Contractors are businesspeople and many times they’ll have to first win a bid before they can deliver the quality work they are trained to perform.
Troy Guevara, a construction technologist at Digitek Solutions, offered a crash course at this year’s World of Concrete show in Las Vegas to help contractors who are seeking to up their game when it comes to placing bids. His class, “5 Strategies for Better Bidding,” spoke about business strategies contractors can execute to win more bids.
“We’re called estimators, not bidders, but we submit bids and not estimates,” Guevara said. “And the reason for that is because an estimate is an approximation of a sample cost.”
Guevara said that if you want to win a bid, you must do a lot more than just produce an estimate.
“Think about a job you really want. What are you going to do to get that job?” Guevara asked. “You’re going to put a package together that’s going to say, ‘I want this job’ and ‘I’m the guy you want to do this job.’”
Guevara said bids should include a specific scope of work and a timeline, along with clearly defined expectations that should be met.
“Not just to meet plans and specs but beyond what plans and specs can do,” he said.
A good bid should demonstrate workmanship, capabilities, and qualifications and should be designed to win a project without being the lowest bid, according to Guevara.
Guevara said there are some projects out there that will simply select the lowest bid, but he said many projects are awarded based on the strength of a relationship.
Tracking projects won and lost can also have positive impacts, Guevara said.
“When you track your win/loss, you’re going to identify the projects that could be a higher percentage to win,” he said.
He also said tracking this data will tell you whether relationships made a difference in winning or losing a bid.
Overall, Guevara urged contractors to think about bids differently.
“You’ve got to create some value in what you offer,” he said. “You want to separate yourself from the competition. What makes you unique?”
“How are we different from our competitors? Your competitor’s not doing this. You can do this, you can say ‘how am I different from them?’”