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  • Writer's pictureYvonne Root

Be the Best Bidder

Updated: Jun 23, 2020

Best Bidder not lowest bidder

You know there are those who only choose the lowest bidder. No matter how detrimental that practice often is. It happens. This story from ENR tells the tale well.

And, here is another low bid fire station disaster.

If you wish to remove “lowest” from the criteria general contractors might use when considering your bid here are a few things for you to consider.  Because price shouldn’t be the only determining factor in a winning bid.

The Best Bidder will bring

  1. Outstanding trade expertise.

  1. Proof of required licenses and insurance.

  1. Confirmation of past performance with comparable projects.

  1. Excellent safety records.

  1. Good equipment.

  1. Demonstration of well-tended financials (including cash flow capabilities and good qualifications for meeting your vendors’ payment terms.)

Soft qualities of Best Bidders

While the following qualities are harder to quantify, they often fit in the make-it or break-it category for GCs. General contractors looking for the best bidder rather than the lowest bidder will watch for:

  1. Responsiveness – responding to all forms of communication in a timely manner.

  1. An excellent attitude – includes understanding how to respond to problems with creativity and a can-do attitude.

  1. A dedication to teamwork – within your own company, with other trades, and with the GCs representatives, demonstrating your desire to create a mutually beneficial partnership.

  1. Cleanliness – keeping the site as clean as possible at all times.

  1. A reputation for integrity – honesty and sincerity, including owning up to your own or your team’s mistakes.

And, it is in these soft qualities where you have the most opportunity to promote your value as opposed to focusing on price.

Think about it — when your bid is close to other bids, often your reputation is all it takes to assure you get more than a passing glance.

Who you gonna call?

It is just as important to choose a general contractor worth submitting a bid to as it is to be a subcontractor worthy of consideration.

Here are questions vital to your pre-bid decision.

  1. How long has the general contractor been in business?

  1. How many subcontractors have they worked with? (Contacting past subs may give you an idea of how easy or difficult it is to work with this GC.)

  1. Do they have procedures for handling conflicts?

  1. How many levels of management do they have in place?

  1. Who will be your point of contact?

  1. What paperwork will be required? And how frequently?

  1. When will the job begin?

  1. What is the estimated time of completion?

  1. What is the scope of the work required?

Best Bidder practices

Putting your best foot forward before the bid is called is only the first step. Take every opportunity to let GCs know why your services are better.

And finally, be sure to manage your bid processes well. Determine to focus on bidding projects that will result in profitable returns and repeat business.

It is our desire this article (among our growing library of construction-centric informational articles) is helpful in assisting commercial construction contractors build better building businesses. 

Providing Accounting and Advisory Board Level counsel for small to medium commercial construction subcontractors.

So you can Run With the Big Dogs. 866-629-7735

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