. The important thing in this step is to gather any and all information needed to prepare an accurate proposal. It can be handwritten on a printed out Bid Sheet. It can be typed in an electronic Bid Sheet on a tablet, smart phone or laptop. The purpose for using the Bid Sheet is that all the areas of a construction project are listed out, this minimizes overlooking things.

STEP 2 – Preparing the Scope of Work

After the preliminary information has been gathered it’s time to clarify the scope of the project by writing out the description of each specific task in terminology that both the customer and the contractor understand. It needs to include enough specifics to be thorough without being too technical. It doesn’t help communication if it’s confusing for the customer. This written description on the Bid Sheet gets transferred to the Proposal and serves as a written scope of work to be performed and materials to be provided.

STEP 3 – Pricing the Project

Next is putting prices to the project. This process involves two different Excel spreadsheets, the Worksheet and the Data Base. Based on the descriptions written on the Bid Sheet, content from the Data Base will be copied and pasted into the correlating cells on the Worksheet. After the pertinent information from the Data Base has been placed on the Worksheet it’s time to fill in the specific quantities.

STEP 4 – Quantities

On the Worksheet you will fill in the quantity needed to do the work on that line item. This may be lineal feet, square feet, square yards, cubic feet, cubic yards or numbers of pieces. Once this is completed you will now have prices for the Proposal. 

STEP 5 – Preparing the Proposal

Now you have everything you need to prepare the Proposal. You will use the description from the Bid Sheet and the prices from the Worksheet and put them both on the Proposal. Now you have a description for each specific task to be provided and the price for each. After filling out the customer’s information, the total project price, how payments are to be made and the duration of time to do the project, the Proposal is ready to present to the customer.

Next week I’ll go into the details of Gathering Information.

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