So you’ve got everything it takes to deliver a successful project, but you keep losing during the bidding process – so what gives? We’re here to tell you that you’re not alone. Making construction bids is one thing, but winning a bid is another. As you know, the overall process is complicated. It takes a lot of time and effort to help your company stand out from your competitors. Even a minuscule mistake can be the difference between winning and losing, so with that in mind, we want to help you win more projects.
Tip #1 – Don’t waste your time preparing bids for everything
Your time and energy are precious resources that can be easily expended. If you spend most of your time preparing bids for every job you come across, you’re bound to overexert yourself. See a common mistake when preparing bids is that oftentimes, some companies will get overambitious. They’ll bid for just about anything, regardless of whether or not they have the capacity to deliver. We’re here to tell you that this is a terrible idea. Just like most things, you’ll need a strategy when preparing your construction bids.
We recommend bidding for projects that suit your skills, capacity, estimates, and timeframe. There’s no such thing as the perfect job, so you’ll likely have to compromise in some areas in order to win. Just don’t forget that failing to deliver can be far more harmful than not getting the job in the first place. If some parts of the project just aren’t realistic for your company, it’s worthwhile to consider stepping away from the proposal.
Tip #2 – Get to know the decision-makers
One of the most valuable things you can do before placing a bid on a project is to visit the potential client. Learn about the client’s organizational structure, and take some time to get to know the key decision-makers in that organization. Neither your business or the client really knows the other, so taking the time to speak with them can really develop a deep sense of trust. Learn about their goals and pain points, so that you can cater your bid directly to their needs. Sometimes you might even hear something that you wouldn’t have heard otherwise, giving you an advantage. Otherwise, you risk being another contractor that will lose out on the job.
Another thing you can do is to attend as many pre-bid meetings as you can. This is another opportunity to ask some valuable questions helping you get some clarification on the project.
Tip #3 – Better yet, focus on the long-term relationship with the decision-maker
It’s one thing to get to know the decision-makers, but it’s another to actually focus on developing a positive working relationship with them. Something that most people forget is that you’ll likely reach out to them in the future, even if you lose in the bidding process. After all, these decision-makers are the ones who will likely continue posting jobs down the road. Regardless of whether you win or you lose out on a job, your focus should be on the relationship. If you can prove to them that you can make their lives easier (such as with good communication, your speciality skills, or something else), they’ll be sure to remember your professionalism in the future. This is a fantastic way to differentiate yourself from your competitors when bidding for future jobs.
Tip #4 – Know what you’re good at
Having a good understanding of your technical skills is extremely helpful when submitting construction bids. A great way of doing this is to talk about some of your past projects. Just don’t be afraid to go into detail. Showing off your past projects is a great way of showing the client that you have the necessary skills.
Tip #5 – Make your reputation a priority
Something that’s often implied but said very little is that you should always focus on improving your professional reputation. Hold yourself to the highest professional standards and always provide stellar service to your current clients. If you can deliver an exceptional project, then there’s no doubt that your client would be ecstatic to provide you with a reference for future construction bids. Remember – building a relationship with the right people can lead to very profitable long-term gains.
Want to go a step further? Use this relationship to your advantage to build your brand or network. Something that’s often forgotten is that you can use your positive project experience and turn it into a case study. Or better yet, you can also ask your happy clients to refer to your company in future conversations. A referral is an extremely valuable vote of confidence from a previous client, so don’t be afraid to ask for one. Especially if you did a good job.
Digitizing your company with ContractComplete
So there you have it, our top five tips to help you increase your chances at winning a bid. If you’re looking to digitize your construction business we recommend taking a look at the services we offer at Contract Complete. Our software is used by hundreds of businesses to help them plan their budgets, organize bids, and even automatically generate the hundreds of documents you will need. Further, ContractComplete allows you to store the document digitally, thus reducing the need to store a physical copy. Above all, our process reduces inefficiencies and ensures that all parties have a clear understanding at all stages of a project.
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Having a consistent and reliable procedure in place allows for simplicity should the need for a change notice arise. We recommend outlining this process from the beginning with project owners. Most importantly, being upfront ensures that everyone is on the same page when changes happen. Being proactive requires deviation from industry norms, which at ContractComplete, we are eager and prepared to provide.