Submitting Bid Proposals

Preparing and Submitting Proposals

You should start with the assumption that your proposal will be compared with your competitors.   The chances of you being the only contractor submitting a bid on a project are rare, so you need to prepare and present a proposal that will stand apart from your competitor’s, I’ll explain how throughout this article.

Before you submit your bid proposal you need to make sure that you clearly understand the specifications and the project deliverables. If you are not clear about all the aspects of the project then you should create a list of questions to send to your contact.

Most project documents have a deadline for asking questions which is typically two to three days before the closing date.

Contractors who plan on pricing the complete project should send questions to the person named in the project documents. Subcontractors should send their questions to the General Contractors or the person they received the RFP from.

Submitting your proposal in a way that they are not asking for will automatically disqualify your proposal and show that you do not know how to follow instructions.

You can follow some simple steps to make your proposals stand out from your competitors and give your company a better chance of winning more proposals.

Most of these elements outlined in this article are based on contractors who are planning to send their proposals to the owners or agencies that prepared the RFP.

I have also outlined elements subcontractors can use to prepare proposals that stand out from their competitors closer to the end of the article, I hope you enjoy these tips!

Listed below are elements to include in your proposal.

Title Page
The first thing that you start with is a Title Page that has the proposal number, closing date, closing time, project name and address. You should also include the contact person's telephone number, fax number, email address, and name.

Table Of Contents
If your proposal is a few pages long then you should include a Table Of Contents with a heading that explains the information on the pages.  Make sure that you number the pages inside the proposal.

Executive Summary
Include an Executive Summary that explains how your earlier work experience relates to the project you are bidding on.

The Body
The first key to preparing a great proposal is to.  Know who you are submitting your proposal to and present the unique solution that you bring to the project.  This section of the proposal should answer all the questions that you will be evaluated on.

You should clearly show that you understand exactly what the owner or agency is looking for and that you have the experience, ability, and solution for delivering what they are asking for.

Outline how you will complete the project. Will you use any special methods, materials or techniques to complete the project.

Let the owners or agencies know if you have a competent supervisor that has expertise in completing these types of projects.  If you do, then you should send their resumes as attachments in the proposal.

Write your proposal like you are writing it for grade school kids avoid using big words and technical terms.  After you have finalized your proposal then you need to make sure that the proposal is submitted on time and in the way that is specified in the documents.


For subcontractors who are just pricing sub-trade work may want to avoid creating a proposal that is more that one or two pages long.  The General Contractors that you are preparing your proposal for just want the meat of the proposal but subcontractors should still prepare a professional proposal that will catch the GC’s attention.

Your proposal should include:

  1. Your company information
  2. The GC’s contact information
  3. Project Number
  4. Project Location
  5. A brief Executive Summary
  6. The Scope Of Work You Are Pricing
  7. Special Procedures; if any!
  8. Your Guarantee/Warranty
  9. Insurance Coverage amount
  10. WSIB Compliance
  11. Health and Safety Statement
  12. Required Licenses
  13. How long the proposal is good for.

Prepare and present your proposal in a professional way that will leave a great impression with the owners, agencies and contact person.

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