Keeping It Simple – Five Key Tips for Contractors to Win Bids
As a contractor, you want to win bids. Actually, you need to win bids. Without securing new projects on a consistent basis, you’ll quickly be looking for another line of work. Contracting is highly competitive anywhere you happen to do business, but particularly in Southern California. If your business is going to thrive well into the future, you need to be on top of your game at all times.
Western Materials is a sand and gravel supplier serving locations throughout Southern California. As such, we have the pleasure of working with a wide variety of contractors in a number of different fields. With this post, we would like to provide a few handy tips that contractors can use to secure more bids moving forward. If you feel like your bid process has stagnated lately, we hope these tips will help!
Once you win your next bid and you need to order sand, gravel, or any of a number of other materials, please contact Western Materials right away for assistance. We look forward to serving you!
#1 – Be Picky
It is easy to feel like you need to place a bid on each and every potential job that comes across your desk. After all, placing more bids means winning more projects, right? Not necessarily. While you do need to place enough bids to sustain your business, trying to get in on every single project available is a recipe for disaster.
There are a couple problems with bidding on too many projects. First, the quality of your bids may decline. In a rush to push out as many bids as you can, some of those bids – or all of them – may not be up to the expected standard. Details may be missing, there may be typos, etc. In addition to degrading the quality of your bids, trying to get in on too many projects could push your costs to an unreasonable level. Placing bids is not free, of course, as there are many hours of work which need to be poured into each one.
In the end, it is up to you to strike the right balance between placing bids and being picky. Look for projects which are aligned with the capabilities of your business and go all-in on winning those jobs. For most contractors, five high-quality bids are going to be worth more than ten weaker bids every time.
#2 – The Little Things are Huge
We mentioned the quality of your bids in the point above, and that is what we are talking about here, as well. Specifically, we are talking about ‘little things’ like typos, mathematical errors, etc. If you think about this from the perspective of the business or organization collecting the bids, it is easy to see how poorly these small mistakes would reflect on your company. If you don’t care enough to clean up your bid, are you going to care enough to do a great job on the project?
#3 – Take Pride in Your Price
One of the common mistakes in the world of contract bidding is known as ‘racing to the bottom’. This is the mistaken belief that the only thing that matters about a bid is the final price. When you assume that the lowest bidder will win, you submit extremely low bids – bids which may not even be enough to cover your costs in the end.
It is important that you don’t get caught up in this game. Sure, some projects are going to go to the lowest bidder, but that is not always the case. Plenty of organizations value the experience and capability of a quality contractor enough to overlook other bids which may be lower. The key here is to take pride in what you do, and the money required to get the job done right. When you respect your work enough to charge a fair price, it is more likely that others will respect your work as well.
#4 – Have the Right Suppliers
The bids you place are not completed in a vacuum. For a job of any meaningful size, it is going to take a coordinated effort to win the job and then complete the job successfully. You need to have a reliable team of your own, and you need to have the right suppliers. Of course, when it is sand and gravel you need, the right supplier is Western Materials. With 35 years of experience and a great track record of supplying jobs both large and small, you can trust our team to help you look good.
Being let down by even one key supplier during a big project can throw the entire job into turmoil, and your reputation in the business may be negatively impacted as a result. Don’t let yourself run into problems like receiving the wrong materials or having loads delivered late. The professionalism and reliability offered by Western Materials will be a big advantage on your side.
#5 – The Power of Automation
Let’s be honest – placing bids is a time-consuming process. If you are going to do a good job of producing quality, accurate bids, you are going to have to invest significant time and effort into the task. While you can’t completely automate this process – each job is unique, after all – there are steps you can take to automate portions of the work required to build a bid. Specifically, using advanced software specific to your industry is a great way to streamline your bidding process into something that can be both efficient and effective.
Bonus Tip – Make It Personal
Before we go, we wanted to toss one more helpful tip onto the pile. It is worth remembering that your bid is sure to be piled up with many other bids when you are trying to secure a lucrative job. With that in mind, doing something to stand out from the pack is always advisable. One of the easiest ways to do just that is by personalizing the bid in a meaningful way. Perhaps that means a letter from the top of your organization speaking directly to the decision-makers in the hiring company. Whatever it is, you want to make it clear that your business is ready to handle the job, and you value the opportunity. We aren’t suggesting that you beg for the job – rather, the idea is to go a step beyond the other bids to stand out from the crowd. Many of the bids entered for the project are going to be generic. If you can avoid making it look like this is ‘just another bid’, that personal touch may be enough to close the deal. Good luck!