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Can your bid proposal and contract be the same?

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by JeffNY, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. JeffNY

    JeffNY Senior Member
    Messages: 484

    I've seen some guys with a simple description and a price for a bid proposal, then I see some 3 pages long. But what's really different on a 'contract'?

    I have a contract/proposal I ripped off from someone on here and touched up a bit, and I don't see why I can't use it as a bid, and if signed, turns into a contract.

  2. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    That's how I do it, expedites things. If there are any contract issues they are ironed out in the proposal stage. Save problems later, get the deal done, either i know to block out equipment or move on to the next one.
  3. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    ripped off? well that was nice of you :eek:

    generally i have found that it is not a good idea. A true contract should illistrate things like , late payments, termination of the contract from either side, exactly how the customer should be billed, liablity cluases , who is responsible for hardscape , and landscape damage, who is resonsible to mark out the lot, if it is a per push account, who can give authorization for snow plow , or salting if the accumulation amount is below the contracts "trigger depth" ... things like this

    some of these this you might spell out it your propsal, because they might ask you for them in the specs

    however , some of these things , can scare the customer off, or you might be biddign against someone, with a tight price difference, but he states that he will be responsible for damage, and you put that you would not be....

    i create a bid , which is normally along the lines of 7 pages or so , then after they sign excepting the bid, it will become part of an attactment to the contract.... more or less my bid propsals are a contract with a few missing pages....... and one says " PROPOSAL , and the other CONTRACT ...:dizzy:
  4. Plowin in VT

    Plowin in VT Senior Member
    Messages: 233

    7 PAGES????????? Holy cow! I'm pretty happy if I have 2 pages! What do you put in there to fill 7 pages??????? Also, if your bid is 7 pages, how many pages is the contract?
  5. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    i dont like giving away all my secrets, but consider this, you should have a simple , respectful cover page

    a clean illistation of time line events, , how you would handle a day time snow during business hours, how you handle a night time snow... explain your trigger depth, and how is that depth reached? is it measured on site, mulitple locations and averaged? is it off the weather reports? what other factors go in to making a go/no go desition

    salting , ? do u pre satl? if not who can authorize it? will you be calling and making recomendation? post plowing salt? salt for ice? different products, and there useage

    how you handle side walks, shoveling and salting

    basic billing information, explain, an over veiw of a "seasonal" or retainer fee, or if its per push, then is it handled per push , based on each time you go there, or based on the total depth of the storm?

    then give your billing and pricing rates... per inch or waht ever you charge... even if its a seasonal account, you need to list hourly rates for call backs, or items you might not cover in your basic service, i have almost a full page of T/M prices, for the just in case situation, like hauling and removal

    mabe include a site map, and were you intend to stack snow, as needed.. also a list things you require, storage on site , salt on site

    and a closing page... i keep the pages short and simple so its not over welming, im sure i could shink it down to 4 pages... but i have had good luck so fare with this method
  6. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    heres one more tip.... not all those things listed above will be need for every account.... they are motly for larger accounts ....

    i created a contract that covers every thing. but those items that are talked about , are listed on seperate pages.... for example: the Site map , and places to stack snow.... completetly seperate page from any thing else , 40% of that page is blank, has 2 parahgraphs normally

    so lets say im bidding on a burger king, ...well a site map , is proabably over kill, they dont need to know were im going to put the snow in this case... i simply, dont print out those pages...

    this way im not rewrighting my entire propsal each time, for each customer, isimly omit the pages that arent nessesary....

    the entire proposal has drop down boxes, that i can change trigger depths with a mouse click,,, sentences can bechanged with others that i have pre programed. and the full propsal includes a "per push rate", and seaonal rate, and a retainer rate. some time they get all 3 options to chose form , some times they get 1 or 2, its based on what they ask for , and what i feel like giving

    i will not put a dedicated bob cat, on a site that is per push, it just will not happen , so i simple omit the page that covers per push rates... but they still get the T/M rates

    REMEMBER, above all you need to sell your service, more than your price....
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2008
  7. Plowin in VT

    Plowin in VT Senior Member
    Messages: 233

    That makes perfect sense, and I pretty much have most of that in my proposals. The places that I bid on are smaller lots, so I can explain things in a couple of sentences vs the need for a full page.

    What program do you have your proposal template in? That sounds like it could be a very useful tool!!!


  8. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    i use an excel spread sheet that i made myself, to compute pricing, and salt useage... there is also some user over ride incase, you think it would take more or less time

    otherwise the contract /proposal is done in 07 office. using the deleloper drag boxes... i took me a whole weekend to get it set up....

    for an example . " the contractor will begin plowing when snow _______ and will contuine untill .........

    in that blank there is a drop down box, i can select --- depth reaches 1 inch , or , depth reaches 2 inches... or , as soon as any accumulation begins bonding with the pavement - (for a zero tollerance policy

    even a small account sould explain, how many hours after it stops that you would have the proprty cleared.... if it snows at 7PM, are you gonna plow it , or wait until over night when cars have left? or just plow drive lanes ...

    you remember the tricks that you used in high school, about double spacing. moving the margins in just a little..... i could condense it more, but iv had good luck so fare
  9. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    My novel...

    Just added page thirteen, yup... thirteen. I can't tell you how and why it always ends up on the top of the pile and lands me a meeting, though I know myself. If done right, more information presented in a compelling format will set you apart.
  10. Plowin in VT

    Plowin in VT Senior Member
    Messages: 233

    Thanks Elite - Looks like I need to spend some more time with Word!