Competition is increasing
With increasing competition a large number of contractors and subcontractors are winning a declining percentage of their bids. This means they have to start running just to standing still. Others are stuck in terms of growth and just want to start growing their business. If you are in either situation the only out of this is to increase the total number of bids you win.
Find new projects to bid
To increase bidding you need to first find suitable projects to bid that you weren’t bidding before. I have highlighted the word suitable because just bidding more is useless if the project is not profitable for you. Maybe the size of the project is too small (or big) or the location is too far from your warehouse. Profitability depends on your current business size, expertise, type of operations and job type you are bidding for.
One way to find new projects in your area is to go online. There are many websites like the Dodge Global network, iSqFt etc. You can also use your existing contacts in the industry to find new bidding opportunities.
Consider bidding less projects (But bigger ones)
Bidding for bigger projects is another strategy you can use. You have to be very careful of course. Bigger projects typically require more working capital. They also might bring with them other execution problems that you might not be aware of.
Make sure you can financially handle winning a bigger project and have a plan in place on how to execute the project if you do manage to win the bid.
A less risky way might be to stop bidding for very small projects and bid more projects that are big but within your comfort zone. The only exception or problem might be that sometimes doing smaller projects is necessary to maintain existing relationships and even to build new ones. In those cases you should definitely not stop doing these projects.
Increase Estimating Capacity
Of course you need to be able to estimate all the new projects you want to bid for. If you or your estimating team cannot handle any more volume, I suggest outsourcing your estimating.
I know this is shameless self promotion but I genuinely feel we can really help contractors increase their estimating capacity with only a small increase in cost and no increase in overheads. We offer a Free Estimate to all new clients who contact us.
By outsourcing your estimating you avoid the risk of permanently increase your overheads without the guarantee of increased revenue. Once you are confident about your increased revenue from bidding more jobs, you may certainly consider increasing your estimating team.
This is quite obvious, but I am going to mention it anyway. Any new job you bid must be profitable if you win it. This requires accurate estimating and a suitable profit margin. Some people might consider reducing their profit margin a little bit to build a new relationship, but again, be careful with this strategy.
A big part of building relationships is ensuring the quality of work is at least as per the standards set at the start of the job or as given in the specifications sheet. Doing jobs right the first time also avoids expensive rework.