Subcontractors Bidding to Success


In order for subcontractors to be successful in their industries, they must be talented at their prospective skills. However, they cannot be successful at performing these skills if they do not first win a bid and be chosen to work on a project for a general contractor. Subcontractors will not be able to achieve great business success if they do not understand the how to provide a professional bid and get accepted on projects. Below are three tips for subcontractors on how to bid successfully.

Understanding the Project

The first thing to determine is if the general contractor has provided all the necessary information in order to create a reliable proposal. If a subcontractor creates a bid without all of the necessary information, they could either propose too high of a price and not get accepted on the project, or worse, bid too low and loose money on the project. The second scenario can also ruin the subcontractor’s reputation if they try to renegotiate the price in the middle of the project. The second item to determine is if the project is strategically right for the subcontractor. Is the project within the scope of their skills and does it align with their goals? Subcontractors must be wary of bidding on any projects they are not sure they can handle. If they accept a project and then cost the general contractor time and money caused by mistakes, they will lower their chances of working on another project with that general contractor again.

Be Realistic

As stated above, it can be a problem if a subcontractor bids too low on a project. The same goes for proposing too short of a timeline when subcontractors may not have the labor for it. Subcontractors should bid on the project with what they realistically perceive they can do and still make the profit they expect. If the subcontractor knows they typically have a higher average price than the market, they should include any additional items they offer such as higher quality or working in a shorter time period. However, subcontractors should keep in mind that they should always meet minimum expectations before adding any additional items. If subcontractors do not meet one requirement, they are likely not to get the bid even if they have a lower price or better materials.

Bid to Win

The proposal given to the general contractor should be extremely professional. The proposal will be the general contractor’s first impressions of the subcontractor and it should be high quality, thorough and trust inducing. The proposal should be made to stand out and include every requirement that the project entails. It should also include a list of past projects the subcontractors have done for reference and any additional items that the subcontractor can provide. Although it may be difficult to get into contact with someone, it would be worth it to speak to the one reviewing the bid so that they can start a relationship with the client.

Subcontractors should view their bid like they would their resume. It should be professional, stand out, and outline the outstanding qualities that they have. If the subcontractor understands the project and is realistic, they have a good chance at being successful in the industry. Comment below with other tips and follow me on twitter!


Photo Credit – Tanamera Construction – The Preserve

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