When winter arrives and the frost settles into the ground, construction work slows down. Seasoned contractors know, though, that winter provides the perfect opportunity to perfect their craft.
You can land construction bids in the winter if you know what you’re doing. Follow these basic steps to find and secure construction bids in the most challenging of climates.
1. Use Available Tools To Find Construction Bids
This winter, find and use the technological tools available to learn how to find construction bids. This “off-season” is the best time to use some new tools to make work life a little easier.
In the same way that you know exactly which tool to use for the job, you should begin using the right tools to find construction leads. Wintertime is the perfect time to learn those tools.
Use lead generators like Construct-a-Lead. This service offers you advanced filters and a large database of jobs. Plugin the information necessary about your company and about the job you want, and you’ll see a handful of jobs on your screen.
You can also set email alerts so the lead service will email you an alert when a job that fits your criteria goes into their database. You will have the information before the rest of the contractors who are digging for leads the old-fashioned way.
Construct-a-Lead is a top website for construction bids, not only because it helps you find bids, but it helps you find the right ones. If you’re finding commercial construction leads or residential construction leads, a good lead service like this one helps you find the right job. You do not need fancy search engines, but just a service such as this one when you want to know where to find construction bids online.
2. Learn to Specialize
Focus on how you can overcome obstacles to secure a construction bid. If your biggest obstacle is a lack of experience, then learn to specialize.
You can be good at a lot of things, but you can only be great at a few. For example, if you want to land jobs in the winter, then learn to build in the winter. Make wintertime your specialty.
Not all projects are the same, so make one type of project your specialty. Look into specialty projects like just schools or just residential. Explore what kind of certification you may need to truly specialize in a particular build and then market yourself as a specialist.
The building skills are just a part of a specialization. You also need to learn how to ake bids for whatever market you want to target. For example, bids for the public sector may look different than bids for the private sector.
Government projects have different rules than the private sector. Take time to learn about your business in the winter.
3. Stay Busy, Build Experience
Some contractors must resort to a business loan to stay afloat in the winter. If you sit around and do nothing, this debt is a guarantee. However, you can avoid such a burden if you work smarter and not just harder.
If you decide to take a break to recharge, make your vacation a purposeful one with a beginning and an end. Then use your time wisely and stay busy in the winter.
You may wonder how to get construction projects in the winter. You can bid constantly and hope you land on something. You can also bid smart with a lead generator and then build your resume in the meantime.
For contractors, this means staying busy. Begin by selling comfort.
Residents want a warm, solid home in the winter. You can help them and yourself by marketing yourself as a comfort expert. Think about the things that make a home warm and comfortable like a fireplace.
Make yourself an expert in winter comfort items. Market yourself in the winter with your comfort skills. You can improve building insulation, install wood stoves, and install fireplaces.
Focus on improving the energy efficiency of buildings and then market this skill.
You do not have to do this alone. Contact product manufacturers and local home improvement outlets. Partner with them to do installations.
You can make people more comfortable in one of the most uncomfortable seasons. Market this skill and build your reputation.
Winter can be an uncomfortable season for all residents. So learn to sell comfort
Maintenance and Repair
If you’re an HVAC expert, a plumber, or an electrician, look into offering maintenance and repair services. You can do more than just new builds.
Go back to your past customers along with the people you know. These are your customer base. If they own a second home such as a vacation home, timeshare, or mountain property, you have a wealth of opportunities.
Offer your services to prepare HVAC systems for the upcoming harsh winter weather. This will save clients money in the end. Market your services as such, that your cost will ultimately save clients money.
You can also use your own home for practice. If you’ve been neglecting a corner of your house, fix it. Take this opportunity to experiment with new techniques or just to sharpen your skills.
If you have an investor mindset, look into purchasing a run-down property to fix up. A fixer-upper will give you more experience. Plus, you’ll have an investment you can sell once you’ve finished the work.
Weather Gazing and Site Prep
Become a weather expert. Spend time every day looking at the long-range forecast, and then search for jobs that match milder weather. If you have clients that you’ve known for a while, be bold, and propose a project to them with mild weather in mind.
If you’re struggling to find jobs right now but have jobs lined up for the spring, get your site prep done. You can do a lot of work above that frozen ground. This will save you time in the spring and let you meet deadlines and exceed expectations.
