How to Bid Better
As of late, we are revamping a few of our past articles, so we thought we would expand on ‘how to better evaluate bid opportunities’. There are a lot of factors that go into whether or not you move forward with bidding on a project. And most of us are usually tempted to price out any project we deem a good fit. But before you get knee deep in putting together a proposal, try to answer the following questions first. We researched ideas for improving your decision-making around bidding, and we hope this helps.
What is the project owner's history of completing projects?
What I find interesting is that the conversation around vetting a construction or repair project, usually revolves around the reputation of the contractors; are they trustworthy… and are they reliable… Little is discussed about the credibility of the project owner themselves and their history of actually completing a project. There’s a lot of tire kickers out there so you want to avoid owners who are known for not following through. Ask them questions around their last project, what type of project it was, and what was the cost.
Can the building owners finance the Project?
This is a crucial factor to consider when putting forth a bid. Contractors should evaluate the project owner’s financial history to ensure that they can finance the project. Talk to other contractors and industry professionals about their experience with the building owners. Lastly, if you feel comfortable, suggest a ballpark price to give the owner an idea of what to expect (mentioned this may fluctuate 10-15% as you dive deeper into the specs). In my experience, contractors can give a general price based off the initial project requirement. Try to get a sense of their opinion on the suggested cost and if they agree or not.
What is your competition?
Contractors should ask the property owners who are the other bidders. Once you identify the competition, research who they are, what are their strengths, what is their pricing strategy, and do they have a successful track record? Some contractors are known to have high prices, while others are known to low ball everything. By thoughtfully evaluating the other firms, you can fill in more of the picture of whether you should bid or walk away.
Are you able to collaborate with project stakeholders?
It is important that the project owners are willing to take your calls and discuss the project at hand. They should appreciate what your firm brings to the table and give you all the information you need to make a sound proposal. Sometimes project owners only care about getting your price to check off the box. If you feel like you get the cold shoulder or the owners are not too helpful in answering your questions, this is a strong sign to decline the bid.
The above line of questions is a guideline to follow when deciding whether to bid on a project. If the building owner answers these in a thoughtful way and you feel good about the opportunity, these are strong signs to move ahead with a bid. However, if the project owners are not forthcoming and you feel like you have too many unanswered questions, this very well could be an indication to move on.