5 Mistakes to Avoid when Submitting Construction Proposals

5 mistakes to avoid when submitting construction proposals

Poorly presented construction proposals can tarnish your company’s reputation, make you look amateur, and lose you that new contract to a competitor.

So how do you get an edge on your competition and boost your bottom line?

Avoid the mistakes most construction companies make when submitting proposals by putting these 5 points into action.

1. Blow your own trumpet

Use compelling copy when writing construction proposals to engage your readers and sell your brand. Give your prospects reasons to trust your company to their business. How? By boasting about your achievements.

  • Have you won any building awards? If so, make sure you tell them. Everyone wants their project to be first class. By letting them know that you have won multiple building awards, or have won a specific award that is consistent with the work you’re vying for, then you are showing your prospects that you have the skills and know-how to deliver the job to exception standards.
  • Does your company have certain skills or services that set you apart from your competitors? Do you finish the majority of your jobs on time and on budget? If so, emphasise it. No one wants their job to go over budget, or lose business because the build/refurbishment has taken a lot longer to finish than what was estimated. Let them know of your good track record.
  • Do you have many repeat customers? If so, make sure you broadcast it. Repeat business equates to happy customers. No one is going to re-employ your company if they weren’t satisfied with the project you delivered.
  • Do you carry out refurbishments and/or additions for clients who need to maintain their daily operations? If so, boast about it. Give examples of the jobs you completed, and details about what you did to cause minimal impact on the client’s daily business.

2. Don’t cut corners

Set out construction proposals, Expressions of Interest and Tenders exactly to the requested requirements. Don’t cut corners or use generic content or your application will end up in the pile for the trash.

  • Provide a detailed answer for each question. If your prospects aren’t satisfied with your answer because it is generic in nature, you didn’t provide enough detail, or you simply glossed over it, in many instances your application will simply end up in the bin (if you are applying for a job for a government agency, it will definitely be binned).
  • If asked for subheads, use them. This makes it easy for your prospects to make sure you’ve supplied the right information and compare you with other companies vying for the same job.
  • If asked to give examples of similar jobs you’ve completed, provide detailed examples. After all, they want to make sure your company is capable of completing a first-class build or refurbishment.
  • If you’re asked to give your company’s technical capabilities, or employees’ areas of expertise, provide them in spades. Customers want to make sure you have the skills and knowhow to deliver what you are proposing.

3. Use high resolution images

Use a professional photographer to take images of your completed works. Why?

  • Everyone can take photos with their smartphone. But what is the quality like? If you want prospects to take you seriously and not see you as an amateur, you need professional images.
  • A professional photographer knows what light to use, what time of day to capture your building in its best light, and how to use contrast to highlight different aspects of your build.
  • Indoor photos are tricky at the best of times. Light bounces off different surfaces while some features are totally lost to the dark. Professional photographers know what lights to turn on and use their own set of lights, reflectors and flashes to pick up intricate details and bring hidden features to the fore.
  • Snapshots look dull, boring and substandard when presented in marketing materials. Most amateur photographers simply point and shoot. A professional on the other hand will ensure they find the right angle to add interest and intrigue to your images.

4. Create eye-catching marketing material

Do you know the difference between Adobe and Microsoft Word? If you are using Word for your creatives, then what you are presenting is going to look more like a school kid’s homework assignment than a professional piece of marketing material.

Microsoft Word is a word processing program – not design software. If you do use it to design, you’ll find it limiting at best, and very, very frustrating (images and text can move all over the page with one stroke of a key). It is also difficult to gain control over the exact colours you want to use, and it is not set up for print production.

Design software like Adobe InDesign allows you to create professional, attractive layouts. However, it is expensive and takes time and effort to master the principles of good graphic design. So what are you options? Hire a professional.

  • A good graphic designer adds a dash of dazzle to your creatives and makes your company look professional.
  • They produce a highly polished piece of artwork that commands attention, brings your visions to life and impresses your prospects.
  • A professional will supply you with several layouts to choose from, including a variety of colours and fonts.
  • They ensure their files are optimised for digital and/or offset printing, and will package your files for easy sharing.
  • Lastly, they work in CMYK (not RGB) and therefore have full control over colours in the printing process, ensuring logos are not tainted with the wrong colour mix.

5. Convince your prospects with winning words

Good design turns heads, but its copy that turns minds. Convince your prospects with winning words.

Struggle to find the right words to describe your company’s capabilities? Don’t have the time or patience to sit down to write words that lift your company above the competition and win over your prospects? Find it difficult to blow your own trumpet? Then it’s time to let someone else do it for you.

  • Using a professional copywriter will maximise your chances of winning new work.
  • A good copywriter enhances your professional image by providing your construction company with the polish it may be lacking because or poorly written proposals.
  • Copywriters don’t use jargon. They write in everyday language that sounds natural and authentic to get your message across.
  • They use straight talking to communicate your strengths and tell your story.
  • They use clear, concise copy that engages your readers, resonates with your prospects and connects emotionally with your audience.
  • They establish your company as an authority in the building industry and convince your prospects that your company is the right one for the job.

Don't have the time, inspiration or know-how to put together winning expressions of interest or marketing material?

Then let us help.

The Content Scribe specialises in copywriting. I can help give you the edge on your competitors by writing clear, convincing copy in your marketing materials, proposals and on your website.

Black Rhino Creative offers dazzling design to grab the attention of your prospects.

Together, we prepare professionally presented construction expressions of interest, marketing material, case studies, flyers, ads and brochures to maximise your chances of winning new work  and providing your company with the polish your current materials are lacking.

Learn more

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