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How Do I Write a Bid Proposal?

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  • Written By: Carrieanne Larmore
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 09 September 2014
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Writing a bid proposal involves calculating rates, writing selling content and putting together a professional presentation. In order to calculate rates, an individual must understand his costs, research the competition and determine if new equipment or supplies will be needed. After calculating the costs, a markup rate or amount should be added to this figure and compared to competitors. With this final figure, the proposal can be created with a cover letter, details of the proposed service, selling copy and bid. Whether the bid proposal is submitted by e-mail or regular mail, the presentation should be professional, with a letterhead, no spelling or grammar mistakes and good organization.

Calculating the price for a bid proposal is one of the first steps of writing one. The calculation should include all costs associated with the project, such as materials, labor and upgrades. If new equipment or machinery must be purchased to complete this project, then the full cost of it should be included unless it will be used for future projects as well — if it will be used for future projects, it is acceptable to only include a fraction of the cost in the calculation. After adding together all of the costs, a markup rate or amount should be included in order to make a profit. If one is unsure of what this rate should be, researching competitor rates can be useful.

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Writing the bid proposal begins with a letter that includes thanking the business for the opportunity to submit a bid, describing the proposed service or product and outlining what the next step is to securing the bid. When describing the proposed service, the bid proposal should include how the company differs from competitors, how the service fits their specific needs and what to expect as the final outcome. The letter also should state what the business needs to do to secure the bid, such as signing an enclosed contract, paying a deposit or scheduling a face-to-face meeting.

All supporting documents should be included with the bid proposal letter. Some clients require samples of previous work, recommendation letters or a resume, for instance. The documents should be presented in the order listed by the client and double-checked to ensure nothing is missing. If the letter will be sent by regular mail, a large envelope should be used to create a nicer presentation than an overstuffed standard envelope. Additionally, the documents should be free of wrinkles, clean and stapled neatly together. If the proposal is to be sent by e-mail, then the e-mail should immediately display the letter with the supported documents attached in an easy-to-download file size.

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