Bidding with unfamiliar construction general contractors can seem like Russian Roulette, where one small unlucky late draw payment mishap can put a bullet right into the heart of your whole business. Get in good with the right GC though, and it’s a relationship you’ll want to tend to and keep up for years to come.
Getting Your Foot in the Door
The construction business revolves around delivering a quality product in a timely fashion. However, you can’t just go around telling all the well-established GCs how great you are. You need to show them. You need just one opportunity. Without it, you can’t yet be trusted, even if you worked that one summer in roof construction years ago and think you understand everything there is to know about the business.
It starts with studying the market with a dedicated system. Find your niche, track projects, and follow GCs who are seeking bids. Zero in on a few who do the most projects in your bidding area, and reach out to them. Submit bids, and talk to project managers. Get to know what they look for in a subcontractor. Let yourself gravitate toward the ones you’re most at ease communicating with. Begin to build a relationship with their people, and network like crazy. If nothing else works, submit a break even bid on one project. It’s all about getting your foot in the door at almost any cost. You’re playing the long game, for long-term stability.
After the Bid
Once you’ve won that big project, leave nothing to chance. Show up when you say you will. Come in full-force. Manage the project down to every detail. Make sure your workers have all the required safety gear and show up looking professional every day. If you assign a foreman to the project, make sure he or she is first and foremost, a good people person. It matters. Remember, you’re not grinding out another job here. You’re building a relationship not just with those involved on the job, but also with everyone else up to the GC.
It seems like a lot of effort, but building your relationship with the GC will be worthwhile. You’ll be the go-to subcontractor with quality skills, fine connections, and trusted workmanship. Your company could even receive exclusive, invitation-only bids as you develop your relationship. PlanHub provides a plan room platform to keep all moving parts in order and easily build your relationships. For more information on the PlanHub system, and how you can use our software to develop contracting connections efficiently, contact us today.