It’s All About that Bid, ‘Bout that Bid, No Trouble
The Foundation for Building Bids
When preparing bids for any project, here are the three key elements you should always strive for.
Conveying your professionalism
Pitching your services
Protecting your company’s interests
The Elemental Bidding Pieces
You already know the elements of putting together a bid for construction work. Things like:
List of materials needed
Time and labor that will be required
But there are other things to consider.
The Lost Bid Story
With his permission, I’m sharing a bid story from one of our clients. We knew our client was bidding on a project right up his alley. He liked to do it, was well-equipped to accomplish it, and would fit it nicely into his production calendar.
So, our first enthusiastic question at his month-end meeting with us was, “Did we get the bid?” He responded, “No, and I’m glad.”
Errrrch! The brakes came on! “Wait, what? What happened?” His story continued, and it was something like this – ‘I didn’t get the bid, but I went and looked at the public records and saw what the winning competitor bid and I thought, ‘Wow, I feel sorry for this poor guy – he’s gonna lose his shirt.’ I would rather lose the bid at my price than win the bid at his price.”
We said, “Oh, okay, well, let’s talk about . . .” At that moment, our client interrupted and said, “But that’s not the end of the story.”
In short, this is what happened – the winning bidder apparently had second thoughts, withdrew, and the project owner awarded our client the contract.
Our client told us, “Ended up winning it at my price anyway.”
(As you can see, this client has an excellent gift for timing and delivery; this is another reason we enjoy working with him.)
Three Vital Points
Obviously, not every lost bid will end up with this kind of happy result. But there are three vital points to consider from our client’s story. They are:
Know your bidding lane and stay in it.
Understand your value and reflect that in your bids.
Accept that losing a bid isn’t always a bad thing.
It’s More than Data
At first glance, data may look like the only thing to consider when developing a bid. In that case, the focus would be only, “How much will it cost? And how long will it take?” And as you know, there’s more to it.
Computers may help with the data portion of a bid from both your perspective and the clients, but that is not the final word on bidding. Relationship is. The beginning of every bidding process must be the understanding that people are involved.
Other considerations include:
Will everyone get their money’s worth?
How can risk be minimized across the board?
What factors are important to the client?
Is there a way to ease the client’s decision-making problems?
10 Bidding Tips
Learn from the bids you don’t get.
Use your financial records to inform your decisions.
Remember, labor costs include labor burden.
Punctuality can be a make-it-or-break-it consideration with bids.
A polished and professional bid presentation is imperative. (Proofreading is essential.)
Choosing suitable projects to bid on reduces wasted research and evaluation time on bids that should be passed.
Reviewing bid documents thoroughly (not skimming) produces better results.
Attention to detail must be apparent in your bids, just as it is in your work.
Including a few samples of successful past projects can be helpful.
A brief explanation of why your construction company is the ideal candidate for the project is an excellent way to attract attention.
One Last Thought
Enthusiasm Counts! Enthusiasm on your part is not only acceptable but might be the winning factor in submitting a bid. Winning a bid often has its beginning before the proposals are submitted. Show up at all meetings, be available for conversations, and let the owner or GC know you are qualified and eager to participate in the project. Then, submit a top-notch bid.
About the Title of this Post
Thanks to singer and songwriter Meghan Trainor for inspiring the title of this post. Yet! Yet, imagine my surprise when I discovered that the Meghan Trainor song that inspired the title was controversial. You see, I had only heard the Disney version, which easily translates to self-assuredness, boldness, and spirited fun in an albeit doo-wop sort of way. So, my take is to get into the rhythm, do some hand clapping, and put some thought and enthusiasm into your bidding process.
It’s all about that bid, ‘bout that bid, no trouble.
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