How to Create a Landscape Enhancement Proposal Quickly & Easily
Once a simple one-page document, enhancement proposals have evolved into slick presentations in recent years. If you work in the green industry then you probably know what we’re talking about. Besides listing the basic services and costs, these professional-looking landscape proposals serve as a personalized advertisement, allowing companies to showcase their expertise and stand out in the crowd.
Enhancement proposals are a golden opportunity to communicate your strengths and differentiating qualities directly to the client and to let them know exactly why they should give you their business. A little extra attention at this stage of the project could make the difference between securing the work and losing it, which in our books, makes it well worth the effort.
With that in mind, we’re going to show you how to create a quick and easy landscape enhancement proposal that will give you the edge over the competition.
Step One: Introduction
The introduction or cover letter is your first opportunity to catch the client’s attention. Begin by thanking the customer for the opportunity to submit the proposal, and then outline your idea for the project. You don’t need to go into too much detail – hit them with the highlights and a little old-fashioned storytelling.
This is also a fantastic opportunity to outline why you are the best company for the job, including any project qualifications and answers to questions included in the Request for Proposal. Don’t forget to invite the client to contact you with any questions in return.
Step Two: The Bid
This section is the most important part of the whole proposal. The bid is your chance to get into the nitty-gritty of the project and break down the price of materials, equipment, and labor. Make sure you include lists of any plants that will be included so that the client can see exactly where their money will be going, and detail the material quantities for hardscaping and water features. This not only helps to demonstrate value for money but also gives the client a clear idea of the scale of the project.
Although the bid is an opportunity to go into detail about the work, beware of bombarding the client with too much information. The best bids provide just enough detail to clearly define the project, but not so much that it reads like a legal document. The client isn’t a landscaper, so make sure your bid is easy to understand even if they have no previous technical knowledge. Eliminate jargon, keep descriptions concise, and clearly define any abbreviations or acronyms.
Step Three: Get Visual
They say a picture paints a thousand words, which is particularly relevant for landscape design. Providing the client with a visual representation of the enhancement helps them to picture themselves in the space, and helps establish a sense of professionalism.
Better yet, software like LandOne Takeoff makes it easier than ever to streamline the design to bid process. The program uses an easy-to-use click and drag system, allowing landscapers to quickly and accurately place plants, hardscapes, and irrigation onto aerial photos and drawings.
Once the design is complete, the user can export materials lists and costs, which update automatically if anything is changed.
Step Four: Warranties and Disclaimers
When your client chooses your company for their project, this section will help them understand what the contract will look like. Make sure to include any guarantees or warranties so that the customer knows that they are in safe hands should anything go wrong.
You should also include any disclaimers about the project to protect yourself from any future issues. Explaining potential pitfalls in advance is essential. If you wait until after the fact, you risk looking as if you are trying to excuse substandard work. In the words of Bob Maffei of The Maffei Companies, “Upfront it’s an explanation, after the fact it’s an excuse.”
Proposals Made Easy
If this all sounds like a lot of extra work, then don’t panic. A host of software makes it easy to create professional-looking enhancement proposals without any professional CAD experience.
LandOne Takeoff allows you to create detailed designs at the click of a button, and automatically generate materials and pricing lists for your bid. Simply upload a photo or base map and begin drawing. The simplicity of the program makes it perfect for drawing up enhancement ideas like retaining walls, fire pits, and planting areas. Landscapers can use this software to create high-quality visual mock-ups that stand out from the crowd without having to hire a designer.
It is also one of the few tools available that provide automatic design and estimate integration, which makes it a superb all-in-one tool for creating high-quality landscape proposals.
Start your free trial today and see for yourself why LandOne is the landscape proposal solution you’ve been looking for.