Expand Your Bids for New Construction Business
Use these tips for finding new subcontracting business
Due to the specialization of many subcontractors’ trades, their work is hard to find on the “open-bid market.” Most specialized subcontractors receive the bulk of their jobs from having good relationships with contractors who continually use them for repeat business or recommend them to other general contractors. But how does a newer or smaller subcontractor find leads to expand his or her business?
The industry is moving away from written posts, to posts written online within the industry-related websites. When looking for new construction business to bid on, the Internet is a subcontractor’s best friend.
Although the Internet is a great tool due to its speed and convenience, there are some factors that the subcontractor must be aware of when using the Internet for bid-searching:
— There is often an annual fee.
— You can cut back on costs by only paying for a specific geographical area.
— Ensure that you are using a reputable site.
— Even though the Internet should be your focus, don’t rule out other avenues.
The benefit of online bid-searching is the fact that the subcontractor has so many options when it comes to online services. Here is a list of the most popular bid-searching services online:
— This site allows the subcontractor to list his or her name and information, and facilitates communication between subcontractors and general contractors.
— This site allows the subcontractor to find projects by state or by type of work.
— This site has construction project news in the U.S. and Canada.
— This site has thorough bidding information for the commercial construction industry in the East Coast and Texas.
— This site is a great place to find private, public, and single-family projects.
— General Contractors post the jobs they need subcontractors for while subcontractor can search for available job postings.
— Provides over 8,000 commercial construction projects available for bidding every month.
— Allows the subcontractor to consolidate his or her project history and qualifications in order to create a more inclusive and appealing profile to share with general contractors.
*For government jobs, the subcontractor should visit FedBizOpps.gov.
Ok, so you have found projects to bid on. Now what? Here are some tips for the subcontractor when creating and submitting bids.
Quality over low-cost
Some subcontractors purposely submit unreasonably low bids in order to get chosen. These bids often end up being more expensive in the long-run because of extra costs incurred that were not included in the original bid. Contractors who have had one too many negative experiences after choosing the lowest bidder will start to focus on the quality of the bid rather than the low cost. These contractors know that by choosing the most qualified bid, they will save money in the long-run by avoiding unforeseen costs. By always providing a quality bid and in turn providing high quality work on projects that you are given, your reputation will precede you and more contractors will begin to catch on.
Submit complete bids
Many subcontractors will purposely submit incomplete bids, and rely on change orders to make up for the missing pieces. This is a bad practice to engage in and causes frustration, time delays, and extra costs.
Here are some quick tips to help you create your bids:
— Consistency is crucial.
— Demonstrate your expertise by referencing previous projects that produced positive results.
— Create good relationships with all contractors that you work with so that they can be a good reference.
— Display previous projects that you have completed on time and within budget.
— Always follow-up after submitting a bid.
By demonstrating these aspects in your bid, contractors will be able to see the quality of your work and how choosing you will benefit them in the long-run.
The jobs for the subcontractor are out there, it’s only a matter of making yourself and your company visible online to the general contractor, and actively communicating with general contractors through available online resources.