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Bid with Confidence: Tips from MNCLS

When it comes to bidding, no one likes a second guesser. Bid once, taking every detail into account, and you’ll immediately separate yourself from the “well, on second thought…” crowd. Of course, this may be easier said than done, as it takes a certain level of confidence to submit a single bid with assurance.

Bidding with confidence won’t just help your self-esteem as a business owner, it will also convince your prospective clients and customers that you’ve “been here before” — and that you’re the professional they already think you are.

As former Minnesota construction industry professionals-turned-practicing attorneys who support construction industry professionals, MNCLS knows the importance of confidence in the bidding process. Below, we outline five tips for bidding with confidence and winning business.

Do Your Due Diligence

Just like you wouldn’t walk into a job interview with no background knowledge on the interviewer — and you wouldn’t want a contractor to come in and interview with your business without any knowledge of the company — a key to bidding confidently is to do your homework. Not only can proper research prevent your business from bidding on projects outside of your scope, it can also point you in the right direction of the decision makers in the organization. Further, taking the time to understand the time commitment of the project can help you optimize your margins and act with confidence when it comes time to submit your bid.

Communicate Effectively

Effective communication is not limited just to saying what you mean, and when it comes to bidding it can be as simple as making yourself available to answer questions and provide clarification if needed. Throughout the bidding process, it may benefit your odds of success to streamline your communication process — be it through a project management tool or by refining your internal communication. After all, proving to your prospective client how much of a breeze working with you will be can empower you to bid with confidence and likely win you some business.

Make Technology Work for You

With many contractors stuck in their ways and resilient to change, leveraging the technology at your disposal will separate you from more retrograde businesses and give you confidence throughout the bidding process. Tools like the Autodesk Construction Cloud can improve your efficiency, while leveraging Autodesk’s Building Information Modeling (BIM) tool can distinguish your bid from that of other tech-resistant firms.

Take Your Time — But Don’t Dilly-Dally

As we mentioned earlier, nothing says “low bidding confidence” quite like laboring over a bid for too long — or hastily making a bid and having to walk back some of the details. Therefore, taking your time to create a comprehensive bid and project timeline can inspire total confidence in both the contracting business and the prospective client. By taking just enough time to do thorough research and map out your timeline, you can gain a significant advantage over the competition while demonstrating your professionality. We should note: In the event that you’re bidding with a contractor and do make a mistake, that is not grounds to have your bid changed — so make sure your bid is accurate to avoid sticking your neck out (and paying for it.)

Demonstrate What Sets You Apart

Imagining what bids from other contractors look like can severely douse any bidding confidence, so instead MNCLS recommends you allow your bid what separates you from the competition. While some businesses may attempt to undercut the rates of other contractors to increase their odds at winning, we recommend an alternative: Offer value to your prospective clients and customers, and use the bid to explain exactly why your services are worth their listed rate. Any client worth working with will appreciate the value of your work, but it’s still up to you to clearly demonstrate that value. I think there needs to be something in this article about how bidding mistakes are not sufficient to force a contractor to change your bid. In other words, if you eff up big time, that bid stays and the contractor is not required to pay you more.

When Your Bids Win, Call MNCLS

It may take time to begin bidding with complete confidence, but integrating these tips from MNCLS will help you step up your game and win more business — and we’re more than happy to help you draw up confidence-inspiring contracts in plain English when your bids are accepted. For Minnesota construction lawyers who have walked in your steel-toes, give us a call at (651) 484-4412.

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