How to Bid Like You’ve Already Won the Job

Your approach to bidding, especially in comparison to the competition, will be reflected in your hit ratio. The bid-hit ratio should be balanced, and you want the number of hits to be as high as possible. For example, if your bid-hit ratio is 3:1, it means that you get a third of the jobs you bid on. That’s good, but the goal would be to get to a 1:1 ratio and get every job you want.  

More jobs equals more referrals, additional opportunities to bid, and winning additional bids for future projects.  

So, how can you get your bid-hit ratio up? Here are a few winning practices to improve your bidding process.  

4 Practical Tips for Bidding 

 There are a few tips you can use to bid as if you’ve already gotten the job and make your bid more successful.  

1: Keep Everything Centralized 

The first thing you need to do is to keep everything you need for your bid centralized. Many subcontractors already have flooded inboxes with bid invitations which can be overwhelming and challenging to keep organized. This often leads to missing bids, deadlines, and emails from important clients. A centralized bid board makes it easier to keep track of all incoming bids in addition to the ones you are already working on.  

Furthermore, a centralized system cuts down on the time you need to spend on the information you put on every bid, like addresses, names, or nonspecific quotes. Your online bid board will populate with the information you want to use automatically, saving you time and preventing errors.  

Another reason for a focus on centralization is because it prevents duplicate files and consolidates all information in one place. Since you may have multiple bids to work on, having them centralized helps you manage them more easily. On a cloud-based system, you’ll have access from anywhere. You can filter through where the bids are coming from and who’s working on them, as well.  

As an added benefit, if you combine your bidding system with a synchronized calendar, you’ll reduce the likelihood of missing out on work or deadlines. 

2: Use Historical Data to Your Advantage 

The nice thing about historical data is that it shows you what does or does not work. You probably already have this data available, but are you actually leveraging it to your advantage?  

A data-driven bidding strategy can help you make better decisions about what you want to bid on. For instance, use your historical data to review information such as which general contractors are inviting you to bid on their projects and see what your win rates are with them. It’s also just as important to know which GCs you’re bidding with but not winning to determine if it’s worth your resources to continue pursuing.  

To start, you need a system that consolidates and aggregates bid management data, because while you can have data on a static board or spreadsheet, drawing meaningful insights can be challenging and highly manual. Seeing different trends lets you make decisions about how to spend your time on the bids you are invited to make. This helps you reduce the number of bids you make when you are unlikely to win and increases the likelihood of winning the bids you do make. Beneficially, a detailed reporting system helps you be transparent, sharing details with your team, stakeholders and others.  

3: Bid On and Bid Out Work From One Place 

Specialty contractors usually need to solicit bids from other subcontractors. The process can be long and complex, requiring them to re-enter the same data multiple times, send numerous emails with the right files, track everything in spreadsheets, and so on. 

With this complexity comes the risk of losing information and making errors, which can be damaging to the bid. Once again, a centralized bid management system can help here. The right platform allows you to manage and keep track of all bid invites that come in and are sent out. All information is kept in the same place, so you don’t have to worry about missing files or redundant data entry, all while saving you hours of time. It’s as easy as switching from bidding on work to soliciting bids for the same project so you can get bids out the door faster.  

4: Add Your Business Enterprise Certifications  

Owners are increasingly contractually required to award a certain percentage of project costs to specific business enterprises. The disadvantaged business enterprises (DBE) program is a prime example of this, along with other subcategories, such as Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE), and more.  

If you’re a specialty contractor and belong to any of the groups mentioned above, it’s important to get certified and promote your credentials so you can win more work.  

With bid management software solutions like BuildingConnected, you can add your business enterprise certificates to your company profile. This enables you to get invited to relevant jobs where you’ll have an edge on the competition. 

Set Yourself Up for Successful Bidding

With the right approach to bidding, you can win more bids and get the right projects that you want on your calendar. The right product can solve these major challenges, letting you overcome common issues during the bidding process and implement a more streamlined and centralized bid management system.  

If you would prefer a walkthrough of the bidding capacities in Autodesk Construction Cloud, please contact us for a demo. We’d love to understand where you’re at and how we can help you. 

Grace Choi

Product Marketing Manager, Bid Management, Autodesk Construction Solutions