How to Create a Winning Project Bid
1. Cast a wide net: do your research
Generally, business with more opportunities for potential projects have better odds of finding work that is better suited for their resources, staff, and equipment. That said, it’s likely that you could benefit from expanding your search for potential projects to identify more work opportunities to submit bids beyond the current channels your business uses.
Consider a new approach for identifying opportunities to put your business in a better position for getting work. Start by reaching out to large organizations and municipalities that regularly submit bids for projects. Be sure to keep an eye out for relevant mailing lists to sign up for and find out how your business can get involved in a similar form of outreach used whenever that entity is seeking bids.
Stay up-to-date on local news and establish relationships with companies that tend to do work that complements your regular business operations. For example, a contractor can gain a competitive advantage by monitoring notices from local or country government meetings about new construction and permits. Building contacts outside of your direct competitors can also increase awareness of potential bid opportunities.
2. Pass on weak or bad opportunities
Be cautious of requests for project bids may arise where assets and structure don't align with the project. While it is possible to bid on a project that appears to offer significant financial rewards, the difficulties related to completing the work to a high standard can be detrimental for a business.
As a business owner, it’s important to evaluate the project and organization requesting the bid. Conduct research to gain a stronger understanding of results from previous projects can help mitigate situations where clients become unresponsive during or after the job has been completed.
Similarly, learning about the job site and any previous labor undertaken means developing a clearer picture of any unique situations or past difficulties that could also have a negative impact on your business.
3. Check and double-check facts and figures
Error is the last thing a business wants to encounter when it’s time to calculate the cost of the bid and develop an estimate. Whether a measurement is incorrectly recorded or costs are properly reconciled before you submit the bid, your business will be the one to suffer. A good bid is submitted with a extremely high confidence in accuracy.
There's no magic solution to resolve the need for accuracy, but companies can develop workflows and protocols for making sure everything from measurements to labor costs are properly calculated. The review process can differ great from business to business, but whatever checks and balances approach your business utilizes, be sure your bids are submitted without errors.
4. Emphasize accuracy and specificity
While the price tag associated with a bid is a major factor, it shouldn’t be the only element the businesses soliciting the bids consider when identifying potential work. A bid that offers a solution to a difficult question at the heart of the work can catch the attention of important decision-makers. Conversely, a bid containing errors or a lack of specifications may be passed over for one that offers a more detailed look at completing the project.
Every business and every bid is different, but with the right equipment, heavy machinery, staff and strategy, your company can create more effective bids and reap the rewards of a steady stream of work.