The contracting business is all about one thing: new business. To keep the bills paid and the future looking bright you have to not only do great work, but you have to continually win bids and find new clients as well. This can be one of the hardest parts about being a contractor; because the process of finding and winning jobs takes time and effort, both of which can end up costing you a lot of money. But fear not, we have a handful of tips to help you win more projects. Here we go!
Tip 1: Keep Track of Your Work
Putting together a great bid means estimating your costs accurately so that you can submit a low enough price to be competitive. But when was the last time you really got a solid understanding of the cost of completing a project? While it requires a fair amount of effort and upfront investment in a good time-tracking tool, doing the work will definitely pay off in the long term for your contracting business. Becoming more strict about tracking your time and materials on projects will help you gain a better understanding of the real cost of doing business so that you can submit a more accurate bid and improve your chances of winning projects.
You’ll also better learn to understand true costs around projects, both upfront as well as planning for unexpected delays and costs that can sneak up and sometimes forgotten by the time it’s time to bill the customer. Luckily, there are many different construction management apps and tools to help with tracking your time, materials, and costs more to become more efficient.
Tip 2: Improve Productivity
Keeping better track of your costs can have another extremely positive impact. It can show you opportunities for improving your productivity. For example, you might find that you’re spending way more time than is really needed on a given task. Armed with that knowledge you can focus in on specific opportunities to spend less time and become more productive. You can also improve productivity by making use of construction management apps like Contractor WorkZone. These apps can help you manage paperwork and other project management tasks right from your phone or tablet while you’re on the construction site or working on the project.
Tip 3: Sell Yourself
Another way to improve your chances at winning bids is to focus on the value you and your team can add to the project rather than join all the other bidders in a race to the lowest price. Of course, clients care about getting a contractor for a low price (and submitting a competitive price should be a part of your strategy), but they also want someone who is skilled, reliable, and pleasant to work with. Make sure you use the bidding process to communicate what makes you uniquely qualified for a specific job. What are the client’s needs? Do you have a specific experience or expertise that will make them feel confident in choosing you? What about your customer service? Team? Etc.
An idea here might be to include a customer testimonial or review as part of your contractor estimates when submitting, or even including past customer references. Really, you should be asking what can you add to the project that is priceless? Make sure you are highlighting and speaking about that whenever you are bidding as a contractor.
Tip 4: Boost Your Network
New business is a relationship business. Creating good relationships with everyone you come in contact within your career improves your chances of building a reputation that precedes your bid proposal. This applies to all times and situations, not just during work or when you’re on the job. You never know who might be next to you in the checkout lane, or who your neighbor can introduce you to to help increase your construction project management business. Maintain regular contact with anyone who might recommend you for projects or help you find good work.
And one last bonus tip: win new clients by retaining old clients. No matter what line of service business or trade you are in, from a handyman to an electrician to a roofer or remodeler, a repeat customer will always be less expensive than bidding for a new one. Doing good work in a timely manner at a fair price is the best way to win more projects and keep building your career and contracting business well into the future.