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Creating a Comprehensive Electrical Bid / Estimate Template

by Chris Lee | October 7th, 2016
One of the hardest things to develop as an electrician is a template for an electrical bid proposal. By creating this type of document, you can create a more professional appearance for your business, making it easier to obtain more business. But how do you find or create the right template? What does it need to have and what information is just helpful? Here's more information on putting together a great template that will help you win more jobs.

What is absolutely necessary in a proposal template?

There are a number of essentials that have to be on your electrical bid proposal template. You'll want to include the name of the project, including its location. List who the client is and the client's address. If the job requires you to include a bond or other documentation, that should be included at the same time. The proposal should also be dated. If you're turning in a proposal that was solicited from an Invitation to Bid, make sure that you're including all the information requested in the invitation. if you've added documents to the proposal to clarify particular aspects of the job, a list of those documents. Why? 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 or may miss the value that you're providing them by using particular products or techniques for their project.

What additional information is likely to help you win projects?

Do you offer financing terms? Are your proposals only valid for a specific length of time? Have you included language to cover unexpected issues such as repairs required to the original structure or electrical system when putting in electrical service for an addition or new circuit? Though you don't need to scare the customer off with the amount of information you provide, you do want to make sure the basics are covered. You'll also want to make sure that the information you put into the template later on is specific to the project. If you regularly provide ordering services for your customers and occasionally see shipping or production delays, you may want to include language to the effect that those situations are outside of your control and that you are not liable for any issues that arise due to delays. Do you make concessions to clients on a regular basis that fall outside of your usual recommendations but fall within the codes? Add language that covers your interests if the client is not happy with the performance of those aspects of the job down the road. Though it's important to include the legal issues as part of the documentation, you'll also want to woo the prospect a bit. Do you guarantee your work? Make note of it in your proposal. Is there a cash discount if the project is paid for, either partially or fully, by a particular date? That makes a big difference to prospects that have financing in place and are ready to go. Do you use higher-quality materials than the competition? It's important that your prospect has that information available so they can include it as part of their decision process.

How to Create an Electrical Bid / Estimate Template

Creating a bid proposal template can be fairly straightforward, but it can become complex as you add more features. The most basic option is to create a document in Word, Excel or a similar document, including the standard text that will be part of every project for which you submit a proposal. That should include your business' name and your logo, if you have one. Leave a space for a date. Though it may seem silly to leave a specific space for that, it makes it much easier to ensure you're not forgetting anything by having a designated space for that information. You'll then need to include space for the prospect's project name and location and the contact information for the client. Following that, you'll want to leave a space for the specifics of that project, including the estimated man-hours, specific information for materials and any particular procedures that need to be used for the project. Here's a basic sample template to help get you started: Electrical Estimate Template

Alternatives to Electrical Bid Proposal Templates

Of course, if you don't want to spend as much time transferring your bid information into your electrical bid proposal template and then back out again with , there are other options available. Some accounting software packages include a quote option, which prevents you from having to transfer your information into or out of the accounting system. Though this seems handy, it's also pretty standardized. You can maybe add a graphic and a little text, but your proposal won't stand out from all the rest of the competition that is using the same package. There are other options available. Professional bidding and quoting software can sometimes provide you with options you may not have considered. Esticom has solutions that helps you get from bidding to billing easily and effectively, while providing you with the analytics you need to figure out where to best spend your energy getting new jobs. You can create your quote in the software, export it into a Word, Excel or PDF document format to email the proposal directly to your prospect. Your bid can also be fed directly into QuickBooks Online, reducing back-office labor costs while you stay out of the office, doing what you do best. Take a look to see what else Esticom can do to take your contracting business to the next level.
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.

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