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How to win more construction bids

Many in the construction industry will tell you that bidding is a vital aspect of the business, plus the company’s projects. Bidding is fundamental to how the firm retains projects and business opportunities long term. However, construction bidding is profoundly competitive, and many contractors believe they will only win proposals if they offer low prices to the client. While many clients may want to accept proposals from the lowest-bidding firms, it’s not the best course of action for construction projects.

On the contrary facet of bidding, many contractors may only acquire one project out of the multiple bid proposals they submit. Alternatively, this can create an imbalance for their company where they are soliciting for projects more than getting bids for projects. Increasing your winning proposals can still be achievable, so let’s dive into ways you can improve your bidding and attain more projects.

Construction bids graphic
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Know when and how to bid

Many contractors believe that bidding low is the key to winning projects. While low-cost estimates can be ideal for clients, it’s more about when and how to get construction bids that matter the most.

Bidding first before a competitor can give you the advantage to win more projects. Imagine it this way: It’s more in your favor to try to win bids from competitors if you only have a few to compete with. Having your proposal submitted at the start of the bidding process puts you at a greater probability of winning the project.

Numerous online sites can help you find new jobs and create a company profile that appears in the proposal searches. Using your profile on these websites also allows more project owners to view your information and select your firm for their projects. Some of the bidding marketplaces that can help you beat your contenders include:

  • BidClerk
  • iSqFt
  • BidPlanroom

Establish a positive reputation

As in any business, developing a confident reputation within your target market helps you achieve more substantial success. You can apply this aspect to construction businesses and project bidding. Positive reputations in the industry can give your firm a competitive edge in the event of multiple proposals. For example, suppose there are numerous businesses bidding on the same project. In that case, your reputation in the industry can help you get the project from your competitor, even if you aren’t the most economical bid for that project.

You may be asking how and why this happens in bidding. To put this plainly, many assume that price means everything, but that’s not always the case. Suppose your company has a strong reputation for delivering on time, being easy to work with, and providing a quality product over a competing bid. In that case, you’re more likely to win the bid. In the construction industry, clients don’t just want the lowest cost available; they want the quality of service at an affordable expense. 

Avoid chasing every project

Ideally, it can appear to be a smart move to bid on every construction undertaking that comes along, however, it’s not always the most effective method to win bids. If you bid on every opportunity presented to you, you’ll find yourself chasing after projects and taking up too much time and energy while producing no results.

Limiting the number of proposals you present while also improving their quality is more effective in the long run. If you submit proposals on projects that you don’t conduct any research on, you could find yourself in smaller profit margins than you intended. To avoid chasing after every project in hopes of winning bids, take time to consider the following:

  • Bid on jobs that fit your expertise and not projects you lack experience within.
  • Focus on projects that can evolve into repeat business opportunities, as it’s easier to work with existing and past clients than new clientele.
  • Analyze the profit potentials before officially submitting a bid for a client project.
  • Create solid and realistic project estimates for the client. 
  • Avoid trying to oversell yourself to a client. Let your past projects demonstrate your value to win the bid.
Winning bids
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Final thoughts on project bids

The construction bidding climate can be contentious and complicated for contractors. Winning project bids is a numbers game that entails strategy, time, patience, and organization. Applying these suggestions will help you better enhance your project bidding approach. The key points to take away are to recognize when to bid, establish a positive business reputation, and don’t chase after every job prospect. Remember that the cheapest bid on a project doesn’t always result in a winning proposal.

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Amanda Scheldt
Amanda is a self employed content writer with a diverse and multifaceted niche background. After over a decade in the…
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