Managing bids when you’re a busy contractor is extremely challenging. There is never enough time!
The general rule of thumb is whatever you estimate today, you’ll see the results in 3-6 months.
It’s called “The Rule of 3-6”.
Most contractors get so busy and neglect new estimates so they see a gap of low or no work on 3 months. Instead….create a system so that you will always be sending bids.
1. Use Bid Management Software or Excel
Keep up with your bids by logging all your projects. Its easy to forget projects when you’re busy. Here are good bid management software packages
- Corecon: www.corecon.com
- iSqFt: www.isqft.com
- The Blue Book: www.thebluebook.com
- ProCore: www.procore.com
- Builder Trend: www.buildertrend.com
- eBuilder: www.e-builder.net
If you’re super busy, just forward your projects to us, and we’ll track them for you even if we don’t estimate them for you (no charge).
If you’re tight on funds, just use Microsoft Excel. Make sure to log the following:
- Project name
- Bid date
- Link to plans
- Company and Contact Info
2. Use Digital Estimating Software
Estimating plans by hand is old school and not very precise. Estimating by hand is hard, tedious, and the chances for mistakes is high.
Our philosophy for business owners is to hire an employee estimator or estimating firm like us to handle your estimates. Your talent and skill is better served meeting clients and running jobs to maximize profit. “Don’t work IN the business. Work ON the business” Estimating Software: For Digital Takeoffs:
3. Follow up, follow up, follow up
I can’t stress this enough. Call your client, visit them, take them out to lunch…….just get in front of them.
There is a known psychological phenomena known as the “Mere Exposure” effect that you can use to your benefit.
When your client gets exposed to you on multiple occasions, they become familiar with you and subconsciously develop a liking toward you.
In marketing, experts recommend exposing your potential clients at least 7 times to your logo, email, ad, blog post, Facebook ad, visit, phone call, etc. Why do you think our team is always sending these tips, checking in on projects we’ve estimated, calling to follow up on new projects….or sometimes just calling out of the blue!
Most importantly we want to offer superior service. But we also know the more we invest in building a relationship with you in as many avenues as we can, the more likely we are to create a strong business relationship. So we try to stay in touch as much as possible.
In summary, the strategy of the week is to create an estimating system so your bids never stop.
- Track your bids
- Use digital software or estimating firm
- Follow up with clients
Enjoy and I’ll see you on your next project.