As the video describes, the most valuable thing you can do when bidding a project for a client is to include a comprehensive list of tasks. That tells the client that you know exactly what to do from start to finish, and down to the final detail. The bigger the list, the better. But beware of sandbagging to increase profits. The client will figure that out and you'll be in trouble. Follow these steps to bidding your next project.

 

Step 1: Use Standard Time®
You can bid a project with Excel or even a pencil and paper, but good tools make it easier. Standard Time® is such a tool. It includes a project tasks tab that lets you build a list of task that include roll-ups. The time and material costs roll up to the subproject and project level. Once you complete your task list, you now have your project bid! The costs automatically calculate based on hours and material costs. Using the right tool for the job makes things a lot easier!

Step 2: Build a Task List
Click the Project Tasks tab and then choose Insert, New Project Task. You can give it a name, assigned it to an employee, and set the duration in hours. The client cost will automatically be calculated and will roll up (along with all the other tasks) to the project level.

Step 3: Break the job into phases
Phases help the client get a manageable picture of the work ahead. You can collapse and expand them, and even get bid costs for that section of the job.

Step 4: Include milestones
Milestones tell the client when you intend to complete each section. (They show up as a diamond in the Gantt chart.) Most importantly, they often have payments connected to them. Finish the milestone and you get paid!

Step 5: Include deliverables
What are you delivering to the client? Write that down! Include it as a zero-duration task. It won't add to the bid total, but it will communicate your intentions to the client. They will know when you will ship each deliverable and feel more comfortable about hiring you to do the job.

Step 6: Identify payments
Are periodic payments connected to phases? Or milestones? Or deliverables? Add them to the schedule to completeness.

Step 7: Assign tasks to employees
Assign each task to the employee best suited for the job. Employees will see their own tasks in the timesheet, and can enter hours for them.

Step 8: Set employee rates
Since each employee can have different billing rates, and each task is assigned to employees, you will likely see different rates for each task. The program automatically multiplies the "Duration" times the "Client rate" to get the "Cost client" field. The "Cost client" column rolls up to the project level for the final bid cost. Send this number to your client.

Step 9: Enter material costs
The "Cost client" field also includes material costs. Plan to purchase gear to complete the job? Enter those numbers into the appropriate task and they will add to the total bid value.

Step 10: View rollups
The 'Cost client' field will roll up to the phase and job level. That means you'll see the total cost for the bid. Simply print the task list out to a PDF and send it to your client!

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