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3 Key Ways to Identify the Best Projects to Bid On

Time is money. This age old saying is never truer than in construction. And while everyone loves options, sometimes having too many can make it difficult to prioritize and make the most of those minutes. So we’ve taken some time out to highlight 3 key ways to identify the best projects to bid on, so you can keep focusing on what’s important.

1. Ask yourself: does the scope of work fit my capabilities?

While many jobs initially look attractive, they might not always be the best fit. Take a closer look at the scope of work and make sure you are spending those precious minutes concentrating on bids that take advantage of your expertise. Many times invitation-to-bid software solutions, like GradeBeam®, include all of the documents to review in one place before bidding. You can even search for project opportunities based on specific trade codes you know you’re solidly qualified for. So don’t just throw your towel into the ring for any job that comes along. If you bid on projects that are targeted to your specialties, you’ll be in a better position to make your bid more competitive. So ask yourself, is this job actually a mutual fit? While there might be a GC you want to work with, it could be a project that isn’t ideal for your skill set. And there really is nothing worse than finding yourself in the middle of a project you wish you’d never taken on.

2. Ask yourself: has this GC awarded me work in the past?

While casting a wide net for opportunities makes sense – most subcontractors have to bid 5-10 projects to win just one – sometimes you need to take a look at the overall relationship and make sure you aren’t just spinning your wheels. For better or worse, relationships still rule the construction industry and some GCs will ask for bids from additional subcontractors as a negotiation tactic for their preferred vendors. While collecting bids is a necessary part of the pre-construction process, bid shopping, while legal, is an entirely different animal. So ask yourself, do you have an established relationship with this GC? Have they actually awarded you work in the past? Are you looking to expand your network and take a chance on an unestablished relationship? We recommend focusing on the invites from GCs who give you work – don’t bid on work just because someone asked you to. And if you need help keeping it all straight, bid management software solutions like BidOrganizer® have scoring and reporting capabilities based on your customized preferences making it easy to see the best jobs for your skill set.

3. Ask yourself: what do I know about this GC?

Sometimes a little research goes a long way. While good partnerships are the backbone of the construction industry; bad ones are the ugly underbelly that we’d all prefer wasn’t there. While general contractors want to make sure you can do the work they are requesting, you might want to consider the other side of that coin. So ask yourself, the work aside, is this a company you want to get into bed with? Don’t spend your valuable time bidding on projects with general contractors that don’t live up to expectations. There might even be great companies with specific individuals that you don’t work well with. So with that in mind, we recommend taking a deeper dive to gain a real understanding of who is reliable and who is not – because it can be critical to your financial success.

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