Esticom is now part of the Procore platform.  Learn more >
BLOG / Electrical

How to Create Electrical Proposal Templates That Win Bids

by Chris Lee | April 2nd, 2018
As an electrical contractor, your job is to set clients up with reliable electrical systems backed by excellent customer service. But there are a few other tasks that you need to do just to earn that work in the first place. At the top of that list is drafting up bid proposals.  Creating an electrical proposal template allows you to create a more professional appearance for your business, increasing the likelihood of earning more business. Additionally, using a template will ensure the same standard of professionalism for every bid and save you time by not having to start from scratch with every new electrical bid proposal. So, how do you find or create the right template? What are the "must-haves"? What format should it be in?   These are the critical questions we’re here to answer so you can put together a template that will help you save time, eliminate confusion and win more bids.  

What Is Absolutely Necessary in a Proposal Template?

Several essentials have to be on your electrical bid proposal template. Of course, you'll want to include the job name and location. It's also important to list who the client is along with their address. If the job requires a bond or other documentation, that should also be included.  If you're turning in a proposal that was solicited from an "invitation to bid" or "request for proposal," make sure you include all the information requested in the invitation. Lay out the scope of work, being as thorough as possible. There are two crucial components to any electrical bid proposal: an estimated cost for the project and an accurate estimate of how long the job will take. If you've added documents to the proposal to clarify particular aspects of the job, list those as well. Because if an additional document is missing and the prospect isn't aware of the issue, they may not have a good grasp of exactly what you're proposing. They might also miss the value that you're providing them by using particular products or techniques for their project.  

What Additional Project Proposal Information Will Help You Win Projects?

Consider your proposal the same as a resume for a new job. You want it — scratch that, need it — to stand out. But how?  Well, you can start by including an electrical proposal letter with your bid explaining why you're the best electrician for the job. List your company's experience, work history, and any special certifications you possess. This is your chance to explain why they should choose you for the electrical work over every other general contractor.  Of course, you don't want to scare the customer off with the amount of information you provide. But generally, the more detail, the better. Because the better you communicate your understanding of the job and the services you provide, the less likely it is that you'll confuse the client. For example: do you offer financing terms? Are your proposals only valid for a specific length of time? When putting in electrical service for an addition or new circuit, have you included language to cover unexpected issues such as repairs required to the original structure or electrical system? Do you make concessions to clients regularly that fall outside of your usual recommendations, but within the codes? These are all critical pieces of information a client should know. It's also important to add language that covers your interests if the client is not happy with the job performance down the road. This sets a precedent for clear expectations for the duration of the project.  Remember: though it's crucial to include possible legal issues as part of the documentation, the proposal is also an opportunity to woo the prospect a bit. Do you guarantee your work? If so, make that clear in your proposal. Not all electricians do, and this is a great selling point for your services. Also, mention if you're willing to provide a discount if the project is paid for, either partially or entirely, in cash. That makes a big difference to prospects that already have financing in place and are ready to go.   

So How Do You Actually Create an Electrical Bid and Estimation Template?

Creating a bid proposal template is pretty straightforward, but can quickly become complicated as you add more features. The simplest option is to create a document in Word, Excel or similar software with all the standard text that you submit to every project. The document should include your business's name, logo, and a space for the date.  You'll also need to leave space for the project's name, location and client contact information. Following these crucial details, be sure to leave space for the specifics of that project, including the estimated labor cost, materials and any particular procedures the project requires. Here's a basic sample template to help get you started: Electrical Estimate Template.  

Alternatives to Electrical Bid Proposal Templates

There are a few ways to build out your proposal template. You could go the route of plugging your numbers for the bid into your accounting software. Some accounting software even includes a quote option, but in total honesty, they are quite underwhelming and will not stand out from the competition. Not to mention, tedious and time-consuming process. To show the highest level of professionalism and attention to detail, you may want to consider a professional bidding and quoting software. These often allow you to quickly and easily create bids and customize the look and feel of the template.  Esticom has solutions that help you get from bidding to billing efficiently while providing you with the analytics you need to figure out where your time is best spent. This improves your ability to crank bids out faster, which means winning more jobs. You can create your quote in the software, export it into a Microsoft Word, Excel or PDF document format to email the proposal directly to your prospect. You can also feed your bid directly into QuickBooks Online, reducing back-office labor costs while you’re on the project site, doing what you do best. 

So, if you want to:

  • streamline your bid process
  • save time and save money 
  • win more projects in less time 
Esticom might be right for you. To be sure, we'll give you two weeks to test out our cutting-edge software for yourself, absolutely free. And with the ability to perform a takeoff and create bids in just a few minutes, you'll have plenty of time to see how Esticom can double the business you're doing right now. Without a dime out of your pocket, of course.  Interested? Tap here to get started for free right now.   
Chris Lee
Chris Lee has an extensive background in preconstruction management as a former specialty contractor and business owner. As the Chief Estimator at Esticom, he’s helped thousands of specialty contractors digitize their preconstruction process to increase revenue and profitability while decreasing unnecessary overhead.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.