Bidding for Success

In an ideal world general contractors would be able to negotiate all their new contracts with repeat customers and avoid bid jobs like the plague. Unfortunately we don’t live in an ideal world and probably never will – bidding projects has become big part of most general contractors’ everyday lives and the competition for available jobs in the current economic climate can be fierce. Bid days can be stressful to say the least, but if you follow a few tips, you can ease the pain and you may even win a few projects in the process.
Be Comfortable with your Numbers
Bidding a large or medium sized project is always easier when the team concept is used. Whether it’s you and an estimator or project manager, or just you and the receptionist – having more than one person involved relieves some Construction Service Department of the stress if for no other reason than one person can be waiting at the bid opening while someone is back at the office checking the numbers and receiving last minute bids from subcontractors. A few other tips for bidding:
• New Blood – some general contractors fall into the pattern of always using sub-contractors and vendors they’ve developed long term relationships with over the years. This is fine up to a point, Free Cabin Plans With Material List but don’t be afraid to try a new sub-contractor with a low bid for their phase of work if they seem to have the scope or work covered in their proposal. Their low price may help you get the job
• Specifications – always check and double check the specifications for anything out of the ordinary that may add cost to the project. You don’t want to be the low bid because you didn’t add in the $30,000 of high security door hardware the job requires
• Jobsite Visits – regardless of how busy you might be, don’t even think of bidding a project without making a jobsite visit. Blueprints and specifications are great, but nothing beats looking at a project firsthand
• Two Sets of Eyes – losing a project because you didn’t add the numbers correctly can be heartbreaking, being the low bidder because you didn’t add the numbers together correctly may cause a heart attack if you were off by a lot. Always have team members check the addition on your bid budget and the larger the bid, the more eyes should review the numbers
Bidding for projects is like jumping out of an airplane – it’s always stressful, but the more you do it the easier it gets.

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