Here are some tips to help make your next bid successful.
1.) Contact your prospective client. Organise a tour to the construction site and evaluate the project plans and specifications.
2.) Prepare a list of all the required materials and contact your supplier for pricing and availability. Calculate the total cost of the materials including transportation costs and be sure to give an allowance for damaged or lost materials.
3.) Estimate the labour costs including wages as well as your costs for workers compensation and benefits. Mark-up this figure (which will be part of your gross profit for the job) but make sure your new figure remains competitive.
4.) Invite bids on any scope of the work that you may need to subcontract out. Slightly mark-up your costs on subcontract labour to meet your administrative costs. Ensure your subcontractors are adequately insured and have enough operating capital to perform the job.
5.) Create a schedule for the project. Put into considerations availability of materials and labour (including subcontract labour). Allow some time for unfavourable weather, back orders and delays due to the customer as well as last minute subcontractor scheduling difficulties.
6.) Write out your bid. Be as detailed as possible so as to give your prospective client a clear picture of what he will get for his investment. Type and bind your proposal properly to give it a professional look.
7.) Submit your bid to the client. Be sure to provide a list of referrals and some images of high quality work you have completed in the past. Very importantly, show evidence that your business is financially stable and that you, your employees and subcontractors are adequately insured.
8.) Give your prospective customer an estimated completion date. Inform the client how you will deal with changes to the original scope of the project and specify that change order will be in writing and that the cost of the change will be detailed and approved by the customer before you proceed.
9.) Ask the prospective customer to advise you on the best time to discuss the job, and if it turns out that he wants to hire another contractor ask if you may compare the bids. In case the customer has a limited budget, offer to work with him on cost. You can suggest alternative building materials or design features that will lower the costs without compromising on quality.