Let’s be honest, it can be a slow and difficult process for a contractor when you’re submitting bids and most of your efforts get rejected. You might not even be told why.
Unfortunately, this is a reality for many engineers and tradies in competitive markets. The pressure of juggling deadlines is a problem in itself, which can lead to inaccurate numbers and other errors. On the other hand, you might think your bids are perfect. What more can you do?
Aside from adding more hours to your working day, there are a few things you can try. Ultimately, you should be able to produce smarter bids that bring in more work without much effort.
Learn from what you’ve done before
Try to revisit your previous bids after a reasonable length of time has passed, and put yourself in the client’s shoes. When you consider the original specifications they gave you, how well did you meet those criteria? With a fresh perspective, you might notice some areas you could improve next time.
Try to find out more
If you still can’t figure out why you got rejected, perhaps the best option is to ask. The best time to do this is obviously when the client tells you that your bid wasn’t successful. It’s fair to ask the reason for the decision, provided you’re careful not to come across as too defensive.
Avoid assumptions (on both sides)
Failing to notice or understand any elements of the original request usually spell disaster for bids. Make sure you’ve read every relevant document, including reading between the lines. If the client is looking for something, don’t leave it up to them to work out whether you can provide it. Spell it out to them so it’s obvious you’re the perfect choice.
Upgrade your offering
When several companies submit similar bids, clients will often just decide to go for the cheapest. They might not even take other factors into account, because they’re looking for a quick and easy solution.
This might sound frustrating, but there are ways you can make it work to your advantage. For example, offering to simplify your client’s process in other ways will often make your offer a lot more attractive. There may be opportunities for you to make other aspects of the project more efficient, so highlight these wherever possible to show that you’ve considered the client’s perspective.
Simplify your process with software
You might be wondering where you’ll get the time to implement all these great suggestions. It’s a fair question, but we do have a solution.
Perhaps our most important recommendation, although it may be a predictable one, is that you start using software to do your take-offs and estimates. There’s no reason to keep using the unreliable, old-fashioned method of working things out by hand on printed drawings. All you’re doing is wasting your own time, over and over again.
The process of using RapidBid is fast, intuitive and accurate. The best way to see for yourself is to book a free demo, which you can do right here (click the green button in the top right corner of your screen).