Commercial construction bidding can be a stressful and frustrating process. It takes time, energy, and doesn’t always pan out in your favor. But, sitting out the race also means turning your back on tremendous growth opportunities. Here are some common mistakes contractors should avoid when bidding on new projects.
You aren’t qualified
That doesn’t mean you aren’t CAPABLE of the work, but it does mean you will need to put in extra effort to show a General Contractor that you understand the full scope of this project, and how your previous expertise will inform your execution strategy.
You don’t have the relationship
Construction is all about relationships. If you are trying to land your first big job, it pays to invest extra time and energy into building a relationship with the General Contractor. Let them know you are willing to work on smaller, additional projects on the site, or to collaborate on any problems that occur. Be a person they can turn to in a pinch, and eventually you will be the person they turn to for opportunities, too.
Casting too wide a net
Look for the best opportunities for your business and focus on your strengths. It’s better to focus on jobs that you are confident and comfortable in rather than trying to overexert your company’s capabilities. Over time, this will allow you to find the sweet spot with your bids.
Pro Tip: ConstructConnect has a searchable database that can help you find actively bidding commercial construction projects in your area.
Waiting for the bid to be announced
Business owners should always be on the hunt for new job opportunities. Talk to your General Contractor or reach out to contacts in your network. Ask if they know of any future jobs that could be good leads for your company, and if they’d be willing to put in a word for you once the bid is submitted. This will help narrow and improve your bid and project pipeline.
Wasting time on “iffy” projects
Drawing up a bid proposal can be grueling process, so be sure to regularly evaluate the quality of the potential job. If it’s not a good fit, it is often best to walk away and look for something else.
Skipping pre-bid meeting and site visits
Creating a good bid proposal requires precise estimations and detailed planning, so take advantage of any opportunity to research and learn about the job. This can also help you build rapport with the GC or project owner, and is an opportunity to ask questions about allowed material substitutions, bonding or wage rate requirements, and double-check that you’re interpreting the plans correctly.
Going it alone
Always have additional eyes reviewing your bid. Not only should you ask your business partners or an outside agency to look out for typos, but also to check your math and verify that everything adds up properly. A reviewer can help make sure you didn’t miss any important components that could mean the difference between winning and losing the bid, but also can protect you from submitting a bid that is too low for the job, which can result in lost money and unnecessary debt.
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