As a business owner, it’s common that you find yourself in need of certain services or products. Like any other business establishment, you have to procure what you need at and at the best price. For this, you send a bid proposal to potential suppliers or contractors. In other cases, you might be the one to send this document in hopes that a business chooses to work with yours.

Bid Proposal Templates

What is the difference between a bid and a proposal?

Those who have experience using these two documents know how they differ. Referring to a bid and a proposal as having the same meaning might lead to misunderstandings so it’s important for you to know what they mean.

These misunderstandings may lead to supplier or contractor protests, thus, delaying decisions and worse, it may even result in legal actions. Although you may need a bid proposal at some point, you shouldn’t use these two terms interchangeably if you use them separately.

You only use the term “bid” to refer to a response to a request for bid. Generally, this type of solicitation is a straightforward initiative with the purpose of securing capital equipment, construction projects or commodities, but not services. Also, bid responses are always subject to public disclosure but not subject to negotiations.

Then you would use the term “Proposal” to refer to a response to a request for proposal. This is primarily used to obtain services or a combination of both services and products. By comparing the intent of these documents, requests for proposals are more complex than requests for bids because of their requirements.

Bid Proposals

What is a bid plan?

A bid proposal is a plan that you submit in response to a proposal sent by a business owner. The aim of this document is to showcase the modalities and steps you intend to follow to meet the requirements of the bidding entity. Generally, you use this document when there’s a need to supply or ask for goods or services.

A bid plan, on the other hand, is a plan that you make to create your bid proposal. Like any other undertaking, to make the best proposal, you need to plan first.

How to write a bid proposal?

It’s a normal business practice to request from the other businesses that want to do partner up to submit a bid proposal for them to check. From this, the business firm will determine whether the business qualifies for the project or not.

A standard proposal contains the finer details. For instance, if you’re planning to make a construction bid template, you may want to include details like cost aspects or the breakdown of the goods you need – or you will supply. To make the best proposal and increase your chances of getting picked, here are some pointers for you:

  • Make sure you understand the project
    It is imperative that you read the details of the project first and understand it before making a draft of your proposal. Remember that your draft and proposal should match as much as possible.
  • Do some research
    It’s not enough to just read the proposal sent to you. Spend some time conducting research on the business that sent the initial bid. The information you gather may help you structure your proposal in such a way as to entirely meet the requirements of the business.
  • Learn about the competition
    When it comes to bidding events, expect that there are others who will send their proposals. Just like your business, there will be others aiming to get chosen. A good move is to find out who the other businesses are because that information can help you structure your document accordingly.
  • Proofread your proposal and revise as needed
    Before you submit your proposal, there is a need to proofread and edit it if necessary. It can be a deciding factor on whether your proposal will get chosen or not.
    Moreover, if you consider how many businesses will send proposals, you should never take a chance by foregoing the proofreading process. Any mistake can put you at a disadvantage which leads to the award going to another business instead.
  • Share additional offers or services you have to offer
    Remember that there will be many others who will submit their bids. To make your offer more enticing and set yourself apart from your competitors, you can share additional offers or services – usually for free!
  • Include some client feedback too
    Another thing you can do to give substance to your bid is to include a feedback history of your clients in the past. This informs the business that you possess the relevant capabilities and experiences to do the project.
    Your feedback history on past projects ensures the business that you have what it takes to complete the project along with the capacity to supply what they need.

Construction Bid Templates

What do buyers look for in bids?

To understand a bid proposal better, put yourself in the position of the buyer. Ask yourself, “What are your reasons for choosing the winning bid?” Almost all competent buyers immediately look for tell-tale signs in your bid template:

  • The buyer wants you to address their needs and their project as soon as possible. You can establish this in the very first sentence of your proposal. The buyer wants to know that you possess the capability and experience to follow through.
  • The buyer wants to know what type of experience you will bring to the project.
  • The buyer wants to know more about similar projects that you have accomplished along with any positive feedback from your clients in the past. This is why it’s recommended to add this information to your document.
  • Of course, the buyer also wants to know the fee you will charge. Apart from this, the buyer also wants to know if the amount justifies the project you’re bidding for.
  • Also, take into account that most, if not all, buyers interested in working with you will check your business’ website or social media profile page to check the following:
    How many projects you have worked on in the past.
    Any feedback shared by other clients or buyers – both negative and positive.
    Your completion rate when it comes to projects.
    Your skill-set or the products and services that you offer.
    Your portfolio samples.