Make Winter Your Busy Season
Lead-generator software will help you find the best winter projects. Then you can specialize in wintertime building.
If you can tolerate the cold, wintertime building will give you the edge you need over your competition. Minimize common wintertime building risks by refining your contracts. Estimate your schedules and deadlines in light of the cold and reduced sunlight.
Then market yourself as a wintertime builder. Prove that you’re a 12-month contractor.
Commercial properties will rent out the office and retail space builds need someone to customize spaces for their new tenants’ needs. You can obtain all kinds of jobs if you capitalize on the opportunity. You’ll have the chance for regular work when you do well in the commercial property industry.
Focus on understanding your clients’ expectations, the market, and all the rules of the game. You will need accurate estimates and precise scheduling. Precise work such as customizing tenant space will only make you a better contractor as well.
Also, look at the work that you typically outsource, and take time to make yourself an expert on that work. For example, if you typically buy countertops, cabinets, custom doors, and trim pieces, why not use your indoor shop and make these pieces yourself.
Go back to the days when you first began construction. There’s something magical about the smell of sawdust, so enjoy your indoor space and do some millwork. This type of work will feed your soul and will build your experience.
Incentivize With Clients
Convince your clients to let you do their interior work in the winter by offering them incentives. Consider the extra wintertime costs you will incur when you write up their estimate. This will let you focus on exterior work before the cold sets in and will keep you busy during the winter months.
You’ll obtain more bids when you come in with a two-part plan based on the weather. You prove that you’re an experienced, forward-thinking contractor.
Take Care of the Business
Evaluate your business in the wintertime. This is the chance to dream a little and look ahead. You can make plans for where you want your company to go based on where you are now.
Increase your productivity in the winter and make your entire year profitable. Take stock of your equipment and tools. Maintain them and repair them so you do not end up buying new, expensive tools in the spring.
Review your business plan and look at your marketing. Consider all parts of your business including partners, employees, and suppliers. Ask yourself how you can improve your productivity and performance, and how all of these parts contribute.
If you do not already use technology to find leads and market your business, winter is the perfect season for this shift.
Step 4: Bid First
Arrive at the table with the first bid. The competition has less chance when you have only a couple of competitors.
To bid first, you need to find the jobs, though. So where do you find the jobs so you can be the first to bid?
Again, your best bet is an online lead generator. This will filter out the jobs that do not fit your criteria and help connect you with the job that fits your skillset. You will be happy, and the client will be happy.
Picture a project owner chasing you rather than you chasing the project owner. This is where you will ultimately be if you have experience and use a lead generator.
A lead generator with integrated marketing tools truly works best to help you organize your information and win the first bid. It will have things like a tracker for project status. This way you and other stakeholders can see the progress on the project as it moves along.
Step 5: Bid Purposefully
Bid only on your niche. You know what you do best, so bid on that project. You will find the most joy in those projects, and your client will be pleased.
Stop bidding on the projects you cannot win. No matter how much energy you put into a proposal, there are bids that you just cannot win. Stay away from projects that require more manpower than you have or more expertise than your experience affords.
In the same way, avoid projects that take you too far away. Stay close to home where you know the culture and can build a reputation. You need a significant workforce to fulfill the job requirements of jobs far from home.
Bid on the jobs you’re most likely to win. This means you should not be bidding against 30 competitors. Make a rule to bid against no more than 5 competitors to increase your chances of winning the bid.
Begin tracking your bids and note where you find the most success. Look at the project type, customer, competitors, and location. When you evaluate your track record using these criteria, you can estimate which bids you’re most likely to score and can avoid the hassle of bidding on a project that you won’t win.
Customize Your Construction Bids
When you stay busy in the winter, you build a resume of experience that makes you an attractive contractor come spring. Thus when you bid on a project, you can do so with confidence knowing you have a wealth of experience behind you.
If you use your winter months correctly, you do not need to worry about finding work. You’ll have happy clients that will verify your work, and you’ll land bids with ease.
To find the best construction bids out there, contact us. We’d love to give you a free test drive of our software. You can plug in your information and then look at five projects that fit your needs for free.
If you like what you see, you can sign up for our services on our website. We have tiered plans focused on where you want to find your bids. Check out our site today.
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