Level the Construction Bidding Playing Field
The bidding process can feel one-sided. You submit something. You never hear back. The construction bid goes into a black hole of project management and construction runaround.
We hear a lot of feedback from our subcontractors about what to do, most recently from J.W. Denney at Binswanger Glass.
Here are six things you can do to level the bidding playing field.
1. Cover Your Bases. Before You Bid
Make sure that you’ve reviewed all of the general requirements for the project and that you meet all of them. Make sure that you’re bondable on a job of that size. If the project is looking for pre-fab concrete and you only install cast-in-place concrete, you’re not going to get the job.
2. Fill Out the Prequal Form
Fill it out completely, and fill it out correctly. A prequal form that’s complete and accurate will only help you. If a General Contractor is asking for it, you won’t get his work without it – period.
3. Document What Plans You Used
Make sure that you’ve reviewed the most recent addenda to the project as well as the most recent plans. There’s nothing worse than submitting a bid and realizing that you missed something important. Make notes on your proposal concerning the approval dates on all drawings and addenda.
4. Make Sure You Bid to All of The General Contractors, Not Just “Your General Contractor.”
If there are three concrete supply companies in the area and you just submit your bid to the one you usually work with, you’re going to miss out on the project if your regular guy doesn’t win. Also make sure you contact all General Contractors well before bid date to determine their construction bidding requirements. Waiting until the last minute will hurt your chances of your number being considered.
5. Follow Up On Your Construction Bids
You know that phrase the squeaky wheel gets the grease? That applies here. Be friendly, but professional, and don’t wait too long. Make yourself more than just a number.
Number six comes straight from Binswanger Glass, one of the largest full-service glass retailers in the US and a member of the iSqFt network.
6. No One Should Ever Sign a Legally Binding Contract Without Reading it First.
Subcontractors should check their contracts line-by-line, and if it is not fair and equitable to both parties, propose changes. Strike sections that are unfavorable and add verbiage that makes it more reasonable. The goal is to create an environment of negotiation and build a more collaborative relationship with the General Contractor.
Remember: Your work speaks for itself, but if you lay the right foundation for that work, you can’t help but succeed.