I’m not going to tell you everything, you need to hire us for that, but her are a few simple mistakes most construction, architecture, and engineering firms make on their RFPs and proposals. You’re going to kick yourself with these tips, but their valuable.
1. Use Pictures – Really this works. If you look at our blog posts from the past few months, you’re more likely to read the posts with pictures. Check it out, I’m not kidding. A recent article I read about RFPs writing quoted a survey from the University of Minnesota stating a 300% improvement in readership when an article has pictures. Add captions, and they’re even more likely to read it. Add pictures of recent projects, award winning projects, and pictures of your team at work to show the personal side of your company. Project pictures are particularly valuable if they are related. For example, if you’re bidding on building a high school, pictures of a recent school you built will spotlight your expertise.
2. Use Larger Margins – Nothing says old and dated like the standard 1″ margins. If you’re building a box, not so bad. If you’re building something that needs out of the box thinking, new technology or just some style, you need to have a more stylish proposal design. People find it easier to read text in 4″ wide text blocks or less. That is less than half the width of a standard letter sized piece of paper. What do you do with all of the extra space? Add the images I mentioned above. Trust me.
3. Look Professional – Many times, your proposal is all your prospective client sees of you. Even with a strong relationship, great communications, and strong marketing a poorly designed proposal is the last thing seen and it is the only thing representing you when that prospective client is looking to hire someone. Also, well-designed proposal builds credibility and trust even if it is subconsciously. When your prospective new client sees your proposal, they have a sense of trust and thing you are the expert because of your strong look and brand. Don’t believe me, think about how you respond to advertisements. When you see a cheesy, poorly done local commercial you instantly questions their ability to do the job at hand while on the other side of the spectrum, ads from Target make you want to buy from them.