Published on Friday 12 June 2015 in The Shoestring Marketing Blog
Our top tips to winning business.
Word-of-mouth has got to be the best way to win business in any sector. If you are new to the building game however, want to move into different market, or simply need extra work, then tendering for jobs is a must. You can't win 'em all, but if you take a look at our tips you could be on the way to improving your strike rate:
Learn to say no
This might sound odd an odd thing to say, but it's critical to evaluate projects before you bid. Turn down projects that might need too much commuting, could be tricky to access or have other obvious problems. It's a learning curve, but distinguishing between profitable jobs and money pits is a must!
Check out the competition
Bidding takes time, you need to pick and choose your opportunity so you can dedicate time to it. How many other bidders are there? Where do you fit in the pecking order? What is the quality of the competition? Try to work out if the homeowner is just using you as 'control' and already favours other bidders.
Make a careful itemisation of the materials that will be needed to do the job. This might seem tedious, but going the extra mile with itemising and pricing materials can make the difference between a profit and a loss. Choose your margin carefully, remember to add a percentage for waste and a service charge for acquiring the materials.
Compare and contrast
Compare your current bid with work you've done in the past. Most people starting out will make poor bids on at least a few jobs, but as you gain experience you will become faster at what you do and more accurately predict costs.
Put yourself in their shoes
Once you've added your hours, materials, insurance, transportation and other overhead costs together you should have your final figure. Take a look at this from the customer's point of view. Ask yourself if it makes sense and be prepared to adjust it up or down.
Timing is key
When you present the estimate to your potential client be sure to include a realistic schedule laying out what happens and when. A dose of realism is crucial here. We all know that jobs can run over, but if you get severely behind schedule after winning a job, you run the risk of damaging your reputation.
No matter what price you go in with, your potential client will want some reassurance that you can do the job. Include some customer testimonials of happy customers who would also be willing to speak to your potential client.
Friends or foe?
Finally, one of the most crucial things to remember is your relationship with the potential client and other providers, like the architect. You'll be working with these people on a daily basis if you win the job. What's your gut feeling…are you likely to get on well with them? You want your workplace to be a happy one after all!
We hope these tips inspire you to get the best out of your next tender. If you want to share any tips you have on winning work tell us on our twitter page @vanarama.